We’re all well aware that we live in the Digital Age, where people expect to find answers to their questions instantly. This is never truer than Online. Science backs this up, with studies suggesting that people really do care about page loading speeds, showing that the vast majority of people only hang around for just five seconds before ditching a Site that takes too long to load.
Page loading speed has been a factor in Google ranking for some time, meaning that if your Website takes too long to load, you’ll likely fall under your competitors on the Search Engine result pages.
In the past, Google has always focused on searches from Desktop when considering load times. However, as of July 2018, page speed will also be a significant ranking factor for Mobile searches. The “Speed Update”, as Google is calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users. It applies the same rules across the board, regardless of how big or small your Site is, or what platform it’s built on.
60% of internet traffic is now through Mobile, so getting your Mobile Site up to speed (no pun intended) is vital. To illustrate this Google have released two news tools: The Speed Scorecard and the Impact Calculator. These new tools enable Businesses to understand the Mobile experience of their Websites and estimate the potential revenue lost through poor Mobile performance, allowing you to compare your Site against your competition and make sure that you’re not missing out on valuable customers.
So, let’s take a look at the tools and see how they have the potential to increase your rankings in organic Search Results.
The first is the aptly named Speed Scorecard, which allows you to directly compare your Site speed to any other Website and receive an instant speed score for your Site. Google amasses tons and tons of data on the behavior of its users and one thing they all have in common is that they don’t hang around for a Website to load, especially if they’re using their phone.
The main function of the Speed Scorecard is to highlight how Businesses may be losing customers through poor loading speeds. And with the ability to compare your Site against that of your competition, it highlights where those customers may be going. This really drives home the message that if you ignore Mobile speed, you may well be sending customers straight into the arms of your competition.
Using the Speed Scorecard
This one’s simple. Just follow the on-screen instructions, selecting your country and network speed (3G or 4G), then your domain. You’ll then be asked to input the domains that you’d like your Site compared against, so choose up to 9 of your competitors. Hit the calculate button and see how your Site stacks up.
Comparing your Site in this way is a great chance to have a look at your competitors Online Presence as whole and see what they may be doing that you’re not. Mobile site speed is very important, but also have a look at the user experience once the site has loaded. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and then go back to analyze your own Website and see how it compares. Do your competitors offer a better search feature? Do they have better filter options on their products? Or maybe they have beautiful, eye-catching photos which your Site could be lacking.
Remember: if impatient customers have to spend time hunting around for your products, you’ll have the same issue as poor loading speed, they’ll simply look elsewhere.
The idea of the Impact Calculator is to demonstrate the direct consequences of poor Mobile loading speed on your Business. It shows that while poor loading speeds can be very annoying, it actually has the capacity to lose you an incredible number of sales, which could be a major factor in preventing growth.
Using the Impact Calculator
Once your Mobile Site speed has been determined (using the Speed Scorecard), the tool will automatically pull that information, along with your domain into the calculator. You’ll then have to input some details about the traffic that lands on your Site and the actions of those visitors.
This can easily be obtained through Google Analytics or any other Website analytics tool. Just make sure that you’re looking at Mobile visitors only. Once all these details are in, sit back and look in amazement at how much money you’re missing out on.
Slow Mobile = Lost Money
Google have created these tools to draw attention to the fact that you need to get your Mobile Site up to speed and if it’s not, you’ll now be penalised for it in the Google Search Results. Mobile users demand a quick and easy service and if you can’t provide this, you may well be leaving money on the table.
Furthermore, if a user remembers that they had a negative Mobile experience on your Site – whether through poor load times or poor Mobile usability – they’ll be unlikely to return. Even on Desktop!
So get testing and while you’re there check out the competition to see whether there’s anything that you could be doing to provide more for your customers to improve their Mobile experience.