Everyone knows that that page load speed on your website is important, especially when studies show that 40% of visitors will leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Since we’re now living in the age of mobile, when customers want answers at the tips of their fingers (and they want them now), having a fast mobile site has never been more important.
Speed has been a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for a long time, but only for desktop sites. It was recently announced that mobile page speed will start to count as a ranking factor in July, so it’s time to find out if your dealership’s site measures up to Google’s standards.
Google’s calling it the “Speed Update”, and though Google has stated that it will only impact sites that “deliver the slowest experience to users,” you need to follow best practices now so your site isn’t one of them. If you’re worried that your mobile site is too slow to keep up with this impending update, don’t panic just yet. The Speed Update will only affect a “small percentage” of queries.
And as far as best practices for mobile site design, we won’t go into the gory details because we’ve written about that sort of thing before. Just make sure you’re not using rotating banners, you’ve disabled the popovers and layers, etc.
Now that mobile web use has exploded, Google is releasing this update to put the emphasis on user experience. The intent of a query is still the strongest signal, so don’t start focusing on streamlining load time while neglecting your content. User experience should always be your focus when creating content anyway, so your most important goal remains making content that’s relevant.
It’s worth mentioning that writing in a natural and conversational language is the best way to improve user experience on your site. In other words, be authentic, concentrating on local info rather than trying to optimize for every big city next door. Another way to make your content locally relevant is by posting useful tips about your local area – things that your visitors can actually use – on your blog or on social media.
At the end of the day, what Google really wants is a seamless search experience coupled with an amazing user experience. With this upcoming update, they’re going to prioritize sites that deliver a speedy experience on mobile. Now, is this update going to have a huge impact on your rankings or visibility when it’s released this summer? Probably not, but following best practices and putting your customers first is always the best strategy.
Author: Greg Gifford
Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 5. His local search tips and tricks can be easily found online.