Google’s New One Second Timetable

mobile googleHow long does it take for your mobile page to load? 7, 8, 9 seconds? More? The average mobile site currently takes over 7 seconds to load, but Google wants to get those numbers way down.

One second. Is it plausible?

It may sound extreme, but all that Google is really asking for is a small amount of “above the fold” content that can load in less than a second. The idea is that user experience is marred when you have to wait 7 seconds for a page to load. If you’re figuring out a problem or looking for answers, those 7 seconds can disrupt your train of thought. So sites that load core content in one second are capable of increasing user engagement and satisfaction.

Beyond One Second

Don’t be too scared – once your “above the fold” content loads in under one second, the rest of your page can still be loading in the background. The key is that the user is able to interact quickly, even if your whole site isn’t quite ready yet. Webmasters have to make the user think that their page is fast, even if it actually takes several more seconds to load the entirety of the page.

Google knows that this suggestion sounds radical, so they’re offering plenty of help! The current page about PageSpeed offers plenty of suggestions for webmasters trying to trim down their load times, including:

  • A minimized number of redirects
  • Fewer roundtrips to first render
  • No JavaScript above the fold

Webmasters also have to consider how varying connections will affect the load time of their page. Since Google is offering so much advice, it shouldn’t be too challenging for you to get your site up to snuff.

Above the Fold Content

One of the most important decisions to make in regards to this “one second rule” is what content you’re going to display. Like all mobile-optimized content, this explanation of your page needs to be succinct, engaging, and to-the-point. If you’re only loading a fraction of your page in that first second, it’s a smart idea to get your CTA as high as possible.

There’s no room for subtle intros here! You should still craft your words carefully, but users want to get the key facts as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to consider how your content will be displayed on small screens! All of the established rules for creating mobile landing pages still apply.

How long does it take for your mobile site to load?

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Sarah Beth

Sarah Beth Wiltse earned her BA in English at Boston University. Though she currently lives in Dallas, TX, she spent a year in Paris, France after college, cultivating her love of the French language and a passion for travelling. She has spent much of her life developing her skills in the arts, primarily as a ballerina, violinist, and pianist - and now, a writer! Follow her on Twitter!

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