Google to Factor Mobile Speed into eCommerce SEO Rankings

A lot of factors can make or break your eCommerce site. Sometimes it’s a matter of quality. Other times, the problem is something of which you might not have been aware, like unexpected changes in Google’s ranking algorithm. For example, Google is going to factor mobile speed into eCommerce SEO rankings as of July 2018. If your mobile site is slow, this will make it difficult for casual shoppers to find once Google’s Speed Update is implemented.

ecommerce seo

Mobile Matters

Ecommerce sites with a solid mobile platform have the best opportunity to reach their full potential. Mobile ecommerce is in its ascendancy and that paradigm isn’t going to shift for the foreseeable future. Said simply, mobile is rapidly becoming the new standard. Companies like Shopify offering the best enterprise ecommerce platforms  have already taken this into consideration and are set up to perform accordingly. If you’re just starting out, you’d so well to choose one of those. If your site is already up and running, you’ll want to make sure it’s optimized for fast loading.

Keep Calm And Do The Following

Some people may see this as cause for panic, but think again. First of all, panic never solved a problem. Second, Google will help you determine where your site falls in the spectrum so you can decide what to do next.

You should first use its mobile-friendly test to help you determine how readily visitors can access and use your mobile site. Then, run Google’s PageSpeed Insights test on your URL. This will analyze the contents of your site and generate suggestions to make your site run faster – if it’s required. In other words, Google will tell you where your site falls in the spectrum. You don’t have to go blindly into the new paradigm, wondering what happened if your rankings fall and have to figure out what to do on your own.

Optimizing Your Mobile Site For Speed

If your mobile site comes back all good from those tests you’re safe. Google has said very few sites will actually be affected by these changes, so if yours performs solidly middle of the road and the rest of your SEO strategy is sound, you will likely be fine.

According to Google, the typical web page requires four round trips to load render blocking resources and 2.7 MB to fully render. If your numbers fall at or below those thresholds, your mobile site is running fast enough. However, If your results cause concern, it’s time to troubleshoot the situation to find the areas in need of improvement.

Nine Key Areas

Fortunately, PageSpeed also provides optimizing recommendations. The application will recommend giving some attention to the following nine areas if it determines your mobile site is running slow.

  1. Avoiding landing page redirects.
  2. Enabling compression
  3. Improving server response time
  4. Leveraging browser caching
  5. Minifying resources
  6. Optimizing images
  7. Optimizing CSS delivery
  8. Prioritizing visible content
  9. Removing render-blocking JavaScript

Yes, some aspects of that list are pretty technical, so you might need to engage an SEO specialist familiar with these terms if the list reads like Egyptian Hieroglyphics to you. You can also ask questions of Google’s engineers.

In the end, the overall performance of your business is definitely on the line here. All other factors being equal, your goal should be to provide your customers a fast and seamless shopping experience. This is important for both your mobile and desktop platforms. Given Google will factor mobile speed into eCommerce SEO rankings in July 2018, the best time to evaluate your site is right now.

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