Speed - The Biggest Issue in Mobilegeddon?

The dust is finally starting to settle after “mobilegeddon” - the recent Google update which was designed to prioritise websites that are mobile-friendly and penalise websites with non-responsive layouts or layouts that are difficult for mobile users to navigate.

However, many webmasters are noticing that even though they have a responsive website design, their sites are not performing as well as they could be after the algorithm update. Their organic traffic is down, and they don’t understand why. The answer could be page speed. This metric is one that Google has been considering since 2010, but it has become increasingly important now that mobile use is so common.

Analysing Your Page Speed

Google offers webmasters free tools to analyse page-loading times. The PageSpeed Insights tool is a great starting point for analysing on-site factors that affect page-loading times. Not only does the tool give you an insight into your desktop and mobile page speeds, but it also highlights issues and gives recommendations for how to fix them.

Combining this with the Site Speed reports inside Google Analytics will help you to see whether you have design issues such as excessive or uncompressed Javascript, or whether your loading times are poor for other reasons, such as slow DNS, excessive redirects, slow servers or large file sizes.

Why Care About Speed?

If you live near where your server is hosted, have high-end devices and a fast broadband connection, page speed is probably the last thing on your mind. However, not all of your customers will enjoy that luxury. According to the Aberdeen Group, an increase in page-loading times of just one second reduces page views by 11 per cent and conversions by up to seven per cent.

KISSmetrics found that almost one in five mobile users will leave a website if it takes more than five seconds to load, and of those that stick around to wait for 10 seconds, if the page still has not loaded 30 per cent will abandon the site completely.

That’s a huge number of potential lost customers that could have been retained if you had made some simple changes to your website. You can use heatmaps, conversion tracking and other tools all you like, but if your site is so slow that your visitors are never even seeing the whole of a page, then you need to tackle that issue first of all.


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