Mobile Page Speed

Scenario: Your mobile digital campaign has a Click-Through Rate above benchmark. However the Conversion Rate to site drops drastically with less than 50% of clicks landing on site.  

This could easily be assumed as a result of fraudulent inventory. However, we shouldn’t always assume unusual performance is a result of BAV (Brand Safety, Ad Fraud and Viewability).

If your website takes longer than an average of 3 seconds to load then you are at risk, as Alex Shellhammer from Double Click draws a study insight by Akamai, that:

“53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes more than three seconds to load”

Furthermore, Google’s Maile Ohye also states in a blog that “Just as an FYI, at Google we aim for under a half-second [load time]”!

Given that Australia’s download speed is currently ranked 50th in the world according to Akamai’s 2017 State of the Internet Report, it is even more important for client’s to optimise their own site load speed across all devices for a positive user experience.

But what does ‘load’ mean, and to whom? Is it when all content appears within the screen? Is it when you can interact with the page?

Philip Walton stresses that page loads shouldn’t be acknowledged as a single metric, as this becomes a “misrepresentation of reality”. But rather, load times are a moment, which vary drastically from the device capabilities, network conditions and by definition to the user. Therefore Walton mentions that you must consider some of the below;

  • The hero element of the page should load first
  • Interactive elements should visually render when they are capable of responding to the user’s output
  • Continually test across different devices to build first party data of your average load times.

But in even more recent news, on the 17th Jan 2018 Wang and Phan announced on the behalf of Google that “starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches”.

Below are a list of free resources that’ll help you evaluate your web performance:

As we live in a mobile-first world, brands need to consider the above before building a digital media strategy. By improving your mobile load speed, you should hopefully see further engagement across site. Some web analytic metrics to look out for are repeat visitation, longer dwell time and a decreased bounce rate.


Alex Shellhammer. (2016). The need for mobile speed: How mobile latency impacts publisher revenue. Google. Retrieved from: https://www.doubleclickbygoogle.com/articles/mobile-speed-matters/

Maile Ohye. (2010). You and site performance, sitting in a tree… Google. Retrieved from: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/05/you-and-site-performance-sitting-in.html

Angus Whitley. (2017). Life in the slow lane: Australia has slower internet than Kenya. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from: http://www.smh.com.au/business/innovation/life-in-the-slow-lane-australia-has-slower-internet-than-kenya-20171003-gytril.html

Philip Walton. (2018). Leveraging the performance metrics that most affect user experience. Google Developers. Retrieved from: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/06/user-centric-performance-metrics

Wang and Phan. (2018). Using page speed in mobile search ranking. Google. Retrieved from: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/using-page-speed-in-mobile-search.html