Google recently updated its PageSpeed Insights tool with mobile-specific recommendations to help website owners make their sites more mobile-friendly. According to Google, the average loading speed of a site is 7 seconds, and using the PageSpeed Insights tool and following the new recommendations can make the web page load much faster. However, if your site loads with 2 seconds and users have to wait another 5 seconds to pinch-zoom and scroll through the screen for reading the text and interacting with the page, that would mean that your site is really no that fast. Google’s new recommendations can fix these usability issues and help ensure a better visitor experience. The PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to test your pages the improvements you add.
As per Google’s blog post on the PageSpeed Insights innovations, the new recommendations cover the following areas:
- Configure the Viewport – Modern mobile browsers will not consider your page mobile-friendly if there is no meta-viewport tag and will fall back to a desktop viewport, and will likely apply font boosting. This will affect your intended page layout. To avoid this, configure the viewport to width=device-width.
- Adjust Content to the Viewport – Since most mobile users want to scroll sites vertically and not horizontally, after configuring the viewport make sure that your page content fits the width of that viewport. Keep in mind that all mobile devices do not have the same width.
- Ensure Font Sizes are Legible – If mobile users need to zoom or enlarge your web page to read an article or text, then your site is definitely not mobile friendly. The PageSpeed Insights tool checks whether the text on your site is large enough to read comfortably.
- Ensure Appropritate Tap Targets size – Mobile users would lose their patience if they try to tap a button or link and hit the wrong one just because the size of your finger pad is bigger than a desktop mobile cursor. So ensure that the touchscreen tap targets of your mobile site are big enough to press easily.
- Avoid Plugins – Since most smarphones donâ€™t support Flash or other browser plugins, ensure that your site does not rely on plugins.
With the Hummingbird algorithm, Google is giving more importance to site loading speed. Hummingbird encourages conversational queries and interprets the meaning of these queries to provide meaningful results. If a site takes too much time to load, it won’t give good search results. Most mobile users don’t want to spend too much time on search and thus page load speed has a significant impact on mobile user-experience and conversions. An effective mobile SEO strategy is also necessary to ensure your site’s visibility on search. Huffington Post reports that 33 percent of online shoppers for top 10 retailers use mobile devices for purchases and that irrespective of size, businesses need to have a “streamlined and fully functional mobile solution” for users. Fast loading pages can help enhance the user experience and improve your online marketing.