Google updates PageSpeed tool

Google has long offered web developers a tool called PageSpeed insights, which loads any URL on Google’s servers and delivers a report on the page’s load time for both desktop and mobile. These reports are especially valuable to B2B search marketers because it provides insights into the way Google “crawls” your page, and provides suggestions to improve the speed of that crawl. Google takes load time on desktop and especially on mobile into consideration when ranking websites in search results, so search engine optimizers have a unique need for this kind of reporting.

Last week, Google updated their PageSpeed results to take into consideration the user experience and the mobile readiness of websites’ user interfaces. These additions are targeted at mobile users, and encourages responsive web design best practices. “Suppose your fast mobile site loads in just two seconds instead of seven seconds,” wrote Google in their announcement, “If mobile users still have to spend another five seconds once the page loads to [zoom] the screen before they can start […] interacting with the page, then that site isn’t really fast to use after all.” The new recommendations Google added to PageSpeed insights include:

Sizing content to the viewport. A staple of responsive design, this encourages web designers to size their content based on the user’s screen resolution and viewport, or the portion of the page visible on their particular device’s display.

Legible font sizes. If a font is too small or zoomed-out to be visible to mobile users, Google now recommends adjusting your site’s code to accommodate screen resolutions of any size, including smartphones and tablets.

Tappable targets. On mobile, non-responsive webpages can have buttons that are too small to be reliably tapped with human fingertips. Adjusting these elements of your webpage’s user interface to be large enough for mobile users will earn you kudos with Google’s algorithms.

Most of these additions are responsive design best practices, and follows Google’s recent trend of rewarding websites that invest in mobile-ready design. These changes are also important because the average age of a B2B web visitor is statistically older than the average age of one visiting a B2C site. We suggest an annual website audit to keep up with Google’s changes. What changes need to be made to your site? Reach out to us if we can provide suggestions.

Amie Horan

Amie Horan

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