By Author admin

How To Improve Your Site Speed: The Ultimate Guide to Magento 2 Speed Optimisation

 

Magento

Whilst Magneto is one of the most popular enterprise-class eCommerce platforms used by one in four businesses, it still needs to be optimised for speed. Magneto 2 speed optimisation isn’t for the faint-hearted, but if you have the time, enthusiasm and the skills, you can do some of it yourself. On the other hand, it’s probably much easier to give this type of specialised job to a Magneto developer who has the experience to do a good job. 

Why is Magneto 2 speed optimisation so important?

As a website owner, you already know that speed is everything on the internet. Shoppers are impatient and don’t like slow opening web pages, causing them to quickly close their browser and move onto the next site on their list. This increases your bounce rates and decreases your sales, conversion rates and revenue. Slow speeds also loses you repeat customers, because they won’t bother returning if your site is too slow.

The best Magneto developers know that even Google also doesn’t like slow-moving websites. In fact, it likes fast-moving websites so much that it is preferentially crawling mobile sites, rather than desktop versions. Since this ‘mobile-first’ indexing focuses on how well your website renders on mobile devices, the lack of a fast mobile experience could negatively affect your rankings. So if your Eommerce store is taking too long to load, Google may well rank you lower than your competition – it’s that important!

So let’s take a look at how to increase a Magneto website’s speed, helping you to decrease your bounce rate and increase your rankings, traffic and sales. 

Tips on how to increase a Magneto website’s speed

1. Check your website’s speed

There’s no point in optimising your site’s speed if you don’t have a starting point. So it’s essential that you check the loading times, giving you a baseline for later comparisons. There are a number of ways you can do this, one of the most popular is to go to gtmetix.com, insert your website’s URL and it will give you your site’s loading speed. It also gives you a report that most people can’t understand however, but at least it gives you your site’s speed. Another option is to check your site’s TTFB (time to first byte), which is a measure of how long it takes for the first byte of your website to travel from the server to your browser; it should be less than 200ms. You will need to enter your URL into the Sucuri Loadtime Tester or use the Chrome Developer Console. One solution for increasing your site’s TTFB is to change to a faster server, but this can be a pricey option.

2. Is your site running in production mode?

 When you first load Magneto it runs in default mode, which lets you make simple changes to your store before it goes live. You might also want to use the developer mode to perform more in depth changes. The problem is that both of these modes slow your site’s loading times, so you need to move it into production mode.

You can change these modes using the Command Line Interface, as follows:

      • php bin/magento deploy:mode:

If the result is that you are not in production mode, type in these commands:

      • php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production

It might not sound like much, but it will help to significantly increase your site’s loading times.

3. Use caching tools to speed up loading times

Another Magneto 2 speed optimisation strategy is to use caching tools. The cache is where frequently used data is stored, so that it can retrieved quickly without having to search for the information each time a request is made to the server. Redis and Varnish are third party software caching tools that help to improve the performance of Magneto 2. Redis does this by retaining data in the RAM, whilst Varnish does the same, only better. Essentially, any data stored in RAM can be accessed and read quickly with minimal effort, which is why both Redis and Varnish increase your website’s performance.

The difference between these two caching tools is that when you use Varnish a request from a shopper’s browser doesn’t go to the server, instead it gets intercepted by Varnish which downloads the pages directly to the browser. This reduces the load on the web server and speeds up the whole process. Redis on the other hand, just speeds up the delivery of these web pages from the server. Whilst both of these caching tools significantly increase the performance of your website, Redis requires a lot of RAM, so it puts a drain on the server, which doesn’t happen with Varnish.

Varnish however, doesn’t work with HTTPS and SSL certificates, so you need to set up a proxy to decrypt the HTTPS traffic before it reaches Varnish. It’s possible for you to download and configure either one of these caching tools, but it’s very complicated.  It takes even the best Magneto developers time to optimise these caching tools properly, so you might need help with this step.

4. Remove unused extensions

The more extensions you use with Magneto 2, the lower your site’s performance. It might not be much of a hit, but it all adds up. Log into your Magneto server using SSH (a secure shell protocol that lets you connect to a server without sending your username or password over the network) and check out the modules folder for any extensions that aren’t being used. If you do this, be careful that you don’t delete common extensions that serve as the base for other extensions or you will lose everything. If you are in production mode, you can submit the following commands to disable and delete the extensions you don’t want to use anymore. 

        • bin/magento maintenance:enable
        • bin/magento module:disable TestExtension 
        • bin/magento setup:upgrade
        • bin/magento setup:di:compile
        • bin/magento setup:static-content:deploy en_US de_DE
        • bin/magento maintenance:disable
        • cd app/code/TestExtension/
        • rm -rf TestExtension

5. Flatten your category and product catalogues

In Magento 2, product attributes are stored across multiple database tables, so when a shopper wants to view a product, this information must be drawn from these tables. The more tables that need to be accessed for this information, the longer it takes and the poorer your site’s performance. The easy solution is to consolidate all this information, so that the process is speeded up. This is called flattening your catalogue and the more products on your site, the faster it will perform. To make this happen, all you need to do is to go to your catalogue (stores > configuration > catalogue) and click ‘yes’ in the box next to ‘Use Flat Catalogue Category’.

6. Speed up search results 

One of the easiest Magneto 2 speed optimisation strategies is to speed up your site’s search results. That’s because if you have an extensive product list, it can take too long for a shopper’s search results to display on your web page in their browser. This leads to a poor user experience and long loading times. The solution is to speed up this search process by using the Magneto 2 Elasticsearch extension. It’s a server based tool that is capable of full text searches at very high speeds. It’s also very scalable so it’s perfect for sites with growing product lists. It works well out of the box and supports multiple languages, as well as stop words and synonyms, and SKU codes. For super-fast indexing and search functionality, Elasticsearch is one of the best on the market. You can upload and configure this extension using the following commands:

      • elasticsearch:
      • type: elasticsearch:<version>
      • disk: 1024
      • relationships:
      • elasticsearch: “elasticsearch:elasticsearch”
      • $ git add -A && git commit -m “Enable Elasticsearch” && git push origin <branch-name>
      • $ bin/magento indexer:reindex catalogsearch_fulltext
      • $ bin/magento cache:clean

7. Update your old Magento theme

This might not be at the top of your list, but an old and outdated Magento theme can seriously slow down the performance of your site. Some of these older themes can use a lot of bandwidth, costing you more money for hosting compared with updated themes. If the developers of your old theme have stopped issuing updates, it’s time to refresh your website. A new lighter and more modern theme has the positive side effect of faster performance, so it’s a win-win situation. If you really want to stick with your older theme however, you can optimise the images to increase your site’s loading speeds. There are lots of free image optimisation tools available online, and this strategy will help speed up your site to some degree. There are other problems with old themes however, such as security issues, so why not hunt around for the best magneto developers in your area and have a conversation about updating your theme?  

Now you have some idea of how to increase a Magneto website’s speed, what are you waiting for? 

To chat to the best Magneto developers in Sydney about making your Magneto website lightning fast, call acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or send us an email enquiry today.

By Author admin

5 Reasons Why Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate Is Low And How To Improve It

Conversion rate optimisation With the global increase in online shopping, many businesses focus on increasing traffic to their websites. This is both admirable and necessary, but there comes a point when you need to turn your focus from traffic to conversion rates. After all, if your eCommerce conversion rate is low, more traffic isn’t the solution that’s going to fix the problem. 

You may have spent years building your own eCommerce site, but if you can’t convert visitors into paying customers, your efforts need to be redirected. With enough traffic to your site, conversion rates should be good enough to provide a decent profit, but what if this doesn’t happen? How do you improve your eCommerce conversion rate

It’s all about conversion rate optimization best practices, which we will cover in a moment. First, however, we will take a look at conversion rates, so you can decide whether your rate is low, really low or desperate! Next, we will show you how to calculate your conversion rate, so that you can gauge whether any changes you make to your website are actually working. We will then look at five best practices that can be used to increase your conversion rates, followed by a few eCommerce tools that will help you to understand why your conversion rates are so low.

What is a realistic eCommerce conversion rate?

Whilst any achieved goal can be considered a successful conversion (such as email subscriptions, downloaded eBooks or completed surveys), sales are the conversions that most interest eCommerce operators. A realistic conversion rate is around 2%, although in 2015 it was reported that the conversion rate for Amazon Prime members was an amazing 74%! Whilst you might try to aim for the same conversion rates as Amazon, your best strategy is to calculate your website’s conversion rate for the last 12 months and then aim to beat it this year. 

How to calculate your website’s eCommerce conversion rate

The way to calculate your site’s conversion rate is to divide the total number of transactions by the total number of unique visitors to your store, usually in 24 hours. If you want to calculate other conversion rates, for example the rates for email subscriptions, you just substitute the appropriate numbers into the equation. 

You can also calculate conversion rates for different locations and demographics if that’s something that’s important to your marketing strategy. This approach is useful if you want to identify which segments are contributing to your website’s overall conversion rate. For example, you can analyse the conversion rates of first time visitors  compared to repeat visitors, desktops vs mobile phones vs iPads, and organic search vs paid search vs social media. You can also compare conversion rates between product categories, between seasons and for different promotions. It’s important to remember however, that conversion rates need to be compared over time, as one single point in time doesn’t give you enough information for concrete conclusions. Monthly or weekly comparisons are common, but your conversion rate for the last 12 months will give you a good overview of your website’s current ability to convert shoppers. 

If you are lucky, your conversion rates have been increasing over time, but this doesn’t generally happen naturally. More likely, your conversion rates have been static or decreasing over time. So why is this happening and how can you improve your eCommerce conversion rate – whether for your whole website or for a specific product, category or demographic segment?

5 Conversion rate optimization best practices

There are many strategies to increase your conversion rate, but to help make your life easier, here are five best practice options that will provide the biggest impact on your conversion rates.

Streamline online payments 

When a visitor has made the decision to purchase a product from your website, you need to make the transaction process as easy and as short as possible. So give them plenty of options, including PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay, because these payments take much less time to complete than using a credit card. PayPal is a very good option because they have shortened their payment process even further, making it a one-click process. Payments made using cryptocurrency is also another way to improve your ecommerce conversion rate. Essentially, the more payment options and the fewer the number of steps the better, particularly where purchases are made using mobile phones. 

Personalise shopping experiences using new technology

Customers love new technology and they want a personalised shopping experience, so why not give them what they want? A great way to increase online conversions is to use virtual reality where consumers can examine the products before they buy. The novelty of this immersive approach to a consumer’s shopping experience combined with its practicality (because shoppers can’t touch and feel products sold online) offers a high-tech strategy for increasing conversions.  Another of the conversion rate optimization best practices is to use AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning to personalise the customer experience. For example, a contextually relevant site search powered by an AI can provide customers with relevant query suggestions and popular search results on your website. Delivering custom recommendations based on a shopper’s search query can have a very positive impact on your conversion rates. Machine learning can even use predictive algorithms to learn which headings and product page layouts convert best! 

Set up voice commerce  

Voice assistants and smart speakers have an increasing market penetration with many consumers using them for online purchases. If you get this right, you can end up with more sales, conversions and revenue. Voice commerce uses AVR (automatic voice recognition) and NLU (natural language understanding) to interpret a spoken language, helping shoppers to find specific products online. There’s even such a thing as voice search optimisation, linking voice searches with SEO. It’s estimated that nearly 50% of all searches will soon use voice search and with the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa, it’s easy to see how this can happen. In fact Google and Walmart have combined their efforts, so that Google Home Users can now search the Walmart catalogue. Voice ecommerce has a huge range of applications with the potential to significantly increase online your site’s conversions.

Increase trust with user-generated content 

Trust is an important factor for increasing your eCommerce conversion rate and customers trust other customers. They actively search for online reviews and the opinions of other customers. This means that user-generated content, such as online reviews on your product pages, are worth their weight in gold. Apart from simply including a list of reviews at the bottom of each product page, why not include a visual bar graph of customer’s star ratings? You can also include user-generated videos or photos that focus on unpacking or using your products. Don’t forget to add social proof to build trust and boost conversions. This includes social media links, share buttons and logos from other companies that use your products.

Improve product pages

Without a doubt, the product page is where you make or break a sale. There are so many product pages online without any form of product description – just an image, price and size or colour options. This is the page where you need to engage shoppers and persuade them that they need to buy your product. You need to help shoppers imagine how they will feel when they hold your product in their hand and how happy they will be with their purchase. So instead of a bare page or a dry description, write compelling product descriptions with prominent CTAs. 

Ecommerce tools to analyse your conversion rates

Now you know five of the conversion rate optimization best practices that will help to increase your online sales, it’s time to look at some of the tools that can help you understand why your conversion rates are so low. These tools help you to understand how customers interact with your website and how you can use this information to boost your conversion rates. Here are two that are easy to use.

Google Analytics: Most websites use Google Analytics, basically because it’s free. However, most people don’t make the best use this platform, even though it offers a huge amount of data that can help increase your conversions. Information about which devices shoppers’ use to reach your website, how long they remain on different pages, their location, and whether they are new or repeat visitors is all available in Google Analytics. It will even calculate conversion rates for set goals.

Google Analytics View

Mixpanel: The Mixpanel package helps you to convert, engage and retain online shoppers and the starter package is free. It’s used by Uber, Expedia, Shutterfly, Walmart and Twitter, and is designed to help you improve customer experiences on your website. It does this by collecting data, identifying trends, understanding these trends, setting goals and helping you to take action to achieve these goals (increased conversions). In fact, it’s so popular that 50% of Fortune 100 eCommerce sites use Mixpanel, resulting in a 30% increased engagement rate and a 24% increase in user retention. It can help you identify the point of engagement when conversions increase, as well as help you increase shopper loyalty, improve conversions, and learn how shoppers interact with your website.

If you want to improve your ecommerce conversion rate, call acidgreen on 1300 139 658 or send us an email enquiry.

By Author admin

Google Analytics 101: How To Set Up Enhanced eCommerce For Your Site

Do you want to know how to set up enhanced eCommerce for your website? Maybe you haven’t even heard of it? Well, as a website owner, it’s likely you already know the basics of SEO, PPC and online marketing, as all of this help to increase revenue, traffic and engagement on your site. 

You must probably also know a little about Google Analytics and how this tool can help you to learn more about customer behaviour on your website. However, if you are only using the standard Google Analytics, you are missing out on a lot more very useful data! 

It’s fair to say that online revenue is all about increasing engagement, getting the clicks and making the sale, so it’s essential that you understand your customers’ behaviour. This is where enhanced eCommerce transaction data comes into the picture because it gives you much more free customer data.

What is enhanced eCommerce?

Enhanced eCommerce tracks customer data before, during and after they make a purchase. This is important because the standard form of Google Analytics only tracks customer data after they make a purchase. This latter information is very useful because knowing the number of impressions, conversions and revenue from your sales is all pertinent information.

So what is enhanced eCommerce data able to do for your website? Well, it can track customer data at every stage of your sales funnel. It can give you detailed reports on orders, calculate the percentage of shoppers who added items to their cart, determine at what stage a cart is abandoned, track refunds, and lots more. 

Enhanced data can give you product and sales performance data, transactional information and how long it took for a customer to complete the sales funnel (time to purchase). It can also analyse shopper and checkout behaviour, report on how well coupons are increasing sales, and even track affiliate codes. 

We will go into all of this in more detail shortly, but first, let’s take a look at how you can install the enhanced eCommerce plugin on your website.

How to set up enhanced eCommerce on your website

You will need to install a plugin, but it’s not as easy as you may think. At this point, we should warn you that you will most probably need some professional help to set this plugin up correctly. That’s because it involves coding, but we will cover the basics for you, just in case you want to try it for yourself.

On the other hand, if you have Magneto and their enhanced eCommerce extension or a Shopify website, you already have built-in integration, so you are way ahead of the game. One warning here is that if you already use the Google Analytics eCommerce plugin, you can’t use the enhanced eCommerce plugin, it’s one or the other, unfortunately.

There are three steps to set up the enhanced eCommerce plugin on your website if you don’t have a built-in integration, as mentioned above.

      1. Make sure your website is using Universal Analytics.
      2. Install the tracking codes on every single page that you want to track.
      3. Enable the enhanced eCommerce settings in Analytics Admin.

It’s the tracking codes in the second step that usually tip people over the edge because if it’s not done correctly, none of it will work. Since this requires an understanding of JavaScript and coding, as well as good troubleshooting skills, you might want to leave it to your developer.

In addition, you need to add the correct commands to the correct pages in order to track the data you need. It’s all very complicated, but it’s definitely worth its weight in gold when you receive the quality of data provided by this plugin. Now you have some idea of how to set up enhanced eCommerce for your website, let’s investigate some of this new data.

Understanding enhanced eCommerce transaction data

Enhanced eCommerce gives you a much deeper insight into the engagement of visitors with your website. Let’s take a look at some of the reports you can access using this plugin.

Shopping Behaviour

This report shows you the various stages in your purchase funnel and how shoppers move from one stage to the next. Product viewings, adding items to a cart, and checkout transactions are all covered by this report. You can also access information on visits that ended with no shopping activity, where products were viewed but not added to the cart, cart abandonment, and checkout abandonment. 

Knowing at what stage a cart has been abandoned is nothing short of miraculous, let alone all of the other data that covers shopping behaviour on your site. For example, if the majority of shoppers don’t engage with any sort of shopping activity, then you need to investigate your marketing strategies and the quality of your traffic.

If shoppers begin viewing your products but don’t add any to the cart, then maybe you need to examine the content of your product pages? Could they be written better? Are the product images high quality? Do the product pages take too long to load? When shoppers abandon carts it’s often because they have checked your prices against the competition and found a cheaper price elsewhere. So do you need to compare your prices with the competition? Finally, if carts are abandoned during checkout, your entire checkout process needs to be examined. Is it too complicated? Are shipping costs too high? Are there enough payment options?

You can even tell if a shopper has re-entered the purchase funnel and picked up where they left off on a previous visit to your website. All of this information can make a huge difference to your sales and revenue, as well as increasing engagement with your target audience.

Checkout Behaviour

Whilst checkout behaviour is covered to some degree in the shopping behaviour report, you can access much more data with the checkout behaviour report. When shoppers abandon the checkout process, it’s vital to know at what point they made this decision so you can go back and fix any problems. To fully access all of this data you need to have correctly labelled the various checkout stages when you set up the plugin.

Product Performance

Enhanced eCommerce transaction data allows you to track the sales performance of your products. For example, you can track your products by their product name, SKU, category or brand. You can access data on revenue, unique purchases, quantity sold, the average price of each transaction, average quantity sold, and refunds issued.

You can also track the shopping behaviour of your products, for example, the number of times a product appeared in a product list and the number of times shoppers viewed a product page. There’s also data on how many times a product was added or removed from a cart, whether it was included in a checkout process, and whether it was purchased. Information is also available on the rate at which shoppers add a product to their cart or complete the checkout process after viewing the product page. Can you imagine how all of this data can help you to increase sales on your website?

Enhanced Marketing

Another section you can access is the enhanced eCommerce marketing reports that cover internal promotions, order coupons, product coupons, and affiliate codes. These reports help you to quantify the value or success of your marketing strategies.

    • Internal promotions: Identify the most and least successful internal campaigns (for example banner ads) on your website. Which ones drive the most or least traffic to specific products? Views, clicks, CTR, transactions and revenue can all be accessed for your internal campaigns.
    • Order coupons: When you create order coupons to encourage shoppers to buy more of your products on their next purchase, how well do these drive additional sales? The enhanced eCommerce plugin can give you this data.
    • Product coupons: Identify which product coupons are the most and least effective at driving sales. When you know this information, you can delete coupons that are having no impact or even negatively impacting sales.
    • Affiliate codes: If part of your marketing strategy involves using affiliates to promote your products, you can determine the most and least effective affiliate websites for driving sales. You must input the correct product or order codes in the plugin settings. 

So far, we have answered the question of what is enhanced eCommerce data able to do for your website? We have also covered how to set up enhanced eCommerce for your website. Now let’s take a final look whether the enhanced eCommerce plugin is really worth installing on your website.

Should you install the enhanced eCommerce plugin?

It’s clear that installing and implementing the enhanced eCommerce plugin is no walk in the park. In fact, you will likely need the help of a web developer. Given this proviso, if you want to dig deep into your sales and checkout data, it’s definitely worth the effort. Understanding shoppers behaviour as they interact with your sales and checkout funnels can have a significant positive effect on your revenue.

For help setting up your eCommerce website, contact the Acidgreen team.