Site has always had its place as a great determining factor. Its impact on customers is one of the things that determines if they stay on your site, purchase, and come back to your site. However, you also have to make sure your site meets the Google revised ranking metrics, else people would never find it.
Shoppers expect their experience to be as quick, easy and fluid as it would be in person. It is by this basis that Site speed became a metric, and online users have long made instant decisions on whether to buy from your store based on speed alone. Your website is your online storefront and shoppers, it has to be alive!
Site speed has always had an impact on whether customers will stay on your site, trust your site, purchase from your site, and come back to your site. Site speed had always been the problem. It used to be what determined if customers get to stay or leave, until now, when customers may even struggle to find your store, based on Google’s revised ranking metrics.
Keywords, SEO, and other important metrics still account for how Google ranks your website. In 2021 though, we saw a shift in priorities when it comes to Google’s user-centric ranking system. With great knowledge of how online users work, and how they browse, Google is determined to serve consumers with the best, most-relevant and quickest results.
So if you ever were considering boosting your site’s speed, this is the time.
Site Speed and the Impact on being discovered.
At the forefront of Google’s algorithm for ranking websites will now be user-centric performance metrics.. In a bid to enhance the search experience based on a real person’s perspective, Google has adapted its core web vitals to determine what a user experiences when they land on your site. And for the first time, Google will penalize websites with performance issues on both mobile and desktop.
As far back as November 2020, Google had brought to our notice that their core web vitals would play a much more significant role in the ranking of websites. These user-centric performance metrics will focus on site speed amongst other elements as key ranking factors.
What do we want? Information! When do we want it? Now! Internet users are seekers who put a time on what they want. Research shows that customers expect a page to load as fast as three seconds. Anything more than this and the bounce rate increases from 9% to a massive 38%, meaning more people will leave your site, but also in Google’s eyes higher bounce rates can imply irrelevant content.
But how does this impact your chance of being discovered? Slower pages with higher bounce rates are less likely to be featured towards the top of the SERPS (search engine results pages), and may even mean dropping off the first page completely. Google’s key aim is to create a search experience which is fluid and user focused. They would display the best and the most relevant content at the top of the page.
What do you call a person who is looking on page two of Google? Desperate. 90% of online experiences start with a search engine and approximately 71% of them start with Google. Independent surveys suggest that the first result earns a 28.5% click-through-rate, and by the time we get to the seventh domain you can expect to receive a meager 5.4% of the traffic.
It is important to remember that even though page speed is one key factor in how Google ranks your website, it is very essential. A slow website might see your rankings crash, improvements to your site speed is a means to seeing the page grow. Tools such as page speed insights and Google Lighthouse can help you to identify any site speed issues. You can improve your overall Site performance, and get to see how your site works through Site speed audits.
Website Speed and Customer Experience
Your website will need to adapt and change to keep up with growing expectations as your brand grows and brings a consequent increase in customers. From essential maintenance to visual amendments, changing your website will ultimately increase its size and weight.
When shopping online, a virtually stimulating experience would most likely keep customers. From large hero images, to product videos and interactive 3D models, each of these elements on your website makes you unique, but it takes time to load. Even if your site might be the most visually striking, 57% of shoppers will still leave if an online store is slow.
The Importance of Optimizing Checkout Speeds
Since the start of 2020, e-commerce has seen a dramatic acceleration. In 2 years it has grown at the speed of what ordinarily would have taken between 4 and 6 years. With this increase and further predictions, it is anticipated that e-commerce will overtake in-store purchases by as soon as 2023. It is essential that the journey to checkout is as quick and seamless as possible.
Online users have now become more aware of the risks of cyber attacks which came on the rise during the pandemic by 20%. This is directly evidenced through the way that they shop.
A slower load spell is most likely to put customers off from making purchases online. It also also leaves a vestige on the retailer. Website users would less likely enter their card details into a site with a slow load speed. Some common fears customers have include: fear of an unexpected crash, double payment on a site, the site “timing out” or payment failure. And fear often leads to customers abandoning their purchase.
According to a survey, 75% of all sales are lost because sites were abandoned. And though some well executed abandoned basket campaigns can retrieve lost sales, you have to ensure that the checkout process is as fast and smooth as it can possibly be.
How can I improve my checkout process? Keep it quick, and concise! When you improve your overall website speed, it will help to improve your checkout experience. However, high-traffic periods such as holiday sales, promotions or times of rapid growth can add additional strain to the checkout process. Built for fast sales, the Shopify checkout is specifically designed to withstand the strains of high traffic periods, helping to ensure your customers can buy from your store as fast as possible – no matter how many people are trying to checkout.
Faster Website = Customer Retention
You are most likely to sell to a returning customer when you have a fast website. They know your brand, and that’s why they chose to return, they were impressed with your website. That means that customer retention and satisfaction is an essential part of ecommerce.
There are many factors that need be considered for customer retention. Usability of your website is greatly important. Most dissatisfied customers due to the site’s load speed are less likely to return, thereby costing you money in the form of a lost sale. As little as a one second difference can result in a 7% decline in conversions.
Your website speed can be very influential, from getting a customer who funds your website, and staying afloat, these are all highlights of how site speed impacts customer satisfaction.
Ensure your customer journey is fast and simple. Take notice of your site speed.
If you’re looking for strategic e-commerce support for your online store or marketing activity, contact us and one of our team will be happy to discuss how we can help grow your brand.