Mobile load speeds and mobile data usage say it all on why users to decide to drop or stay. Shortening human attention spans aside, the speed of mobile web browsing make or breaks user engagement in a big way. After all, nobody wants to waste precious time or limited mobile data (real or perceived). Regardless of the reason, lower engagement means less revenue for publishers.

Based on Google analysis of 10,000 mobile websites, the majority of websites don't make the ‘fast' lists, that is, with pages loading under three seconds. According to this article, pages that fail this speed test experience up to 53% dropouts – and the average page takes 19 seconds to load using 3G connections. This affects publishers who otherwise have great content to present very negatively – a digital marketing nightmare.

Between sites that take 5 seconds to load opposed to those that took 19, sites take took 5 seconds had:

  • 35% lower bounce rates.
  • 25% higher ad views.
  • 70% longer sessions.
  • 200% revenue.

What's more, Google ranks pages that are faster higher because it improves user experience.

What affects mobile load speeds?

Loading times are directly affected by three things: file size, the quantity of requests server side, and the load order of web page elements that make up a page. However, there are a number of things that can be done to improve load speeds.

  1. Access the current performance of the site with online tools such as PageSpeed Insights and follow their good practices recommendations.
  2. Execute and optimize websites, starting from the removal of heavy content (such as large graphics and animations), reduce the number of server requests and consolidate data and analytics tags. Webpage elements that take longer to load should be placed lower in the page such as styling, javascript logic, and images.
  3. Monitor performance the performance the website after each change to see which setup/choices work best through A/B split testing.

Aside from the three main steps above, Google also recommends that you consider using open source solutions such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and progressive web apps.

Sources:
https://www.doubleclickbygoogle.com/articles/mobile-speed-matters/
http://www.marketingtechnews.net/news/2016/sep/08/poor-mobile-site-speed-may-be-harming-user-engagement-says-google-report/