If someone asked you to describe the hallmarks of cutting-edge mobile web design, you might tout the value of conversion rate optimization, killer content, or attractive visual elements. However, even if your mobile site consists of pages full of helpful content and looks like it could be on display in the Museum of Modern Art, it can mean nothing if it loads too slowly.
How does page loading speed matter in the grand scheme of conversions?
We’ll tell you how: According to a research study published in 2017, a 2-second delay in page load time can increase visitors’ bounce rate by over 100%. Another study led by ThinkWithGoogle in 2018 confirmed it. It indicated that if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, half of your visitors will bounce and never even give your site a chance.
Regardless of how much traffic you direct towards a slow website, people will bail because no one wants to wait around for a page to load. Consequently, a higher bounce rate will reduce pageviews and conversions, thus killing sales and revenue, as well.
This is especially catastrophic if your website has a long conversion funnel on the site. You may already know that if a sales funnel has multiple pages and steps, conversion rates tend to drop. Couple that with a slow website, the conversions don’t dip – they flat out plummet.
How Mobile Site’s Speed Affects Your SEO and Site Traffic
Several factors determine a mobile website’s rank on Google, and website speed is one of them. In July 2018, Google introduced a Mobile-First index which ensured that if your site speed is not as fast as it should be, your ranking will suffer.
Maile Ohye, the former Google Site Performance Manager, has stated in the past that “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability.” Adding, “at Google, we aim for under a half-second.” Sub-second site speed is becoming the new standard of excellence.
The reason why search engines are putting site speed on a pedestal is that it’s a sign of quality user experience. A fast-loading mobile site results in a better experience for visitors and potential customers. If the site loads faster, the users spend more time browsing pages and are more likely to convert into paying customers. This is why Google made speed a ranking factor last year.
Speaking of good site speed, your web pages should take a maximum of 3-4 seconds to load. This can vary a bit based on the industry and type of website, but if your site loads in 3 seconds or less, you’re ahead of the curve. However, given the latest research, aiming for sub-second site speed is a way to give online retailers an edge over competitors and boost online sales.
How Mobile Site’s Speed Affects Your Conversions and Customers
Providing the best user experience is the name of the game in the mobile era. It affects every aspect of a business’s digital presence, from paid search Quality Score to organic SEO rankings to paid social advertising. Since website speed plays a direct role in user experience, it needs your utmost attention.
If people are leaving your mobile site after only viewing one page, a.k.a. they’re bouncing, it’s likely due to slow website speed. Statistics indicate that if a page takes 5 seconds to load, it’s going to have an average bounce rate of 38%. On the other hand, mobile site pages that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%.
When visitors are bouncing, they’re not converting. In fact, according to many studies, 79% of online buyers who face trouble with site speed say they’ll never return to the site to buy again. The experience of online shopping isn’t only about customer service or site aesthetics – it’s about overall site performance and user experience, which includes page speed.
Unfortunately, many digital marketers and online retailers still can’t grasp the importance of reducing page loading speed by a few seconds. It’s simply not ‘tangible’ enough for them. Most focus their efforts on more ‘solid’ features like social media, SEO, site design, and paid ads.
That ultimately costs them precious conversions. Experts, as well as data from countless studies, have all shown that mobile page speed directly affects pageviews, conversions, SEO, CPC, and revenue from e-commerce sales.
If your mobile website is riddled with speed issues, you’re almost certainly losing scores of potential buyers, and thus, sales and revenue.
And as we mentioned earlier, nearly 80% of site visitors are less likely to buy again if they encounter a slow loading speed. If you have an e-commerce store, returning customers account for up to 48% of all your transactions. You can see how unsatisfied, frustrated customers who swear never to return to your site can create a real problem for your bottom line.
How Does Your Site’s Speed Measure Up?
The WompMobile Analysis and Google PageSpeed Insights are free to use, and they can help you learn how your site is doing speed-wise, as well as what’s causing your website to load slowly. Just enter your site URL and these tools will perform a quick analysis. For tips on how to improve your mobile page speed and design your site to be faster overall, consider learning more about AMP, Progressive Web Apps or scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with our client success team today.