14 April 2015
In our previous blogs covering the latest Google update, we stressed the importance of having a mobile-friendly site. “Mobile friendliness” is how Google now assess your webpages and assigns you a ranking for their search engine. If you want better placement on top pages, make sure your site looks and performs great on mobile.
But when you combine mobile friendliness with a fast site speed, that’s when you capture the true white whale of SEO – Mobile Quick.
Load Faster, Rank Higher
Google has gone on the record several times to say that the pages that load faster have an advantage in their rankings. Quick-draw websites benefit in mobile search rankings as well. And while the latest algorithm update (arriving on April 21st) focuses on mobile friendliness and responsive design, we fully expect Google to continue to refine their system for rewarding fast-loading websites.
You benefit with higher ranking in search results, and Google benefits when their users have the ability to quickly access the information they need. And Google knows they benefit because they take site speed very seriously.
How seriously? Well, in 2009, Google purposefully slowed their search engine down (potentially losing many of their own users) just to prove a point. That point was proven: A measurable percentage of Google searches went down when site speed slowed by merely a fraction of a second.
Of course, Google’s research isn’t the only study to back up the importance of site speed. The Aberdeen Group discovered that a single-second delay of site loading resulted in 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction for ecommerce sites. This is why Google cares about which pages it gives to its own users.
Website visitors, with thousands of other options at their fingertips, show no loyalty to a slow-loading site. The bad news is that impatience rules the internet. The good news is that improving your site speed helps both your search ranking and your customer satisfaction.
The Blame Game
It’s difficult to initially pinpoint what drags your site down in speed. One uncertainty is that your site may have problems with a certain web browser but not with others. And with mobile taking an increasing share of web traffic, you don’t even know what type of networks your visitors are using.
Fortunately, we do know areas that result in faster sites and are ripe for optimization. High-resolution images tend to be one such culprit when a site loads slowly. Compressing these files while maintaining quality may be just what you need.
An abundance of plugins or ads may also down webpages. Bulky coding or a slow host are two more factors to consider. Regardless of what takes the blame, speed up your website to reap the Google ranking rewards.
Optimize for the Future
With Google taking steps to punish both slow websites and sites that are unfriendly to mobile, it’s time to optimize your site in both areas. Dynamicweb has experience in speeding up all aspects of your site, from online marketing to ecommerce. A fast site with responsive design for mobile gives you a better chance to rank higher and attract more visitors than your slower, immobile competitors.