We’ve been banging on about page load speed for some time now; leaving people waiting while your website slowly materialises in front of their eyes won’t do your business any favours – pretty obvious stuff, right? But now, this is more important than ever. And although I find myself writing and saying that a lot these days, it’s for good reason: digital marketing is an ever-changing beast and to be successful, you’ve got to react quickly or risk falling by the wayside.
The success of e-commerce, social media – hell, anything digital – is largely governed by one thing: speed. Nowadays, if we want something, we want it yesterday. Whether that’s instant downloads, same-day delivery or, pertinent to today’s blog, the time it takes for a website to load. Put simply: to be competitive, you’ve got to keep pace. In 2016, it was reported that smartphones and tablets had overtaken desktop in web browsing traffic. And it hasn’t stopped there: mobile is quickly becoming THE place for all online searches, browsing, shopping and more. Therefore, the time it takes a given page to load is crucial in keeping people engaged and active on your website.
Page load speed has been a ranking factor since 2010 but it’s only now, after years of promising, that the Google page speed update is finally here – well, almost! The tech giant is launching a ranking algorithm that’s been specifically designed for mobile search. This so-called ‘Speed Update’, which is due to launch in July 2018, will allegedly impact a small percentage of queries and only affect pages that deliver the slowest response times.
Mobile really is the future, and if your website isn’t performing as it should on this platform then it might not rank as well. If you’re concerned about how the Google page speed update could affect your rankings, we’d recommend using the next few months to investigate any possible issues that could be causing a delay in your website’s load time. Whether this is properly formatting and compressing images or minifying your CSS, there are plenty of tools, such as PageSpeed Insights, that you can use to analyse and improve your page load speed. As a final note, take some time to think more broadly about the performance of your website and the result this has on the user.