How to Improve Mobile Page Speed
It doesn’t matter how good your website or landing page is, if it doesn’t load fast enough most people won’t notice. Even the best ads struggle to convert when the landing page is slow.
Are you losing over half of your visitors while your mobile page is loading?
Why Mobile Page Speed Is Important
Faster load times and optimized user experience will lead to higher conversion rates, improving ROI and giving you the competitive edge. Revenue goes up or down as page load times get better or worse. For retail sites, Google found that conversions can fall by up to 20 percent for every second delay in load time.
And since most Google searches now occur on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to measure and optimize your mobile website and landing page speed. Mobile users have come to expect fast and frictionless mobile sites.
In July, Google announced that “speed is now used as a ranking factor for mobile searches.” That news was widely distributed, but page speed isn’t just a ranking signal for organic search (SEO); it also affects your Google Ads landing page Quality Score, Ad Rank, and advertising costs. Long load times tell Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could negatively impact your ad performance.
There are things you can do to improve the speed of mobile landing pages, but the first thing you should do is test the speed of your current mobile page.
Google’s New Mobile Speed Score
In the past, it has been difficult to gauge landing page load times or how they impact your performance. Today, Google’s new Landing Page Speed Score can help with that.
Google has begun to roll out a new column on the Landing Pages page in Google Ads featuring this new mobile speed score. Ranging from very slow (1) to extremely fast (10), this 10-point scale will tell you how fast each of your landing pages loads on mobile devices.
You can see your mobile speed score on the Landing Pages page in Google Ads.
You can test your mobile website on Think With Google.
It will give you three scores:
• Mobile friendliness
• Mobile speed
• Desktop speed
You can request a “free report” for more information on your score and recommendations for improvement.
How to Improve Mobile Page Speed
Here are some of the most common causes of slow mobile pages and some suggestions for speeding it up.
Responsive Web Design
Slow sites have a huge impact on conversions and revenue. But first, is your web page mobile-friendly?
In the past, mobile sites were often a different site, serving up a different code from the desktop site. Now, responsive design allows you to have just one site that dynamically changes depending on the device it is being served to.
Google (and internet users) prefer responsive design. Not only is it faster, but it will also give you a slight SEO boost and reduce the chance of common mistakes that affect mobile sites.
Source: Google Developers
If you want to know more about responsive web design for your website or landing page, don’t hesitate to contact VitalStorm.
Making your site responsive is a great first step, but there are many other factors that affect mobile page speed.
Make It Simple and Easy to Use
Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95% (Think with Google).
Marketers must engage users with fast, intuitive mobile sites.
• Make sure everything on the page has a purpose.
• Design a clean, uncluttered site.
• Eliminate steps and distractions.
• Highlight one call-to-action.
• Make buttons large and easy-to-click.
Most mobile sites can go a lot faster if they remove some of their image baggage. Images often take up over half of the page’s total weight. Be aware of how many pictures you are using and how much space they take up.
Simply removing unnecessary images and compressing the ones you want to keep can drastically reduce the time it takes for your site to load. Learn more about compressing images without losing quality.
Even if your mobile page is already fast, it’s best practice to compress images before adding them to your site.
Load Above the Fold First
Your mobile landing page has to load fast if you expect anyone to stay.
We know that around half of your audience will leave after three seconds, so obviously we want to be faster than that. We highly recommend getting your site to load in under one second.
If you are struggling to get your page to load fast enough, it’s a good idea to render your above-the-fold content first. Since users see this content before anything else, you can load the fold content first and the rest of the site second.
Also known as “lazy loading,” this technique can dramatically reduce load times and increase conversions.
Getting your page to load in sections takes some advanced knowledge, so hire a developer to avoid any costly mistakes.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP basically strips down the source code of your website. AMP is supported natively in Google Ads and is a powerful and easy way to supercharge your mobile site speed. Tools like the Landing Page Speed Score and AMP help you drive results with faster landing pages.
Learn how to add AMP markup to your landing pages.
Learn additional ways to speed up any website.
Cross Device Reporting
After speeding up your mobile pages, measuring the results is equally important.
Better measurement helps you understand how to best allocate your limited marketing resources. Unfortunately, measurement in today’s mobile-first world can be a challenge.
There are more mobile devices than ever before, and people move between devices throughout the day. You need tools that can accurately measure the impact of your marketing across devices to help you run smarter, more precise campaigns.
That’s why Google is introducing Cross Device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics. Cross Device reporting in Analytics combines data from users across different devices for a more holistic view of user behavior.
Important note: “The Cross Device reports only display aggregated data from users who have agreed to share it. Individual user data is never exposed. These new reports link moments together, revealing trends and insights that you couldn’t get before” (Anthony Chavez, Google Marketing Live 2018).
These new Google Ads updates, combined with our proprietary reporting platform Metrics, allow us to better track, report, and improve mobile landing pages.
Patience is at its lowest when people are looking at their phone. They want content instantaneously and if it’s not there within 3 seconds, they will leave. Page speed is costing you business.
If you don’t want people to bounce in the first few seconds, you have to be there with a lightning fast website:
• Simplify your code.
• Make it easy to use.
• Get rid of any unnecessary images.
• Compress the images you choose to keep.
• Load above the fold content first (“lazy loading”).
• Reduce redirects and redirect chains.
• Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) functionality.
Imagine clicking on a link and being able to scroll instantly on an engaging site. That’s what you’ll get with VitalStorm — better landing pages and ad scores that drive more phone calls.