Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash

As more and more businesses turn to online methods of marketing themselves and selling their products, e-commerce has become highly competitive. Customers are always looking for high-performance websites and nothing less. Therefore, for your business to get ahead, appealing offers and discounts are not sufficient. User experience is the most crucial factor to consider. This comprises of website friendliness, speed, and site reliability. The speed of your website is also a critical factor because it directly affects conversions and sales. The amount of time your page takes to load is a factor that determines how highly your website will be ranked by Google.

According to statistics by the New York Times, if your page does not load in three seconds, a customer will disregard it. There is also the fact that some sites have vast amounts of traffic but are still not making sales because the customers are not completing all the steps intended by the website.

It is not as easy as it sounds to optimize and improve the conversion rates of your website. Implementation is more robust than it may seem. Here are a number of practices that when followed have the potential to improve performance and thus increase profits.

1. Reduce the size of your pages

The size of each page is measured in kilobytes. It comprises of all the elements within that page like CSS, images, JavaScript and any videos. The smaller the page, the better. With smaller pages, you are assured of good ranking with such engines because your pages can also be opened by phones. If you embed large objects in the page, the loading time increases. By saving the page on your computer as a web archive folder, you can tell just how big it is.

Also, make sure you try loading the page, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load both on your laptop or phone, then there is a good chance that it may not be ranked highly. Therefore, unless your business needs you to have richer graphics to get customers, reducing the size of images might be a great idea. Make sure that you always have a balance between the richness of your graphics and losing customers because the pages take too long to load.

2. Understand your customers

The best thing about e-commerce is that you do not have to rely on customers who are within your country of origin. You can sell to people all over the globe. However, it is even trickier to navigate conversion rate optimization when your customers are from different cultural backgrounds and different age groups. You must, therefore, take your time to understand the needs of your customers and their behaviors online. Always make sure that your website is tailored to cater for your target market. You can take quantitative data from sources like Google analytics to figure out the sales trends and have qualitative data from your customers. This will give you a better understanding on how to serve your customers and the basis on which to recommend different products.

In addition, consider getting a content delivery network. This is perfect if you plan on expanding your global customer base. Content delivery networks (CDN) work by caching the content on servers located all over the world. As such, they reduce the load time significantly. This will help customers to load in servers near them rather than hitting the central server. It also reduces the website’s downtime as a result of huge traffic running the same servers.

To start using CDN, you need to register with a CDN provider. An excellent way to do this is by:

  • Selecting a web hosting company that offers CDN services as part of their package

  • Select a third-party and configure the connections between your CDN and web host manually

Once you have integrated it, check the CDN to see if it is working correctly through a website speed test. Make sure you see that it shows the CDN URL you used in the integration.

3. Caching and in-memory technology

In memory caching is essential because it helps you improve the performance of your website. They allow you to temporarily store memory of the full e-commerce catalog, site-search indexes, customer information, etc. This storage prevents database calls. It is a technology that makes use of the RAM available on servers that store data in it. Because the input-output is typically faster on RAMs than they are on hard disks. Thus improving the performance of your website.

4. Data compression

This is a technique where website owners can use software to reduce the size of data transfers. Gzip is the most commonly used compression method. It is often done as part of the configuration process as the compressed data is transferred. This means you have to change the configuration files and use specific compression techniques to check website compatibility because there are some versions that do not support it. You can also use the HTTP compression otherwise known as Deflate. You, therefore, need to do thorough research on which compression method is best suited for your business.

5. Specify image dimensions

For place holders for images to be created by the browser, you must make sure that you specify their width and height. Most e-commerce businesses create images and pages simultaneously without specifying image dimensions. As a result, the browser is forced to load the picture entirely. This is yet another task that increases load time. With image specification, the browser can automatically resize them to suit the device the customer is using.

6. SEO ranking

The content of your website is king. You, therefore, need to make sure you have found ways to make the content helpful to customers. This content also needs to be accessible to search so you must use the right keywords every time. To do this, make sure your website has accurate titles, appropriate keywords, and great Meta tags. Such will bring potential customers to your site each time they make a search of a product or service you are offering.

7. Product descriptions

Are your product descriptions providing solutions to customers’ pain points? If not, they need to be rewritten. Using the right SEO techniques is not the only way to improve performance. Be it a coconut oil or brand clothes – you need to make sure that your customer understands what you are selling and knows why they need your products. This can only be achieved with a good product description.

8. Reduce the round trips

Combining multiple files in your server is one of the easiest ways to reduce the round trips. For instance, instead of accessing JavaScript files separately, you can combine them into a single file. This allows the server to make one request instead of multiple which in turn reduces load time.

9. Avoid redirecting

If you must use redirects, make sure you minimize them. Each redirect increases load time because it is a separate request to the server. You may have to maintain redirects from old links to newer ones but remove as many as you can once shoppers have accessed the new links directly.

10. Organize categories

The more organized the store is, the lesser the bounce back from customers. When you organize the online stores, an easy search is all the customer has to do. It helps keep them in flow.

Conclusion

These are some of the best ways to improve E-commerce website performances. With better performance, you are guaranteed more sales and thus more profits. You can also use social media because it has special SEO features that each business could use.