There are currently 5 billion devices connected to the web8.
On average, the web has three times more monthly users
than native apps, yet users spend more time on native apps
– a compelling reason for brands to focus on them. However,
time on apps tends to be concentrated in a few categories
like entertainment, social & messaging9, and with consumers
increasingly relying on the mobile web for research and discovery,
they may not want to spend storage and data on downloading
an app. The next generation of web technologies are introducing
native app-like features that add capabilities and improve mobile
web experiences. Today, it is critical for brands to have an
effective mobile web presence.
Building great user experiences
Experimenting with new technologies can help to build a great
user experience – but it can also make it challenging. Rather than
think about the technologies first, imagine the experience you’d
want as a consumer and work towards that. Consumers expect
fast, relevant and frictionless experiences.
Faster experiences matter
Consumers are ever more impatient. As technology enables
faster experiences, we have become accustomed to instant
purchases and same-day delivery, and our willingness to wait has
decreased. Our mobile devices help us in ways we couldn’t have
imagined a few years ago. We can pay for coffee with a tap, or
order detergent with a voice command to a digital assistant. As
a result, consumers are shifting their thinking from, “Who does it
best?” to “Who does it best right now?”
If you don’t make speed a key performance metric then your
business may pay the price. We recently tested 900,000 mobile
sites globally and found that the average time it takes to fully
load a mobile page is 22 seconds10.
Fifty-three percent of people will leave a mobile site if it takes
more than three seconds to load, and 50% of users in the UK
abandon mobile transactions because of a poor experience11.
Users now regard a satisfactory load time as two seconds or less.
To help brands analyse site usability and speed, Google reviewed
316 travel, retail, and finance sites across seven European
countries last year to determine who has mastered mobile and
who still needs to pick up the pace12. The average speed for all
three verticals is slower than the good point (of two seconds),
with the top retail sites performing the best, at 3.8 seconds. Only
14 loaded in two seconds or less.
Improved site speed benefits
When marketers prioritise speed it has a ripple effect. Designers
must select visual elements, fonts and a structure that allow for
fast, frictionless mobile experiences. Then, developers can further
optimise to ensure the best possible result for customers.
Faster pages lead to better conversion rates which in turn
improves ROI. A recent study run by SOASTA demonstrates the
impact of site load speed: mobile pages that loaded one second
faster saw up to 27% increase in conversion rates13. On the other
hand, longer load times led to higher bounce rates, averaging at
13% for loads under three seconds and going up to almost 60%
after nine seconds.
How Improve your site speed
Your first step should be deciding on the consumer experience
you want to deliver. To understand how customers experience
your brand, conduct an audit of your website.
Think with Google Site Test Tool
Simple enough to be used by anyone, Google’s Test My Site Tool
gives you an actionable report on how to speed up and improve
your site. Type in your website address and get a score for your
site, along with a more detailed report with specific suggestions
on things to fix, and page speed insights identifying ways to make
your site faster and more mobile-friendly.
This tool allows you to run a free website speed test from multiple
locations around the globe using real browsers (Internet Explorer
and Chrome) at real consumer connection speeds. You can perform
simple or advanced tests, including multi-step transactions, video
capture and content blocking. The results provide rich diagnostic
information: resource loading waterfall charts, page speed
optimisation checks and suggestions for improvements.