Website Optimisation - Does it really matter?

Website optimisation is paramount these days if you want your business ranking well on google and other search engines but even more essential to have a well optimised website if you have an ecommerce store, why is that I hear you ask?

90% of shoppers recently polled said they left an e-commerce site that failed to load fast enough.

57% of respondents said that after leaving a slow website, they purchased products from a similar website, while 40% opted to use Amazon instead.

Source: Business News Daily

Research shows that half of your website visitors expect your page to load in under 2 seconds.

Around 40% of visitors will give up after 3 seconds if the sites not loaded and shop elsewhere.

Other research shows that 80% of visitors will not return to your website following a slow load time, and half of those people will share their experience with friends and family.

A fast loading website will lead to a better conversion rate, an overall general better online shopping experience and returning customer business and loyalty.

Still think website speed doesn’t matter?

Mobile Responsive Websites

Mobile devices have taken over in online browsing and shopping with over 2 billion people using devices to shop online globally, 95% of mobile internet users look up local information on their phones for the purpose or visiting a business.

Is your website responsive across all desktop, tablet and mobile devices? Images should be scaled responsively in some cases a separate mobile web build may be required and hosted on a sub-domain.

Less can be more on mobile keep things simple, lots of long form content may move people away from your website.

Avoid pop ups that cover your content and instead of bombarding visitors with a pop up on entry, use it when they are exiting the website as you are more likely to get a sign up or more interaction with the pop up on exiting the website.

Image Optimisation

Images should be optimised to the smallest file size possible without losing quality, jpeg’s tend to be the biggest files sizes and will slow your website down, png, svg and gif files will help your site load faster especially if compressed correctly, be aware though that over compressing images will lose the quality ending with blurry and pixelated images.

WebP images are becoming more popular image format in the modern day and are supported by most modern browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsofts Edge and Opera.

Other options for image optimisation are using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which is a group of dedicated that work together to deliver HTML web pages, javascript files, stylesheets images and video’s on the location of the user.

There are free and paid options our personal favourites are Cloudflare and Key CDN.

There are many others so maybe it's worth exploring a little more

There are many tools and apps to help you compress images it can be done in Photoshop, and using various wordpress plugins such Tiny Png & Smush and our favourite Imagify

Website developers and designers tend to be moving in the direction of vector based images as the files sizes are tiny compared to photo’s and stock images.

Website Speed

Website loading times has a direct impact on both traffic and conversions. Slow page speed create a bad user experience and may stop visitors from returning to your website while also having an effect on Google rankings.

According to google’s latest research it takes an average of 22 seconds to load an average mobile landing page, however research also indicates that 53% of people will leave if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

  • if your site loads in 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
  • if your site loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
  • if your site loads in 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
  • if your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web

Here is a great article on website speeds by SEMrush

Optimising Website speeds requires knowledge of having CSS and JavaScript files load simultaneously and combing scripts into a single sheet if possible, minimising HTTP requests, creating CSS sprite’s adding multiple images into one style sheet, loading JavaScript after important files, improving server response time, browser caching while keep plugins to a minimum and various other factors.

Speak with your web developers about how your can speed up your website.

User Experience

UX or user focuses on on gaining insights and deeper understanding to your potential website user, their needs, values, habits, abilities and limitations

Also taking into consideration your business goals and objectives.

The overall aim is to improve the quality of a website visitor (user experience)

According to Peter Morville in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience information must be:

He notes that in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfil a need
  • Usable: Site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them

UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.

User Experience

UX or user focuses on on gaining insights and deeper understanding to your potential website user, their needs, values, habits, abilities and limitations

Also taking into consideration your business goals and objectives.

The overall aim is to improve the quality of a website visitor (user experience)

According to Peter Morville in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience information must be:

He notes that in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfil a need
  • Usable: Site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them

UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.

Technical SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optmisation) can scare most business users away but there are many SEO tools that are available to help you audit your website and check for potential damaging factors.

Things to check should be if it’s a mobile friendly take a look at Google’s mobile friendly test to see how your website measures up.

Check your website indexing with Google’s search console examining and fixing any issues found, check traffic stats on google analytics and look stats such as times, location and how users are using your website and also what content is not performing.

Fix any broken links these can harm your rankings and are a no no for user experience, have a look at this article from ahref’s how to fix broken links.

Submit your XML sitemap to google or use a plugin such as Yoast to take care of this for you.

Check title tags, meta descriptions and fix any duplicate content.

Check the robot.txt files to make sure search engines crawlers and bots are properly indexing your website and its page content.

Take a look at our SEO for small businesses article for some tips and tricks to get you SEO campaign moving in the right direction.

Final thought.

There is so much information online regarding website optimisation that its hard to find which options to work on first, we have outlined the main factors to get your website properly optimised and running smoothly in the future, speak with your website developers and design team to see how they can help you with a smoother and more user experience focused website.