Why You're Losing Business Because Your Mobile Site Is Too Slow... And What To Do About It
February 27, 2017
Consumers are more demanding than ever before. And marketers who are able to deliver fast, frictionless experiences will reap the benefits. Better understand how various industry sectors are performing when it comes to mobile page speed.
The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, according to a new analysis.1 Yet 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.2 That's a big problem.
It's no secret that shoppers expect a fast mobile experience. If there's too much friction, they'll abandon and move on. Today, it's critical that marketers design fast web experiences across all industry sectors. Consumers want to quickly pay bills on finance sites, get rapid results when they're browsing real estate listings, and view an article immediately when they click through.
Despite the fact that more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile,3 our data shows that mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop.4
In short, speed equals revenue.
Last month, in an effort to get a better sense of how Google's advertising partners are doing, Google also did an analysis of 900,000 mobile ads' landing pages spanning 126 countries.5
They dug deep into a wide range of sectors, from finance to travel. Pages from the automotive, retail, and technology sectors, on average, take the longest to load. And they also have some of the most bloated pages on the web.
Their research has been eye-opening. For 70% of the pages analyzed, it took nearly seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on the screen, and it took more than 10 seconds to fully load all visual content above and below the fold.
Recently, Google trained a a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system with a large set of bounce rate and conversions data. What they found, with a 90% prediction accuracy, was that as page load time goes from one second to seven seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 113%. Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.6
Source: Google/SOASTA Research, 2017
No matter what, faster is better and less is more.
And sometimes, leaner is better too. We found that 70% of pages were over 1MB, 36% over 2MB and 12% over 4MB. That's enormous for a single mobile page, given that 1.49MB takes seven seconds to load using a fast 3G connection.7 One image in particular caught our attention: It weighed a whopping 16MB.
But despite the bad news, there's plenty of low-hanging fruit. Simply compressing images and text can be a game changer—30% of pages could save more than 250KB that way.
When it comes to mobile pages, speed and size matter. Marketers must keep consumers engaged on mobile and focus on building mobile-first experiences. You can see how your current site scores on mobile friendliness and mobile page speed at Test My Site. Then, take steps to optimize for speed, web page size, and the number of content pieces per page.
Sources 1 Google Research, Webpagetest.org, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small Medium Businesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017. 2 Google Data, Global, n=3,700 aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, Mar. 2016. 3 Google Analytics data, U.S., Q1 2016. 4 Google Data, aggregated, anonymized data from Google Analytics for U.S. retailers, Apr. 2016. 5 Google Research, Webpagetest.org, Global, sample of more than 900,000 mWeb sites across Fortune 1000 and Small MediumBusinesses. Testing was performed using Chrome and emulating a Nexus 5 device on a globally representative 3G connection. 1.6Mbps download speed, 300ms Round-Trip Time (RTT). Tested on EC2 on m3.medium instances, similar in performance to high-end smartphones, Jan. 2017. 6 Google/SOASTA Research, 2017. 7 DoubleClick by Google, "The Need for Speed: How Latency Impacts Publisher Revenue," Sept. 2016.