It wouldn’t be a lie to say that people searching websites on mobile are impatient. If your webpage doesn’t load within the first three seconds of it being opened the user is 30% more likely to bounce and never return.
If the website doesn’t load within five seconds of being opened, they are 90% more likely to leave your site and try to find another that loads faster. Speed is important, and if you don’t catch up you’ll soon be left in the dust and missing out on potential revenue. Time is money, after all.
According to Google, a one-second delay in load time can impact your revenue by up to 20%. Longer load times make this figure exponentially worse. As your bounce rate increases your conversion rate decreases.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to optimise your site for mobile and get those gears turning faster.
Firstly, you should check your sites speed. Google has a really useful tool for this simply called Test My Site. The service simulates loading the site on mobile and then lists a handful of useful suggestions on what you could change to help grease the wheels. It takes into consideration the images on the site, how efficient the code is, and identifies areas that need big improvements.
Make sure that you’re reducing your page weight as much as possible. Ideally, your webpages shouldn’t take up more than 1MB of data to load. 80% of the world’s websites are over 1MB in size, and that means 80% of them will likely be too slow for the demands of today's user. A smaller size means a faster load time and less chance of a user leaving your site before even getting onto it.
A faster website also uses smaller image files. A big image can take a really long time to fully load, so why not use a smaller file-size version of that image first so the user can get the information that they need from it? If the image is pretty, but not necessary, it will be much better for the user experience if it simply isn’t there. Delete it.
Optimise your images by using WebP wherever possible. This file type is 30% smaller than a JPEG or PNG without losing any of the image quality. Optimizing images is a simple and cost-effective way to improve conversion rates on your brand’s site. But to make speed optimisation sustainable for the long term, site speed must be a KPI across your organisation.
As your website grows and changes over time, be sure to keep on top of the optimisation. Test the site regularly to see what changes have negatively impacted performance.
If you measure, benchmark and improve your site regularly, you’ll soon see that users spend longer on your site and you reach more conversions. Take care of your website and your website will take care of you.
By Jamie Brown