I’m sure you’re aware of the importance your business website has in today’s technological age. With more businesses than ever before providing their products and services online, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest online marketing trends and Google algorithm updates to keep ahead of your competition.
So what makes website speed so important?
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The Importance Of Speed
Google included website loading speed as a search ranking signal back in early 2010. While it was mentioned to be affecting fewer than 1% of search queries, with the recent focus Google has placed on site speed, it’s rumoured to be a far more important ranking signal today.
The importance placed on speed is based on consumers ever increasing expectations towards fast internet speed and quick loading times. With continual improvements to internet speed across the globe, people are growing more and more impatient with even the smallest of delays when seeking information online.
Because of this, Google has put a strong focus on the time it takes for consumers to access information through your website. With speed being a ranking factor and Google’s recent focus on mobile speed, it’s time for all business owners to review the user-friendliness of their site.
Mobile Friendliness And Speed
In early 2018, Google released a Webmasters Central Blog to outline what the new “Speed Update” will involve, planned for July 2018. The biggest change noted is that the page speed ranking factor will be shifting from desktop speed to mobile speed.
The reason behind this is the change in how customers access the internet, with more and more people making the shift to using primarily mobile devices, rather than desktops. Not only this, people are usually much less patient when using their mobile device compared to a desktop computer.
So, what does this mean for you?
It’s important that you not only ensure your website is mobile friendly, but also make changes to your site to improve its mobile loading speed. When you are making the changes, they should not negatively affect the user-friendliness of your website or result in a reduction of relevant content.
Effects On Organic Rankings
As Google makes changes to how website loading speed affects your website rankings, poor performing websites may see a slight drop in organic search position. However, this is not to discredit the more highly weighted ranking factors such as quality content and high domain authority backlinks.
It’s important that you speak to your developer today about increasing the speed of your business’ mobile website. By using the tools mentioned below, you’ll see what improvements may help increase the speed of your site, making for a better user experience.
Tools to Test Your Website’s Speed
There are a few free tools available online to test the mobile and desktop speed of your website. They also provide you with some hints on how you can improve your site speed, which you can pass on to your developer to implement the changes.
This free tool by Google will allow you to see both your mobile speed and desktop speed with ratings out of 100. It will then provide some optimisation suggestions that you can follow to improve the speed of your site.
This provides a free report from Google on your websites current speed and what can be changed to improve it. It will also provide you with an estimated visitor loss due to your loading speed and compare it to the websites of other businesses in your industry.
Put your website URL into GTmetrix and it will give you insights and actionable recommendations on how to optimise your sites speed.
Did You Know?
You could lose up to 53% of your visitors if your mobile site takes more than 3 seconds to load. These statistics come straight from Google, which really opens your eyes to the importance of site speed.
Don’t wait – Improve the loading speed of your website today before Google ramp up its importance later this year.
Alex is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate, majoring in Marketing and Advertising, from Curtin University, Perth. He joined the White Chalk Road team in July 2017 creating content and assisting with online marketing activities before becoming a search marketing manager.