If you have a website, designing with mobile in mind is no longer optional. We are now used to having information available at our fingertips. People aren’t waiting until later to look up information; they search as soon as they think of it. This is an advantage for businesses because it means customers won’t forget, but it means you need to be available for them to find.
Mobile search isn’t a small percentage. In fact, 81% of Americans now have smartphones. They expect sites to load quickly and be functional. How fast does your site need to be? Current metrics say that users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Every second that goes by, more people click off.
But you thought we were going to talk about mobile SEO. What does loading speed have to do with SEO?
The Importance of Speed for SEO
There are many factors search engines use to determine where their pages rank. The main principle is that Google wants to please its users. So they want to give them a website their users will like. That means quality content and a site that doesn’t give their users problems. This means that search engines look at your bounce rate.
Your bounce rate is the percentage of users who click off of your website within the first few seconds.
Why do search users bounce?
- The page takes too long to load.
- Poor readability on mobile.
- The page doesn’t load correctly on mobile.
- The site isn’t relevant to their search.
Mobile site speed is essential. Make sure all your elements are optimized for load speed. You can consult online tools to test your speed. You can also consult an SEO company that can let you know how you’re doing on this.
Think About All Devices
Responsive design is one that automatically adjusts to the mobile screen. Most modern WordPress themes will be responsive. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to check your design yourself on as many devices as possible. Try a tablet, an Android phone, and an iOS device if you can. Ask your friends to test your page for you. A truly mobile-friendly website displays on all devices.
Consider Lazy Loading
This is a technique where your website loads above the fold content first and then works on loading the rest of the page. This can keep your bounce rate low because users can see what they need immediately and gives your site a chance to catch up. If you want to implement fancier elements like flash or big videos, but you need your site to load as fast as possible for mobile users, this is one way to make a compromise.
Advanced users can implement a jQuery plugin to make lazy loading magic happen. If you have a WordPress website, there are plugins that can accomplish this easily for you.