When we talk about lead generation for your business, we go beyond simply getting your website found on Google. That may be the bar set by a lot of digital marketers, but the objective should be more than that, after all, if you get a lot of visitors to your site with no phone calls, form fills, or ultimately business, how successful can you deem the results?
One of the biggest factors that we’ve found for visitor’s buying experience is page speed. Not only does page speed have a big factor for functionality, allowing a visitor to easily crawl your site to get the information they need, but it is also a large ranking indicator by Google.
We recently conducted a study to evaluate the top three organic ranking carpet cleaning businesses, across the top 50 major markets across North America. We then scraped each through Google’s developer tools to evaluate three key metrics
- Mobile Score
- Desktop Score
- Time to Load
This tool is a free to run tool that can be found here to compare your own data to see how your own site stacks up: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
In this study, we found that on average the top three websites had a mobile page speed ranking of 38.6. Mobile is the main source of volume for service based searches. Think of your own Google searches of late, how many were made by your smartphone or tablet?
Google’s sole purpose is to serve you with the most relevant information for your search. How frustrating would your experience be if the site they gave you loaded incredible slowly and wasn’t formatted well for your phone? Ever notice how by in large, the information IS in fact formatted well for the phone? That’s because it’s a considerable ranking factor in Google’s eyes. So if you aren’t thinking about mobile for your website, think again!
Depending on the type of product or service you’re selling, Desktop may still, in fact, drive the most volume to your website. In our study, we found that the average score for desktop amongst the carpet cleaning websites was a 70. This in our opinion was no fluke!
Correlation isn’t always causation – however, it’s long been thought that page speed, performance, etc. has been a ranking factor and our study would seem to validate and confirm this.
This can be improved by doing things like reducing file sizes, having a light website code without many redundant plug-ins, unnecessary features, etc.
TIME TO RESPOND
This metric is used to evaluate how long a website takes to stabilize all the content, loading webfonts, and how long it takes for items to become visible to a user. This is a fairly new metric created by Google and goes past “page speed” that used to be used.
It goes beyond just speed but more so into user experience, which we feel is often times overlooked.
Our study found that these top-performing sites had on average a time to interactive of below 3 seconds, 2.98 to be exact!
Google provides you with examples of what you can do to help reduce the time, so it isn’t entirely a mystery, and it’s relatively transparent on what you can do to improve this score.
An interesting observation was that none of these metrics were necessarily staggered to be the one in the marketplace that had the best of all three, wouldn’t necessarily rank 1st overall. Ranking metrics are fairly complex, and this is one of the relatively easy metrics that can be improved upon.
It’s good information to compare your own site to your competitors to see how you stack up, but more importantly, treat your score as a game of golf. Focus more on your own game and try to improve against your old scores than trying to beat a competitor. You don’t want to lose sight of what’s most important, your visitors, and what information you’re serving them. So take a look and evaluate what you’re providing, how many images, how big they are, etc. and strive to make your site better. It just may help you be found by more clients in the future.
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