Mobile Site Speed

The last couple of years have seen an enormous increase in mobile search. In fact, Google reports that over 50 percent of search is done via mobile. Similarly, SA and Thrive Analytics found that 60 percent of users used mobile devices when searching  for local information. And, with the increasing demand for mobile search, comes the need for speedy mobile pages.

Surveys have found that users will abandon a mobile site if it doesn’t load by three seconds. Similarly, a study found that if a page doesn’t load by 400 milliseconds, users would become impatient. But it’s not just users who want sites to load fast, Google thinks the same way too.

The search giant takes mobile site speed into account when ranking sites. It launched the Accelerate Mobile Page initiative, a new open-source framework that enables pages to load at lightning-quick speed, by making pages have lighter data.

“Clearly, AMP takes speed to a point of extreme,” Richard Gingras, Google’s senior director, said in an interview. “So, obviously we look to leverage that. Again, it is only one signal. AMP doesn’t mean adopt AMP and get a massive boost in search ranking. That is not the case. All of the other signals need to be satisfied as well. But without question speed matters. If we had two articles that from a signaling perspective scored the same in all other characteristics but for speed, then yes we will give an emphasis to the one with speed because that is what users find compelling.”

While AMP isn’t an absolute requirement, it will be a standard soon enough. Once mobile users experience fast loading times for top sites, they’ll expect other sites to match it too. Failing to keep up will lead to a decrease in rankings and search traffic.

In the future, Google may even demand mobile sites to load after less than one second. Not surprisingly, the company wants sites to load faster to improve user experience. However, mobile sites currently load at an average of four seconds at present.

While increasing mobile site speed is by no means an easy feat, Google has introduced mechanisms that would allow users to improve their performance. It introduced Google Pagespeed Insights—an online tool that can determine mobile site speed. All users need to do is to type the URL of their site in the search bar and “Click Analyze.”

Google then rates the site’s speed out of a hundred points. As long as the site has a score of above 50, then it’s good. The page takes 2 seconds or less to load. In contrast, a lower score implies that the site needs some work. The good news is that along with the site speed, users are shown tips on what they can do to increase page speed and optimize their site.

Improving your mobile site speed is a must if you want to stay ahead in Google’s rankings. Fortunately, as long as you know how to determine mobile site speed, you can speed up your site yourself.

So, what are you waiting for?

Increase your mobile site’s speed right now.