There’s no doubt about it - site speed matters.
Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website. Not only is it bad for end users, it’s also very bad for website owners. It affects your traffic, page views, conversions, sales, and your overall reputation. It also adversely affects your SEO.
Here are our top tips for increasing the speed of your website.
#1 Minimize the amount of filters and filter values used
The backend is doing an aggregation on each of these values, which takes time, so the more filters and filter values enabled you have the more time it will take to generate responses.
A great way to find out what filters are most popular, and which ones are used least, is to check the Analytics section in your Findify dashboard.
#2 Reduce the amount of data returned by the API
Carefully choosing fields that need to be returned from the API will help in reducing the size of the response, so that it will be transferred faster. This means the serialization\deserialization process will happen faster as well and will take less resources both for the server and the browser. Findify’s recommendation is to evaluate these already in the customization process so that you can set it up to your needs. Make sure that only what you need returned from the Findify API is activated. By enabling less you can increase the speed.
#3 Minimize the number of the products returned per page
The fewer products that are returned per page, the smaller the response time will be. This makes the data transfer faster. You can easily change this on the Findify dashboard under Advanced setup / Pagination settings / Number of results to display per page. Our recommendation is to have 24 or less.
#4 Use different image sizes for different screen sizes
Minimize the amount of data transferred for images depending on the size of the screen. The less data is transferred the faster the page will be shown.
This is especially effective on mobile devices that might have a slower cellular connection. Many ecommerce platforms (like Shopify) supply an interface that allows you to do this easily for your products.
#5 Minimize the amount of scripts and styles in the page
A website can have many scripts and functions that load each time a visitor is on the site. It is important to manage these continuously and make sure to remove scripts and styles that are unused or obsolete. Some scripts and styles can be combined or minimized, if needed. This helps with the data transferred and the amount of connections created.
In addition to this, if you are a Shopify user, you should keep an eye on the number of apps you have installed. If you have more than 20 then you likely aren’t using them all. If you have too many, this could slow down your site. Routinely go through your installed apps and remove any you aren’t using.
#6 Lazy load images
Findify provides a way to lazily load images in the search \ collection pages, so that only images that are currently in the viewport are loaded. This not only minimizes the amount of data transferred (instead of 24 you get 3-6 images), but also the amount of total requests on the page (there are limitations on the amount of connections the browser can have).
To activate this you can do it directly in the customization or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you to set it up.
#7 Load scripts in Asynchronous way
A good general rule to have on a website is to load most of the scripts in an asynchronous way. This way you are not blocking the page from being rendered. The faster the page renders the sooner users will see the content, and Findify will start processing. It’s important to understand how your scripts and functions are being loaded on your website as it gives you insight into what parts are taking too long to load. Making changes to this should be done with caution, however, as it might cause problems.
#8 Optimize images (sizes, quality)
Optimize images on the site for size and quality - use exact image sizes as in design (don't load an 800 px image to show it in the 200 px preview) and don't forget to optimize your PNG images.
We recommend using the tool TinyPNG, or something similar. This will help reduce the amount of data transferred on the page and help it load faster.
#9 Make sure DOM is loaded as fast as possible
There are great resources on the internet to help you improve site speed. One we recommend is Google Page Speed. This and similar services can identify what can be done in order to make sure that DOM* is loaded as fast as possible. The faster DOM is loaded the sooner your users can start interacting with your site and the sooner Findify can start operating, helping shoppers find the right products for them.
Site speed is very important to the overall shopping experience. At Findify we work continuously on making our service as fast as possible. But we also know that we are just one part of the whole experience and that we can only be as good as the entire shopping journey. That’s why we work with merchants to not only make sure Findify is operating at max speed but that your site is also. Please get in contact with us if you would like to discuss this more in depth and have us look at your current setup to identify speed improvements.
Everybody loves the possible benefits of advertising but not the high cost and lack of guaranteed outcomes associated with it. Today’s standard advertising pricing model – whether on Facebook, AdRoll, or elsewhere – is the same: put money in, gather impressions, clicks, and engagements, and pray for sales.
The following article is written by the expertise from performance-based ad-platform:
Because it’s been the standard for so long, most marketers have become complacent with this model –– at our company, Klickly, we see a ton of good marketers with the same issue: you’re resigned that there is rarely a guarantee for actual revenue (or even good performance), let alone assurance that your return on ad spend (ROAS) will pay off. You’ve settled for paying money ‘up front,’ hoping the ads will get sales.
The top complaints we hear every day about advertising are as follows:
Content marketing continues to be one of the top forms of marketing out there. Businesses around the globe utilise content to communicate with their audiences, share their expertise, and encourage conversions.
Why Use The Power Of Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing and sharing a variety of content across different channels. Its purpose is to communicate with a targeted audience and is not normally intended to directly promote. It works on relationship-building and raising brand awareness. Therefore, content marketing should have a strong focus on sharing helpful, actionable advice.
The Most Effective Content Marketing Techniques
There are different types of media to use in your content marketing strategy including:
Today, we're going to look at some of the most effective techniques you can incorporate into your overall content marketing campaign.
1) Optimise Your Blog Posts For Search Engines
Blogging may be the most obvious form of content marketing out there but it's also one of the most effective. Running a blog enables you to build an audience and following by sharing your knowledge. As an expert in your particular field, your audience will expect you to have answers to their questions and to be able to give them sound advice.
Just like your webpages, your blog content needs to be optimised for search engines. Search engine bots look for relevant, up-to-date information on websites and blogs so that they can present the most helpful search results to their users. As such, consistently creating relevant and up-to-date blog content will help it rank higher in search engines. But, there are also other necessary steps for you to implement:
Brainstorm - Keywords are what search engines use to match your content with search queries. Begin by brainstorming possible terms that people will search for in relation to what information you're offering. For example, if your blog post explains how to lay a carpet, possible search queries may be:
These are the types of things people search for when they're looking for an answer or instructions.
Use a Keyword Planner - Once you have your list of possible keywords, use a keyword planner like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to pinpoint which ones to include in your posts. Both of these platforms will show you the search volume of your keywords, along with how much competition there is for them.
Choose Your Keywords - On both platforms you will be shown a list of similar, alternative keywords. This enables you to select the most relevant one that will be easiest to rank higher for.
While the examples given above are all very similar, one in particular may have a considerably higher volume of searchers per month. Although more searchers may seem like a positive thing, you need to take into consideration the amount of competition for each keyword before selecting them.
A keyword with high competition means that there are already lots of websites that are ranking for it, and some may be very well established. This would make it very difficult and timely for you - as someone just starting up - to rank high using those keywords.
For example, you wouldn't be able to overtake Amazon or eBay in search engines. Both these sites have a considerable amount of traffic, along with lots of funds to put into their SEO campaigns. They are too well-established for smaller businesses to compete with in search engines. The ideal combination for start-ups are keywords with high search volumes and low competition.
This doesn't mean that you should avoid the high-competition keywords altogether though. Ranking high for high-competition/high search volume keywords may take much more time and effort, but in the long run they could bring you significantly more traffic. Therefore, it's worth including a mix of keywords in your content.
Search engine bots crawl websites to find and index pages. They can enter your pages and posts through these links, making the process faster and more effective.
Include links in every blog post you write to direct your audience (and bots) to other relevant posts that you've written. Your internal linking system will encourage your audience to visit more pages on your site by providing them with an easy means of further reading. You should also include links that lead to high authority, relevant websites to increase your SEO.
In addition to the linking system within your blog, work on link-building outside your blog to direct people and crawlers to your posts. Guest posting is a great way to do this and to reach a wider audience. It is the act of posting a unique piece of content on another blog or website and including a natural-looking link back to your relevant blog post.
Search engine bots look for quality and relevance in websites. Ensure that your posts are informative, accurate, and free from spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.
To be considered high-quality, your text should be broken up with subheadings, bullet points, and images. Make it easy to understand with short sentences and non-complex words.
Keep it Simple
Don't overload your blog with widgets, plugins and large images. These will all add to the page-loading time and result in a slower blog. Google's ranking algorithm takes speed into consideration and a slow blog will impact your SEO efforts.
If your blog is slow try compressing your images, clearing your cache, and removing any unnecessary elements. If you're using WordPress, install plugins that are dedicated to clearing your cache and increasing your site speed.
There are also plugins to help optimise your blog for search engines, like Yoast and SEMrush. Yoast, in particular, is designed for users to improve your ranking even if they're not very SEO-savvy. The free version goes through all the basics and advises users on aspects such as:
2) Inject Personality into Your Brand and Content
Consider if your business was a person. What would they be like? How would they speak to your audience? Think about the type of words and language they would use.
3) Create and Distribute Tutorial Videos
Be specific in your videos and offer relevant, practical advice that people can take away and put into action. Videos should always be high in quality with a clear picture and sound so that you are viewed in a professional capacity. A poor-quality video will reflect badly on your brand.
Add your brand name, logo, tag line and a gentle call-to-action in your video, but don't make selling the main purpose. Request likes, follows and advise your audience where they can find further related content if they'd like to learn more.
Distribute your videos on social media platforms, emails, blogs, and your website. You could also create short video courses and distribute them to course platforms.
If you really want to get stuck into video-based content and your budget allows it, you can take advantage of various video ad programmes, like YouTube's. These are a great way to place your business in front of people who enjoy watching videos.
4) Showcase Your Testimonials
5) Launch Competitions, Polls, Special Offers and Giveaways
There's no better way to increase engagement than simply asking your followers to engage! Competitions and giveaways will always be a hit because people love to get something for nothing.
The exciting thing about competitions is that they allow you to get creative. The more creative and exciting your competitions, the more engagement you'll get. Here are some simple tactics to get your imagination going:
Competition rules and regulations vary from country to country. They also vary on different social media platforms. You need to check all of these before launching any competition to make sure you stay compliant.
6) Conduct A/B Tests On Your Ads
If you're running an ad marketing campaign as part of your content marketing strategy, A/B testing can be really beneficial for maximising your results. Even better, it's an easy task to carry out. A/B testing ads is the process of running two ads simultaneously, with one element different to the other.
You can A/B test:
Keep in mind that only one element should be changed at a time so that you are aware of specifically what has given you your results.
Some Points to Remember
Regardless of your specific content marketing strategy, keep these things in mind throughout:
Always add value - Your audience wants to feel like reading, watching, or signing up for something is worth their time and effort. Lazy content creation just wont do it. Take the time to make sure you're adding value to each piece you create and share.
Social Media is Your Marketing Friend - Social media, you either love it or hate it. But, regardless of your stance here on it, social media can be a tremendous tool for marketing. Every time you create a new piece of content, post it on social media. A new post on your blog? Let your followers know and give them a link for easy access. Writing a new ebook? Again, let your followers know. Tell them what they can expect and when to expect it.
Keep Creating Content - Content marketing is a continuous cycle. You need to keep creating, posting and sharing to build momentum and build your positive brand reputation. It wont happen over night but if you work at it, you will gradually widen your audience, gain more followers, and encourage more sales.
Picture a typical shopping journey for a brick & mortar store:
A customer is walking in the Summer heat. She passes a display of mannequins with cooling linen clothes and decides to check out the store. Upon entering, an assistant greets her and guides her to the right sections. The assistant also suggests additional items that fit her style and even finds them in the right size. Thirty minutes later, she walks out with a great new outfit.
Brick & mortar stores employ a variety of strategies to recommend products to customers, such as displaying hot-selling items at the store-front, suggesting items based on someone’s shopping history, or placing certain items closer to each other.
These tweaks not only increase the average basket size, they transform the entire shopping experience for customers.
For e-commerce websites the opportunities are endless - so what is the optimal strategy to grow your business?
The challenge for e-commerce
For digital stores, designing a good shopping experience is even more critical.
Not only do e-commerce websites present a completely different medium for shopping, online customers also tend to be unforgiving. It’s common for customers to abandon a shop because a webpage looks messy, or the images are blurry, or they can’t find what they want with the search bar. Hence, improving the online shopping experience, with the right technologies and the right strategies, is key to customer retention and conversion.
Each component of a website must be designed with the shopping experience in mind. For now, let’s focus on an important part of your online store: recommendation widgets.
As with every website component, there are many different types of recommendations to consider and many different ways to style them. And it’s hard to identify the best solution because the strategy you use depends on changing business circumstances.
We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll be improving our understanding of recommendations and covering some strategies for using them.
The purpose of recommendations
At the heart of it, recommendations are a way to present products that a shopper is not looking for, but is likely to buy. Recommendation widgets are commonly employed by e-commerce websites. For example, when you’re shopping on Amazon and you see a widget that says “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” followed by various products — that’s a recommendation widget.
To break it down even further, recommendations work by accomplishing one of three things:
Why are recommendations so important?
Let’s go back to a time when humans were hunters and gatherers, a time when choosing the right products wasn’t simply a matter of fashion or comfort, but of life and death.
Picture a young homo sapien who finds a berry bush. The fruits are brightly coloured and plump, but a homo sapien who reached for the fruit without a second thought wouldn’t survive for long: the berries might be poisonous!
So what does the homo sapien do? He relies on the testimonies of tribe members who have tried the fruit. Maybe they tell him that it is safe to eat, or maybe he sees other tribe members eating them. This gives him the confidence, and desire, to try the berries. If they turn out to be sweet and juicy, he’ll return for more.
These are the underlying roots of recommendations and branding.
We try new products (an unknown berry) based on the recommendations of friends and family (the suggestions of tribe members). When we trust the brand of a product (the shape and colour of the berries) to satisfy our needs (whether the berries are safe to eat), we become loyal to the brand.
It’s been ingrained into our psyche since primitive times to rely on recommendations. Those who lacked this instinct didn’t survive.
How should I employ recommendations on my e-commerce website?
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Knowing that something needs to be done is easy, knowing what to do is hard. There are many different strategies for leveraging recommendations on your e-commerce website, and the strategy to use depends on your business circumstances — who are your customers, what are your products, what’s happening around you.
Navigating the possible strategies can be dizzying, that’s why we’ve prepared a flowchart to help you pinpoint the appropriate kind of recommendations for your business needs.
Let’s take a closer look at two recommendation strategies on this flowchart: ‘#1 Hot Sellers’ and ‘#8 Frequently Purchased Together’.
Leverage purchasing trends with ‘Hot Sellers’
Consumer purchases don’t happen in a void, there’s usually an external context to them.
Sometimes customers buy new clothes to replace worn out ones, or warmer and lighter clothes when the seasons change. Sometimes there’s a sports event and customers want to display their support for their favourite teams, or maybe the holidays are here and festive products become popular.
There are two ways to perceive this. It could be a source of frustration for retailers to keep up with changing trends, but it could also be a source of endless opportunities. If you’re always pushing out new products or you have a versatile product line that ties well with current events and seasons, then each changing trend presents a fresh opportunity to sell different products to your customers.
‘Hot Sellers’ is a recommendation strategy that works on this principle by presenting trending items to your shoppers. Utilizing an intelligent recommendation system enables these recommendations to be rapidly updated based on real-time shopping trends, so that they remain relevant every day and every hour.
Sell more complementing items with ‘Frequently Purchased Together’
‘Frequently Purchased Together’ is a great strategy to consider when you have products with good synergy.
Think of luggage bags with neck pillows, salsa with tortilla chips, swimming suits with flip flops. Shoppers looking at certain products are likely to buy other related products.
If you have products that fit this pattern, this is an opportunity to let shoppers know that they can tick off more items on their shopping list while they’re here.
And of course, there are endless combinations between products, and some work better than others. It’s best to use an intelligent recommendation system that can study purchasing patterns and identify the products with the best synergy for you.
Where to go from here
These are examples of strategies that, implemented appropriately and with the right technologies, can greatly improve the shopping experience of your online stores.
If you haven’t been using recommendations, or you’re not sure how to proceed, the best thing to do is to start then iteratively improve from there.
Ultimately, there are endless opportunities to use recommendations, and endless ways to combine and style strategies. E-commerce is an evolving industry. To thrive in this environment, you must use the strategies that fit your current needs, and be flexible enough to adapt your strategies to ever-changing business circumstances.
Want to Learn More?
If you’re interested in learning more about different recommendation strategies and figure out which is the right one for you, please reach out to email@example.com
As we grow, we are increasingly customizing Findify to integrate seamlessly with the branding of each merchant site. We have changed everything from how pages are displayed to how shoppers move through Findify areas - and have even helped finish site development to get stores up and running!
"The one thing that really stuck out was Findify’s ability to work with us on customizing—meeting our demands." Richard Enriquez, Director of Marketing, White River
Findify’s four levels of customization: