Having a fast-loading site is important any website, whether it’s being viewed on a desktop or a mobile device. Just as it was important for website owners to specifically take mobile device into account when designing their site, it’s necessary to consider the speed of a site on mobile devices. For a variety of reasons, a site that loads quickly on desktops can be unacceptably slow on smartphones and tablets. To help website owners ensure their mobile speeds are up to basic standards, Google has announced two new tools to test mobile sites.
Improving mobile speeds can have a major effect on bounce rates and conversion rates. In fact, 53 percent of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load, according to Google data from 2016. A slow mobile site is more than just an annoyance to your potential customers, it can significantly limit your business. In retail, Google’s data showed that for every one second delay in page load time, conversions can fall by up to 20 percent.
“This morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we introduced the mobile Speed Scorecard: an easy-to-use tool that allows you to compare your mobile speed with other companies,” the company explained in a post on the AdWords blog. “The Speed Scorecard shows the speeds of thousands of sites from 12 countries across the globe. It’s powered by Chrome User Experience Report, the largest database of real-user latency data for how Chrome users experience popular destinations on the web.”
The Speed Scorecard will be based on Google’s recommendation that a site loads and becomes usable within five seconds on mid-range mobile devices with 3G connections and within three seconds on 4G connections.
To drive home the importance of improving website speed, Google is also introducing an Impact Calculator to give business owners an idea of the amount of money their slow speeds could be costing them. With just a few inputs, the tool estimates the revenue impact that could result from improving the speed of a mobile site. Webmasters can see how much more they stand to gain by reducing load time by two seconds versus one second.
Site speed is assumed to be one of the ranking factors for Google’s algorithm, so increasing site speed can have an SEO benefit as well. To that end, Google had already implemented several other tools for boosting speed that website owners should know about.
First, there is the new “Landing Pages” page in the AdWords experience. It shows which URLs on the sites in your account are mobile-friendly. It also shows which links drive the most sales, and which ones may require your attention.
There are also Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which are so fast, they appear to load instantly. Currently, Google Search campaigns can drive clicks to these lightning fast AMP pages. And Google says they are actively working to expand support for Shopping campaigns to ensure a faster and more seamless shopping experience for customers.
Whatever Google has planned for the future, having fast-loading mobile pages can only be helpful to website owners. And if a business is curious about whether or not it’s worth the cost to upgrade their site to be faster, the new impact calculator shows the long-term cost benefits.
For more recent news about Google changes, read this article on Google’s plan to use a more diverse range of sources for their Snippets.