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As of this past July, the Google Speed Update has rolled out and page speed will be a factor in ranking for mobile searches. If your web pages are slow to load on mobile devices, your page ranking could suffer.
It’s important for people to be able to navigate through your website as quickly as possible. Having to sit around waiting for a page to load will have a negative impact on your conversions and result in people hitting the back button and leaving your website.
This is why Google has release the Google Speed Update as it plays a major role in user experience and behaviour.
Dubbed the “Google Speed Update,” it will only impact pages that are very slow to load and will only affect a small portion of search queries. The same standard will be applied to all web pages, no matter how they were built. That said, even a slow page may still be able to rank high if the content on the page is of high quality.
As a result of the new Google Speed Update, web developers and designers are encouraged to consider how the performance of a web page impacts user experience and the various metrics used.
Even though the update is said to impact just a few websites and queries, it’s still important to make sure that your website pages load quickly on mobile devices, and here are a few tips to do just that:
Images tend to be slow to load, so the first thing you may want to do is use a CMS plugin that will compress images to a smaller size. This will limit their weight without compromising user experience. You can also use CSS to load images in the background and either hide or show them using media queries.
The amount of time that it takes your web server to return a response can pull down the loading time of your web pages. By improving your hosting account and making sure you have adequate CPU and memory resources available, you can increase server response time. Check out our hosting service to get a proper server that is built for performance.
When your browser has to redirect you to another URL whenever you click on a link, the page load time will be a little bit longer. You will most commonly see ‘301’ redirects which can cause your pages to take longer to load on mobile devices, no matter how small the difference may be. To combat this, consider minimizing and even eliminating redirects altogether.
Web pages with a ton of content might fare well if they are coded as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which means Google will load the page outside of the site without much navigation.
It makes sense to load the content that users are looking for first, which Google highly recommends. This is typically known as content that is ‘above the fold’, and it can help you if you ensure that your server sends the info necessary to make above-the-fold content show up first.
If you want to make sure your site isn’t dinged by the Google Speed Update because of slow-loading pages on mobile devices, you’ll want to consider employing any one of the above-mentioned tactics or contact us directly for help. But there are plenty of other strategies that you can implement to improve things on your end.
Do you have any other means of speeding up web page loading times on mobile devices? Let us know in the comments below!