A study of Google's mobile page speed shows that site bounce rate gets worse every second it takes a page to load. This means for every second delay; visitors are likely to leave your website.
How does page speed affect Shopify store performance?
Google Page Speed measures the time it takes the content on a URL to load. However, site speed represents how your site is performing. This considers the various load times on your site on the average.
Slow web pages hurt organic rankings across all devices. It also affects sales. In an experiment performed by Crazy Egg website optimization, they discovered that speeding up an e-commerce site just by one second boosted conversions by 7%.
Online shoppers are not patient with slow pages. It is advisable to improve your site loading speed to boost conversion and reduce bounce rate.
Slow loading sites also negatively affect searchability. For paid search, for instance, slow landing pages lowers AdWords Quality Score and leads to higher Cost-per-click (CPC).
79% of customers who are unsatisfied with a website’s performance are likely not to patronize again.
64% of mobile visitors expect websites to load in less than four seconds.
47% of online shoppers believe web pages should load in less than two seconds.
With these factors in mind, let us talk about how you can get more customers through search engines and by improving your site performance.
1. Optimize your website’s mobile performance
It is now more important than ever before to have a mobile e-commerce strategy. In BFCM, mobile accounted for 66% of all sales on Shopify. In the U.S. the ecommerce market was only 39%. This difference was likely due to better mobile-first experiences with Shopify stores.
This mobile trend will only continue to grow-with mobile commerce sales projected to reach $319 billion annually by 2022.
In spite of high mobile purchase rates, the major issue that mobile users complain of is slow performance. Annoyance at slow pages ranks even higher than site crashes.
It is good practice to ensure your mobile-first customer experience matches or outpaces your competitors. You can test your mobile site speed with PageSpeed insights. This is a Google Labs tool that gives you personalized suggestions of how you can improve your site performance.
2. Use pop-ups only when necessary
Providing a pop-up window adds style and functionality. Pop-ups show products immediately from the product listings page. This reduces the number of clicks to see the product detail. This is good for customer experience; however, it has a drawback. Pop-ups are additional features that add to the load time of your website.
3. Organize your tracking with Google Tag Manager
Customer data fuels your digital marketing strategies. However, it can also impact on your site performance. Those tags for general analytics, conversions and consumer metrics are often to blame.
Collecting customer data could also be a boarding for your marketing teams. Google Tag Manager helps to manage your Analytics. It helps you monitor pages customers visit more often and gather other information about your website.
If a tag failure impacts on your website in a way that is bad for business, you can easily remove the tag.
4. Reduce thumbnail image sizes
Using a carousel feature on your homepage can also impact on your site speed. As information is being pulled from product pages and displayed as thumbnails, you may need to wait some seconds to fetch the information completely.
Issues occur when a product image pulled from a product page is larger in size than what is needed. The solution to this is to use Shopify’s built-in image size parameters. This will ensure you can use the smallest possible image while keeping quality.
5. Avoid overloading your website with apps
If there are more than 20 Shopify apps installed on your store, it is very likely you are not using them all. Maybe you tried out some apps and forgot to remove them. These apps are running in the background and hurting your site performance even though you don't need them.
A good rule of thumb whenever you want to install a new app is to ask: “Will the benefit I derive from this app outweigh the possible slowdown of load speed?”
6. Compress and reduce images in size and number
Images account for over 50% of your web pages total weight. Higher-quality images usually are heavier. However, you can minimize image size and maintain the quality with lossless compression.
Also try to reduce the number of images used. Each image you use on a page creates a new HTTP request. Trimming your images helps you say more with less
7. Reduce redirects and broken links
Too many redirects affect your website speed. Broken links don’t look good on your website. These things affect your SEO rankings as well. for instance, 302 redirects indicate that a page has been moved temporarily. These would hurt your SEO badly. It’s better to clean them up.
You can use a broken link checker to remove broken links. You can also create custom 404 error pages to help visitors who mistakenly enter incorrect URLs. Search engines love websites that have custom 404 error pages.
Improving Shopify site performance takes time; however, these tips would help you on your way.
If you get stuck, you can get help from Shopify experts like Open Think Group. We are trusted Shopify experts since 2011. Over the years we have had experience with many ecommerce platforms like; Magento, WooComerce, BigCommerce and the likes. But Shopify is the best of them all.
You will discover that there are opportunities to get exposure for your business and increase your revenue.