If you have been putting off improving your mobile site speed, your time is almost up. Starting in July, Google will rank your mobile site based on its speed. Don’t think this is a big deal? Think again. More than half of all search traffic occurs on mobile devices and consumers are increasingly making major purchases on mobile.
As the number of mobile users continues to grow, so does the need to optimize specifically for the user experience on mobile. Studies show that, when we search online, we pay attention to the speed of a page without even thinking about it. We want information and answers to our queries quickly, and if load speeds are too slow, we shut the page down and find a better one.
According to Think with Google, Google’s data shows that, while more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile, mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop. In short, speed equals money. In just three seconds, if your mobile site doesn’t load properly, 53 percent of your consumers will abandon your site and most likely go to your competition.
Load speed has been used by Google as a ranking factor for a while, but, up until now, that has been concentrated on desktop searches. Beginning July 2018 Google will be using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches. This “speed update,” as they call it, will mostly have an effect on those pages that are very slow, and will be rolled out across the web regardless of the technology used to build the page.
Is your site going to suffer?
Do you have any clue whether your site could be penalized by this update? There is a free tool that will give you advice on what you need to improve on. Google recommends its own tool, TestMySite, that specifically focuses on mobile performance compared to page speed insights. It will email a report with wonderful recommendations on what you can do to improve your site and let you know how you perform against other websites in your industry!
But, despite the bad news, there are simple things you can do to improve your speed. Simply compressing images and text can be a game changer — 25 percent of pages could save more than 250 KB and 10 percent can save more than 1 MB that way. Google’s analysis shows that the retail, travel, and healthcare sectors have the most room for improvement.
When it comes to mobile pages, speed and size matter. You as the marketer or business owner must keep people engaged on mobile and focus on building mobile-first experiences. If you have any questions or concerns, we would love to help! This is what we do and we have a passion for creating user experiences that are relevant and seamless.