The Need For Speed: 7 Observations On The Impact Of Page Speed To The Future Of Local Mobile Search
Having a mobile website may soon not be enough to get users to patronize your local business if it doesn’t deliver a fast and positive user experience. Wesley Young takes a look at the latest data and developments with regard to mobile websites.
Having a mobile website in and of itself sets an SMB apart from almost half of its competitors. The Local Search Association (LSA) issued a report commissioned by BuzzBoard titled “Mobile: Ready — or Not?” in January 2016.
BuzzBoard’s research found that 47.3 percent of SMBs do not have mobile-ready sites. The report also notes another 2015 study by RBC Capital Markets that reflects an even lower rate of adoption — it found 67 percent of SMBs’ sites are not mobile-ready.
Those with mobile websites arguably stand to double the audience of those without mobile sites. According to comScore’s “Global Mobile Report,” virtually half of all traffic to the top 100 digital media properties are mobile only.
The LSA and BuzzBoard report notes that in October 2015, Google stated that over 50 percent of search globally is on mobile. And surveys by LSA and Thrive Analytics reflect that mobile is even more important for local search — 60 percent said they usually use a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) when looking for local information online.
The problem for those without a mobile site is twofold. First, consumers demand it. Google reports that 57 percent of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, and 40 percent go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience.
Second, you’ll get fewer visits with a non-mobile site. Three months after Google launched its new algorithm last year that penalized the mobile search rank of web pages that were not optimized, almost half of non-mobile-friendly web pages experienced a loss in page rank.
Yet Google is constantly tweaking and updating its algorithm. So what’s next? How can savvy SMBs stay ahead and maintain their competitive advantage? One area to review is the speed of your mobile website. This is an area Google is taking an increasingly closer look at, especially with the launch of its new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), discussed in more detail below.
Below are seven observations and tips about the importance to a local business of its mobile website’s speed and how to outpace your competitors by maintaining a positive and responsive user experience.