All SEO experts know it, that somehow the issue of page load time still gets lost in the mix of all the things that can reduce site traffic and conversions. This is even more critical for mobile sites, which are seeing increased use every day. In reality, SEO companies should be focusing on this simple issue before spending time on other more complex concerns because slow mobile websites could be the source of this inefficiency. Before wasting precious hours searching for a needle in a haystack, start out first with an understanding of why page load speeds matter, and how to tell if a mobile site is loading too slow.
Speed Means Better User Experience
Everything now is about the user and providing the best website experience possible. When a user can seamlessly use a website and do what they came to do, interest is maintained with few frustrations to turn them away. On the other hand, when pages will not load, frustration increases along with bounceback rates. Research on this topic suggests that to achieve a positive user experience and high levels of SEO, a website needs to load in a maximum of 5 to 7 seconds, the faster the better.
Basically, users do not stick around to see what is behind the link when the site makes them wait. On a mobile device, this is even more significant since users are usually in a hurry, looking for fast answers. Who has time to wait for slow sites when on the go?
Page Speed and SEO
There is a critical correlation between page load time and SEO, one that even Google acknowledges with its search results page loading. Slower loading decreases traffic to a site. It should be easy for SEO companies to understand what this means in terms of overall conversions. Fewer users reaching the products and services a company has to offer means fewer conversions. This is not due to low interest; it is due to the fact that users get tired of waiting when they want fast answers on mobile devices.
Based on this very idea, it is essential to closely examine page speed and question whether this could be attributing to the problem before doing anything else. Investing time and energy into fixing other issues will not help while page load problems still exist. Improving page load time could be all that is necessary when seeing low conversion rates.
Measure and Monitor Page Load Speeds
Although there is no hard and fast rule about page speed, the general suggestion is that mobile sites should load in 7 or fewer seconds to prevent users from losing interest and leaving. There are a number of tools available that can measure mobile load times, which is something that all SEO companies should regularly use whenever there is a problem as well as for regular site monitoring. Google offers a tool called Page Speed Online, which is available from their collection of web analytics tools. There are other paid resources available as well. With regular use of these tools, SEO services can find any problem pages that need reconsideration to speed them up as well as to detect problems when speed suddenly goes down.
The important point to keep in mind is that as simple of an issue as it may seem, mobile page load speed is critical to great user experience, which is critical for great mobile SEO. Page speed is one of those things that should be constantly monitored. It should be the first thing questioned whenever SEO companies find themselves dealing with concerns over traffic and conversion rates. The good news is that monitoring page speed is easy to do. Once slow mobile sites load faster, higher traffic and more sales are usually the result!