Make it fast and frictionless: The best ways to win on the mobile web

Billal Qureshi / February 2019

We’ve all been there before: You try to search for something and make a simple purchase on your mobile phone, and you find roadblocks everywhere. The site is too slow to load. It’s impossible to find the item you’re looking for. The checkout process takes forever. You abandon your cart in frustration.

This familiar situation can have a considerable impact on a brand’s bottom line. Even a one-second delay in load time can impact conversion by up to 20%1, meaning too many Canadian companies are missing out on conversions that should be quick and easy.

The good news is, there are quick fixes that you can implement to optimize your mobile experience — and as one company learned, these steps can produce big wins right away.

Speed up, pare down

Last year, my team did an audit of 100 of the biggest and most-visited mobile sites in Canada. We saw the same issues come up again and again.

4 ways to better your mobile site


Here are the 4 actions you can take that will have the biggest impact:

  1. Reduce page weight. The sites we looked at were far too heavy for mobile devices. The average mobile site in Canada is 3,000 kilobytes large2. Seconds really matter on mobile, and you shouldn’t expect your user to download that much data and wait several seconds for your site to load. Ensure your page weight is less than 1,000 KB.
  2. Remove automatic image carousels. Your customers are likely only seeing your first image of a carousel before they start to scroll. If you need to lose page weight, start by removing the carousels.

  3. Optimize search. Invite your users to start their journey with a search by putting your search box above the fold on your mobile site. When searching on their phones, 79% of Canadians say that they can get a better idea of what they want to buy3, so optimizing your search is a great way to help them. Ensure you’re autocorrecting typos, too, as those are all too common on mobile.

  4. Speed up the checkout process. Many brands are making this part of the process too lengthy. Help returning customers by remembering their past purchase information, or implementing services like PayPal or Google Pay, and make a sale with only a few simple taps.

How 1-800-GOT-JUNK? got results

1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a Vancouver-based junk removal company with franchises throughout North America and Australia, was looking for ways to improve its mobile booking process. After reducing page weight, improving forms for users to fill in, and making the calendar booking system easier for mobile users, the team saw excellent results almost instantly.



The results they saw were excellent, and almost instant. In the course of 28 days in November 2018, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? mobile sessions were up by 19% YoY, and entries in their mobile online booking engine increased 13%. With page load time down 28%, the bounce rate reduced by 4%4.

“Our mobile experience is now one more way that we make the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional,” said Geoff Henshaw, vice president, digital marketing and customer insights. “Not only did Google help the team think mobile-first, it helped us build a plan to execute against. Our mobile experience is now one more way that we make the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional.”

Start with a test

Google has just relaunched Test My Site, a free tool that can quickly assess the mobile performance of your website and provide custom solutions to help you improve its speed. It will also tell you how your site speed compares to that of your competitors, and how it impacts your company’s potential revenue.

The solutions are out there, and they’re not difficult to implement — create an action plan, monitor your mobile site speed regularly, and a frictionless mobile future awaits.

Milliseconds earn millions: Why mobile speed can slow or grow your business