A Need for Speed: Google Rolls Out Its Update

July 13th, 2018

Earlier this year we touched on Google’s plan to update their ranking factors to include the speed that it takes to load a web page on a particular site. Well, that update has arrived!

But not all websites are being affected and the catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing want to tell you why. Dig this.

A Quick Refresher On The Speed Update

Google has been working overtime the last few years to have their search system index mobile sites first and to implement page speed metrics into mobile searches. The move was made to keep up with how popular mobile marketing has become and to help foster it to greater heights.

This update was a change to the Google algorithm designed for mobile search specifically. So in essence, this change will only affect mobile-optimized searches and not desktop. That doesn’t mean, however, that if your website is optimized for mobile, but loads slowly, that you will be at the bottom of the rankings list.

Google has made it abundantly clear that quality content is still the name of the game, and even if you have a slow load speed, having great content could still help your rankings.

But what does this all really mean for your business?

The avg amount of time it takes to load a mobile landing page is 15 seconds #Google #Need4Speed #CobaltDigitalMarketing Click To Tweet

The Down Low

Say that you are shopping for swimming trunks for your annual family trip. You pull out your smartphone, tap on Chrome, and plug in your search terms. You tap on the first retailer listed on the SERP.

It takes a few seconds for the business’ masthead to load, but you still don’t see anything price-wise, much less how the swimming trunks actually look like.

It. Is. Taking. Forever. To. Load.

After 10 seconds, you tap the back button with a sigh and scroll down the SERP for another retailer.

Now, when you are a digital marketer, that is a cardinal sin. Why? Not only did you lose a potential customer and revenue, your bounce rate went up because the potential customer, well, bounced.

Although bounce rate is still up in the air on how it affects your ranking, in this particular scenario, it could hurt your rankings. Google knows when someone is accessing your website for valuable content, and if they leave shortly after and click or tap elsewhere on the same SERP, that could signal to Google that your content is low value. It’s no secret that Google is putting content quality on the top of their ranking signals.

Isn’t there something that can be down to lower the page loading time so that potential customers don’t leave before your content is loaded? At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we won’t leave you hanging. Here’s what you can do to help your page load faster for your potential customers.

According to @Google if a page loads between 1-10 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 123% #DontLetUrBuyersBounce #CobaltDigitalMarketing Click To Tweet

What You Can Do

Being the most inclusive service for your investment, we here at Cobalt Digital Marketing also have our very own speed test tool that you can use to test out how fast of a response time your site generates and can then make necessary adjustments. Just copy and paste your website’s address into our nifty search box and within seconds you will have a detailed analysis of what works, what needs to be improved, and what errors need to be fixed.

You can also use some of these other free tools listed below to evaluate the speed of your site:

  1. PageSpeed Insights
  2. Yslow
  3. WebPageTest
  4. Webmaster Tools
  5. Cobalt Digital Marketing’s Test My Site

Afterward, take the appropriate actions to fix high load times by:

  1. Enabling Compression – Use file compression programs to reduce the size of your JavaScript, HTML, or CSS files if they are larger than 150 bytes.
  2. Managing Browser Caching – Use Yslow to check for expiration dates set on your browser cache and set the expiration date for whatever you desire. Browser caches store a lot of information so that when visitors return, they won’t have to reload all that data again.
  3. Reducing Redirections – The more your customer is redirected to another page, the more time they wait loading.
  4. Optimizing Your Code – Remove unnecessary spaces, commas, other characters from your code, code comments, and unused code to dramatically increase page load speed.
  5. Using a Content Distribution Network – Multiple servers that have multiple copies of your web page can help local customers connect to your page quicker.
  6. Improve Server Response Times – Look for places where performance suffers like slow database queries or slow routing and remedy it. Keep in mind that your server response time is dependent on:
    1. The amount of traffic
    2. The number of resources each page uses
    3. Server’s software
    4. Your hosting solution
  1. Optimizing Your Images – Make sure that your images aren’t bigger than they should be. Save them in the right format as well—rule of thumb: PNG for images with less than 16 colors, JPEG for photos. Make sure they are compressed for the web.

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we make sure to stay up-to-date on all the digital marketing news that can benefit your business.

Set up your very own custom Cobalt Formula™. Lots of our clients have had great returns on their investment, and with our help, you can join in as one of them as well.

Contact us at 956-303-6555 for your consultation today.