Everyone knows about online business success factors like design, social media, content, and paid marketing. Website performance is another significant factor that is frequently taken for granted or overlooked. Website speed, in particular, gets less attention than it deserves.
Site speed has a direct effect on customer loyalty, conversion rates, and search engine rankings. This guide will look at why site speed is crucial, how it has become a vital factor in your search rankings, and how you can speed up your site.
User experience, conversion, loyalty
The speed of a website matters for a number of reasons. A slowly loading site dampens the overall user experience. Online shoppers give speed top priority, as fast websites and pages are associated with higher conversion and lower bounce rates. Google data shows that increasing loading speed by just one second results in a corresponding increase in conversions by as much as 27%, specifically from mobile users. The majority of people buy on mobile devices today, so it’s clear that site speed has a huge potential effect on your earnings.
Leaving a negative first impression of a slow website aside, long-term use of slow sites can be quite damaging to your bottom line. As you probably know, getting an existing customer to make a repeat purchase is easier than finding a new one. According to a survey by Skilled, four of five customers said they would be less likely to buy another item from an online store if the site speed was less than satisfactory. In other words, if your site was slow the first time, they wouldn’t return to your store.
It definitely pays off to invest in reducing load times in order to keep your customer acquisition costs low. Keep reading for other reasons and ways to speed up your WordPress site.
Slow speed harms your Google Search rankings
In the area of SEO, site speed is an important ranking factor as well. Google had just over 92% of the world’s market share at the beginning of last year. It uses website speed to rank sites in search results. In May last year, the leading search engine integrated Core Web Vital within its search ranking algorithms, using them in combination with existing search signals to gauge user perception of a webpage. This signal defines how fast users find your site.
A metric called Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is used to measure loading. It determines the length of time a page’s main content takes to load.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability. It makes sure users have a positive experience by measuring how frequent unexpected layout shifts are.
Finally, First Input Delay (FID) determines website usability. It measures the time from a user’s first interaction with your site, like clicking a button or a hyperlink, to the time when the browser responds to the interaction.
How to speed up your site
Some online stores are quick to load by default, thanks to fast website architecture and a global network. Still, your site can slow down every time you add new features to it, like live chats, rich media, videos, or customer reviews. It’s a good idea to perform a site speed audit, as your Google Search ranking is key in attracting and converting customers.
Understand your current speed
Before you can start working on improvements, you need to be able to understand your site’s performance as well as possible. You can check your speed by visiting your admin’s online store speed report and comparing it to other companies in your niche.
Make speed improvements
Identify where you can make changes or reach out to an expert to audit your site speed and make recommendations for improvement. This will often include image optimization. From choosing the most suitable file formats to compressing product photos, image optimization can be paramount to load times.
Site speed should be a top priority when you decide to make changes to your online shop. Check your speed regularly and make improvements whenever needed so you’re always optimized for loyalty, conversion, and Google Search rankings.