The concept of mobile website optimization began gaining traction in 2010, when Google first started talking about their mobile-first strategy. The strategy was based on sound data. At that time, internet access from mobile use was growing in numbers compared to desktop (including laptop) use. By 2016, the year that mobile use first surpassed desktop, 51.3% of internet usage came from mobile devices. Fast forward to 2022, and global internet usage from mobile devices is now an estimated 56%. (Note that estimates vary, depending on countries included and whether all types of mobile devices are included.)

What is Mobile-First?

In search engine results pages (SERPs), Google prioritizes websites that are optimized for use with mobile devices, such as phones and tablets. This means that websites that are not optimized for mobile devices are penalized by displaying lower down on the first page results, or on the dreaded “next” pages.

Mobile-first website design incorporates strategies to enable a website to be experienced from any device with equal success. Each element on every page must render and function as well as, or better, on a mobile device than it does on a desktop or laptop. This includes:

  • Logo
  • Menu
  • Text
  • Images
  • Embedded video/audio elements

When you consider that mobile device screen sizes vary considerably from each other, this is not easy to do.

Website DIYers will meet special challenges when trying to make charts, graphs, lines, PDFs and more to shrink or expand in size on various mobile devices. What’s more, all these elements need to fall in place or line up in a logical manner. Yet another massive challenge is in making the mobile design as esthetically pleasing as the desktop counterpart.

Does that sound like a lot? It is. And even the so-called “fool-proof,” template-based website design platforms (we’re looking at you, Wix) don’t do it right. Even in 2022, most of the Wix templates are not responsive. In our minds, that takes Wix out of the running even before the race on mobile page speed optimization even begins.

What is Mobile Page Speed Optimization?

Here in the U.S., we are fortunate to have mostly reliable internet connections throughout. Though there are many who complain about our internet service providers (ISPs), the U.S. still ranks as generally an internet-accessible country.

Google page speed optimization for mobile

Still, there are pockets of people with slower internet access here and especially in other countries. Site speed has always factored into Google’s page rankings, but never more so than it does now, with the emphasis on mobile access.

Consider Google’s mobile-first policy. It stands to reason that search engine crawlers are prioritizing the speed of mobile renderings. That means that website owners must do the same.

Factors that impact mobile page speeds include:

  • Server response time
  • Redirects
  • Page loading order (above the fold vs. below the fold)
  • Image compression
  • File compression
  • Page caching
  • And more

Dangers of Slow Speed on Mobile

The cost to the website owner for slow speeds on a mobile device is high. First, you’ll pay by getting poor page rankings. Second, you’ll pay in your bounce rate. Consider that $2.6 billion was lost to owners of slow-loading websites. Can your business afford to lose money like that? With the stakes so high, few DIY website owners stand a chance with optimizing their website to meet mobile-first and mobile page speed standards. Trying to build it yourself is like hauling concrete blocks home and trying to build your own brick-and-mortar store. Let the experts take your website to new heights. Contact us to learn more.

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