1999 Called and They Want Their Website Back!
With more and more active shoppers using their mobile devices to comparison shop, your website performance matters... and matters more than ever before. If you are still expecting your website visitors to deal with sluggish load times, nagging pop-ups that never go away, and disruptive glitches while they shop, you are stuck in 1999!
Consider this: Mobile sites lag behind desktop sites in key engagement metrics such as average time on site, pages per visit, and bounce rate. For retailers, this can be especially costly since 30% of all online shopping purchases now happen on mobile phones. The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they're less likely to purchase from the same site again.
That is profound and attention-getting news, right?
If you are a small business owner hoping to compete and be successful, don't hope any longer... be proactive and make your website the best it can be. Make it profound and attention-getting to your visitors and make the money you need to make to be successful. If you don't do it, someone else will, and they will reap the rewards. Stake your claim and make your fame online!
If I have your interest, great, let's go over a few quick action items you can focus on.
1) Simplify your business website. Remove the bells and whistles and get back to the basics. Back in 1999, have twirly images and clipart dancing with purple stars was fun. This is 2016 and you need to think about the weight and load times of each and every web page.
2) Stop using under_scores in your images and files. And stop leaving a space between words. Your images and files on a website should-be-named-with-a-hyphen-between words and spaces. Use jpg image files over other image file types.
4) Optimize your content and make it all mobile-responsive. Your website should serve every screen size, every device without pinch & zoom or that tacky wording that says "view this page on our mobile site." What, are you serious?
With these things in mind, I guess you are wondering what to do now? Let's put a few free resources to work and dig into your website.
1) Use the Google Developer's Speed Test and work on fixing the issues so that your score is 89 or higher for both mobile & desktop. Click and download the "optimized content" and use it! Keep working on your site and retesting until you ace it.. or at least get a B+ or A (you do like As, right?). This is not rocket science and what the test reveals is what your website says about your business to your visitors.
2) Run the Google "Think With Google" Speed Test. Make sure you have a mobile score of 100... 99 is acceptable (but why settle?)
3) Run your site through this SEO score checker. Oh, you are a little freaked out by the results, right? That's okay... your website visitors have been freaked out for a long time now (but you can fix it all).
4) Visit Google Search Console. This is the cousin to Google Analytics. Roam around Search Console and learn so much about the operation of your website. Fix errors, submit your XML Sitemap (you do have one, right?) and see what searches brought people to your site.
5) Put Google Analytics to work for you.... and be sure to connect your Search Console account to your Analytics account (hey, they are family and want to communicate with each other).
6) Make sure your website is in action with Google My Business.
I hope you will dig in and have fun with making your website perform for you. It is there to be a valuable asset (and it really wants to be). If you run into any questions or need help, the Google community is here for you! Just let us know and we will be happy to help.
J. Clemens, Panama City Beach, FL -- I am a Google Ads, Analytics and Mobile Sites Certified Individual serving businesses throughout the world. My agency, Mica Specialties, is a Google Partner and technology consultancy involved in all aspects of marketing, web development, computer design, and IT services. Mica Specialties was founded in 1992 with deep roots in product design. I am an avid fan of Alphabet (and their products) and enjoy learning while helping others.
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