Page speed as a key success factor on the web

21 Nov 2016 / by Tobias Zehnder / Webrepublic / Comments

Mobile users are impatient. If a page takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of users simply move on. For years now, Google has been nudging website operators to optimize their websites for mobile devices. Thanks to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), faster loading times have finally become a reality.

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Last year Google launched the Accelerated MobilePages (AMP) project. Together with the Instant Article Framework from Facebook, the groundwork is in place for making mobile content considerably more appealing.

AMP articles load much faster than regular pages – and attract more traffic from Google thanks to the AMP label. When users see the label, they immediately know that the website has been optimized to load faster on their mobile devices and users will be more willing to visit a website as a result. Thanks to AMP, Slate.com, for example managed to increase the number of monthly visitors who accessed the site through Google by 73%.

Already an established standard

In November 2016, there were already 600 AMP sites on the web. Now that the incredibly popular CMS WordPress also supports the AMP standard, one thing is clear: fast loading times are the new standard. Users’ patience for slow-loading pages will continue to dwindle. Already, 40% of users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Fast loading times are not only crucial for content providers, but for e-commerce provers, as well. According to one study conducted by Mobify, speeding up the loading time by 100 milliseconds increased the conversion rate by 1.1%.

Our prediction

Google will discontinue the AMP labels at the end of 2017 and instead mark slowly loading sites with a “Slow” label.

How can Swiss companies respond?

Improving the loading times of websites is a complex project involving multiple aspects (SEO, web development, tracking, etc.), which is why a Chief Speed Officer is needed. Companies must take page speed seriously by having a person who actively manages the relevant activities and who incorporates every part of an organization.

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