Why Mobile Page Speed Matters & How to Improve It
Page speed is simply the time it takes for the content of a web page to display. Nobody enjoys a slow loading website, and especially when using a mobile phone to look for a local business to use. If you’re like most people when you run a Google search on your phone and the website takes a long time to load, you probably hit the back button and find another site to visit.
Mobile Users Want Speed
The speed of your mobile website definitely has an effect on the experience of your site visitors. If your site is taking more than 3 seconds to load, you need to speed things up. Studies have found that over half of mobile users report leaving sites that load slowly.
In 2018, Google released the Speed Update that made mobile page speed a direct ranking factor. Previous to the update, page speed was only a ranking factor for desktop searches.
When someone on a mobile device is looking for answers, they want the information quickly, without delay. If you are unsure if your mobile page speed is fast enough to satisfy users and Google, you can check it using Google’s site speed checker. If you find that your mobile site’s page speed isn’t up to snuff, here are a few ways to optimise it.
Get Rid of Unwanted Redirects
A redirect is an instruction that automatically takes a website visitor from one page to another. When a redirect happens, it takes milliseconds, which slows down page load. Because mobile devices depend on less reliable networks than desktop devices, redirects are problematic.
A good way to check if you’re redirected is to visit your pages from Google search results with your smartphone. To get rid of unwanted mobile redirects, you can remove any third-party scripts or elements you don’t control from the redirecting pages, one by one. Then check your site on a mobile device between each script or element removal to see if the redirection stops.
Speed Up Server Response Time
Server response time is how long it takes your server to respond to browser requests. Google says that your server response time shouldn’t exceed 200 milliseconds. You can speed up your server response time by improving the software and configuration of your server.
Trim Down Your Site’s Weight
The weight of a webpage and the quality of the user’s internet connection can greatly reduce a page’s loading time. If you have a page with lots of information on it, try to remove some information to reduce that page’s weight.
Once you reduce the weight of your pages, even users with poor internet connections will be able to visit your mobile site without any speed problems. They’ll also find it easier to scroll through your pages, which is great for keeping them on your site. Your site should be able to tell if a visitor has a weak internet connection wherein it will only load the information that’s absolutely necessary.
Optimise Your Plugins
If you’re using a lot of plugins, the loading speed of your pages may be slower than they should be. While some plugins are necessary like social share plugins, some aren’t. So check what plugins you’re using and ditch those you don’t need. Another option is to see if you can find an alternative to a plugin you like, such as a CMS that has the function/feature you need.
Remember that both users and Google dislike slow loading mobile websites. Therefore you should regularly evaluate the speed of your mobile site. If your pages load slowly, take action to improve your site’s performance so you can retain site visitors and your search engine rankings.