October 6, 2015 | Business | by Xavi Beumala

It’s Time for Your Mobile Site to Be Faster

Speed matters. Just as a faster player has a better chance of winning on an athletic field, so it goes for publishers and the mobile sites they create. If the site lags behind, they’re going to have problems keeping an audience with an increasingly short attention span invested in the content. Any delay that takes longer than one second can throw off a reader’s train of thought and lead them away from your site. This is even truer for mobile, where users not only have the web, but a variety of apps to take their attention elsewhere.

There are a variety of reasons your mobile site could be behind the curve when it comes to load time. You could be using too many images or elements on the webpage, or your advertising could be slowing down the rest of the site. Obviously having advertisements is important, but serving them in the right way is vital to page load speeds, and in turn keeping readers coming back and clicking on those ads.

Don’t believe it? You don’t have to, because the numbers speak for themselves. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a one-second delay can have a huge impact on your bottom line. That slight slowdown leads to 11 percent fewer page views, a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7 percent loss in conversions. And that’s just one second! If your page isn’t loading within 3 seconds, 57 percent of users say they won’t stay, and 80 percent of that group won’t bother to come back. Not only are users not clicking on your site’s ads, they’ve now left with a bad taste in their mouths and might pick a different publication next time they want to check out the topics you cover.

Some content distribution platforms are looking to help publishers bypass this problem by offering quick loading pages. Two of the major players are of course Facebook and Google. Facebook says it can load articles in .8 seconds, which is normally faster than the publication’s site. Google announced their AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages platform just this morning, and promises to cut load times by 85 percent. These platforms pare down the unneeded extras on mobile websites and get users the content faster than ever.

Using these platforms is a good start, but publishers still need to upgrade their mobile site if they want to reap the benefits of fast page load speeds. Every second counts, and if your publication isn’t addressing the issue at the moment, you’re increasingly falling behind in the race to have the fastest mobile site. The Marfeel solution pushes speed to the top of the agenda, and results in a better user experience and better monetization. That’s a strategy that’s guaranteed to put any publication in the winner’s circle.