At the turn of the 21st century, Google was processing approximately 18 million searches per day. That number was certainly mind blowing at the time. The latest data shows that the search engine giant now processes well over 5 billion searches on a daily basis. To clarify how enormous a leap that truly is, consider the fact that 18 million seconds = about 208 days or a little more than half of a year. 5 billion seconds is equivalent to ~159 years.
So what does this mean for your business? It means that you are competing with your competitors for the lion’s share of search engine queries to position your brand in the marketplace. Today, we will discuss how SEO, page speed, and mobile indexing all play a major role in how your business website appears (or doesn’t appear) to potential consumers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Business Websites
Unless you have been living under a rock (our condolences if you have), you have most likely heard of SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a concept which refers to positioning a website to show up more frequently and in better positions within search engines. The most commonly used search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and more.
For businesses, creating a strong web presence is all but mandatory in today’s marketplace. And SEO optimization is at the core of any web presence and marketing strategy. The most difficult aspect of SEO for many organizations is that it is, by nature, a moving target. Google, which owns an astonishing 88+ percent share of all desktop web searches, actually publishes helpful information on how websites can optimize themselves for better results.
Unfortunately, even these guidelines are not concrete. Whether intentionally or not, Google and other search engines’ algorithms are constantly moving the goalposts. This requires constant care and attention to keep your business website positioned in the marketplace. However, a few constants including web page speed and mobile indexing will almost always improve search performance.
How Does Page Speed Affect Google SEO Performance?
Page speed has long been a major determining factor in website SEO performance. Yet the bulk of SEO considerations continue to revolve around key words, images, and so forth. While these are absolutely vital for ranking high on potential searches, page speed is perhaps the number one reason why otherwise well-built websites can be left off the front page of Google results.
Websites should ideally load in just a few seconds. For every additional second, your website may begin to rank lower based on loading speed. Typical reasons why websites can slow down include:
- Large file sizes: if your site is full of large images, videos, music, graphics, or any other “heavy” items, that can certainly slow down load times.
- Poor web hosting: website hosting services can vary dramatically when it comes to page speed. You can build your website perfectly and still be slowed down by poor hosting services.
- Embedded videos from external sources: it is common to embed media from other sources such as YouTube to provide a more robust user experience. Just be careful that these features do not hamper site performance too severely.
- Plugins: mystery website problems often stem from a plugin or set of plugins. Much like embedded videos, you must weigh the potential benefits of these features against the downside of slower load times.
- Much more: the only ways to pinpoint what is slowing down your website is either to make changes and test site performance or to use a tool to test performance. No matter what you choose to do, just remember that page load times not only impact user experience, but also SEO performance!
Understanding Mobile Indexing vs. Desktop Search Results
There is one major component missing from our general SEO and speed optimization points made thus far: the amount of users who browse the web on mobile devices. It was estimated that nearly 60% of all site visits were initiated on a mobile device. This means that if you want to impact the maximum amount of engaged users, your business will need to prioritize optimization for both desktop and mobile users.
It is a common misconception that mobile first indexing means that mobile versions of the site are ranked differently than traditional desktop sites. This is not the case. “Indexing” refers to how the website will appear to end users, not how the website will be ranked in a search. This differs from page speed and site performance which do have a demonstrable impact on search rankings.
Additionally, mobile users tend to have a shorter attention span per site visit. These shorter opportunities are also known as micro-moments. Micro-moment marketing includes capitalizing on smaller periods of time to quickly grab and hold the attention of end users. When it comes to developing your mobile-friendly website, micro-moment marketing should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Clock Tower Insight Helps Brands with SEO and Brand Growth
Clock Tower Insight helps our clients to build their brands through any means necessary. We believe in using cutting edge research to deliver unparalleled insight and understanding into today’s rapidly changing marketplace. With over 15 years of dedicated experience, our marketing insight has helped organizations including Belle Tire, Nielsen, Orbitz, and Kraft Foods.
We are proud to offer a number of services to our clients, including customer experience management, brand positioning in the marketplace, market sizing, market testing, and more.