Google Releases New Mobile Page Speed Tools
This week, Google has announced the release of two new tools – Mobile Scorecard and Impact Calculator. While the purpose of each of these tools differs, the overall concept is to show users the importance of mobile page speed and the impact it can have on a business’s bottom line. Here we’re taking a closer look at what each of these tools offer, why mobile page speed is so important and how you can increase it yourself.
The mobile scorecard was announced alongside the Impact Calculator. This particular tool utilises Chrome User Experience Report data in order to compare the speed of numerous sites across mobile search. This is similar to the PageSpeed Insights Tool which was updated in January. However, this tool has the capability to report on hundreds and thousands of sites across 12 different countries. The overall recommendations for the Mobile Scorecard is that sites are able to load and become usable on 3G connections within 5 seconds and able to be used on 4G connections within three seconds. This data can show you how your competitors are standing in terms of their mobile site speed and how you fare in your industry across both 3G and 4G networks.
While the Mobile Scorecard will show you just how fast your mobile site is, the Impact Calculator will use this data and show you how much of an impact slow speed is having on your site in terms of conversion revenue that you may be missing out on. The calculator algorithm is based on the data and information from “The State of Online Retail Performance Report” which was published in 2017 and claimed that for each second a visitor is delayed when trying to get onto a site, conversion rates will be impacted by up to 20%.
Why Is Mobile Site Speed So Important?
We already know why desktop site speed is crucial, but mobile site speed is now even more important. The slower your mobile site, the more likely you are to lose out on customers and ultimately revenue. Mobile site speed is growing in importance and with Google’s mobile-first indexing, it is going to have even more of an impact on your business. With 75% of adults in the UK using a smartphone and just 39% using a desktop, knowing that you can attract and keep hold of your customers on your mobile site is imperative.
How Fast Does Your Site Need To Be?
As we’ve already mentioned in a previous blog about how fast is fast enough when it comes to site speed, you simply need to ensure that your website is fast enough so that your users can have an enjoyable experience whilst visiting. They should be able to have a streamlined experience on your site, without having to wait long periods before reaching their desired page.
Online Marketing and SEO Expert, Geoff Kenyon, provided a more detailed answer when he conducted a study and identified the average speed for most sites found across the web. We’ve curated the statistics so that you can see where you rank in Kenyon’s research.
- If your site takes 2.9 seconds to load, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- If your site loads in 1.7 seconds then it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- If your site loads in 0.8 seconds, then your site is faster than around 94% of the web
How To Decrease Page Loading Times
If you find yourself in the lower echelons of Kenyon’s study, there are a series of measures you can take to decrease your load time:
Reduce Image Size – You can drastically improve your images and their load speed by clicking ‘Save for Web’ when you create them within Photoshop or Fireworks. This will give you visual access of the graphics file size and how clear it will appear online.
Compress Your Files – Videos and images do not suffer when you reduce its file size. You need to ask your web host to complete a GZIP compression to ensure your website remains intact even if it gets minimised by 70%
Implement Redirects Wisely – If you’re planning on utilising a large number of redirects, it’s important that you do so carefully and avoid piling lots together. This can often confuse the user, so you need to space them out. You also need to make sure you implement 301s, which means if a link ever becomes faulty the user will be able to return to the homepage.
Google has been hinting at a switch to mobile first for many years, with Ads updating all the way back in 2013 to offer enhancement campaigns which focus on mobile. This led to numerous issues since Google algorithms would look at a desktop version of pages when it came to deciphering their ranking in SERPs. A mobile page will typically contain less content in order to provide excellent user experience, which means that the actual page being seen by a mobile searcher wouldn’t be taken into consideration.
The mobile search index will primarily use the mobile version of a site in order to rank the pages. It will ascertain any structured data and start to list snippets within Google. This entire process along with the two new tools that have been introduced have helped to create an excellent search experience for all users across both desktop and mobile as opposed to taking only one into account.
Here at Absolute Digital Media, we understand the importance of ensuring your mobile site’s speed is up to scratch. We offer a broad range of services across web development, SEO, CRO, UX and more, in order to ensure that your mobile site is capitalising on the visitors that it is receiving. To find out more about the expert services on offer, get in touch on 0800 088 6000 today.