Web industry professionals have read about this issue for months: Google will use website load times in their mobile search rankings, starting this summer. This will likely only affect the slowest websites, but your website could be near that line. For website owners that are already struggling with mobile-friendly solutions, this is a one-two punch: make your website mobile-friendly and load quickly or risk your Google ranking and lose traffic.
Lose traffic? Yes. A recent Axios story – quoting data from the 2018 Adobe Consumer Content Survey – shows that people will frequently abandon content that takes too long to load.
A few numbers from Search Engine Watch also emphasize why website loading times matter:
- 47% of users expect a page to load in less than two seconds.
- 40% of online shoppers abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- A one-second delay in page loading can lead to a 16% dip in customer satisfaction, a 7% dip in conversions, and a 11% dip in page views.
Here are four things that you can do to remedy any website speed issues:
1. Take a test
2. See what you can do with your site build to improve your speed
SEO Site Checkup offers free tools that will analyze your website for any search engine optimization issues. It can find items like minimizing your CSS and JS files or reducing the number of items loaded by a page, possibly decreasing your load time.
3. Minimize, minimize, minimize
I work with a developer who nags us when our team initially uploads a 2MB homepage image. He’s right. These little things add up to your overall page load, so shrink those images! Your designer can also help by designing web page that are light in terms of features and layouts. Be sure to talk with your developers about minimizing your website code as much as possible.
Don’t be complacent. Once your designers and developers finish their optimizations, test your website again. Google estimates that 70% of mobile audiences will still access your website on a 3G until 2020. Make sure that slower networks can still see load your site within a decent amount of time.
You have less than three seconds to reach our mobile audience (egad!). Make sure your website is up to the task.