Google Speed Update effect Slow Automotive Websites
You may be aware that Google and other search engines use a wide range of analytics to determine search engine rankings. More than that, search engines periodically update their analytical methods and data points in order to improve user experience. Up until now, Google has not taken load speeds on mobile devices into account. However, a Google Speed Update that was announced in January 2018 is now being implemented, and this change may have a more significant impact on smaller and local business websites, such as car dealer websites.
Analyzing Your Business’s Mobile Load Time l Automotive Website Info
Google has provided businesses with a few resources that may be used to evaluate a website’s performance in this area. The first is the Chrome User Experience Report, which analyzes the user experience for those who use Chrome as their Internet browser. The second is Lighthouse, which is also Chrome-based. It provides you with an audit of your website’s accessibility, performance and other factors. The final resource that Google has provided is PageSpeed Insights. This tool goes a step further to help you determine the best ways for slow websites to optimize performance. If your business has already taken steps to improve the mobile user experience, there is a good chance that this Google update will have minimal or no significant impact on your rankings.
After you use the above analytical tools and resources to determine if the Google Speed Update will be a detriment to your website’s search engine rankings, you may discover that you need to improve your website’s speed dramatically. You will need to identify your website’s specific challenges, and the resources that Google provided may help you to do this. After you understand the challenges that your specific website faces, you can make bold improvements. These are some of the primary steps that can be taken to improve load times for car dealer websites and other small business sites that may be most impacted by the Google update.
1. Focus on Images and Graphics
While a picture can speak a thousand words and videos may have an even more dramatic impact, images and graphics can dramatically reduce load times. Slow sites that are image-heavy may be able to reduce the image weight by utilizing a CMS plugin or a CSS tool to optimize them in various ways. These tools enable you to retain most or all of your existing images while improving load time.
2. Eliminate Redirects
Many pages have multiple redirects, which instruct the browser to transfer the user to a different URL. A redirect may seemingly only add a small amount of time to a page’s load time, but keep in mind that the speed of a redirect may be significantly slower on a mobile device. While a redirect is sometimes necessary, your goal should be to eliminate as many of them as possible. You may use Varvy’s Redirect Mapper to get a better understanding of your website’s redirects.
3. Improve Server Response Time
Another factor that comes into play with slow websites is server response time. Your website’s server takes time to respond to an inquiry and to load a page. Speed may be based on the quality and speed of your CPU and the amount of memory available. Websites that have a slow load time and that seemingly have minimal issues with heavy images or numerous redirects may be impacted by a slow server response time. Making an upgrade in this area may be beneficial
4. Focus on Above-the-Fold Content
Your website developer should program your website so that the server loads above-the-fold content on the page first. This is content that is visible on the screen as soon as the page loads without the user needing to scroll. Because the server is not loading the entire page at one time, the initial images should appear faster. Keep in mind that creating smaller pages may also be helpful.
5. Learn About Accelerated Mobile Pages
An Accelerated Mobile Page, or AMP, is a page that the search engine loads with a limited number of dynamic features and navigating links or tabs. Using AMP is ideal for some websites, but some businesses may not feel as though limited content using AMP will entice a user to take action or to click through the other pages.
You can see that there are numerous strategies that you can take to address the Google Speed Update head-on. The first step to take is to analyze your website and to determine if slow speed is problematic and what the cause of slow speed is in your situation.