This week’s Ask An SEO Question comes from Momna in Dallas, who asks:
“How can we improve page speed and page experience for the Shopify store? Shopify won’t allow us to make changes in the code. How can we then stay upfront after Google page experience update?”
When running a successful Shopify site, speed is a critical factor that can significantly impact user experience, search engine rankings, and conversions.
You can optimize your site for blazing-fast load times and an enhanced customer journey with actionable strategies and practical tips.
Choose The Perfect Theme For Speed
Selecting a fast and reliable theme is the foundation of a high-performing Shopify site.
Choosing a lightweight, well-coded theme from the Shopify Theme Store is essential.
Avoid themes with excessive features or complex functionalities that can slow down your site. Prioritize simplicity and clean code to ensure optimal speed and performance.
The Power Of Image Optimization
Images play a significant role in attracting and engaging visitors, but they can also be a major factor in slowing down your site.
Optimize your product images without compromising quality.
You can drastically improve your site’s load times by compressing and adequately formatting your images.
Streamline Apps For Speed
Apps can enhance the functionality of your Shopify site, but it’s crucial to be mindful of their impact on speed.
It is best practice to keep the number of installed apps to a minimum.
Each app adds extra code and can slow down your site. Regularly review your app list and remove any unused or redundant apps.
Additionally, optimize your chosen apps for performance by contacting their developers for guidance.
Unlock The Potential Of Caching
Caching is a powerful technique that can significantly boost your site’s speed.
It’s important to enable caching in your Shopify settings.
By caching your content, you can store it temporarily and serve it to visitors more efficiently, reducing server load and improving load times.
Consider implementing a content delivery network (CDN) to cache and deliver your content from servers closer to your visitors, further enhancing site performance.
You can increase your site speed by minifying these files by removing unnecessary code, whitespace, and comments.
Minification reduces file sizes, enabling faster delivery to your visitors’ browsers.
Reduce Redirects For A Seamless Experience
Excessive redirects can hinder your site’s speed and frustrate users.
Minimizing the number of redirects by updating your links and fixing broken ones is advisable.
Reducing unnecessary redirects improves load times and enhances the overall user experience, making navigation smoother and more efficient.
Prioritize Above-The-Fold Content
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to site speed.
It is essential to prioritize above-the-fold content, which is the visible area of a webpage without scrolling.
By loading critical content, such as product images and descriptions, above the fold, you ensure that visitors see the most critical elements first while the rest of the page loads.
This technique enhances perceived speed and keeps visitors engaged.
Implement Lazy Loading For Media
Media elements such as images and videos can significantly impact load times, especially on pages with abundant visual content.
I suggest implementing lazy loading, a technique that defers the loading of non-visible media until users scroll to them.
By applying lazy loading, you reduce the initial load time of your pages, enabling faster rendering and a smoother user experience.
It is possible to increase the speed of a Shopify site, even if you can’t touch the code.
The bottom line is to keep your Shopify site nimble and clean.
Of course, if you can’t get the Shopify site’s speed up to your standard, you can always create a WordPress front-end and use Shopify for the ecommerce portions of your site.
But that’s probably another column.
Featured Image: sdecoret/Shutterstock
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