Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to running an online store.
You need to make sure that your site is running fast, as a slow-loading page can lead to a poor user experience. This can then result in low organic traffic from search engines. In the end, you stand to suffer from a dismal conversion rate and subpar sales.
If you want to keep your customers happy, you need to make your Shopify store optimized to the T. Here’s a guide on how to do so:
Use a fast, SEO-friendly Shopify theme
Before you find and get a theme you like, you should see that it loads quickly. Should you pick a wrong choice, you stand to lose customers and drop your search engine ranking.
If you already have an existing theme in place, one of the best practices to follow is to check for the live preview. Make sure to run your page through the free Google PageSpeed Insights program. Don’t forget to follow its recommendations for search engine optimization.
Additionally, you need to keep your theme updated frequently. That way, your product page won’t suffer just because you have the old theme version.
Make your Shopify online store run fast with AMP
Short for accelerated mobile pages, AMP is a great way to create a quick-loading page for mobile devices.
So why is having AMP important for your brand name?
For one, there are 167.8 million mobile customers — and that’s just in the United States alone.
AMP can also help with search engine optimization, as Google and Bing tend to favor pages that load quickly.
To optimize your site, you can try the RocketAmp or FireAMP Shopify program. Not only do they have 4-star reviews on the site, but they offer free trials as well.
If you like coding your content yourself, you can always tinker with the Shopify API to create AMP pages for your online store.
Compress each image in your store
Using the right images is essential in online selling. Fortunately, Shopify makes this possible by enabling the file uploads of JPG, PNG, and GIF images.
While these images are great, they can be too big that they bog down site performance. And, as always, a slow website can get bad SEO rankings.
To further optimize your store, you need to follow these tips on image compression:
- Go to tinypng.com or tinyjpeg.com to reduce the size of your new images. It can help compress the picture by as much as 71%, thereby allowing your page to run faster.
- For existing images on your Shopify online store, use a free Shopify app such as Image Optimizer or Crush.pics. These products have excellent reviews at 4.9 and 4.8, respectively.
- While compression is important, you have to take note of the image quality. The result should be of acceptable size as well.
- Avoid using too many images on a single product page.
Use a hero layout
Using sliders allows you to add five to six images to your page. Although they make for a good product exhibition, they can slow down your website and affect your SEO.
To avoid this problem, use a hero layout instead. Not only will this show a high-quality image, but it allows your content to appear faster too.
Limit the number of Shopify apps for your online store
Shopify has a lot of apps available for compressing images and making AMPs. Granted that these products can make your site more appealing to search engines, they can affect site speed.
That said, it’s essential to do a quick rundown of your apps. Whether they’re free or paid, it’s best to disable those you are not using anymore.
Minimize the number of HTTP requests
The more HTTP requests your store has, the slower it will perform. As expected, it can adversely affect the SEO of your brand.
To limit the volume of HTTP requests, you should:
- Combine and inline CSS scripts.
- Minimize the use of functional or design images for your sites.
- Sprite CSS images.
- Convert images into Base64 code.
- Reduce the buttons of social media sites.
Avoid redirects and broken links
Wondering why your SEO ranking remains terrible no matter how much you improve your pages’ content? You probably have to check each link for redirects and possible breaks.
To fix redirects, go to Online Store > Redirects. Click on URL redirects to add the appropriate link.
As for broken links, you can use free tools such as Xenu and Broken Link Checker. They can help you find the ones that trigger site-slowing HTTP requests.
As you see, there are many benefits to Shopify optimization. By following these tips, you can make your customers happy – all the while improving your search engine rankings.