Mobile Site Speed will be a Ranking Factor for Mobile Searches
When you think about SEO, you most likely think about your optimizing your desktop over your mobile site. In the future, though, everything will be changing. As more people begin using their mobile phones and tablets as their primary device for internet browsing and searching, Google already recognizes this shift. Starting this year, the change to a mobile-first world will occur.
Over half of all searches are now performed on a mobile device. But, the statistic that Google is most likely considering is that most people will abandon the webpage after five seconds if it is still loading. On the PC we will even wait, but on mobile, we are not as patient.
At the moment, your desktop site dictates that rankings your website receives, even for the mobile site. That will soon be different. Google has announced that a mobile algorithm that will include page speed as a ranking. The mobile rankings will be different from the desktop rankings.
Other aspects of SEO will still be necessary as your desktop site will again play a role in ranking your site. A focus on content is still an important SEO tactic as well as other things such as link building. If your website is responsive, any optimization will carry on to the mobile site. For those with a different mobile site, you will want to start optimizing it too.
This change could be the first movement toward the mobile-first strategy that Google has already said is coming, meaning the mobile site, not the desktop site, will dictate how your website ranks. Therefore, having a mobile-friendly site is even more critical than ever.
Google has stated that they prefer a mobile site to be responsive. This way the desktop and mobile site will have the same address. However, if you have a mobile site on a “m.” subdomain, you will need to begin some of the same optimizations you have used to make your desktop speed faster.
You can visit this address to help you see what Google sees with your site speed: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. The site will tell what is slowing your site down and suggestions for correcting the issue.
Other items you should do include:
- Removing unnecessary images
- Making sure images that are used are compressed and small file sizes, so they load quickly
- Consider caching to help your site load faster
- Remove unnecessary scripts that slow down the site
Once you have site speed optimized, you should then focus on other SEO factors such as content and off-page optimizations for the mobile site alone.