From Intern to Designer
8 min read
In an increasingly mobile world, consumers expect websites and apps to load near instantaneously every time they’re used, so make sure your mobile site speed is up-to-scratch.
Studies by Google has said that a delay in a mobile page loading actually increases our stress levels to the same point as when you watch a horror movie or attempt to solve a mathematical problem, with the heart-rate increasing by up to 38%! As a result, a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load will be abandoned by up to 53% of users, while 29% of smartphone users will switch to an alternative site if they are experiencing slow site speed.
“A site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load will be abandoned by up to 53% of users.”
If providing a great user experience doesn’t convince you to optimise your mobile site speed, how about the fact that, in July 2018, Google will start to place a much greater emphasis on site speed as an SEO ranking factor? Take a look at our overview of mobile site speed, including the main causes of a slower site speed and how this can be combated.
The Causes of Slow Site Speed
There are a variety of causes that lead to a slower site speed. Images, for example, make up around 63% of an average web page’s weight. Using the correct format and size can help alleviate this issue, along with compressing the image wherever possible. In addition, 20% of pages have over 100 resource requests. Reducing server response time, using the browser cache (to ensure resources are only called once), and consolidating resources (to limit the number of round trips) can be utilised to deal with this.
Approximately 50% of mobile pages use custom fonts which can slow down the site speed. Disabling these fonts for smartphones can help to decrease this time. If necessary, only use custom fonts with headers and significant typographical elements.
Dealing with these above issues can aid you in the process of improving the site speed of your website which will, in turn, help to improve your Google SERP ranking.
Speed Things Up!
In order to achieve a better user experience on your mobile web page, Google advises on considering the following 3-point framework.
First impressions mean a lot, especially in regards to websites and the very small time frame that users are willing to wait for a homepage to load. Your goal should be to ensure your web page takes no longer than 3 seconds to load on a mobile. Your users want to see visible content “above the fold” within this given time, loading the most important content first in a usable condition.
“Your goal should be to ensure your web page takes no longer than 3 seconds to load on a mobile.”
Secondly, you should aim to reduce the number of requests for your page in order to improve site speed, ideally to less than 80 requests. This will assist with the rendering of the page, resulting in it loading much quicker.
Finally, reducing the ‘weight’ of your page will help to improve your site speed on mobile devices, aiming to get this to below 1mb. The page weight includes the number of bytes your page is required to load, with each asset on your page having their own specific weight.
Keep up-to-date with your mobile site speed by completing frequent audits to test your site. Tools such as Google Test My Site and Google PageSpeed Insights can provide you with helpful insights to help you understand what is working well and what may need to be improved when it comes to your site speed on both desktop and mobile devices.