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The Importance of Optimising Web Speed to Prepare for Future Mobile Web Traffic Demands

This is a guest post by Tom.

With more and more websites experiencing high volumes of mobile traffic, it is now more important than ever for webmasters to optimise their web speed and page loading times. With experts predicting that mobile web traffic will continue to rise, website owners need to concentrate on improving their websites in order to meet such high demands. In this article we will explain the importance of optimising your website speed and how it is possible.


Your website needs to be able to run quickly on mobile phones or you will risk losing potential sales. Image source: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8054/8408497681_354cfecb5f.jpg

What do users want?

Although many of us are privy to high speed broadband connections, those using their mobiles to browse the internet have to deal with a much slower connection. In an age where everyone wants to be able to access things instantly (especially when it comes to the internet) website owners must focus their attention on improving their website loading times and page responses. Website speed has become so important that Google and other search engines now use it as one of their metrics to rank websites.

If your website takes too long to load on a mobile device you will find that users simply switch to a different website that can load much quicker. Think how many potential sales you could be missing out on just because you have failed to optimise your website. Many mobile shoppers also regularly come across websites that crash, freeze or receive errors. This is because they have not been optimised correctly for smart phone viewing.
Previous research has found that on average, users expect websites to load in two seconds or less. Those that take longer than three seconds will simply be abandoned. Delays in page responses can also cause a reduction in conversion rates.

Take action

Now you understand the importance of optimising your web speed for high influxes of mobile traffic, it is time to take action. First of all you will need to check out your website’s loading speed and page response times for yourself. This can be done using online tools which allow you to crawl your website, just like a search engine does. By doing this you can identify any issues and also find out if any pages are taking too long to load or time out during the process.

If you find that your web speed is slow, you will need to identify why. Sometimes the smallest alterations can make the biggest difference. You may find that large images on your website are slowing the loading time down for mobile users, or that you have unnecessary code that needs cleaning up. Remember that flash and rich Java scripts are often incompatible with mobile phones. By having these on your website you are simply wasting bandwidth on things that will not actually show up for those viewing your website on their mobile phones. The best thing you can do is have a lighter mobile version built of your website, or even better, use responsive web design.

Other useful tips

Some website owners may find that they can increase their web speed by simply swapping to a faster server or web hosting provider. If you experience high influxes of local traffic, you may want to consider using a local server in a specific area, or even a content delivery network. Cloud hosting is also a great way of speeding up your website as your content will be spread across a number of services which makes handling large spikes of mobile traffic a whole lot easier.


It is essential that you optimise your web speed so your site still functions under the pressure of high volumes of mobile traffic. Image source: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3614/3680455198_5502e57439.jpg

Conclusion

Today we expect to be able to gain access to the information we need via the internet almost instantly. The websites that fail to provide users with instantaneous loading times and site speed will simply fall behind. With mobile browsing on the rise it only seems sensible that webmasters prepare their website for future influxes of traffic by optimising their web speed and loading times.

About the Author

This blog post was written by Tom Shurville, Director of Distinctly Digital, a search marketing agency based in Rickmansworth, UK. Distinctly Digital combine technical savvy with creative flair and is adept at creating search marketing strategies that get results. Please follow their Twitter profile for more SEO hints and tips.

Image credits: Beattin webbkommunikation & Mac Users Guide


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