A one second delay in page load time translates to reduction in conversions, page views and customer satisfaction of 7, 11, and 16 percent respectively. And as mobile becomes the primary means of internet access for more users, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a new upcoming update to News Feed which will direct users to faster-loading links on mobile.
Facebook News Feed Will Favor Faster Sites
The update will prioritize links that load faster on mobile by making them more available on New Feeds, while limiting the ones taking longer to load. If you share small business content from your website with followers, it’s important to be sure this content is well placed in News Feed.
Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo, Engineers at Facebook, who posted the news and best practices to improve mobile site performance, said a three second delay results in up to 40 percent of website visitors abandoning a site.
Taking loading time into account, they go on to say, “With this update, we’ll soon take into account the estimated load time of a webpage that someone clicks to from any link in News Feed on the mobile app.”
News Feed will take into consideration the user’s network connection and general speed of corresponding webpage. If Facebook determines the webpage will load quickly, the link has a better chance of appearing higher in your feed.
So What Can You do to Improve Website Load Time?
A website has many different moving parts, and if they are not optimized, they will affect how it performs. This can by anything from a YouTube video to a site which is bloated with unnecessary programming.
Facebook recommends publishers evaluate and get suggested improvements for mobile site performance and make changes to improve mobile site load time. Using free tools such as Page Speed, YSlow, WebPagetest, PageSpeed Insights, and Dotcom-monitor is one way to address the issue.
Applying the following 10 established industry best practices Facebook recommends is another.
- Minimize landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners.
- Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time.
- Improve server response time by utilizing multi region hosting.
- Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly.
- Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser.
- Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality.
- Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content.
- Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time.
- Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections and devices.
Facebook is rolling out the update gradually over the coming months.