2017 Search Trends: How Important is Desktop and Mobile Site Speed?

By AnnMarie Minichiello
March 28, 2017

When we look at the 2017 SEO factors affecting search rank, we tend to think of content marketing and structural elements. However, those aren’t the only factors for increasing SERPs, gaining new traffic, and converting visitors. Page speed and site load time has become more important within the past several years. More importantly, we have been seeing a heavier focus on mobile page speed.

Think about it… People these days don’t like waiting. Whether its on line at the bank or getting information from a website, we tend to get bored and angry when we have to wait. On the internet, people are looking for fast answers. If your site takes to long to deliver those answers, your visitor will bounce off to your competitor’s site.


Does Google Need Speed?

When it comes to your site’s ranking in search engines, speed definitely matters. Google has always favored sites that load quickly. But now that we have seen an increase in mobile favorability, there is an added focus on mobile speed. Most importantly, the speediness of your site will also provide a better user experience. The faster everything loads, the more people will want to stay on your site. And the more people want to stay on your site, the more Google likes your site.


Accelerated Mobile Pages

A little over a year ago, Google introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. This project is an open-source initiative that helps news pages load faster for a better user experience. This came as a result of the ever-growing standard of people accessing information on their phones and tablets. These pages are basically a simplified and stripped down version of the actual site. The folks over at Moz have coined it “diet HTML.” While the functionality is still low (i.e.- no carousels, no Bootstrap, no advanced CSS, etc.), Google intends on growing the feature without sacrificing load time.

It’s likely that you have visited an AMP article without even knowing it. To recognize these pages, you can look in your search results for the “AMP” lightning bolt symbol and the word AMP next to it. Another giveaway that you’re on an AMP page, is that it is a very simple page that loads quickly. If you are reading this via a mobile device, it’s likely that you are viewing it on our AMP version!


Can I Have AMP on My Site?

Yes! AMP is not for just large publications. Here at Logic Web Media, if we are providing Search Engine Optimization services for you, then your blog feed has AMP integration. For everyone else, the process is rather simple but it is important to make sure your markup is valid. And there is a very fine line between valid and invalid when creating Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP Project has created an online validator to help with the process.

OK, so AMP is great for a blog. But what about the rest of my site?

AMP Search Results Example of Long Island News Search

What Slows Your Site Down?

Having a website that looks great is important, but its load speed takes priority. Too many images and content can potentially slow your site speed significantly. Some specific things on your site that might be contributing to your slow speed include:

1. Unoptimized Images:
Unoptimized images are a killer. 90% of the Alexa Top 1000 sites are impacted by this problem. Luckily enough, this problem is easy to fix, but it can be time consuming and a little monotonous. The pros here at Logic Web Media, compress, deflate and optimize all images on your site.

2. Social Sharing Buttons:
Of course you want to be social! Social media plays an important role in today’s internet marketing. However, those plugins or widgets that people often use (especially on WordPress sites) will contribute to slow load times. There are simple work arounds to this problem, so there will be no lack of social interaction from your site!

3. Bulky Code:
Modern websites tend to be crammed with HTML5, CSS, Javascript, etc. While these elements make your site cool and fun to look at, the weight of this can make your site drag. If you are not optimizing your code and minifying files, then it’s likely that visitors aren’t seeing your cool elements because they are not loading.

4. Website Hosting:
This is something that some clients fail to realize. At the end of the day, saving a few bucks a year on hosting is not worth a slow website. Additionally, those highly important lead forms on your site might take forever to reach your inbox if your hosting is cheap. Logic Web Media offers top of the line, speedy, and secure web hosting; and it’s just as affordable as GoDaddy.


How Do I Test My Site?

Are you curious how your site stacks up? The best tool for a quick and easy response is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Another good resource is GTmetrix. Although speed testing tools on the internet will give you different values and varying results, the bottom line is the same. They will give you a score and list what you can do to optimize your site for speed. GTmetrix tends to go a little more in-depth, so if you are looking for an easy overview, I would go with Google’s speed tool.

Mobile Speed Test Results
Desktop Speed Test Results

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