Katherine Matthers

by Katherine Matthers | Mobile and App Advertising

Whether you are a marketer or a business owner, optimizing your website for the best mobile user experience is key to your overall success. One of the most important parts of the mobile experience is site speed. As users spend more of their time on mobile devices, making sure your mobile load times are up to par can lead to a powerful effect on your performance metrics. Even if the improvement is only by 0.1 seconds, the effects are huge. In a recent study done by Deloitte, a 0.1 second mobile site speed improvement among participating retail businesses led to an 8.4% increase in conversions and a 9.2% increase in AOV. Imagine the possibilities for your business if you were able to improve your mobile site speed by 10x that.

Improving your mobile site speed is easier than it seems. The best way to get started in evaluating your mobile site speed is to conduct a thorough mobile site speed audit. There are many different tools you can use to assess what exactly is slowing your site down and what opportunities there are to increase your load times.
Stats on mobile site speed performance

Tools to Conduct a Mobile Site Speed Audit:

1) Test My Site

If you are looking for a quick and easy overview of your mobile site speed and recommendations on how to improve your load speed, Test My Site by Think with Google is a great tool. You just need to input your domain and the tool will give you a full report you can share with your developers. It provides a monthly trend of your site speed and an option to compare your speed against competitors. You can check your site speed in a number of different countries and at different data connections. This tool is among the most straightforward and simple of the many audit tests that you can use for mobile site speed.
Site speed rating example with Test My Site

2) Google’s PageSpeed Insights Test

Another Google-created tool you can use is the PageSpeed Insights test. This tool provides similar findings, but it’s slightly more technical in terms of the analysis they give you. Similar to the Test My Site tool, you enter your web page url, and Google provides an overall score of your site speed and then some opportunities and diagnostics details. A key benefit of this tool is that you can test your mobile site speed and your desktop site speed and compare the two user experiences.
Site speed rating with PageSpeed Insights

3) Google Chrome Developer Tool

Last but not least is the Google Chrome Developer tool. This tool is built into Chrome and is relatively simple to use. The process is more manual than the other two tools, but the amount of information it provides is extremely valuable.

There are a couple of ways to navigate to this tool. You can right click on any web page and choose the “Inspect” option and then toggle to the Network tab OR while on any webpage you can simply click “Ctrl + Shift + I.” Once in the developer tool, you will want to adjust some of the settings.

  • Disable cache to act as if you are a new visitor, if cache is enabled the site will load faster and your results will be inaccurate.
  • Select “Slow 3G” so you are testing your site at the slowest speed, knowing that faster options will skew results.
  • Finally, make sure you toggle to view the site on a mobile device by clicking the mobile screen icon.
Example chrome developer tool interface

Refresh the page or hit Ctrl + R to run the analysis and a number of resources will populate. To filter through these resources you can use the options near the top ribbon. Main resources to track are Java Scripts (JS), CSS files, Images (Img), and Font, as these usually weigh the most and contribute to low site speed. Metrics to evaluate these resources can be found in the bottom ribbon. Important metrics to pay attention to here are number of server requests, bytes transferred (page weight), and Load Speed. Google provides helpful benchmarks for each of these metrics here.

Chrome developer interface with example of key metrics on bottom bar

How Often Should You Do a Mobile Site Speed Audit?

We recommend always checking the site speed of any new landing page you launch to make sure it is performing the way you want before you set it live to users. For your site as a whole, it is best to do an audit monthly since site speed can change as your website changes.

Now that you know how to conduct a mobile site speed audit, here are some other ways to improve the mobile user experience.

How to Improve Your “Above the Fold” Experience

Mobile Example of Above the Fold vs Below the Fold The section of your web page that a user sees before they start scrolling is considered “above the fold.” What you choose to include in this space can be the difference between a new customer and another bounced user. This is your opportunity to catch a user’s attention and get them to stay on your page. This above-the-fold space is approximately 600 pixels that you will have to optimize. Here are a few must includes for above the fold content:

  • An informative header and subheader
  • A call-to-action
  • Eye-catching images
  • Discounts/offers
  • Form fills
  • The most useful information to your user

If you need help improving your mobile experience or have questions on how to create value for your customers, feel free to contact us.