Speed kills it on mobile! Improving up your mobile site’s page speed can easily be one of the fastest and easiest wins in digital marketing.
The reason is that potential customers often visit the mobile version of a company’s website first. But mobile sites are often slower and offer an inferior experience compared to the site’s desktop version. Unfortunately, mobile users are even more sensitive to site speed than desktop users, so improving their experience really matters.
Learn just how site speed affects you and your users, how to diagnose mobile speed issues in seconds with Google’s free tool, and hand the list to a developer.
Site Speed and SEO
Did you know that slow site speed is one of the most common SEO issues? We’ve even included it in our list of the top 7 issues we notice after an SEO audit.
All of this will have to change, though, as Google set to make Core Web Vitals ranking factors as part of the Page Experience Update, scheduled for May 2021.
At its heart, the update will take user experience into consideration for ranking in search results. And page speed has everything to do with it.
For Core Web Vitals, there are 3 main metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This is the time interval between the start of a page load to when the largest image or text block is fully rendered. For LCP, the benchmark for providing a good user experience is 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID)
This metric tracks the time it takes for a page to be ready for user interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should be ready for interactions in less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
CLS measures visual stability. If the elements of the page shift as major media sections load, this makes a poor user experience. For example, if the hero image dimensions are not well defined, they may cause a disruptive layout “shift” for users. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
Bottom line, page experience, and speed are and will be an even more important ranking factor. If you want your pages to rank and for users to discover and interact with them, make page speed your priority.
Even more so, mobile site speed is simply a must for SaaS. Software products simply demand responsive and fast websites, if for no other reason, then because this shows the developers’ expertise. If you’re not sure how to prioritize your SaaS SEO strategy, put page speed on the top of your to-do list.
How Mobile Site Speed Impacts Bounce Rate
A slow mobile site doesn’t just frustrate your customers, it limits your business.
Companies keep data on how well engaged their website visitors are when interacting with their site. One such metric is a site’s bounce rate. A bounce is when a visitor leaves a website after visiting only one page and not triggering any other Google Analytics event. This implies that they had no deep interaction within your domain and have gone to find the answer to their query somewhere else.
There are a lot of studies that correlate site speed to both bounce rate and conversion rate. Research conducted by Amazon found that every 100-milliseconds longer that a page loaded created a 1% decrease in sales. Remember, this is Amazon, so a 1% decrease in sales was worth over a billion dollars.
How Mobile Site Speed Impacts Conversion Rates
You only have a few seconds to tell visitors what your unique offer is and what you can help them achieve. The slower your site loads, the more likely your potential customer is to leave without getting any of that information. Research data shows that the longer it takes for your site to load results in a lowered conversion rate.
- A test conducted by the content delivery network Akamai revealed that every second longer that websites loaded resulted in a 7% decrease in the conversion rate.
- Walmart conducted a similar test that showed every 1-second increase in page load time resulted in a proportional decrease of 2% in conversions.
There’s an old saying that “you can’t win if you don’t show up.” Unfortunately, slow sites never “show up” as potential customers leave before the site has even finished loading. No one likes losing potential customers before even being able to deliver their sales pitch. But there are some practical fixes for mobile site speed issues that can keep your visitors happy and engaged.
How to Diagnose Mobile Site Speed Issues
You can run a baseline speed test using Google’s PageSpeed tool. It’s free, it takes seconds, and it will give you an idea of how your site is performing. Google suggests as a benchmark a load time of 5 seconds or less on mobile devices with 3G connections.
Another tool you can use is Lighthouse – an automated website auditing tool that helps developers to diagnose and improve the user experience of their sites. It covers the Core Web Vitals, so it’s very handy when you want to prepare your website for the algorithm update.
After seeing how your website scores, there are a few steps you can take to catapult your site to a 90+ Google page speed score.