When it comes to site conversions, page speed optimization is one of the most important factors we need to keep in mind. We only have to think of our own behavior as visitors to know that a slow page could turn even the keenest potential customer away.
If a slow loading page does not tempt you to click away then you, my friend, are more patient than the average internet user. According to a study done by Blue Corona, a mere 1 second delay in your page speed will result in losing 11% of your page views and 7% of your conversions rate.
Why Page Speed Is Important
Reduce Bounce Rates
One of the main performance indicators of an online store is how many of those who clicked onto our website actually stay on our website. Google carried out a study on bounce rate in relation to page and found the following rates;
According to Blue Corona, even if we convert a user into a customer, if they are dissatisfied with our website performance, 79% of them are less likely to buy again. It makes sense that a fast loading site will give visitors confidence in your product or service, thus making them more likely to hand over their hard-earned cash.
Keep your SEO on point
There are many signals search engines use to determine search ranking. For example, Google has more than 200 signals for establishing a website’s ranking and page speed is one of them.
As well as the direct signal of page speed to your search ranking, increased bounce rates will also pull your SEO ranking lower than it could be with just some minor changes. We’re talking milliseconds. So not only will you lose those users, you will also be less visible to future users with a lower position on result pages.
How to Test Page Speed
Google PageSpeed Insights
You can test your page speed with the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. Just copy and paste your URL into the bar and wait for your score. You will also see a breakdown of your analysis. The result I suggest paying particular attention to is the Time to Interact figure. This will tell you how long your user has to wait before being able to do anything on your site.
Another great tool for testing your page speed optimization is GTmetrix. If you test your store with their tool, you will get a more detailed breakdown of how various aspects contributing to your page speed are contributing to the overall score.
You can use the Pingdom speed testing tool to test your local page speed time around the world. Are you targeting visitors on another continent? Get an insight into how their Time to Interact time differs to those closer to home.
15 Ways to Optimize your Page Speed
Here are the 15 quick wins you can try when optimizing your page speed:
- How large are your images?
- Do you have script you don’t need?
- Are your plug-ins lightweight?
- Can your homepage be any less complex?
- Do you have too many redirects?
- Have you enabled compression on your website?
- Have you minified your resources?
- Have you prioritized visible content?
- Do you have lazy loading implemented?
- Have you leveraged your browser cache?
- Have you optimized your htaccess file?
- Are you utilizing the HTTP2 protocol?
- Are you leveraging caching?
- Are you utilizing a CDN?
- Is your server strong enough for the amount of traffic coming in?
Just from this list alone, you can see how many things may be making your site lag. Paying attention to your plug-ins is always high on the list of page speed optimization checks. Having too many can affect your page speed, but some plug-ins add to the overall functioning of your website. That’s why I have “lightweight” plug-ins high on the list above.
For example, if you’re looking for a plug-in to learn more about your customers, such as which campaign they came from and what their journey looks like. You should always pay attention to how much load this plug-in puts to your server and your website. A plug-in’s great functionality may be poison for your business success if you need to sacrifice website performance for it.
I suggest testing your page speed optimization first and then apply the above points. Once you reach a score you’re happy with, add this checklist to your weekly, monthly or quarterly page speed optimization routine to keep your store in tip-top shape.
If you want to check for yourself how your users respond to your new and improved fast loading time, don’t make any other changes to your website for a test period of time. Do you see the predicted increase in page views and conversions? We’d love to hear from you!
Also you might spot something important missing from our Page Speed Optimization list? You can share your tips and your page speeds with fellow Qreuzers below!