Fans of classic 80’s movies will recognize the quote “I feel the need. The need for speed!” as the rally cry of Maverick in Top Gun. He was a hot-shot fighter pilot, but if you care about the success of your B2B web presence you also should feel the need for speed.
In a recent Q&A at the SMX Advanced conference Matt Cutts from Google made a deliberate point to say “You really need to be thinking about mobile. Mobile is happening much faster than almost anyone expected.” Is your website going to be a good experience for mobile visitors?
It is a reality of business that a website design project is often an exercise in compromise. All the desired elements won’t fit the budget or won’t fit the timeline for launch. Unfortunately, a common element left out of a website redesign or launch is optimizing the mobile version. If you were looking at mobile traffic to your site when you last redesigned it and mobile visitors were less than 10% I will bet that responsive website design or a mobile strategy was not included.
If that is the case, then your website in unlikely to perform well on mobile devices. “So, what?” you may ask. If you care about traffic from Google, you should care. They recently announced they may have a rankings demotion factor for slow mobile sites. Does “ranking penalty” set off any alarms in your cockpit?
Even beyond search engine implications, you should care.
If your website does not perform well on mobile devices, you are likely to frustrate your visitors. If you frustrate your visitors, your website will not convert them to clients or customers.
If you are convinced that having a good experience for mobile visitors is an important part of your marketing strategy and would like to have supporting evidence that your current site is not meeting that requirement, you are about to jump in the pilot’s seat.
Google offers a tool called PageSpeed Insights. Simply enter your website in the text box and in seconds (remember, we have a need for speed) a report is generated for you. It will give you an overall score, which will let you know generally if you have problems.
The more useful part of the tool, however, is the practical and specific suggestions of how to improve your performance. There may be some simple code updates that will improve your site without initiating a large project.
The example I used is Google.com. As you would expect, they do really well. You will also see that you can generate a report for the desktop performance of your site. Tip: if your conversion rate is dramatically different between your mobile visitors and your desktop visitors, look at where there are the biggest gaps in performance.
Armed with this data, I dare you to light the afterburners on your website and buzz the tower to celebrate your better-performing website. Aviator shades are optional.