Search-engine giant Google continues to encourage website owners and businesses to become more mobile-friendly through their search engine results page (SERP) algorithms that favor websites that work well on smartphones and tablets.
To help small business owners understand how well their websites work on both mobile and desktop devices, Google has launched a free online tool known as Test My Site that makes it easy to check your URL based on three factors:
- The mobile-friendliness of the site: This measures how well the site loads (are there aspects blocked out or missing), how easy it is to navigate on small touchscreen devices, and whether or not vital information is presented in a way that’s intuitive.
- Speed: Because mobile data connections are often slower than typical WiFi connections, the speed at which a site loads and refreshes impacts the overall user experience, and whether or not users will stay on the site.
- Desktop load speed: Three main factors impact how quickly a website loads onto a desktop computer – the speed of the Internet/WiFi connection, the speed of the computer (that depends on the processor, RAM, operating system and anti-virus/security systems), and the design of the website being loaded. While site owners can’t control the hardware or connection that their users’ have, they can control how design elements impact load speed.
To use this new tool from Google, simply navigate to this site and enter the URL of the website you’d like to test. In just a few moments, you’ll be provided with three color-coded scores indicating Mobile Friendliness; Mobile Speed: and Desktop Speed.
Each of these factors are rated on a scale of 0-100 (with 100 being the highest-possible ranking). You can then select the ‘view the details’ button for an expanded explanation of your score in each category, where you’ll be provided with a color-coded list of items that you either “should fix; consider fixing; or passed”.
You can quickly share your results directly from Google’s test page using the integrated social media and email links to Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Detailed Site-Specific Feedback
If you’d like to receive a detailed report that gives an item-by-item description of specific actions you need to take to improve your scores, you’ll need to provide your email address. Google prods their audience to take action by including factual snippets throughout the site, such as “Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds,” and “9 out of 10 people say they use multiple screens for such tasks as booking a flight online or managing their personal finances.”
In addition to providing detailed, site-specific scoring and feedback, Google also gives users of this a list of site builders that they recommend small businesses use to improve the speed of their websites on both desktop and mobile devices.
Test My Site Is An Important Tool
Wondering if this is all just another marketing ploy by Google? Perhaps, but the fact is that users continue to gravitate toward mobile Internet devices, making it vital for small businesses to use information from tools such as Test My Site to improve their SERP rankings and stay ahead of the competition.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2015 nearly two-thirds of all American adults owned a smartphone —that’s double the number from just five years ago; and 10 percent of those smartphone owners rely on their device exclusively to access online content.
Testing your site is fast, free and informative, making this a must-do on every small business owners’ agenda!