Does website speed impact a dealer’s bottom line? The answer is yes, if they care about organic search rankings and if they use Google Adwords. This year as part of the AWA website testing, we wanted to see how the popular website platforms stacked up in terms of site speed. We used a free website test tool provided on http://www.webpagetest.org to test example websites from 14 website providers. The sites that were tested are listed below, directly from the testing tool:
Why Does Speed Matter?
Why should speed be a conversation you have with your website provider? Should speed be part of the website design considerations? Here is an excerpt from a recent post on MarketingLand.com by Benjamin Spiegel that might help you prioritize that decision.
But you might be thinking, “Does Page Speed really matter? Can it make that big of a difference? Do I really need to make it a priority?” My answer is Yes! Yes! And Yes! In fact, Page Speed matters more today than ever before. Below are a few reasons why.
User Experience: How often do you abandon a page when it takes too long to load? Chances are that your customers and prospects are doing the same thing. People expect a fast user experience online, and when they don’t get it, they often bail. That’s because the way we consume media has changed dramatically. Most of it is consumed on the go, in the car, and in line at Starbucks. In other words, no one has the time or patience to wait for a slow page to load.
In addition, emerging markets are massively dominated by mobile content consumption while being supported by slower cellular connections — making a fast loading mobile experience more important than ever. Given this climate, it is crucial to improve your Page Speed. Doing so will help your users better engage with your content, and you’ll get more value and conversions from your audience.
AdWords Quality Score: A lot of marketers are not aware of this, but Page Speed can actually impact your Quality Score. Sure, people are more likely to convert on a faster loading page, but there’s more to it than that. Google considers Page Speed to be a key component of the landing page experience. It’s another important variable they consider when assessing landing pages. And of course, the better a page performs, the better your Quality Score will be.
On top of that, keep in mind that Quality Score drives your CPC. That means Page Speed can help lower your advertising costs. So in essence, Better Page Speed = Better Quality Score = More Efficient Spend = More Reach.
Organic Rankings: Page Speed is an important ranking factor. In fact, it’s part of Google’s ranking algorithm for both desktop and mobile. Given that, having a better-optimized page will help deliver better rankings. While fast load times won’t necessarily equate to a #1 ranking, they can give your site an advantage.
For example, if two sites have equal authority and relevance, Page Speed may be the deciding factor that pushes one site ahead of the other in the organic rankings. Again, Page Speed is not a huge ranking factor, but it is an important one.
The Website Speed Results Are In
The results for the websites we chose at random are shown below:
|Dominion Dealer Solutions||4|
You can view the live data by using this link: Automotive Website Speed Test . There are many factors that impact site speed including third party plugins and the complexity of the home page design. As mobile shoppers increase and dealers demand responsive/adaptive website technology, the unified speed of the website will be a discussion in 2014.
The 2014 Automotive Website Awards (AWA) are being held on January 24, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans at 7:00 PM. Dealers and automotive industry leaders are invited to attend the ceremony as my guest. Please RSVP so that we can plan the catering and cocktails.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media channels today. See you in New Orleans at NADA Booth# 7218.
By Brian Pasch
Brian Pasch, CEO