If you want a healthy and visible online presence in today’s internet marketplace, you need a mobile website. But not just any old website will do. You need a lightning-fast mobile site that turns visitors into customers.
Why Mobile Site Speed Matters
Just a decade ago, the mobile “version” of the internet was basically a barebones take on the desktop version. You could access most pages, but they were poorly optimized and slow as molasses. Today, a massive percentage of online web traffic originates from smartphones and tablets. And if you aren’t catering to this demographic, you’re missing out.
According to the latest research, 72.6% of internet users will access the internet exclusively via their smartphones by as early as 2025. (That’s a whopping 3.7 billion people.) The majority of the other 27.4% of users will access the internet via a mobile device some or most of the time.
And do you know what one of the driving factors in positive user experience and conversion rates on mobile websites is? It’s page loading speed.
According to one study, a one-second delay in page loading speed equates to an average conversion rate drop of 7%. (For a business making $5,000 per day online, that single-second delay could cost $350 per day, or as much as $127,750 in annual revenue.)
Google is such a strong believer in site speed and its impact on user experience that they’ve made it one of their top ranking factors. In other words, if you want your website to perform well, it needs to be optimized for mobile, and it must be fast.
3 Practical Tips You Can Implement
Transforming your website from slower-than-molasses to faster-than-a-rabbit requires a few slick maneuvers. However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Here are some suggestions:
1. Keep It Simple
The first suggestion is to keep things as simple as possible. Complex web design might look fancy and impressive as part of a web design portfolio, but it isn’t going to do you any favors on the page loading speed front.
It’s easy for a website to look crowded and overwhelming on a small screen. By stripping out unnecessary elements, tiny buttons, and cluttered design, you can reduce the amount of code required to deliver a positive site experience.
2. Optimize Images
Images significantly impact your mobile site’s page loading speed. By optimizing them and reducing the data as much as possible, you can shrink this time and keep users from bouncing. The secret to doing this is a three-step process.
“First, make sure your images are in a proper format, such as JPG, GIF, or PNG. Then, strip your images of any unnecessary metadata (while keeping them optimized for SEO with proper titles and alt tags),” SEO.co advises clients. “Once that’s done, shrink your file sizes as much as possible without compromising your quality.”
Images account for a hefty percentage of your website’s data. By addressing this aspect of your site, you can do more with less.
3. Minimize HTTP Requests
HTTP requests are another major killer of site speed. Each request – which occurs when your browser asks for a CSS or HTML file – acts like sludge in a pipe. The more requests you have, the slower things move. The good news, however, is that you can minimize the number of requests that occur on your site and clear up these clogs. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use CSS in place of images (whenever possible).
- Put scripts at the very bottom of the page (or eliminate). This ensures HTML content is loaded first and that a user doesn’t have to wait on a script to finish downloading in order for the page to populate.
- Combine multiple style sheets into single sheets (whenever possible).
If all of that sounds like a foreign language, you might need to consult with a website optimizer or developer and get some professional feedback.
Ready, Set, Go
There’s probably not one single strategy you can implement to improve your speed. In most cases, it takes a number of small steps layered together to produce a noticeable result. However, once your website does improve, you should see a noticeable uptick in user experience, conversions, and – ultimately – search rankings.