3 Mobile Site Optimization Tips
Anyone who has waited for a page to load on a smartphone knows how tedious it can be. Slow load times and poor mobile experiences cause smartphone users to give up, sometimes abandoning the site forever. Unfortunately, inconsistencies in how mobile retail sites display their content add unnecessary seconds to the loading process, which translates into lost sales.
In an ongoing study of mobile e-commerce sites, Yottaa found that mobile redirects run rampant among top retailers. The analysis revealed that 39 percent of these e-retail mobile sites redirect users two or more times before loading. The sites with the most number of redirects — four or more — take, on average, 16 seconds to load, a shocking eight seconds longer than sites with no redirects.
This poor experience results in more than just consumer frustration. According to the Aberdeen Group, even just a one-second delay in site response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent. Fortunately for retailers, there are solutions to this problem. Consider the following three:
1. Create a unique mobile (m.) site and direct only to that on mobile devices. Ideally, a website using an "m." web address on a mobile device would jump directly from its base URL to the unique mobile version in just one step. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen often, even among the top retail sites. Instead, sites are redirecting users an average of 3.03 times before landing on the right page.
To avoid this, you can implement a m. site. Doing so would ensure you have mobile-optimized content while minimizing the amount of time it takes a user to see relevant content. The less time users wait on redirects, the more likely they are to engage with the content on your site.
2. Test your site on a multitude of devices. What loads on one phone or tablet might fail on another, so testing your site on multiple devices is necessary to identify common errors and device-specific issues. Also consider analyzing your site in different locations, on different mobile browsers and with different degrees of mobile connectivity (e.g., 3G, 4G and LTE). This testing can be done using tools like Website Test, WebPagetest or offerings from Keynote and Compuware.