If you’re involved in digital marketing, and particularly in SEO, you’ll know that the Google algorithm for deciding where you rank in search engine results (SERPS) changes all the time. There are over 200 ranking factors and 500 or more tweaks to the algorithm every year. It’s tough to keep up. The speed at which your website loads when users access it is an important ranking factor, albeit a little way down the list compared with the quality and relevance of content, or the number of inbound links from sites that Google considers to be authoritative in their own right.
Since searches on mobile devices exceeded those on desktops as long ago as 2016, there is a big emphasis on how fast a site loads on mobile devices, and this appears to be becoming more significant year-on-year.
I decided to check out how two of the leading component distributors’ websites compare using Google’s free page speed insights tool. Here are the results:
Mouser is way ahead of the game here, by a whopping 344% on this test, but it still has room to improve. The measurements were taken at 19:35 GMT today, 12th October 2020. It’s important to note that the results vary by the minute, depending on the content displayed and a host of other factors, so they only represent an instantaneous view. This Google Webmaster blog post explains more about how scores are calculated and why Google thinks they’re important. It all comes down to the user experience, of course.
Page speed not only affects search results. Research has found that it impacts bounce rates, the time visitors spend on your site, and the average revenue generated by each visit when products are sold off the page. There’s a lot more information in this blog post from SEO expert, Neil Patel, where he references a number of studies on the subject.
Curiosity getting the better of me, I then took a look at results for a few semiconductor companies at 20:26 GMT. Amongst those I checked, TI topped the bill with a breathtaking 89 for speed on mobile devices, compared with a wheezy 10 for Analog Devices.
If the speed of websites correlates with the efficiency of service from these companies, that’s a lot to think about
Incidentally, this website, which is just a few days old, is slower than it should be, but we know it and we’re working on it! Check back in a couple of weeks.