Mobile Web browsing is growing at an exponential rate. In a study of average time spent per day with select media among US adults, mobile grew from 3.5% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2012. Mobile is rapidly growing in traffic data, with popular sites reporting up to a 50% split between mobile and desktop traffic – or more in some niche sites. With the growth of mobile Web browsing, it’s important to pay attention to mobile optimization guidelines – or risk having your site penalized in search results.
Page Load Time is Critical for Mobile
One of the most important factors that determine whether you rank well in mobile is page load time. Mobile browsers have less bandwidth, so a page that loads quickly on a desktop may load slowly or not at all on a mobile device. Poor load times for mobile and smartphone users already have the potential to negatively impact rankings – and the degree to which these factors can make an impact will only increase as mobile browsing and mobile search optimization gain dominance.
Design a site that loads quickly. Google’s threshold for a speedy page response time is much tighter for mobile devices – down to the sub 1-second. By contrasts, desktops can get away with a sub 3-second response time without being unduly penalized. Improve your mobile load times to avoid negatively impacting your search rank.
Responsive Design is Key to Mobile Success
Responsive design is a great way to address display issues and improve mobile load times. Responsive design is lightweight in terms of code, and it’s simple to maintain and support. Happily, responsive design also provides some tools to prioritize and properly optimize images, and provides the ability to scale beautifully for smartphones and tablets of all resolutions. All you need is a good designer to help you implement a responsive, fast-loading optimized design – and you can boost your overall search success.