Your site might be mobile-friendly, but how well does it deliver on speed and experience?
It’s no revelation that mobile is the number one option for browsing the web. It overtook the desktop back in 2014. But exactly how important is the mobile experience to the success of a site or campaign? According to a 2016 report from comScore, 65% of ‘digital’ time is spent on mobile, while the share of desktop time is around 35%. This is an increase of around 5% year on year, while desktop is falling by a slightly slower rate. What else the report points out is that mobile app and smartphone app usage is also, unsurprisingly, on the rise.
This doesn’t mean that the desktop is dead; for example, most eCommerce transactions still take place on a desktop. But, this statistic can be put down to the fact that the online buying experience is tailored very much to the desktop. The buying experience on mobile, especially smartphones, is still lagging behind. While more and more companies are investing in this area and great strides are being made, there is still a lot of work to do. Once the buying experience on the small screen equates to the desktop, or betters it, consumers will move to mobile as well, making the desktop further redundant. Another concern – especially for the older age groups – is security, with many still skeptical about using credit cards online.
According to the report, smartphone penetration sits at around 80% overall, but for the 18-34 year group it rises to around 93 per cent. This is the group that will be doing most of the online purchasing, but they don’t necessarily have the spending power of older age groups.
All this info brings us back to the fact that mobile is more popular than ever and will only get more popular. What else it tells us is that if your brand and site are not fully committed to mobile then it is time they were. To be more successful, you need to be fully mobile-ready.
Many brands and sites are committing to mobile, but simply not doing it well enough. The user experience and download speeds are critical to success. Much like being on a desktop, if you don’t get it right, users will simply look for a better alternative.
Google’s Mobile Website Speed Test site, testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com, is a quick and easy way to test your site. This offers results on Mobile Friendliness, Mobile Speed and Desktop Speed. All you need to do is add a URL and wait a few seconds. Try this on your own site and then compare it with some of the more popular on the web. We tested Google, the BBC, Instagram, the Daily Mail and our very own Gadget site. What we found from this small sample is that most sites are now mobile-friendly, but lack in the delivery department. Mobile speeds on all the sites (apart from Google) were poor, ranging from 48-62 out of 100. Don’t panic: you can get quick look at where you need to improve a site and get a more in-depth report if desired. The changes aren’t generally drastic, so in the main can be put into place quickly. Note that if you are thinking of buying a WordPress theme to build your site, make sure you test before buying: it may look pretty, but does it perform?
Google is not the only option in the market. Try out GTMetrix (gtmetrix.co This “gives you insight on how well your site loads and provides actionable recommendations on how to optimize it” Plus, they have a dedicated resource section and the option to go Pro for an even better site.Get testing now. Remember, if your site isn’t up to scratch, you will be missing out on visitors and ultimately missing out on building your brand and following the path to success.