There’s no denying that when it comes to running an online business things like SEO, keywords, landing pages, and the amount of traffic you drive to your site is important.
After all, these are the things needed to get people to your website and checking out what you have to offer.
But there’s more to having a successful online business than getting people to your website.
96% of people that arrive at your eCommerce shop are not ready to buy.
But leaving a good impression on them while they’re on your website is the key to getting them to come back and convert.
Sure, those that subscribe to your email list will receive campaigns encouraging them to return and make a purchase or check out new content.
But if you want those that don’t subscribe to come back a make purchase, you’ll have to leave them with memories of a secure, highly functioning, and easy to use website.
Today, we’re going to take a look at how focusing on the performance and security of your eCommerce website can be just as important as building your email lists, optimizing your website for the search engines, and generating online traffic.
Why is Website Performance Important?
When people visit websites these days, they expect instant gratification.
That means they should find what they’re looking for immediately, experience instant page loads, and never have to wonder what they’re missing.
Don’t believe us?
Check out these startling statistics and how not catering to site visitors’ demands can hurt your business:
- 40% of people will abandon your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds or less, no matter what you have to offer
- A 1-second delay in page loading can reduce conversions by as much as 7%
- eCommerce shops making $100,000 a day stand to lose $2.5 million every year with a 1-second page delay
As you can see poor site performance has the ability to wreak havoc on your bottom line and negatively affect the user experience. Not only will you end up losing sales, but you’ll inadvertently damage your brand beyond repair — depending on how frustrated your customers become because of your website’s poor performance.
And so the question becomes, how can you improve the performance of your website?
Well, we’ve got some helpful tips for you.
1. Monitor Site Speed
Since so many people will abandon your website if it doesn’t load in time, it’s crucial you measure and regularly monitor your site’s speed and performance.
One of the best ways to do this is to use Google PageSpeed Insights.
This free online tool analyzes your desktop and mobile site speed and gives you suggestions for improvement.
That said, one of the best ways to improve your site’s overall speed and performance is to utilize the power of a CDN.
With a CDN, servers are spanning the globe storing your site’s content on them.
Then, when a site visitor clicks on your site, the server closest to the site visitor geographically delivers the content.
This reduces latency and loads your site’s content instantly for site visitors to see.
This is especially helpful for image-heavy eCommerce shops that have lots of products and product images. While using CDNs might cost you a bit more, when you think about all the sales that you wouldn’t miss because of your site’s exemplary loading speed, you’ll realize that having a CDN is well worth your money.
2. Optimize Images
Speaking of images, a great way to speed up your page loading times is to optimize your images before uploading them to your website.
This is true for all images; your company’s business logo, images in blog posts, on product pages, on landing pages, and even your site’s forms.
There are a few free online image optimization tools available that will help you reduce the size of your images’ files without sacrificing their quality.
A popular one is TinyPNG.
With TinyPNG, you can compress PNG or JPG images up to 5MB for free. And to make things easier, you can optimize 20 images at a time, and download the compressed files in bulk too.
If you have tons of images to optimize at a time, you might want to see what your eCommerce platform has available.
For example, WordPress has a free plugin called WP Smush that automatically optimizes any image uploaded onto your site.
And if you have images on your site that were uploaded before you installed WP Smush, you can optimize those in bulk too.
In the end, speeding up your website by optimizing your images is one of the best, and easiest, ways to get people to spend more time on your site and buying what you have for sale.
3. Check for Broken Links
There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a website in a search result you want to check out, clicking on it, and getting a 404 error “Page Not Found” message.
This not only ruins the initial user experience, it pretty much guarantees your site visitor will not only leave and never come back, but go to your competition for what they need.
You may not realize you have broken links on your website.
After all, who clicks on every webpage on their website on a regular basis to make sure everything is working right?
To make sure your site visitors are always directed to a working page on your website, check out a neat tool like Online Broken Link Checker.
Just input your site’s URL and let the tool tell you which links are broken. You can then redirect them or fix them on your website.
Why is Site Security Important?
Site security plays a significant role in how successful your eCommerce shop will be.
The more secure your website is, the more customers will trust your brand and be willing to submit personal and financial information on it when they buy from you.
If your site is insecure, and a data breach occurs, not only do you stand to lose all your existing customers and a whole lot of cash, your entire business may go down and never recover.
There are many ways to not only secure your online store but show customers you take the time to ensure their data is safe.
Let’s take a quick look.
1. Stay GDPR Compliant
You are probably aware that in May of 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law went into effect requiring all website owners with EU visitors follow certain data protection rules.
Your customers are aware that you have to get their consent to store and use their data. They also know that you might be storing cookies to give them a better user experience.
But without letting people know you’re following GDPR rules and regulations, people will worry their data is not safe and is being misused. Because of this, they may not buy from you.
2. Use Security Seals
Security seals, or trustmarks, show your customers that your site is safe for use.
Payment gateways, cybersecurity companies, and SSL certificate merchants will let you display their official seals on your site, so people know what’s going on behind the scenes.
They will then feel more comfortable submitting sensitive data like names, addresses, emails, and credit card information through your site to make a purchase.
3. Use Reliable Hosting
Site security is not only something you should stay on top of but something your hosting provider should too.
For instance, many reliable hosting providers have built-in security features to protect your site and its contents such as:
- Routine site scanning
- Offsite backups and one-click restores
- Free SSL certificates
- IP address managers
- Updated PHP versions
That said, your web host should also take precautions to protect the servers storing your site’s files on.
For example, they should scan for suspicious activity 24/7, physically secure the servers in datacenters, implement security fixes, and even provide guaranteed uptimes.
If your hosting provider’s servers are compromised, that means, your site is compromised too.
This can mean a huge loss in sales, a poor user experience, and mark on your reputation that will be hard to change.
Do your research before committing to a hosting provider so you don’t unintentionally ruin your chances of generating a lot of revenue in your online shop.
For starters, you can check out website hosting review website to have a better idea of what website owners are saying about the hosting provider. The good news is, there are truckloads of such reviews sites online.
In the end, there are a lot of factors that play into the profitability of your eCommerce shop. It’s not all about keyword research, better search rankings, and how well-liked you are on social media.
What happens once people arrive on your website, and how secure it is, is just as important to landing more sales, boosting conversions, and creating long-lasting relationships with customers.