The focal element of a technologically superior website rests with the speed in which it can deliver. After all, an unimpressive performance can kill business, and if the primary factor that dictates a finished sale is website speed optimization, wouldn’t it be worth learning about how this digital virtue is an essential return-on-investment (ROI)? Continue reading to dive deep into this in-depth guide on the vital role speed plays in the success of your e-commerce business.
What is website speed optimization?
Website speed optimization is an umbrella term that falls under website performance and is a development tactic that’s used to improve page load times. While the time a website takes to load has the potential to impact user experience, site traffic, and even search rankings, slow-loading sites can also critically damage other costly development improvements and efforts.
Page speed is a reference that’s used to the length of time at which web pages or media content takes to download from the website hosting servers onto the requesting browser — the time is measured based on the duration between clicking on the link and displaying the entire content.
As you can see, website speed optimization is more important than most business owners know, and the best part is that when you speed up your website, you’re also improving your SEO and boosting the site’s online conversions.
Why is website speed optimization so important?
Consumers demand quick service and in the world of e-commerce, this transcribes to quick-loading websites. According to Google, the probability of a user leaving your website is strongly influenced by how fast your web pages load:
- 32% will abandon if the site load time is 1 to 3 seconds.
- 90% will abandon if the site load time is 1 to 5 seconds.
- 106% will abandon if the site load time is 1 to 6 seconds.
- 123% will abandon if the site load time is 1 to 10 seconds.
When a user leaves your website there is little opportunity for your brand to later engage with that audience member, which could lead to a lost sale because your website was too slow.
Another reason to invest in website speed optimization is that online search engines work better with fast-loading websites. This is because search engines are geared to deliver results that have the opportunity to provide a positive user experience. So, if you’re hoping to appeal to the search engines and combine the strength of your SEO strategy, you will first need to increase the page speed of your website.
What is the page load speed that websites want?
The current industry standard for web page load times is under three seconds, but in our experience as a web development company, most websites are not able to meet this requirement. However, when it comes to page speed and website performance, there’s no such thing as too fast.
The following Google study from 2017 examined web experiences across a variety of online sectors and of the chosen websites, concluded that 70% of the mobile landing pages took more than 5 seconds to load visual content and up to seven seconds to fully load the entire page. This means that no matter how exciting or visually appealing your website is, many users will abandon the site and move onto other browsing ventures simply because they don’t want to wait a few more seconds.
How is a speed test done?
Image heavy websites often struggle to maintain speediness which is why at Numinix Web Development Inc. we perform a speed test on your website before we can determine the work that will be needed to get your website running up to speed.
Maximizing website performance is all about focusing on page speed optimization and with the addition of plugins, server-side scripts, and other minimal website tweaks, your website will noticeably perform better, load quicker, and respond well to search queries that incorporate factors including page speed, user experience, website responsiveness, and other web performance metrics.
How do you improve your website’s loading speed?
Aside from running a performance test on your website, you can also use the following website speed optimizations tactics to create an SEO, user-friendly experience for shoppers.
- Enable website caching: This action temporarily stores data for a web page when the user visits a site for the first time. By saving this data, rather than reloading it each time a user visits, the website will load quicker. Depending on which e-commerce platform you use, it could be as simple as enabling the website caching through general settings.
- Audit your plugins: While plugins possess the power to add revolutionary functionality to your website, even decreasing development costs, they can also slow down the speed of your site. It’s important to regularly audit your plugins to ensure that you’re using necessary, high-quality tools that add value to your website rather than encouraging abandonment because of speed.
- Compress site files: Another way that you can minimize the pull on resources as your site loads are by compressing some files. When files are small, the loading time is quicker, which is helpful with your overall website speed optimization.
- Reduce the number of redirects: While redirects are useful tools to guide users to live pages when content is removed from your website when there are a number of redirects requiring HTTP requests, this can become problematic for the speed of your website.
- Use better graphic formatting: The larger your graphics are, the slower the page load time, so to ensure that load times aren’t bogged down but vibrant graphics, it’s best to format your images to the right file type (JPEG, PNG, etc.), properly size the image dimensions, and compress the picture to allow the image to speed up the load time.
What did you find most interesting about the role of website speed optimization? Drop a comment below to start a conversation.