Website Speed and Google’s Mobile First Ranking Changes

Posted by 2 years ago

The google bohemith is at it again and once more they are making a HUGE shift in how they rank your website. What does this mean for your dealership?

 

 

 

Transcript

Kevin: The google bohemith is at it again and once more they are making a HUGE shift in how they rank your website.

The past few years have been filled with talk of mobile, mobile, mobile.  In fact, in 2014 overall mobile usage surpassed that of desktop digital consumption and due to that change google announced earlier this year that they were changing from a desktop first ranking algorithm to a mobile first ranking algorithm.

Since the beginning of ‘google time’ the googlebot has crawled your website through the ‘eyes’ of what a large monitor shows and has ranked your site and its pages for both desktop (large screen) and mobile (small screen) pretty much the same.

So, the big news … google is beginning to go to a ‘mobile first’ index or ranking formula.
What does it mean for your dealership’s website?

According to google webmaster analyst Gary Llyes,  … “Google will be updating the page speed ranking factor to specifically look at the page speed of your mobile pages when it comes to the mobile-friendly algorithm”

And here’s google’s product manager, Doantan Phan … “If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.” Nov 4, 2016 Doantan Phan | Google Product Manager

All InteractRV dealer sites are currently mobile responsive and the actual content on your larger page is the same as on your smaller page view, that is unless you’ve made the decision to customize it differently, so it’s important to make sure any changes you’ve made yourself do ‘pass the test’.

While some marketing agencies are trying to scare folks by focusing on the grade or score that testing tools like the mobile friendliness checker provide, it’s important to remember that a grade your site is given by one of these testing tools is really measured subjectively.

For example, let’s look at a grade and a suggestion made by google from their own testing tool.  Notice how they give an F to this site, yet, if you look closely they are suggesting to remove the chat service and google-adservices conversion tracking code.  In fact, one-third of the sites identified as needing changed in this suggestion are actual google sites themselves.

So, while many of their improvement suggestions are achievable, not all of them are practical and REGARDLESS of their suggestions, the absolute most important factor is SPEED.

Page speed is all about the SPEED .. meaning how fast does your page load compared to others you are competing against.  If you have well optimized content on your mobile pages and it loads as fast or faster than your competitor … congratulations, no need for doomsday preparation.

Let’s get rid of the smoke and mirrors and run some real-time speed examples…

Let’s look at competitor a and b compared to an InteractRV dealer site.  In samplings of home pages you can see that this InteractRV dealership site loads faster than either competing provider’s dealership site.

RV Dealer Website Homepages Speed Performance Report

 

It’s easy to just test the home page, but remember only about 10% of your traffic ever hits your home page.  Most of your guests visit your inventory detail pages.  Once again, you can see that the InteractRV inventory detail page runs faster.

RV Dealer Website Detail VDP pages

Just to help us create some perspective let’s have a look at some well known rv industry websites.
RV Industry Websites: LazyDays, Camping World, Interactrv
Again the InteractRV dealer site is faster than the dealer’s competition.

And just to compare with other well known online shopping sites, let’s look at how an InteractRV dealer site compares to home depot and amazon.

InteractRV vs Popular Online Shopping Sites

Always room for improvement as technology continues to evolve, but it looks like we are in good company and headed in the right direction.

Some rv dealers we work with are already using their ‘off-months’ wisely by preparing for ramping up their lead and sales opportunities come spring rv show selling season.  [show adwords, facebook, email, etc.. sidebar] If you haven’t already, connect with your customer success specialist and our certified marketing team to help you design budget friendly, results driven digital marketing campaigns and set you up for even more success in 2017.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve with your web and online marketing efforts, we truly consider it a privilege.

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If you are interested in learning more of the technical details about page speed as well as what other experts are saying have a look at the resources below.

Speed Site Testing

Pingdom.com: Easily check your current pagespeed.  Enter your domain name and get an overview of how you are performing.  It tells you right there a performance score or grade but most importantly, how fast you load, and how fast compared to others.  Focus on how fast your page loads as that’s the number that matters the most.

Gtmetrix.com: Includes both Google’s PageSpeed and YSlow grading.

Think with Google: This is primarily a mobile friendliness test.  The speed grade provided is not based on actual speed but improvement suggestions https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

Other Resources

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html

http://searchengineland.com/faq-google-mobile-first-index-262751

https://blog.wp-rocket.me/the-truth-about-google-pagespeed-insights/

http://www.thesempost.com/details-googles-mobile-first-indexing-change/

http://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2016/11/16/google-mobile-index/

http://searchengineland.com/5-steps-optimizing-site-googles-mobile-first-index-262716

http://www.businessinsider.com/google-changing-index-splitting-into-desktop-and-mobile-2016-10

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