Part of keeping your marketing in tip-top shape is checking to see how well your website continues to perform, especially on mobile. In today’s mobile marketing world, 40% of users on a mobile device will leave if the site doesn’t load in a mere three seconds, and 52% of users claim that site-speed influences their brand loyalty.
On top of this, the internet is constantly changing its algorithms and requirements for what defines a website as “good.” To keep your website current, you can run a quick mobile website audit, like this one from Google, to see what changes you can make to optimize your website for mobile users.
When you run your website through the mobile website audit, little web-bots will crawl your site and check for hundreds of things like server speed, optimized images, and responsiveness. They will then give you a score out of 100 with a list of guidelines you could follow to increase that score.
Here are the results for an audit on Google.com.
Now, this score is from Google.com’s website audit, so don’t feel defeated if your website’s score is not so close to 100. Anywhere from 40-80 is reasonable for test results. Shown below are the errors of a site might look like for a site that did not get 100.
Here are a few of the most common “errors” that show up in website audits how to improve them:
1. Optimized images
One of the most common reasons for having a slow-load time or lower mobile score has to do with images. There are a few different variables that are tested on images, and all can impact your score.
When you put images into your site, you need to optimize them. This means they need relevant titles (the web-bots read them) and they need to be an optimal size/resolution.
Image titles and alternate text can negatively impact your site because without a title, they are uncategorized. Computer programs, like Google, that crawl your website will be unable to read these images if they lack titles or alternate text.
What is Alternate Text? alternate text is a short word or phrase that tells a user what an image is displaying. This alternate text is read when your site is crawled by computers and when screen readers are reading your page. If your image has no alt text, it can’t be read.
Check to make sure all your website’s images have proper titles and alternative text, a quick fix that could help your site overall!
Finding the right size and resolution for images on your site may differ from other sites. The size will also vary depending on which page the image is displaying. It will also depend on the theme and layout of the entire website. You probably don’t need the highest resolution, HD1200 x1200, images for every picture on your site. These are huge files and will slow down your server response time.
It’s best to let your programmers or anyone that will be adding photos to your site know what the best image size should be to ensure they are optimized before they are included on pages. To fix images already published on your site, you might have to take them off the site. If it’s a wordpress site, changing out larger images for a smaller image choice in your media library may help with speed, just remember to optimize the name and alternate text!
2. Plugins and Updates
Another common culprit that could be working against your website is your plugins and the the updates they need. Errors like these could stem from lack of updates, conflicting plugins, or too many widgets.
An easy way to keep this in check is to implement some sort of annual maintenance on your site to update your plugins, check your forms, and any other updates (such as theme) that need to happen. Like a vehicle, you’ll need to get the oil changed to keep everything running smoothly.
Plugins or widgets that are out of date will start to run slower and slower as time goes on, and can even become incompatible with your site if left alone for too long. The same can be said for any theme updates or widgets on your site. Making a plan to back your site up and update everything monthly can keep your site running as efficiently as possible. Even simple things, such as clearing your website’s cache each month, can increase efficiency.
3. Be Mindful with Moving Parts
Adding anything to your website requires code to be entered, either already written in the extension you are adding, or a programmer will be writing it in. This means that although you might find a really neat, interactive plugin that tells you the weather, makes you a bagel, and walks your dog, it might be slowing down your site because it requires a hefty amount of specialized code. This code can conflict or have hidden codes inside of it that can slow down you mobile speed. Make sure to thoroughly check any extensions to make sure they are compatible with your server and site.
By testing your site and working on a few errors at a time, you can help to keep your website running efficiently. If you’d like to learn more about your site’s mobile speed or how you can improve your online presence, connect with Art Unlimited today!
Interested in finding out how mobile-friendly your website is?? Take the Google Think Mobile Test right here!