With an increasing number of users now utilizing mobile devices as their primary means of navigating the web, it has become more important than ever before to ensure that these users have an optimal experience. Not only for increased retention rates among them but also because Google and other search engines are placing an importance of providing them with an optimal experience. As a result, your website is not likely to rank well unless you are focused on improving the performance of your website’s loading times on mobile devices. Use these six search engine optimization techniques below to increase website speed for mobile users.
1. Reduce Server Response Time
Mobile page speed is ultimately determined by your coding. However, a lot of it also depends on your server. The longer the server takes to respond to a request from a user through a browser, the slower your page is going to load. For this reason, you will want to be sure to constantly monitor and evaluate your server response time. You can improve the speed at which it operates by reducing the resources that are required to be utilized by your web pages, enhancing your web hosting service ensuring that you have enough CPU and memory to work with, and by improving/optimizing your web server software and it’s configuration.
2. Minimize or Completely Avoid Redirects
Redirects are one of the most common things that can end up slowing down websites. They are essentially instructions that take a website visitor from one page to another. These redirects end up causing delays in loading time because they take a user from one page to another needlessly. This causes numerous problems on mobile devices because these sorts of devices typically rely on much slower networks than desktop or laptop users. Redirects are typically referred to as the biggest wasted time in code and they ultimately can play a huge role in slowing down your website to a crawl on mobile devices. Minimize redirects and preferably do not unless they are absolutely necessary.
3. Prioritize Content Visitors See First
You want to have your website load the content a mobile user will see as soon as they visit your website prior to the content that they cannot see below the fold. By coding your web pages so that the content above the fold gets prioritized, your server will know to send the data above the fold first which will ultimately make the website seem as though it is loading much faster than it actually is. In fact, search engines like Google are encouraging website owners to ensure that their content is loading in this manner in order to provide the most optimal experience possible for mobile users.
4. Optimize Images
Another important thing that you are going to want to do when it comes to reducing overall website loading time is to optimize all of your images. With images, you will need to focus on various factors including the overall size, format, and src attribute. Oversized images are going to end up taking a lot longer to load. Therefore, you want to try to keep your images as small in size as possible. You can do this by editing them with image editing tools. Resizing images to smaller and reduced quality formats can go a long ways towards optimizing your images to load faster on mobile devices.
5. Reduce Number Of Plugins
Another important thing that you are going to want to do is be sure to reduce the number of plugins that you are utilizing on your website. Too many plugins on your website can slow it down to a crawl. Along with reducing overall speed, it can even result in errors, crashes, and even security issues. To avoid having too many plugins, you should disable the plugins that are not essential to your website’s functionality and try to measure the performance of the plugins in relation to your server’s performance. By doing each plugin one by one, you should be able to correctly spot and identify the plugins that need to be disabled for optimal speeds.
6. Enable Browser Caching
When someone visits a website, the elements on the website are stored in a cache on the device. As a result, the next time the website is visited on the specific device/browser, it will be able to load the page much quicker without having to resend another request. By enabling this option, you should be able to effectively speed up your website for mobile devices as long as the user utilizes the cache storage option.
7. AMP Pages (bonus)
We wrote an article a few months ago regarding AMP pages or accelerated mobile pages. These web pages will load typically in under a second and are very responsive. As a user of them when I’m on the go, they are extremely convenient. Many pages are often not what you are looking for or are bloated with pictures, ads, etc that really drag on your mobile device, especially when you’re in a hurry. AMP pages always seem to be relevant get straight to the point. I personally choose the AMP result 9 out of 10 times and don’t bother with other search results. If other users are like myself, think of how valuable AMP could help your business.
On April 19th I am doing an SEO presentation just east of Columbus at Innovate New Albany. I’m providing essential steps that I use every day to help rank other business websites. If you are interested in moving forwards with SEO for your business forward, come out, meet me and get a preview of what I do. Take the first step to educate yourself on building an asset for your business. Reap the rewards of free, organic traffic from Google where customers are search for YOU, instead of forcing paid ads in front of their face.