Why Website Speed Matters: Conversions, Loyalty and Google Search Ranking

Website speed measures how fast a browser loads your site’s content.The quicker a website’s speed, the better conversion rates will be.

June 8, 2022
by
Alyssa von Bornhoft
Why Website Speed Matters: Conversions, Loyalty and Google Search Ranking

What is Website Speed and Why Does it Matter?

Website speed, also known as website performance, measures how fast a browser loads your ecommerce site’s content. You may not realize it, but speed is the first thing consumers notice about your ecommerce business. Think of it as the first impression you make on your audience. 

Below we’ll explore how your Shopify brand’s website speed affects your business in terms of:

  • Conversion
  • Loyalty
  • Google Search Ranking

According to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp., we generally lose concentration after only 8 seconds. Our ability to focus has decreased by a third from the 12 seconds it was in at the turn of the millennium – around the time we entered the mobile age. What this shows is that our brains are adapting to the speed at which information is being delivered to us. If your ecommerce website isn’t evolving to account for this weaker attention span, you’re guaranteed to fall behind in key areas. After all, as the saying goes – you snooze, you lose. 

How Website Speed Affects Your Conversion Rate

Conversion rate for an e-commerce brand can be defined as the percentage of consumers that complete specific, or desired, actions on your site.

In the real world, it generally takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. Online, you have less than a third of that! In fact, 47% of consumers expect your ecommerce website to load in 2 seconds and as much as 53% of people will abandon your site entirely, or bounce, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Talk about a need for speed!

What is a Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is a measurement that determines what percentage of users visit a website and leave without viewing any other page on that site. It’s calculated by dividing the number of one page visits by the total visits to your site.

How to calculate bounce rate

When website speed is slow, consumers are less likely to stick around and as a result, your ecommerce website’s performance has a direct, and significant, effect on your conversion rates. It has been proven, time and again, that the quicker a website’s speed, the better conversion rates will be – resulting in users being more likely to perform the targeted actions and not bounce to the competition.

Page Load Time
"1 second of load lag time would cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales per year." - Amazon

Speed equals revenue. The reality is that every second makes a world of a difference when it comes to website speed. In fact, a delay of just 1 second in a page’s response not only lowers your traffic, but it can result in a 7% decrease in sales. 

The good news? Improving ecommerce website speed by just 0.1 seconds can improve conversion rates by 8.4%!

Keeping in mind how speed affects conversion rates and therefore correcting any shortcomings will not only increase your overall earnings, but will also allow you to avoid losing out on any missed opportunities. 

What Effect Does Site Speed Have on Brand Loyalty

Conversion rates and consumer loyalty essentially go hand-in-hand and it should come as no surprise that customer loyalty is one of the key elements for your ecommerce business’ success. What better way to build loyalty than to provide visitors to your site with a good experience? Consumers who return to your site ultimately increase profits and consequently promote the overall growth of your business. 

In one study, it was discovered that almost 70% of online consumers agree that a website’s speed impacts their decision to buy from an online store. Remember that first impression we were talking about? Well, if you only have 2 seconds to make an impression on someone who may become a lifetime customer, you had better make good use out of that time!

Enhancing your consumers’ experience by increasing your website speed is a sure-fire way to build consumer loyalty. In one study, 52% of online shoppers claimed that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site. On the contrary, it was found that 79% of shoppers are less likely to buy from your ecommerce site again if they experience slow website speed. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Website Speed is Now a Factor in Your Site’s Google Search Ranking

Think you can trade website speed for world class content? Think again. Because page speed is essential to user experience, Google uses website speed in its SEO rankings algorithm. No matter how extraordinary your content is, you won’t get to the top of the search results if your speed is lacking. In a statement, Google said:

Users want to find answers to their questions quickly and data shows that people really care about how quickly their pages load. The Search team announced speed would be a ranking signal for desktop searches in 2010 and as of today, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.

In order to rank well in Google search results, ensuring that your website can be found easily by your target audience, the speed of your Shopify website can’t be overlooked. In fact, it’s crucial – so, we’ve compiled some helpful tips that will have the most impact on increasing your ecommerce website speed:  

  • Find out your current ecommerce website speed – Where do you stand right now? 
  • Reduce redirects – The more redirecting your website is doing, the longer the consumer is waiting to land on the desired page
  • Optimize the images on your website – Large images can delay loading speed. Compress and optimize those images by reducing the sizes and using the appropriate file format. 
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript – Google recommends avoiding and minimizing the use of blocking JavaScript.

The bottom line – when it comes to your ecommerce’s website speed, time is of the essence.

If you neglect the speed of your website, it’s sure to have a negative impact on your conversions, consumer loyalty, and Google search rankings – all key components essential for the success of your Shopify store. Speed is vital in attracting consumers to your store and ultimately in those customers continuing to do business with your brand.

The truth is, regardless of how much time and effort you’ve poured into creating a brand you’re proud of, from the colour scheme, logos and content, users will choose your ecommerce site – or not - based on the amount of time it takes for your website to load. Website speed plays such a critical role in determining the success of your ecommerce brand, and adQuadrant has helped many ambitious brands optimize their online presence so reach out to them for any help your brand might need.  

* This is a guest post from the team at adQuadrant.

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