Can you remember a time when Google wasn’t the dominating search engine on the market? I can’t. Back in 1998 when Google was first launched, it had a few things going for it that made web users choose Google over other search engines, such as Yahoo – one of which was speed.
We all know how frustrated we get when a website won’t load. Many users won’t stay on a site if it doesn’t load after about 2 seconds. This is especially true of mobile users who are on the go, and since nearly 60 percent of web search now come from mobile devices, site speed is more important than ever.
A key contributor to Google’s continued success is their focus on improving the mobile experience, and eCommerce merchants and retailers should be testing their site speed if they want their own success. If you need further convincing that mobile speed matters, here are a few reasons why you need to take mobile speed seriously.
Mobile Speed Affects Traffic and Conversions
If you don’t think that mobile speed is all that important, let me throw this statistic at you. According to Kissmetrics, even a one-second delay in page response can result in a seven percent reduction in conversions. That means that if your eCommerce site makes $100,000 a day, a one-second delay could be costing you $2.5 million in sales each year.
The fact of the matter is; mobile users are not going to wait for your website to load. They are going to move on to your competitors who don’t have delays on their site. This can seriously hurt your traffic and conversion rates. In addition, it can also hurt your brand and customer loyalty. First impressions are seriously powerful, and if your eCommerce site is slow, the customer isn’t going to walk away with a good feeling about your site.
Mobile Page Speed May Soon Be a Ranking Signal
Google has considered page speed a ranking factor since 2010, but currently, mobile page speed has no effect on rankings that we know of. However, that could soon change. Google’s Gary Illyes hinted in June of 2016 that Google would be updating its mobile-friendly algorithm in a matter of months.
If you didn’t think improving your mobile speed was important before this news, you need to take it seriously now if you don’t want your rankings to be affected. Test out your website using Google’s new mobile website speed testing tool, which not only shows your mobile speed but will also give recommendations on how to improve performance across all devices.
Attention Spans Are Decreasing
Scientists have found that our attention spans have decreased to that of a goldfish. In the year 2000, right as the technological and mobile revolution was beginning, our attention spans were about 12 seconds. They are now at 8 seconds. Scientists believe that smartphones can be attributed to this decrease.
Whether or not smartphones are really at fault doesn’t matter that much to your marketing efforts. However, it is clear that eCommerce retailers and merchants need to accommodate this decreasing attention span and do everything that they can to keep our little goldfish minds interested.
While we are captivated by videos and images, that means little if your site speed can’t load videos or images. Now is a good time for online merchants to participate in the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) initiative, because Google has now expanded AMPs across standard mobile search results.
And, although Google has repeatedly stated that AMPs are not a direct ranking factor, AMP publishers could eventually experience a boost in search results if mobile users begin to favor pages with the AMP icon over those without it.
Mobile Speed May Lower Your Advertising Costs
A fast mobile speed can help your overall PPC performance. It is well known within the PPC world that sites with higher quality scores have lower cost-per-clicks, and since your site speed can play a role in your quality score, it stands to reason that a faster site could lower your ad costs.
This isn’t a definite, but since an increased mobile speed will help with your user experience, it should help in some way with your PPC. For better engagement and conversions, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to analyze your URLs.
For Greater Success, Focus on Mobile Speed
In today’s technological world, we expect information to be at the touch of our fingers. If the information does not appear in the second that we request it, we tend to move along. All websites, but especially eCommerce stores, need to make sure that their websites can handle different elements and traffic. If your website speed is slow, now is the time to start working on it. If you need assistance, you can get a free audit from Visiture to help identify the weak spots in your search marketing efforts.