We've talked a lot about the importance of having a mobile friendly website, especially since Google now gives preference to mobile friendly website design in search rankings. So, if you haven't already moved to a mobile friendly website design, that needs to top your list of priorities.
For those that have already made the transition to a mobile friendly website, when was the last time that you visited your website from a smartphone or tablet? Website load time is such an important factor in captivating your audience, and it's not uncommon for consumers surfing the web via their mobile devices to experience slow load time.
Did you know that nearly half of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less? Even more alarming, 40 percent of consumers will choose to abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. With so much content to compete with on the internet, having a website that is slow to load will hurt your business.
Hubspot recently analyzed the performance of more than 26,000 websites and found that the average load time was almost 4 seconds. This slow load time likely caused a lot of visitors to bounce and look elsewhere.
If you've tested your mobile website and aren't happy with the load speed, there are several actionable ways to make your website faster:
1. Check to see how your mobile website is set up.
You have a few options for mobile website design; however, Google considers responsive design to be its preferred choice. If you're not using responsive design for your website today, that may be the reason why your website is not loading as fast as you would like.
2. Compress your images.
Do you have a lot of images on your website? While they're probably very aesthetically pleasing, images are often the key reason why websites experience slow load times.
Very often, the images that you use on your website are displayed on a page as 500 x 500 pixels, but originate from an image that is 3500 x 3500 pixels. For many web browsers, the larger image will be loaded first before it is re-sized to the smaller version.
When browsing your website from a desktop, visitors typically won't notice the re-sizing of images because it happens so quickly with very little impact on load speed. However, for mobile visitors, the re-sizing of images typically happens much slower, which can be very frustrating and turn your visitors off.
You can use a tool like TinyPNG will allow you to compress your images to speed up load time. Also, as a best practice, you can save images in the JPG format, which is relatively lightweight and will also help with load speed.
3. Load videos in the background or skip it altogether.
Video content can make your website considerably slow to load when visiting from a mobile device. Unless video is absolutely vital to the user experience, consider hiding it in the background or just skip it altogether.
In summary, a website that is slow to load will most certainly turn your visitors off, whether they're visiting your website from a desktop or mobile device. Even though your website might look great, you really need to prioritize function and performance if you want to ensure that visitors won't bounce from your website.