Google prefers extremely fast websites so much that it is preparing to roll out what is being called a ‘mobile first’ index in 2018.
‘Site Speed’, we are told by Google, will be a ranking factor in mobile search.
How will this new ranking factor affect website owners with slow mobile page load times?
What must you do now to improve your website’s user experience?
The update goes live in July 2018, so you still have time to prepare your webpages.
Now that Google is determined to focus on ranking sites based on their mobile experience, the time is for businesses to focus on delivering the fastest mobile-friendly and desktop user experience, is now.
Because if you do not, your competition will, and Google may rank those pages above your own.
A fast site is a good user experience (UX), and a satisfying UX leads to higher conversions, and now that Google is pushing so hard in this direction, it is time for us to take action.
Very slow sites are a bad user experience – and Google is all about good UX these days. Google recommends you use the new updated PageSpeed report and tools like LightHouse to measure your page speed and make improvements as needed.
How fast should your website load in 2018?
Historically, most of us have focused on making the desktop versions of our site load as fast as possible, but with Google switching to the mobile index first with Site Speed update, websites must also now focus on mobile speed, too. Please contact us if you are interested in a free website speed audit.
Every Second Counts
Even if you don’t think that page load affects your Google rankings enough to matter, you must be concerned about it from the user experience side of things. Recent studies have shown that:
- With 1 second to 5 seconds the probability of bounce rate increases 90%
- With 5 seconds or less is a must
- With 3 seconds or less is desirable
- With 2 seconds – 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
- It is widely anticipated that in July of 2018, page load time and bounce rate performance will affect website SEO for mobile usage
- Mobile pages suffer from longer page load time than desktop
- Website user volume by device show mobile is now more than 50%
- Google has always been concerned about the user experience
- Google is particularly concerned about mobile user experience of your pages resulting in their introduction of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Think of your mobile pages and the user’s visibility as bandwidth or the capacity to send and receive data. This is an important consideration when designing an electronic document for distribution over the Internet. Speed is of the highest importance.
It is important that the user linking to the Internet (from any device serving the pages to customers) has sufficient capacity to be able to handle the expected load.
7 Ways to Speed Up Your Website Load Times
Here are seven ways on improving and speeding up your website load times:
- Host your site on a fast-dedicated server
- Have a unique IP address
- Load background images via external CSS
- Optimize your images
- Minimize white space, line returns, and comment tags
- Remove unnecessary META tags and META content
In conclusion, we strongly suggest for businesses with a website to observe and optimize for page speed and load times and to improve bounce rates. Use the available tools from Google like Page Speed Insights Tool and Search Console to improve the mobile user experience. It’s likely that your website has ‘average’ speed. If the Page Speed Tool shows that your website is ‘slow’, you should act right away and start optimize your web pages for mobile. The goal of your website should enable users to quickly and efficiently accomplish what they came there to do, without being dragged down by unnecessary bells and whistles. If your website can achieve this, you should be able to avoid the penalization of the Speed Update algorithm regarding page performance and in terms of mobile experience. If your mobile site falls into the category that takes up to 5 seconds or more to load, you may be losing 90% of all of your visitors and hurting conversions. Remember, Google is focused on user experience and consumers do not want to wait around for web pages to load on their phones.