6 Technical Tips for Improving Mobile PageSpeed in 2019
80% of internet users own a smartphone. Over half of all web searches are completed on mobile. 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
Mobile PageSpeed is increasingly important for users and Google alike. That is why we’re sharing a few of our tried-and-true technical strategies for improving it.
How to Improve Mobile PageSpeed
Leverage Browser Caching
Imagine you’ve just moved to a new city. At first, you need directions to get everywhere. But after a while, you learn the routes, the shortcuts, and everything in between. Likewise, caching allows a user’s browser to save certain information from your site, thus speeding up load time for future visits. Browser caching is an invaluable (and simple to implement) resource for improving PageSpeed, just like learning new directions.
It is important to note, however, that not everything should be cached. Google advises:
“Each resource should specify an explicit caching policy that answers the following questions: whether the resource can be cached and by whom, for how long, and if applicable, how it can be efficiently revalidated when the caching policy expires.”
Reduce Server Response Time
Mobile PageSpeed is about more than clean code and the right settings. It’s also about ensuring you’re using the right hardware and using it well. Server response time measures the time it takes your server to respond to a user’s browser request. This factors into your overall mobile PageSpeed and should take no longer than 200 milliseconds. If your server is slowing down your mobile PageSpeed, consider taking the following actions:
- If you host your own server, improve your web server software or configuration.
- If you use a web hosting service, consider using a new vendor with greater CPU and memory resources.
- If all else fails, reduce the resources required by your web pages. One study found that, on average, only 32% of requests are content related.
When a page has a redirect, it forces a user’s browsers to visit at least one extra web page before reaching the final destination. This makes the page appear to take longer to load and can also confuse the search engine, diluting link value. Where possible, ensure all links navigate to the correct page from the start.
In most cases, images are the largest resource on a page and the biggest hogs of page load time. In fact, 90% of websites have page load times affected by poorly optimized images. Fortunately, this can be improved in a number of ways:
- Consider advertisements thoughtfully. A study found that the average size of ads is 816 Kb, which takes 4 seconds to load.
- Reduce size when uploading images instead of relying on CSS or HTML to reduce the image size on-page.
- Avoid empty < img src=”’…’” / > codes, as they add unnecessary server traffic.
- Use the best file format. Traditionally .JPG images are significantly smaller than .PNG files.
Prioritize Visible Content
Visitors experience your site’s content in the order that it loads. Therefore, it’s important to make sure they experience visible (also known as “above-the-fold”) content first. Simple, right?
Actually, code prioritization gets a bit more complicated on most web pages. Since pages load according to a set order, all it takes is one element–visible or otherwise–to slow everything else down. One common culprit is the ‘social share button,’ which relies on external calls to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. To keep visitors engaged with your site, prioritize the most important, visible content at the top of your code.
From optimizing images to minifying code, there are plenty of ways to improve your site’s mobile PageSpeed. Don’t know where to start? Chat with one of our search experts today. We can show you how your mobile PageSpeed might be hurting your web traffic and bottom line.
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