You’ve heard it everywhere: site speed is crucial to your online store. Users hate having to wait more than a few milliseconds to be able to view the site and access the information they need. And when it comes to them actually buying a product, well, the more obstacles they encounter, the more likely they are to abandon their carts.
So improving your page loading time becomes a priority. Here’s how to do it if you have a Shopify site.
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1. Run a Diagnostics
The first step here is to test to see if the site speed is actually the reason why your conversion rates aren’t anything to brag about. There are a lot of different aspects that may make users quit purchasing a product, so it’s important to find the cause.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights free tool which will generate a score and some suggestion for improvements for your web pages, such as:
- Image optimisation
- Compress CSS files
- Avoid landing page redirects, etc.
You can use this free tool to quickly test the product page that has the lowest conversion rates, especially those that have some paid advertisements that should technically boost traffic to them.
2. Change Your Shopify Theme
Sometimes, to speed up your Shopify website, you have to pick another Shopify theme, one that’s fast, and responsive.
Shopify themes usually meet these criteria by default, meaning the developers who create these themes do spend time making sure the themes load fast and can work on different devices. But then, the business owner steps in, modifies that theme, and adds their own product catalogue. And in some cases, that initial theme may not have been built for the specific needs of your business.
Also, remember to keep your theme up to date. The Shopify themes are continuously modified and optimised, and if you miss an update it could be an explanation for why your page loading time takes a hit. So if the problems with your site speed are recent and out of the blue, it could be an update issue.
3. Focus on Mobile
A lot of consumers prefer to surf the web from a mobile device. Plus, if you’ll run a social media ad on, say, Facebook, chances are your target will end up on your product page through a mobile device. So it makes a lot of sense to ensure your Shopify page speed is the same for both mobile and desktop.
You can use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which is a framework designed to create fast-loading web pages on mobile devices. Luckily, Shopify allows you to generate easy AMP pages with special apps, like RocketAmp.
4. Organise Your Tracking Codes
A website usually has multiple tracking codes for different purposes, from Google Analytics to social media pixels, AdWords tracker, and more. The problem is, the more tags you have, the slower your website may become.
But with the help of Google Tag Manager, you can store all your tags in one place and prevent that from happening. You can easily add it to your Shopify store, and let the service organise your essential tags seamlessly!
5. Take Care of Redirects and Broken Links
Shopify speed optimisation is the time to also address any broken links and redirects your website has.
Unnecessary redirects create performance issues, including website load issues. Redirects are sometimes necessary to implement when you cannot change a link but need to take a user to a specific page. The problem is, these redirects can add up and be difficult to manage. In Shopify, you can easily apply the 301 redirects through the platform’s built-in “URL redirect” function to streamline the process and keep count of your redirects.
As for broken links, they affect the user experience. A potential customer goes on a page expecting to find the product they are looking for. Instead, they are greeted with an error and a dead end. You can find a lot of free tools to check if your e-commerce site is dealing with any broken links, such as Broken Link Checker.
The quality of your Shopify store has a lot to do with your business goals. If your customers don’t have a good user experience, they will likely close the tab and never look back, leaving you with a bunch of abandonment carts and full stock of products.
If you need help in the page loading speed department, Australian Internet Advertising’s e-commerce team is here to help. Our team of Shopify Website Development experts here to answer any questions you may have and can help you build a website designed to maximize your conversions.