New Website Speed Tracker Gives Small Firms an Edge

Speed is a known killer on the highway. But on the “information superhighway,” if your website speed is lagging, you are killing your conversions.

Google, notoriously tight-lipped about it’s page-ranking algorithm, has flat-out said that website speed is one critical factor. It’s estimated half of users will abandon a site that takes any longer than 10 seconds to load. That bounce rate continues to climb as the seconds tick by. So if you want your site to show up at the top of the search results pile, your website speed better slay.

Now, Google has some good news: The unveiling of a new tool that grants users the ability to quickly and easily track their website speed. Google’s website speed tool (which doesn’t have a name, but is powered by PageSpeed Insights) invites users to find out how well their site works across mobile and desktop devices.

It’s a great feature because it doesn’t require a ton of technical knowledge to understand how well – or poorly – your website is performing. And it’s almost instantaneous. Results are returned within a minute or so.

Our Cleveland web developers know there are a host of factors that can impact a site’s speediness. It could be the failure to optimize images or leverage browser caching. It often comes down to whether it’s properly developed and designed for responsiveness across platforms. If your website speed performs poorly on laptops, smartphones, iPads and/ or desk tops, your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking is going to suffer.

But it’s not always easy to know what your website speed is or, if there is a problem, how to fix it. That’s why this tool is so fantastic. It gives small business owners an easy way to check and see if their website speed – or lack thereof – is holding them back.

The tool measures:

  • Mobile Friendliness – Quality of customer experience when browsing your site from their phone.
  • Mobile Speed – How long it takes your site to load on mobile devices.
  • Desktop Speed – How long it takes the site to load on desktop computers. (Contrary to popular belief, this is not just determined by the user’s web connection strength, but also by components of your website).

So why go to the trouble? Because your customers live online. This is true of almost every industry under the sun. When they want or need information – including finding a brick-and-motor store nearby – they are almost always going to check their nearest digital device first.

A 2013 study on internet trends revealed people check their mobile devices 150 times a day! The majority of these searches occur on mobile phones, as opposed to desktop computers. As a 2012 Google study on “What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today” revealed, potential customers are five times more likely to leave a site that is not easy to use (over one that is) – even if they are interested in the advertised product or service.

That means the moment a visitor lands on your site using their smartphone is a critical one. You have to capture them fast. Of course, that means having a beautiful site and interesting content. But they’ll never get there unless your website speed is swift.

Google recommends that if your site is lagging in website speed, you should turn over the free report it generates to your web developer. Go Media’s Cleveland web development team is looking forward to helping you identify strategies to address the issues you uncover – up to and including building a new website that incorporates responsive web design.

To learn more about our Cleveland web development and website design services, call Go Media at 216.939.0000 or contact us online.