Ecommerce success is highly dependent on the speed of your site. It has a direct impact on conversion rates, repeat business, and search engine rankings – and it will be even more important over time, when Google Search ranking changes take place.
Let’s look at why site speed is so crucial, how it will become an important component of Google Search rankings, and how you may enhance your site’s speed.
What is Site Speed?
When a customer enters a café or a restaurant, slow service from the staff very often results in poor customer service reviews and a negative word of mouth (WOM). Similarly, slow site speed on your website can result in bad rankings on search engines, negative user experiences, and overall lower site traffic.
A visitor’s experience with your website, also known as website speed, is defined by how quickly a browser can load fully functional webpages from your site. Users may click away from websites that take too long to load. Sites that load rapidly, on the other hand, are more likely to receive traffic and convert better.
Why is the speed of your website so crucial?
Lower Bounce Rate
Site speed is a sliding scale that ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 representing the slowest and most problematic sites and 100 representing the fastest and best performing ones. According to Pingdom, sites that load in two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, whereas those that take five seconds have a 38 percent bounce rate. Hence, the faster your website is, the larger base of customers you’ll have that will move further onwards throughout the purchasing funnel.
As mentioned above, the quicker a website is, the lower its bounce rate will be – meaning the greater its conversion rates. According to Google, a one-second improvement in site speed may improve mobile conversions by up to 27%. And with 70% of customers buying on their phones, poor site performance has the potential to severely damage your revenue. Even if a customer doesn’t bounce during the first interaction of the website, then there’s still a high likelihood for this to happen if the site speed is bad throughout the complete customer journey.
Google Search ranking
Higher ranks on search engines like Google help your company attract more prospective consumers. As of January 2021, Google uses site speed as a ranking criterion for search results. Starting in May 2021, sites that are faster will rank even higher on Google, making them simpler for new consumers to locate.
Loyalty (repeat customers)
“It’s cheaper to persuade current clients to make a repeat purchase than it is to attract new consumers,” right? This is something that many businesses probably believe. Site speed does, however, have a significant impact here. In fact, Skilled discovered that when customers are “dissatisfied” with the site’s performance, there’s a 79% chance that they won’t come back again. So speed can have a very important effect on your customers’ lifetime value (LTV).
Site speed updates to Google Search ranking
Google Search’s goal is to assist people in finding the most relevant and high-quality websites on the internet. It accomplishes this by employing a ranking algorithm, which aims to sort through billions of web pages and connect users with what they’re searching for.
Since May 2021, the Google search ranking started to include new page experience signals. These fresh signals integrate Core Web Vitals with current search indicators to measure how people think a website is; they examine how quickly users believe your site is.
Core Web Vitals are user-centric metrics that serves to help users perceive a page as fast:
- Largest Contentful Paint is the metric that measures how quickly a website loads. This statistic indicates whether a website is useful by measuring how long it takes for the majority of the page’s main content to load.
- The First Input Delay (FID) test is used to evaluate how interactive a website is. The time between when a user first interacts with a page, such as by clicking hyperlinked text or a button, and when the browser can actually respond to that interaction is recorded and measured in milliseconds.
- The Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is used to evaluate the visual stability of a website. This metric ensures that users have the best experience possible by tracking how often users are subjected to an unexpected layout change.
What does all of this imply for your business? As a result of increasing the speed of your website, you will be able to rank higher in Google Search and be discovered by more prospective consumers.
How to improve your site speed
Online stores created on Shopify are already fast by default, with a quick global network and lightweight picture files. However, adding new features to your online business—such as videos, multimedia products, live chats, or consumer reviews, for example—can slow down your site speed and reduce your Google Search ranking.
Follow these measures to increase your website’s speed:
- Recognize your present site speed. Check out the online store performance report in your admin to see how fast your site is currently loading.
- Make continuous site speed improvements. There are a lot of tools which can help you identify places where you can optimize your site speed. The state of perfection more or less never exists – there are always areas where you can enhance the load time.
- Repeat the process! When making any modifications to your online store, keep site speed in the top of your mind. Keep track of your speed score and implement changes as needed to always be optimized for conversion, loyalty, and Google Search rankings.