You may have seen our blog recently about ‘Mobile First Design’. That’s really just the beginning though. More than 50% of Google Searches come from mobile devices. We know how important it is for the website to look right and be functional on a mobile but it also needs to load fast and not lag.
Google reports that people are 5 times more likely to leave a mobile site if it’s not user-friendly and around half of users will leave a website if a page doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
This is why ‘mobile optimisation’ is so important.
What is the effect of having a slow load rate?
- a low number of conversions
- a high bounce rate
- a low number of pages per visit
Essentially, a slow site means people will bail because no one has the patience to wait for a website to load.
Site speed has an effect on Google rankings and is an especially large ranking factor for mobile pages. It has a direct impact on websites SEO rankings and organic traffic. Site speed is a ranking factor because its a sign of quality user experience (UX). A user will typically stay on a site longer if the site is fast loading. They also convert more and bounce less.
PPC and site speed comes down to paying the most affordable and cost-effective rate for your keyword bidding. which is determined by your ‘quality score’.
For paid media, quality score is how relevant your websites landing pages is to a search term, which looks at the UX based on that person being driven to your page from that specific keyword.
Google considers slow site speed as a poor UX and will bring down your quality score.
Quality Score determines how much you pay, cost per click (CPC) and your average position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If your site is slow its hard to show up in the top 2 positions on the SERP and depending on how competitive the keywords are, you may not even reach the first page.
Quality Score is the number one metric you want to look at for PPC to ensure your ads are performing at their best. With a better quality score, you’ll see a better and higher ad position and a lower CPC.
Facebook like Google also favours higher site speed when it comes to ads. Facebook wants to show you the best results for what you are interested in. Facebook has said that site speed and UX will cause your ads to be either prioritised or not. A fast load time does influence a higher priority on the newsfeed.
UX and Conversions
Site speed is a huge reason why people bounce off of sites. Bounce is when a user is not viewing more than one page on a site before leaving. If a site has a slow load time the bounce rate will be higher. Bounce rate is one of the SEO ranking factors. High bounce rates are connected to low conversion rates, especially if there is a long checkout process.
Benchmark and Improve
Firstly and most importantly you need to find out how your website is performing in regards to speed.
You can use a Google feature called ‘Test My Site’. You just enter your domain or web address.
After a few seconds, you will see a screen which tells you how many seconds it will take to load your homepage.
It gives you specific information to speed up your site and helps you generate a report to help you project manage changes and improvements to your website.
This report will give you a baseline. Make any optimisations, then run the analysis again, to track your progress.
Ask yourself key questions to make sure you are able to optimise your website effectively:
- Did the navigation start successfully?
- Has enough content loaded that users can interact with the site?
- Are interactions smooth, natural and lag free?
Here are some things you can do to improve site speed:
- Minimise landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners
- Compress files
- Utilise multi-region hosting
- High-quality CDN to reach your audience quickly
- Remove redundant data
- Optimise images/reduce file sizes
- Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritise visual content
- Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time.
- Dynamically adjust the content for slower network connections/devices
- Simplify your website design
Mobile optimisation is half the story, making sure your website has fast loading speeds, whatever device is being used, is imperative for high SEO ranking. If you want your website showing in the top 2 positions on Googles SERP then use Test My Site and find out what improvements need to be undertaken on your website. Make sure it’s working at peak performance. Combining style and design, user experience, user interface and fast loading times.
Get in touch after you’ve tested your website performance and we will project manage those essential upgrades.