July 27, 2016

Does your website pass the test?

Google have launched a new simple test tool that will check your website in under a minute and score it in 3 key areas.

As a digital agency we are changing and evolving over time, as all agencies should, to continually improve our service offering and deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients.  With the move to mobile browsing in recent years it has fast become necessary to have a website that not only works on mobile but is optimised to allow a great user experience on smaller screens – this is now a standard offering in the market.  Off the back of this we see an increasing need to improve a websites usability and speed on mobile devices to enhance the users’ experience.

It’s more important than ever to have a fast loading website, across all devices.  The speed of your website does affect your SEO ranking as Google favours faster loading websites in their search results.  This means when people search for your company, or a service that you provide, with Google the faster your website, the higher it will be in the list of results.  Of course this is not the only factor in your Google page position but the higher your position in a search engine like Google the more organic traffic, and potential new customers, you can attract.

According to Google:

Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds

This reinforces the importance of optimising your website speed for mobile users, particularly for business websites where a loss in visitors means a loss of customers which ultimately impacts revenue.  In contrast a fast loading website will ensure more visitors get a look at your content, the more visitors the more opportunity you have to convert those visitors into customers and increase revenue.  So you can see why it is crucial to improve the speed of your website wherever possible, for all users.

But why is it slow in the first place?  There are many reasons for a slow website but the most common (beyond actual connection problems) are:

  1. Images are not optimised. Large and numerous images can cause a website to load very slowly.
  2. Webpages are not compressed.  Each webpage may be larger than necessary, which simply takes longer to download.
  3. Bad web hosting. Hosting provider packages and service vary a lot and some can overload their servers with many websites causing even the fastest websites to slow substantially.

Anyway, getting back to the test, Google have recently released a new website testing tool that is so easy to use and understand.  It clearly shows you in a visual format how your website stacks up.

There are 3 key areas that are tested; mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed.

Here at Alpha Digital we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our work so we are introducing this test to all of our website build projects going forward as part of our QA phase – at no extra cost.

Take the test:

Click here to test your website now.

Simply enter your website URL and select TEST NOW.

Google's Mobile Speed Test Tool

The tests should take around 30 seconds to run.  Your websites results will be shown as 3 simple traffic light scores out of 100.  A score of 85 or over is ‘good’, between 84 and 66 is ‘fair’ and a score below 65 is ‘poor’.

Google Speed Test Tool Screenshot

You can also have a free report emailed to you.  This shows you what needs to be fixed and what you should consider fixing to further improve your score.  Don’t worry if you don’t understand the report, Google have purposely kept it short and simple then included links to tips on fixing the issues that are aimed at developers.  You can pass this report directly to your webmaster and they can let you know what is required in terms of time and cost to improve your website to either ‘fair’ or ‘good’ levels.

Many of the improvements shouldn’t take a developer long to do and while this test is not a 100% accurate measurement of everything that impacts your website load times, making some small changes as a result of these test results can greatly benefit your users and ultimately your business.

Let us know how your website scores…

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