How Will The Google Speed Update Have an Impact on Your Site? (& AdWords Account)
Google has recently announced a big alteration to its mobile ranking factors. Starting from July 2018, page speed will become a key ranking aspect for mobile searches. If you have a search presence or you’re already advertising on mobile devices, then this article will be very useful to you!
Mobile browsing passed desktop traffic in volume in 2016
We are going to go through what you’ll need to do for your PPC and SEO efforts to ensure that the new Google update doesn’t disrupt your business.
You’re going to learn why page speed matters, what Google “Speed Update” is, how the update will affect PPC and SEO and what tools you can use to determine your page speed.
What Is The Google “Speed Update”?
Since 2009, page speed has been a factor, but not on mobile.
Google states that a slow page is more likely to rank if it has relevant information and content.
The sites that you’re competing with have an impact on how the new update is going to affect you.
Starting in July 2018, page speed will be ranking for mobile searches as well as desktop.
The update however is going to have a negative effect on pages that deliver the slower experience to their users.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that if you have relevant, strong content you shouldn’t worry about your page speed.
Is My Site Going to Be Penalised?
There are multiple tools that allow you to benchmark your page speed to see where improvements may need to be made. Google recommends ‘TestMySite’ to identify areas where you can improve your mobile load times.
This tool tests your site through a 3G connection, although we find that most of our users connect with 4G speeds and optimise suitably.
There are many page speed tests that you can use to have a better look at your sites performance.
How to Adjust Your Mobile SEO Strategy for Google’s Speed Update
Google publicised the update six months before it’s going to take an effect.
Make the switch to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
An AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) is an alternation to the source code of your site, which points your standard HTML page over to a minimalist version of itself.
AMPs are so infrequent; they tent to load super-fast. AMPs can reduce load time between 15% and 85%. However, you don’t need AMP to create super-fast mobile experience.
If you’re looking for a relatively quick way to cut your page load time, it may be worth trying it out!
Think About Intent
Search engine users enter desktop queries differently than mobile queries. We have become more familiar with our devices so queries in general have become more conversational. Nevertheless, mobile queries are still dictated by the desire for speed and simplicity.
Leverage Search Console and PageSpeed Insights.
There is a quick way to identify which mobile pages have speed and usability issues!
Leveraging Search Console is a very good way to check on your site’s usability. The ‘Smartphone’ tab allows you to identify any faults that might be burdening your mobile pages. You can see how crawlers view your site by “Fetch on Google”.
The “Mobile Usability” report tells you precisely which pages have mobile usability issues.
How will The Google update have an impact on your AdWords Account?
Google states that the update “will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries”
The AdWords documentation implies that there are five ways to affect progressive change relating to your site’s landing page experience.
- Be Trustworthy – Provide social proof and accolades to encourage your business’s competency. Make it clear what you’re offering and what you do.
- Compelling, Relevant Content – Your landing page should feature keywords you’re bidding on and provide an offer proportionate with their intent.
- Make Navigation Simple – Ensure that prospects acna get around your page easily. Avoid pop ups and don’t hide your product information/CTA/form. This is particularly important for mobile landing pages, where real estate is limited.
- Make Your Website Faster – Test your website’s page speed to ensure everything’s genuine in Google’s eyes.
- Decrease load time – Consider using AMP pages, or ensure that your landing pages look quicker on all devices & browsers.
Check your landing page experience in AdWords
Log into your AdWords account and select the “Keywords” option in the bar to your left.
Find the status column and hover over the visible text for any keyword.
Pay attention to the final piece of information labelled “Landing page experience”. If it says “Average” or “Above Average”, you’re fine. If it says “Below Average”, your issue may be to do with page speed if you’ve got keywords in place.
You can use WordStream Advisor if you’re a WordStream Customer and you can look at your landing page experience with the ‘Manage’ tab.
To conclude, if you’re an AdWords user, make sure that you’re observing for landing page load time. From an SEO perspective, contemplate making the switch to AMP, think about intent, and leverage the power of Search Console and PageSpeed insights.