One of the most critical elements of today’s digital marketing is mobile site performance. In 2016, around 60% of searches were done from mobile browsers. That number continues to rise: with the increase in voice searches and other technology, more searchers than ever are turning to mobile options in order to better acquire the information they’re looking for. According to Google, around 94% of users in the USA currently use mobile devices to take care of fast searches for local information–even if they’re sitting at home or at the office, where they likely have access to desktop devices. Mobile is more important than ever–and how your website handles that mobile traffic will determine how you’re able to connect with your audience.
Why Mobile is Important
With a high percentage of mobile site users choosing not to return to a site with poor load times or mobile performance, it’s evident that it’s increasingly critical for websites to ensure smooth performance across devices. Websites that are intended for desktop devices may be clunky, slow to load, and difficult to view from a mobile platform–and that can lead to a high amount of frustration for many customers, who want an easy browsing experience. Customers want the freedom to shop in the way that’s most convenient for them, rather than being unable to take care of their browsing from their current device.
Customers don’t take long to be frustrated by slow load times or clunky websites, either. If you aren’t able to bring customers to your website quickly and deliver a smooth, easy-to-navigate experience while they’re there, they’ll quickly move away from your website to check out a competitor, instead.
The Factors that Matter
There are several factors that play into mobile site performance. By understanding those factors, you can more effectively design a site that will reach mobile users and make it easier for them to navigate your page.
Speed: Customers want fast load times. They no longer have the patience to wait for a slow connection, nor do they want to have to click through several ads in order to reach your page. If your mobile load time is slow, the customers you’re hoping to reach will quickly disappear.
SEO: Mobile SEO can differ from traditional desktop SEO. Google has even shifted to a mobile first algorithm meaning that more weight is given to the mobile version of a websites. To play in the competitive digital landscape, your website needs to offer what the user is looking for and have the elements that Google is looking for such as a responsive design to fit the different screen sizes that come in or having your text too close together so it creates a difficult user experience. SEO has many factors that play into it and having a robust, well-crafted SEO strategy is important no matter what device someone is searching for you on.
User-Friendliness: Are customers able to easily navigate your website? Is the design intuitive–not just from a desktop device, but from mobile? Key links–like those to your contact information or address, especially as a local business–should be highly visible on the page. Mobile users want sites that can easily be resized so that they can take in all of the information, and they typically don’t want to have to scroll to the side, instead preferring a traditional downward scrolling motion.
Testing Your Mobile Site Performance
Once you understand the importance of mobile site performance, you know that you want to check your website to ensure that it functions smoothly. At PageSpeed Insights, you can learn more about how your website loads on mobile devices, including both Apple and Android products. GTmetrix offers similar information about load times alongside actionable advice that you can take in order to speed up the load time on your website. By utilizing platforms like these, you can get a better look at how your site performs, increasing the odds that customers will remain on your site instead of rushing away to a competitor.
Mobile site performance has become an increasingly critical part of website design across industries. With so many customers turning to mobile devices, your company must keep up! Remaining aware of these strategies will help you meet your goals and create more effective pages for your site.