As a site manager of eCommerce stores, it can be frustrating when it’s not performing how we expect. However, optimizing your online store performance can be easier than you think. Included are some tips. Everything from image optimization to reducing your bounce rate, I’ve outlined most of the issues eCommerce store owners face today.
Being successful comes down to knowing your customers. Who they are, what they like, what makes them excited, and what turns them away. Starting with your buyers persona, you can start to understand what it will take to turn those leads into lifetime customers. Follow along and be sure to leave a comment with any tips you have for other online store owners.
So lets get started with best practices...
Images usually account for a significant amount of page size. The good news is that they’re fairly to optimize. In our article on ADA web compliance we created an infographic with a massive size of 1920x9750px. Using compression, we reduced its file size from 4.8 MB to just 901 KB, that’s a savings of over 80%. For easy compression we suggest TinyJPG
Using the right format can really cut down on unnecessary resource allocation. I have included a simple flowchart that can get you started in deciding which image format works best for any given situation.
- If you're using animation, the GIF format is the only choice
- GIFs offer the lowest color accuracy but since they cycle through many frames, the loss in color is a necessary trade-off for the use of animations.
- PNG preserves the most detail at higher resolutions
- Since PNGs don't use lossy compression inherently, they offer the greatest image quality at the cost of filesize. They also provide transparency which JPEG does not. These should be used sparingly.
- If your image is for an important asset like your logo, the use of SVGs offers the best quality at retina resolutions.
- Consider using image fonts wherever possible. FontAwesome is the most common and can save you tons of file size!
- JPEG is best for images or screenshots
- JPEG can be the best use for most images. It offers lossy and lossless compression algorithms that lower the overall size of images without making the quality look worse. Experiment with different settings to get the most out of your JPEGS.
Use Color Wisely
Color has a huge psychological impact on ecommerce. When designing your ecommerce website, matching the colors to your buyers persona can help increase your conversions and optimize your stores performance.
The psychological principle known as the Isolation Effect states that an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” is more likely to be remembered. Research clearly shows that participants are able to recognize and recall an item far better — be it text or an image — when it blatantly sticks out from its surroundings.
Two studies on color combinations, one measuring aesthetic response and the other looking at consumer preferences, also find that while a large majority of consumers prefer color patterns with similar hues, they favor palettes with a highly contrasting accent color.
In terms of color coordination, this means creating a visual structure consisting of base analogous colors and contrasting them with accent complementary (or tertiary) colors.
This can optimize online store performance significantly
Picking the Best Domain Name
When improving your online stores performance, the name is extremely important. The domain must be relevant to the goods or services you’re offering potential customers. For example, if you’re selling sunglasses, you shouldn’t choose the domain "www.glassesstore.com". Users might think you’re selling prescription glasses and will bounce off the site once they realize you don’t have what they’re looking for.
Using a shorter domain will make it easier for potential customers to remember the name. Choosing a name that will stick in their minds can easily grow your business organically. (We get second takes all the time.)
- Easy to type
- Shorter is better
- Keyword relevant
- Don’t use hyphens or numbers
- Make it memorable
- Do your research
- Choose the right extension
- Keep your brand protected
Shoot For Highly Relevant Keywords
For you to boost your online stores performance, it’s advised to include keywords with good impressions and relevant to your niche. These keywords should be used in your headings, title, product pages, and meta descriptions. A little tool called KWfinder can be very useful for determining which keywords are worth shooting for.
The use of these relevant keywords can make your site attract the right customers that are searching for you or your products and/or services. According to Yoast, the keyword density for your pages should be between 0.5 and 2.5%
When choosing keywords you should ask yourself…
Is this keyword relevant to my website? Will customers find what they need on my site when searching this keyword? How happy will they be with what they find? What goals do I wish to accomplish with these keywords? If you can answer all these questions then continue
Make Your Contact Information Accessible
If optimizing your online sale performance tips is important to you, displaying your contact information everywhere your potential customer would look is crucial. Making it easy for visitors to be able to contact you directly for more information can be the difference between a conversion and a dead end. There are 4 major places to place your contact information:
- Your website
- Google my business
Website Contact Info
Google my business
Utilize the Main Page to Show Products
Your homepage is the first place most visitors will land. Making your products the feature of the show is absolutely necessary for optimizing your online stores performance.
If you have data about which items sell the best, place those items on your stores homepage to increase your conversion rates. You can up sell other products throughout their buyers journey.
Make sure all of your most popular categories show up on the homepage in some manner as not everybody is looking for the same thing. Most shoppers would rather navigate through imagery (at least subconciously)
Rotating carousels are a lead magnet!
Build Links Every Day
Link building is extremely important when competing for the top position in search engines. Gaining links is like earning votes. Each vote shows that people like what you're presenting. There are many ways to earn links as an eCommerce store...
- Start blogging
- Create useful content
- Find outdated, moved, or expired resources
- Reach out to your community for links
- Many more on Backlinko
Improve Page Speed Time
Amazon saved over 1.6 billion in sales after reducing it's page load times by 1 second. Page load time has a huge effect on conversion rates. Page load times is the time it takes for a site to show it's content to the user. The faster the load time the more enjoyable the user experience will be. This benefits you as the store owner two different ways.
- It will reduce number of people leaving the site, the "bounce rate" (more on this later).
- Google takes site speed heavily into consideration when ranking your website, Especially on mobile. Which means more potential customers.
For more tips on how to improve your sites speed check out Moz's article on page speed & seo.
Upload a Sitemap to Search Engines
How to submit your sitemap:
- Select your site on your Google Search Console home page.
- Click Crawl.
- Click Sitemaps.
- Click ADD/TEST SITEMAP.
- In the text field next to your domain, type sitemap.xml.
Note: Do not enter any additional text. For example, do not enter the page name.
- Click Submit Sitemap.
Reduce Bounce Rate
- Make your content more readable
- Avoid ever using popups
- Make compulsory call to actions
- Use storytelling to showcase your brand
- Update your content regularly
- Target high value keywords
- Aim for the perfect customers
- Make your meta descriptions internesting
- Set external links to open in new window
- Develop your site for mobile first
Building your eCommerce store from the ground up with brand in mind can solve most of these before they ever become problematic. If you're looking for help with your eCommerce business, shoot us a message!
Use Promotions Wisely
People are constantly hunting for the best deals. Through promotional offers you can increase the awareness of your brand, build up a great email list, and build a lifetime customer!
Be sure to take full advantage of promotional offers they can grow your business and can increase your online store performance over time.
I hope you enjoyed this guide with tips and best practices on optimizing your online eCommerce store performance. For more useful information, check out the rest of our info on our blog.