By Paul Hughes, e-commerce strategist at BVAccel
⏰ 3-minute read
- During the most lucrative online shopping time of the year, convert hurried shoppers by ensuring your site runs faster than Santa’s reindeer.
- To do this, consider adjusting the site’s images, plugins and integrations and scripts.
- These fixes not only improve user experience but also boost your site’s Google ranking – and that gift will keep on giving through 2020.
It happens every year. You say, “I’m going to be prepared for the holiday season this time!”
Then you blink — and it’s October. With limited time, what can you do to ensure your website is prepared for the most critical, yet most taxing time of year when the stakes are highest? Seventy-nine percent of customers who run into any kind of performance issues on your website are less likely to buy from you again — you can’t afford any misses during this profitable period.
It might seem daunting, but if you implement these quick fixes, you’ll be able to improve site performance and prepare your website for the increased traffic from the Black Friday/Cyber Monday rush.
1. Optimize your images
with an image compressor.
Have your web designers and developers ensure that your images are optimized for site speed, which is a critical factor for user experience and even SEO. This can be done without sacrificing image quality, and it is important in order to ensure that your images aren’t larger than they absolutely must be to retain image quality.
Talk with your web developers about proper file formats and image compression. The most popular formats are:
- Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs). SVG is a great format for icons to remain crisp on multiple screen sizes.
- Portable Network Graphics (PNGs). PNGs are ideal for keeping images lean while maintaining quality.
A great first step is to start looking into free tools such as tinypng.com, ImageOptim, or Optimage to optimize images for site speed.
👉 While you’re at it, optimize your images psychologically.
2. Perform an app audit.
This one is easy. Have your team or agency look through any apps, plugins and integrations you currently have on your website and remove the ones you no longer use.
You should also evaluate those you don’t use often. Apps and plugins are very convenient and solve a variety of e-commerce storefront problems, but they’re developed to fit a large variety of websites, so they often aren’t optimized for your website specifically — meaning they come with the risk of slowing your website down considerably.
For example, maybe you’re using an inline cart upsell app that injects extra code onto your website. Consider removing the app and having your developers create custom functionality that works better.
Think of it as decluttering your desk so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. The same is true of your website, except it doesn’t have interns to organize everything. (Well, maybe it does, but that would ruin my analogy.)
👉 Don’t have a web developer? Here’s how to find a freelance one.
3. Defer scripts.
Web browsers read sites like we — usually — read books: They start at the top and work their way down. By deferring scripts on your site that aren’t needed immediately upon page load, you can improve the perceived speed of your website by allowing your page’s content to load before some of your heavier scripts.
Because page load speed is a significant factor in Google rankings and reducing bounce rate, this can be a clever way to keep users on your site and for longer periods of time.
👉 Learn about more factors that affect your e-commerce site’s Google ranking.
🌱 The bottom line
While there are plenty of other strategies you and your web development team can implement before this year’s holiday season, your priorities should be those that are the easiest to execute with the highest potential impact.
Even a two-second speedup can mean exponentially higher conversions. So, what are you waiting for? It’s about time.