In the highly competitive world of eCommerce... the longer you take to optimize website speed, the more you risk watching your customers move on to a faster competitor’s site.
Just imagine this... Let's say you're selling food online. Your prospect is in a rush, wanting to place an order immediately.
But POOF! Your Shopify site is loading slowly... there are elements that aren't loading properly... and more. Overall, it's hard to use your Shopify store
And that's not great! You need to speed up your Shopify store to achieve the best results.
That's why in this blog... we'll talk about Shopify speed optimization tips you can implement to improve your Shopify store!
Are you ready? Let's get started! Before anything else, let's discuss the importance of site speed.
Why do you need a fast-loading eCommerce site?
Having a fast-loading online store speed is not just limited to a Shopify store... Because every website must have an excellent site speed.
But why is page loading speed crucial to your ecommerce store’s success in the first place? For starters, Google loves pages that load fast.
So, having a fast-loading website is good for your search engine optimization strategy. Poor-loading websites are a no-no.
Yep, SEO is not just about keywords. This is because beyond keyword match and content relevancy.
Because another key factor that Google now takes into consideration for its search engine results page (SERP) rankings is user experience. That includes a quick loading time.
Lucky for you because you can use online tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Web Page Test to test your site speed.
Another reason is... The faster your Shopify store loads, the lower the bounce rate you're likely to suffer. That also means you can increase conversion rates.
Fast loading speed = more customers! Remember that.
Fortunately, Shopify already has some standard performance features to optimize website speed automatically implemented as soon as you create a new site.
So... Shopify speed optimization just got easier! That's another reason to prioritize your website speed. Because you already have the tools to get started.
Now, let's talk about...
5 Ways to speed up your Shopify store
Here are the things you need to do for your Shopify store.
1. Use Google Tag Manager to organize your tracking code
Customer data is crucial for your Shopify store. Data can help you fine-tune your digital marketing strategy.
But here's the thing... The process of gathering this data presents the risk of slowing down your site.
Doing so can result in a slow Shopify site speed. But Google Tag Manager enables you to add and remove tags from your website without touching the code.
This helps in putting all of your website’s tracking code management in one place. Also, the codes will load asynchronously. It means they won't get in the way of rendering your website content.
So, make sure to learn how to add Google Tag Manager to your Shopify store.
2. Compress images and leverage lazy loading
Images make up anywhere between half to three-quarters of the total weight of your web pages. And there's more... This goes up with the quality of the images you use.
But this doesn't mean you need to sacrifice the quality of the images you use. Because visual communication is important in eCommerce and marketing.
So, the solution is to compress your images. You can use tools like TinyJPG or TinyPNG for new images. While Crush.pic is a great image optimizer for existing images.
CDN or Content Delivery Network also stores some of your content on servers across the world. So, your visitors' HTTP requests travel less distance to reach your content.
See? There are good options for minimizing the loading time of your website... Without sacrificing your web content.
That's why you should generally make sure to use images only where necessary, especially GIFs. Because these are extremely large despite looking good and interactive.
Another key tip to keep in mind when it comes to optimizing images for website speed is lazy loading.
Remember... eCommerce websites typically have a large number of image assets. If all of them are loading at once... This naturally reduces the website’s loading speed.
This is where lazy loading comes into play... Lazy loading helps with this by only loading the necessary images as the user scrolls down the page.
3. Optimize for Mobile devices using AMP
First... what is AMP? AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google project to increase page loading speed on mobile devices.
How? By reducing the page size to a standard predefined format. And this is important for your Shopify store because mobile shoppers are everywhere.
And you need to keep up with modern consumers and mobile users by optimizing your eCommerce site for mobile.
Shopify doesn’t offer a default AMP version for its stores. But you can quickly generate AMP pages for your site with Shopify apps like FireAMP or RocketAmp.
But when you stop the AMP app you're using... Your indexed links will give 404 errors. So, you need to consider creating the Shopify API to build pages with AMP.
Or you can also find Shopify themes that are already optimized for mobile usage.
4. Keep third-party Shopify apps to a minimum
The more third-party apps you have running in the background of your Shopify store... The more likely they are to affect your site performance.
This is why you should regularly check for any apps that you are not using and remove them. You should also check the apps you're using to see if you're fine without them.
Testing the page speed with and without these apps installed can help you. Doing so will give you an idea of how they affect page speed. And you can weigh that against the benefits they offer.
Three key questions to consider when evaluating your third-party Shopify apps to optimize website speed are:
- How often do we/our users use this app?
- Is there a lighter version that we could use?
- Is this app’s benefits worth the speed reduction?
This is important because some apps might be too heavy for your eCommerce site.
5. Keep redirects and broken links to a minimum
Unnecessary redirects and broken links also negatively affect site speed, performance, and overall SEO rankings.
Sounds bad, right? And this all contributes to the user experience for your Shopify store. But here are the solutions...
For redirects, Shopify has a built-in redirects function called “URL redirect” which you can use to apply 301 redirects.
And for broken links, you can use a tool like Broken Link Checker to find and remove them.
It’s also a worthy investment to create custom 404 error pages for visitors who accidentally enter an incorrect URL for your site.
With light-hearted humor, you can use this page to show your brand identity while guiding the visitor to the correct links for your Shopify store pages.
It's time to...
Optimize your Shopify store and convert more customers!
You see... Having a slow website affects the user experience. And that's not going to look good for your brand reputation and conversion rate.
This is why you should prioritize website speed optimization of your Shopify store because it greatly impacts your business.
Because having a fast-loading Shopify site means you can increase your traffic! And to help you with that, here's...