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The Importance Of Mobile Website Speed

The Importance Of Mobile Website Speed
The loading speed of your mobile website is the most important feature

It can seem that maintaining a website is a never-ending work. There are a million prerequisites for making visitors happy – everything must look nice, the content must be fresh and updated, all the pages should be properly linked together, etc. It’s easy, in the midst of all that fuss, to forget something.

And, often, that something is website speed. It makes sense if you think about it. If you’re planning to spend the entire day polishing every nook and cranny of every page, you probably won’t be too concerned that the pages take five seconds to load. And yet, for the visitors, it is an entirely different story.

To put things in perspective, let’s say you’re doing a quick Google search. You’ll probably want the information you’re looking for as soon as possible. Heck, you might just open several search results and pick whichever loads the fastest.

And just like that, it suddenly doesn’t matter if a website is perfectly designed or if it has the most engaging content. If the visitor has to wait too long to see it, all the effort might go down the drain.

Even so, most website owners seem to neglect website speed. This is especially true for mobile websites. To illustrate, the average time for a mobile web page to load is 22 seconds, while the recommended maximum is only 4. That’s 5.5 times longer than it should be!

Admittedly, desktop websites also tend to be slower than recommended. Still, the discrepancy is nowhere near as large. So, are website owners right to disregard mobile website speed? We will attempt to answer by considering some facts about mobile websites.

Search Engine Rankings

In 2016, mobile phones and tablets officially overtook traditional computers as the most used devices for internet browsing. This means websites have been receiving most of their traffic from mobile devices for two years now, and website owners still haven’t adapted. However, they might have to.

In 2016, mobile phones and tablets officially overtook traditional computers as the most used devices for internet browsing.

For a few months now, Google ranking system prioritizes the mobile versions of websites over their desktop counterparts. Also, in July this year, Google has implemented its speed update which makes speed a ranking factor for mobile websites. Officially, this will only punish the slowest websites. But if desktop search rankings are any indication, we can expect to see faster mobile sites outrank the competition.

Of course, this is not the only way search rankings are influenced. We can mention that about half of the people leave if a mobile page takes over three seconds to load. Considering this, you can imagine the percentage of people who won’t wait out the 22-second average.

Unfortunately for slow websites, Google records which pages are abandoned quickly as this indicates a lack of content relevant to the search. As this is important for search ranking, slow websites also get a much lower ranking score. And, considering the average load time, most mobile websites are likely to be severely penalized.

All things considered, this makes a great opening for website owners to get the upper hand. They just need to have their mobile websites load reasonably quickly.


User Experience

Although people tend to have marginally lower expectations for mobile websites, high loading times elicits similar reactions regardless of device. We can outline some of the statistics about user expectations:


74% of smartphone users leave a page that takes over 5 seconds to load


1 second of delay means a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction


Mobile sites that load within 5 seconds make twice the average ad revenue


If we take average loading times into account, we can safely call mobile websites an untapped market, in spite of their popularity.

This particularly applies to online stores. It is true that mobile conversions are lower than desktop ones. However, contrary to what some retailers claim, this does not mean it is more difficult to turn a profit with mobile stores.

To explain, users do not shy away from buying via their mobile devices. The more likely reason for fewer conversions is that mobile retail websites are not as well optimized as desktop ones.

Google supports this by stating that a single second of delay can make a 20% difference in conversions. This is a much higher percentage than for desktop websites. If we consider that checkout speed is extremely important for customer confidence, we can conclude that people want to make purchases over their mobile browsers, but that they are opting for websites that seem reliable.

We can look at this from the perspective of our untapped market claim. We have already said that lowering load times is more effective for mobile stores than desktop ones. Also, we should take into account that bad experiences make nearly half of the people go straight to the competitor’s website.

That makes mobile websites a very fertile ground for amassing a following of loyal customers. The only thing to take care of website speed on mobile.


The Next Step

So, we can confirm that, even though most online traffic comes from mobile devices, the internet community has not adapted to it. This makes mobile website improvement the way to go. The market is sure to accommodate the demands eventually, so improving the mobile version of your website as soon as possible is a good way to get a head start

So, how do you do this? Well, according to the experts over at the Hosting Tribunal, the basics are making sure you have found the right hosting provider and chosen the proper hosting option for your website’s needs.

Following that, there are numerous techniques and devices you can use to make your mobile sites load faster. You can begin by minimizing landing page redirects. There should be only one redirect from any URL to its target page. Each additional redirect triggers an HTTP request-response sequence which introduces unnecessary delay.

Another popular way to make websites load faster is compression. There is a range of options, from plugins that reduce the image size to Gzip which compresses your entire website. Here we can also mention various tools which remove unnecessary code, making the rendering process far less complicated.

Finally, an option reserved for mobile websites is AMP. Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source website publishing technology. Basically, it creates a version of your website which is designed to load extremely quickly on mobile devices. It does take some of the freedom away from the website creator, but experiments have shown that it can shorten loading times anywhere between 10% and 85%.


Some Final Remarks

In the end, we can safely confirm that making your mobile website faster will help its success tremendously. Moreover, due to the overall poor performance of most mobile websites, we can point out that improving your mobile website speed is a good way to capitalize on the current situation before the market catches up.

We have already listed some of the means to make your mobile website faster. For a more comprehensive list of techniques, as well as some relevant statistics, you can take a look .this infographic.

So, now that you know the importance of mobile website speed, you are ready to go out onto the World Wide Web and make your website prosper like never before.