Google likes websites that load faster. Now it has a new liking. Mobile websites that load faster.
The latest news from the SEO world hint that Google will soon be ranking faster mobile websites higher than their slower counterparts. The ranking signal is expected to come into play from July 2018. So if you are banking on SEO for your marketing activities there is some time to improve your mobile website performance.
Mobile website performance has remained a critical search engine ranking for the past 8 years. But, it is only now that mobile speed is coming to the center stage as a ranking signal.
The official Google blog confirms “the Speed Update will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries.”
Should you be worried?
Well, you can check how well your mobile website speed fares using Google’s PageSpeed Insights and also refer to the Lighthouse tool and the Chrome User Experience Report to make improvements, if needed.
Why Mobile Speed Matters?
TheGoogle/SOASTA Research, 2017 has found that as the page loading time increased from 1 second to 10 seconds, the probability of bounce rate increases as high as 123%.
Here is how the page loading speed contributes to bounce rate:
The average page loading speed of a U.S retail website in 2016 was 6.9 seconds. But, the above chart from Google’s Research confirms that customers would not wait for so long for the page to wait. To make things worse, customers may not return to a slow loading website that they once abandoned.
How to make your mobile website load faster?
The present state of mobile sites is totally different from what they used to be a few years ago. Responsive design has become mandatory to secure a higher SEO ranking. A few months from now, mobile page loading speed would also be essential for a healthy SEO ranking.
Here are some ways how you can make your website load super fast and achieve an SEO advantage:
Cut down on Code Bloating
Crafting an awesome website design might end up with a heavy code. The more code you have on your website slower will be its loading speed. Use a tool like Minify to streamline chunks of code for faster loading.
Have minimal page elements
Use optimized images
HQ images look fantastic on your homepage. But, they are a dampener for your page loading speed. Consider cutting the weight of your images by reducing their file size. There are several free online tools like Compressor.io that compress the file size without killing their quality.
Use essential redirects only
While redirects strengthen your SEO ranking, too many redirects can be taxing on your mobile loading speed. Too many redirects mean your website has to work extra time to fetch and deliver the information that the user is requesting for. Do a complete audit of your redirects of your website to remove unnecessary redirects.
Accelerated Mobile Pages help load your mobile site instantly. The Accelerated Mobile Page Project is an open-source initiative that aims to simplify the mobile-friendly content creation efforts of publishers. By integrating AMP into a website’s backend it can be made to load instantly on all platforms and mobile devices.
Google has been emphasizing on page loading speed for search engine friendliness since 2014. With time the mobile responsive design was also looped in as a ranking signal. Now, the next upgrade comes in the form of mobile page loading speed.
Considering the fact more than 80% of searches originate from a mobile device, this is one update that was much needed from Google. Website owners, especially retailers cannot afford to ignore it any longer.