As mobile continues to increase in importance within digital, it comes as no surprise that Google is putting plans in place for marketers and website owners to improve user experience on mobile sites. Users want faster and better digital experiences when browsing online, and that extends to what's expected on mobile sites too. If we were just to isolate one area of mobile, such as page load speed, it's worth knowing that over 50% of users will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load, according to Google. With that in mind, it's clear that user journeys on mobile need to be considered carefully.
ENTER GOOGLE'S MOBILE SCORECARD AND IMPACT CALCULATOR
In a bid to see site owners improve mobile experience, Google recently introduced two new features: 'Mobile Scorecard' and 'Impact Calculator'. The Mobile Scorecard feature shows the speed of thousands of sites from twelve different countries, while the purpose of the Impact Calculator feature is to show how much revenue a site is potentially missing out on due to poor mobile load speed. It's also possible for the Impact Calculator to show how a change in load time for a page can have a positive or negative impact on revenue, as long as data related to the site's average monthly visitors, average order value, and conversion rate are input.
LANDING PAGES AND ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES
Google has also introduced a few other features destined to help improve mobile user experience, one of which is the 'Landing Pages' feature, which provides information about the performance of specific landing pages and determines if a landing page is optimised for mobile. Another feature that's been on the scene for some time now is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), which facilitate a faster user journey by serving cached copies of landing pages. As AMPs are built for speed, they load faster and are easier for browsers to interpret as they're more streamlined - in fact they're designed specifically to make it easier for developers to avoid common coding issues that lead to slower load speeds. An AMP landing page uses standard web technologies, and is easy to create and implement using the workflow of the existing development.
On a final note, Google recently announced a major update to its ranking algorithm for mobile, which will see page speed play a bigger role. Page speed has been a ranking factor for searches on desktop since April 2010, and will soon play an important role for mobile searches, highlighting how important it is for site owners to focus on improving mobile user experience. Ultimately, mobile sites need to facilitate user journeys and allow people to accomplish what they intended to without encountering any obstacles along the way. And an important step to achieve that is by improving mobile page speed.