To understand the importance of page speed, all e-commerce business owners have to do is think about what it’s like when they shop online.
You make a search, usually on Google. You click on one of the results, usually one of the top three. And if you go to the site and have to wait more than a few seconds for the web page to load, you hit the back button on move on to another result.
It’s that simple. A slow page load speed is killer for an online business.
“Website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites,” according to Kissmetrics, a site that focuses on analytics and marketing.
Elements To Improve Speed
The average online business owner might not know all the technical issues involved with how a site looks and how fast its pages load. That’s why they turn to agencies such as Bayshore Solutions, which works with e-commerce companies to improve their site’s performance and marketing efforts.
Developers know how site speed affects performance across all metrics. That’s why, in discussing improvements in the latest version of nopCommerce, Jody Roberts, a senior developer at Bayshore Solutions, focused on issues involving speed.
He noted that improvements, including better caching of information between requests and response compression, helped make the newest nopCommerce version even better for improving site performance. Especially in the area of speed.
This has become more of an issue as consumers have grown accustomed to shopping online. Back in 1999, people said in surveys they were willing to wait up to eight seconds for a site to load. Among today’s consumers, eight seconds would seem like sitting in a traffic jam.
Ten years later, according to Shopify, that number was three seconds. And today, almost half of online customers say they expect a page to load in two seconds. That’s a shorter amount of time than it just took you to read this sentence.
“No customer wants to wait for a page to load, no matter how compelling the brand story, how hot the product or how good the deal,” wrote Jennifer Overstreet for Verizon’s digital media services blog.
SEO and Site Speed
Site speed also is a determining factor in how high Google ranks your site in its search engine result pages. Google always seeks to promote pages higher up in its rankings when they provide quality information and a good user experience.
Obviously, a slower site does not provide good user experience. And a lower ranking with Google is not good news for e-commerce sites.
Of course, Google also uses many other factors to determine page rankings, such as quality content. But speed increasingly has become an issue. Google first announced page loading speed as a ranking factor in 2010, and by 2013 they announced they would penalize mobile sites for slow page loading times.
All of this adds up to a situation where page loading times should be an area where e-commerce owners focus. A good move is hire knowledgeable consultants and to go with a system such as nopCommerce 4.0.
The adage is that speed kills. But in this case, speed is your friend.