We’ll make an assumption that you do the majority of your Google Searching on your mobile?
If that’s the case you must know that having a website fully optimised for mobile use is essential. This used to mean just responsiveness, so your website would automatically resize to the correct display for any device, but since the recent Google Speed Update (July 2018) websites have to be fully optimised for speed or else your SEO will suffer.
It may sound like Google is punishing slow websites, but consider how much patience you have when you encounter a slow page, or long loading times. The Speed Update seeks to make user experience much greater than before, and forcing the very slowest pages to update and fix loading speeds will mean those unwilling to provide a better experience for their users will ultimately lose their Google ranking over time.
What is Google's Speed Update?
The Speed Update is a new algorithm, which makes mobile page speed a key part in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking. To break this down further, when someone uses a mobile phone to complete a Google Search, where your site ends up on the SERP will be based on a combination of SEO and Page Speed. It pays particular to mobile users, since in 2010 a similar update was applied to Desktop SERPs.
Initially Google has said that this will only impact the slowest websites, but as future best practise, it is wise to make tweaks and changes to your current website and pages to fully optimise and ensure you are never considered to be the slowest site. Assuming that since your website ranks highly and loads fast now, does not mean that in the future, all your competitors will be outranking you because your page loading times are considered the slowest.
We predict that initially the websites and Google listings that will be the worst affected initially are the older websites that have dominated the high spots for the longest time.
SEO is still heavily influenced by page content and writing your website copy with search queries and your users in mind is still the best practice. Consider the speed of the page an ‘icing on the cake’ issue, or more seriously and considerably a User Experience issue. Appreciating your users and their journey to buying a product or service off your business is still the best way to rank higher on the SERP.
How to Fix Your Mobile Website Speed?
To start fixing your mobile website speed you must first evaluate the current condition of your website speed. We often use a tool called Google Page Speed Insights to see how fast our client’s websites load, and indeed our own.
The report it generates will highlight how fast your page loads for both desktop and mobile and will offer suggestions on how to fix your loading speeds. We have highlighted some here:
Optimise your code by deleting unnecessary characters and any strings of unused code. Tools such as UglifyJS and CSSNano are helpful.
By caching information, a browser will make page load times quicker since it doesn’t need to reload the entire page every time. A tool such as YSlow will check your cache expiration date which will then mean you can edit your ‘expires’ header for the length of the time you want a visitor to hold onto the cache.
Compress your images using tools such as TinyPNG, the smaller the file size, the quicker they will load. You can reduce your file size by as much as 70% sometimes!
Need SEO Help?
We know that SEO can be complicated, and diagnosing slow page speeds can be tricky. The SERP is always changing and is a constant jostle for position. We can help you rank above your competitors in two ways:
SEO Training & SEO Marketing
Related Post: The Importance of Keywords for SEO in 2018