Speed and technology share an integrated path. The need for faster things has led to innovations that have shaped our history. In ancient Mesopotamia someone had the excellent idea to use the circular devices that potters use when spinning clay, and to fix them on a flat surface. And so the wheel was born. After the invention the speed of construction, transport and commerce accelerated astronomically.
Fast forward 5,000 years and the UK is now one of the bastions of innovation and in 2017 it will invest in a record technology sector, a doubling of the US. last year to $ 7.8 billion and its European neighbors are on the rise with more investments than Germany, France and Sweden combined.
But while London and the UK are at the top of the technology investment tables, there is room for improvement in the mobile sector. Google is recent mobile benchmark study found that the United Kingdom ranked tenth out of the 17 largest European countries when it comes to how fast websites are loaded on mobile devices.
The last Ofcom report On mobile usage in the UK, the impact of this delay is placed in the right perspective, with the message that people spend an average of 24 hours per week online and that more consumers describe internet browsing as the most important function of a telephone than telephone calls.
Google's study went into a wide range of sectors, from finance to travel. It turned out that pages from the automotive, retail and technology sectors on average have the longest loading and some of the most inflated pages on the internet.
This delay has tangible consequences for brands. Google & # 39; s research shows 53% of visits are abandoned when loading a mobile site takes three seconds or longer. And that percentage increases rapidly as the loading time of the page increases – if you let mobile users wait just one second to five seconds, they are likely to leave their spikes by 90%. For e-commerce sites, stoppage due to slow loading times may be even more expensive, as 79% of customers who are not satisfied with the site's performance are less likely to buy from the same site again.
When it comes to stimulating engagement and conversion on mobile devices, everything revolves around speed. Whether it concerns paying bills, buying products or services, or simply clicking through to read articles, time is always essential for the consumer. Half of the people surveyed think that sites should be loaded in less than two seconds; in the United Kingdom the average is no less than 8.9 seconds. This discrepancy offers a huge opportunity for brands to assert themselves and convince consumers with fast and seamless mobile experiences.
Fortunately for brands, you do not have to re-invent the wheel to speed up your mobile site, as Google has developed a suite of tools that focus on improving the mobile experience.
Speed Scorecardhelps companies, for example, to measure how their mobile speed counts on the top brands in their branch. The Impact Calculator, enables companies to estimate how much revenue can be increased if a given company improves the speed of its mobile site.
With these tools, companies can respond to the findings of Google's Mobile Site Benchmarking Study because they clearly illustrate how bottom-lines are influenced by mobile experience. Our analysis suggests a site with an average of 150,000 monthly visitors and an initial conversion rate of 2.5% on order values of an average of $ 75 could mean an increase of $ 225,000 in annual revenue if the loading time were to decrease from six seconds to three.
The digital age in which we live may seem far from the early Bronze Age innovations of the Mesopotamians – but the rules are still the same. Where there is speed, turnover follows, in business and beyond. Here are three easy ways to speed up your mobile experience:
First unpack the supplies – Prioritize content above the fold over something else. That way, users will see your site fully loaded before they can start browsing faster. Having multiple files with regard to font, size, color and spacing can have a big impact on the speed of the site, so load it later.
Make fewer trips to and from the van – Each resource on your mobile site requires additional requests from the server, so try to group similar files together. Small images of less than 10 KB can also be combined in a sprite format. With Sprite formats, a collection of images can be stored under a single image, reducing the amount of server requests and speeding up loading times.
Alessandra Alari is head of the search and mobile user experience at Google UK