SMALL BUSINESS SEO
Beginner’s Guide for Shortening your Mobile Site Load-Time
Neel Sarode, Chief of Marketing, MSM
22 March 2018

Did you know that mobile devices capture 65% of the total digital time spent worldwide?

Let me explain why that’s important.

The Average Load Time for US Business Sites is ~ 6.9 seconds.

But…

40% of mobile users do not wait for more than 3 seconds for a site to load.

This means that if your website is not mobile optimized for speed, you could be losing a VERY large percentage of potential customers who came to your site to find your service/product!

Many people underestimate the importance of a fast load time + a mobile optimized site, and pay the price for it.

Market share media
 

I am here today to ensure your business does not make this mistake, which could potentially leave you thousands of dollars on the table. With that, let’s get started 🙂

If you’re site takes more than 3 seconds to fully load,

You will lose many conversions and customers as time passes.

First, let me tell you why.

Now, you need to understand something:

The average attention span of today’s website visits is ON AVERAGE only 7 seconds..

This gives you 4 seconds after your page has loaded (if you correctly optimized) to convince the visitor that your site is worth staying on and contains relevant, useful information for them.

I myself have been a victim of avoiding optimizing my site for speed, and boy did I pay the price.

In the month of November, 2017, I had sold roughly $50,000 in revenue on a product, with roughly 50,000 visits to my site.

At the end of the month, I checked my Google Analytics and learned that about 30,000 of these visitors never even got to see the product page because they did not want to wait for it to load! 

(I didn’t take the proper measures to optimize the site for speed)

 

I potentially lost out on $50,000+ extra revenue I could have gotten out of the product, but because I did not make sure my site was optimized for SPEED (it was optimized for mobile, just not speed) I missed out on literally 1000’s of potential customers who could have bought my product.

Don’t feel bad for me though, I promise I’ve learned my lesson. That’s why I think it’s so important I let you guys know too!

IMPORTANCE OF SPEED

1. User Experience

Users are now looking for a faster load time from brands, and when they’re faced with a slow-loading page, they will almost ALWAYS abandon.

Google values sites that give a great, fast, and informative experience, and will in turn rank your site higher.

Ask yourself:

If your users aren’t even staying to load the page, they’re not getting a very good experience, are they?

This is due to the fact of Mobile-First; as humans, we naturally look for convenience.

We look for the solution to our problem that’s the quickest, easiest, and will bring us the best results for the least amount of effort put in.

This correlates directly to your site load time, as no one wants to sit around and wait for a page to load to MAYBE solve their problem.

2. Quality Score

Think about this:

Let’s say you and another competitor both have mobile sites with similar domain authority, quality content, and a great backlink profile.

Who would rank first on Google?

Simple answer: WHOEVER HAS A FASTER LOAD TIME.

There’s nothing else to it.

A fast site = Google valuing your site higher = higher ranking.

Now, maybe you have no idea how your site even performs in this aspect.

There’s a super quick and easy FREE tool provided by Google to determine your Mobile Site’s load time. Check It Out Here.

If your score is above 85, you’re in the clear! Google views your site as well-performing and fast, allowing you to rank higher.

If your score is below, we’ve got some stuff to work on.

2 Things to focus on in the report

Above the Fold Load Time – This is the time it takes for your site to dispay the content visible on screen before scrolling

Full-Page Load Time – This is the time it takes to load the ENTIRE webpage

The report you’re provided is in-depth, suggesting what you need to do to improve your mobile site’s performance.

These suggestions are even rated with a priority indicator to show you just how important they really are.

Let me show you an example in case you’re confused.

Let’s say I search www.xyz.com on the Page Speed Tool, and it gives me a score of 50.

Already off the bat, I know the site has quite a bit to improve on

The report suggests me the following:

  • Minify Javascript
  • Reduce Server Response Time
  • Minify CSS

These suggestions that arise are the key things you need to focus on to have your website load faster.

If you click below each suggestion, Google will also show you HOW to fix these issues.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering “Where the hell do I even begin with this”

What follows is my 10 quick tips that you can use to start optimizing your mobile site’s speed today.

10 Tips to Start Optimizing Your Speed Today

Here’s a few quick tips that I want to give you guys to get you started on lowering your load time for your site. Just spare a few minutes and take care of this, and I promise it’ll be beyond effective!

I want to make clear though, if you are not very tech-savy and wish to do this PROPERLY, I strongly hiring a contractor on Upwork to do this. 

If you do choose to hire, please read this over so you know exactly what to instruct them to do!

  1. Optimize Caches – Unlike desktop, mobile browser caches cannot hold a large amount of content. You need to optimize your mobile browser caches so you can decrease the loading time on mobile. If you have unnecessary server requests being made on your site, it could really slow down your site for mobile. Avoid this by only using local memory to cache resources on mobile.

    >> #1 of this article by Appticles will help you get a better grasp on how to do this <<

  2. Embed resources in HTML – This is a great trick, and one of my favorite. Simply put, make sure all your resources are embedded into your site via HTML! 
  3. Downsize Javascript Parsing – On mobile devices, Javascript parsing can add quite a bit of time to your load time. Put of the parsing of <script> tags (when unnecessary) to reduce load time for your site.
  4. Remove all redirects! – Redirects take more time to process. It pays to remove these, as it will let your users directly access your mobile site, but also make sure to provide the link to the main site as well! (desktop)
  5. Optimize your CSS and JavaScript – Make sure the coding of your site is effective and precise. It should not have any unnecessary characters and the code should “get straight to the point”. Make sure to hire a professional for this, as you do not want to mess up the functionality of your site. Minifying your code will allow you to reduce the bandwidth usage and improve caching.

    Check out this awesome article from Elegant Themes explaining how to do this best.
    >>Click here to check it out<<

  6. Use HTML5 and CSS3 for Mobile – These languages allow the fastest load time (if they are lightweight). This also allows dev’s to edit / create your site much easier and efficiently, with better functionality and great navigation
  7. Resize the images! – Resize the images on your site. Images can be quite large and play a huge role in slowing your site down. Make sure your images are lightweight and do not require too much bandwidth to be processes. Optimize your images!

    Check out the video below to see how you can optimize your images for speed (WordPress used)

  1. Efficient CDN – (Content Delivery Network) distributes pages and content to users based on their physical location.This allows you to distribute your pages as efficiently to each area as possible, reducing lag time which can occur from farther areas.

EL FIN!

And that my friends, wraps it up!

I hope you truly understand how important page speed is to your overall site and business’s performance.

If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact us using the “Contact Us” page on our site!

Decrease that load time and give your users the best experience possible!

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