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Yana Krotova
1st Mar, 2016

Image of Google’s G with a speedometer in the background

Image Source: Search Engine Land

Research done by BuzzBoard for a report issued by the Local Search Association, revealed that 47.3% of SMBs still do not have websites that are mobile ready. A figure lower than what was shown in a 2015 study by RBC Capital Markets, which is at 67%.

With over 50% of global search done on mobile, as stated by Google in an October 2015 report, and 60% of local search done using a smartphone or tablet, SMBs with mobile websites stand to double their traffic and gain more than those local businesses without a mobile site.

SMBs need a mobile-friendly site.

  • Consumers demand it, as they prefer to use mobile when accessing local information.
  • Google will penalise websites that are not optimised for mobile search. 3 months after the search giant launched its new mobile-friendly algorithm, many non-mobile-friendly websites experienced a significant drop in page rank.

Consumers, however, would not stand for a poorly designed site, or one that treats them to a bad mobile experience. A Google report showed that 57% of them would not recommend a site that is clearly lacking in design. 40% of them would also go to a competitor website based on a bad experience.

But recent reports revealed that having a mobile website may no longer be enough. Search Engine Land’s Wesley Young recommends that SMBs should look into the speed of their mobile website, if they are to stay ahead of the game and maintain a competitive advantage.

Consumers want mobile websites that are speedy, especially with their attention spans becoming shorter than ever. Their patience has also become less than the median load time of a mobile site, which is at 4.33 seconds, as measured by Radware in 2013.

A chart showing the Patience of Mobile Users

Image Source: Kissmetrics

For every second delay, a website’s page views, conversion rates, bounce rate and cart size would suffer, based on Radware’s 2014 State of the Union for Mobile eCommerce Performance.

Google made speed a ranking factor in mobile, as shown through Mobilegeddon, a term coined after the mobile-friendly update was rolled out in 2015 and page ranking started plummeting.

Earlier reports may contradict Mobilegeddon, but more evidence points to speed being a Google ranking factor.

Director of SEO at 3Q Digital, Colin Guidi, said that “page speed and load time seems to be a heavier weighted ranking factor”, following analysis of client sites.

Searchmetrics also reported a strong correlation between page rank and speed based on observations with Mobilegeddon.

Google Search’s David Besbris in AP Engineering also confirmed that speed has always been a fundamental part of search.