Everyone knows that mobile is the future of search as desktop searches dwindle and mobile searches continue to grow. Google recently announced it will make page speed a ranking factor in mobile search starting in July. What does this mean for your business?
A Little History of Page Speed
Page speed has been a ranking factor on desktop searches since 2010 because Google realized that people liked pages that loaded quickly. If your page didn’t load because of bad coding, extra code, videos, etc., then people wouldn’t bother waiting and simply leave. It’s one part of more than 200 ranking factors that Google uses and they even developed a PageSpeed Insights Tool to help website owners discern if their websites are slow and why it’s slow. Google has a separate database for mobile vs. desktop search (for now) and its ranking factors are different.
Page Speed and Mobile
How your website shows up on mobile is different than desktop. A responsive site comes up differently than a non-mobile friendly site or a mobile website. Your desktop site could be fast as lightening, but your mobile site may lag behind. While fast sites have always had a better shot of ranking better on mobile, but it was never a true ranking factor…until this July.
Google says the page speed update is designed to only impact the slowest sites. Given the billions of searches the company handles in a day that could still impact hundreds of thousands of sites. It’s all part of Google’s push to mobile including its preference for accelerated mobile pages and the eventual combination of desktop and mobile searches.
The Update and User Experience
Relevant content will remain a major factor in rankings for mobile, but page speed is one more update designed to improve user experience for the customer. User experience on mobile search is the true goal of the update. There are many things that will slow down a site that are annoying such as pop-ups and interstitials.
How can you get ahead of the update? The first step is analyzing your site with the page speed tool and take its recommendations to heart. Disable anything unnecessary that slows down your site such as the before mentioned pop-ups. You can also use slim down design that revolves around tasks and not extras. There’s not much room on a phone and people are in a hurry. They want to get in, do their task and move on. They’re not sitting at home on their desktop with all the time in the world. They’re sitting in their car on lunch break or walking down the street.
Have questions or concerns about your mobile site? Worried that it might not be the best for customers? Contact us and we’ll take a look and give you recommendations.