Mobile Speed Scores: Finding Performance Issues
7th November 2018
In Google Ads, there is a relatively new feature available. Fully integrated already, the mobile speed score metric is a new way to measure how your website pages are performing, on mobile devices. Traditionally, this can be done using site speed tools, though can be a laborious process. This is especially true if you use a lot of landing pages, for example, if many of your ads link directly to individual products. Site speed tools can also often be quite overwhelming, giving you data on many specific issues at once. The new metric in Google Ads however, is a rather simple quality of life addition, which rates your landing page performance on a mobile device from 1 to 10. A score of 1 is the slowest possible, and a score of 10 is the fastest. It should be noted that this score is not determined by speed alone. Based on Google’s machine learning, projected conversion rates are also considered. If a very fast loading mobile page doesn’t generate conversions (when Google thinks that it should) then it will receive a lower score.
Why does my mobile speed score matter at all?
The actual score itself can be used to determine the severity of possible problems on that landing page. A score of 1 would possibly indicate multiple issues, or one very severe problem with the page. A score of 5 may only be issues of a smaller scale, but still something that should be addressed. Google has done significant amounts of research on the topic of engagement when it comes to mobile. In February of this year, Google published some of their results. If a mobile page takes more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of visitors will leave. The longer the page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate. With over half of web traffic now coming from mobile, it’s more important than ever to be sure that your landing pages are optimized for loading on mobile devices.
Where to find your mobile speed scores
In Google Ads, you can find your mobile speed scores in the Landing Pages report, which is just under Ads & Extensions in the Google Ads menu.
The Mobile Speed Score is a mandatory metric within this report, so you wont need to add it as a column manually, it will be ready to be viewed. Bear in mind that like many Google features, there many not be a score displayed until sufficient data has been collected. Quieter landing pages may take more time to acquire the amount of data needed to safely determine the mobile speed score of that page.
What options are there for improving mobile page speed?
If you notice a page is performing poorly, there are many tools available to help guide you in the right direction. Page speed tools, such as PageSpeed Insights from Google, will accept a URL, analyze it and report back issues. Other options are to run an A/B test on the mobile page, for example if you wanted to test removing or reducing images to lower load times, or changing the structure of the page to improve conversion rates. Generally, optimizing the page as much as possible for mobile, while keeping conversions and bounce rates in mind when it comes to design, will yield the greatest results. Keeping this in mind when building your landing pages will help in keeping your mobile speed score high.