If you’ve paid any attention the various tools and updates Google has announced over the past year, you may have noticed a common thread running through many of them: an emphasis on mobile. And this concentration on mobile has nothing to do with any bias, or even an optimistic hunch. Google has known for some time that their – and your – audience does most of their searching and browsing on a mobile device.
But Google’s focus on mobile hasn’t been strictly limited to search alone. At least not in the sense of any cosmetic changes made to SERPs. Announcements relating to the mobile-first index, the Page Speed Update, AMP Stories, and more are also part of Google’s push for a better user experience on mobile, forcing site operators and developers to be more aware of their site’s shortcomings on mobile devices.
And last week, at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, they announced the launch of the Mobile Speed Scorecard and an Impact Calculator. They’re both fairly simple tools, with a very powerful purpose. The Mobile Speed Scorecard makes it easy for site operators and developers to their site’s mobile speed to that of their competitors. The Impact Calculator allows you to easily calculate any potential annual revenue impact improvements in your site speed could have.
Neither of the tools provides any insights into opportunities for improving mobile page speed for your website. But they can motivate you to take a more aggressive approach to boosting site speed on mobile devices, without negatively impacting on the user experience.
How to use the Mobile Speed Scorecard
If you’ve used the new PageSpeed Insights Tool and received “Unavailable” as a speed grading, your site will also not be available for the Mobile Speed Scorecard. At least until Google starts receiving usage statistics for it. However, Google does state that the tool currently includes thousands of sites from 12 countries.
To use the Mobile Speed Scorecard, start by selecting your country and connection type. The following countries are currently supported:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Google’s own guidelines suggest that a site become usable within five seconds on mid-range mobile devices using a 3G connection, and three seconds using 4G connections, so it is advisable to see the results for your site using both connection types.
You can then add your website’s domain, and those of up to nine of your competitors. Any domains that aren’t found in Google’s dataset will result in a brief message being displayed under the domain field. Those that are found will have their information added to the Speed Scorecard, with their position determined by the speed reported in the Chrome User Experience Report.
Once you know how your site ranks in relation to your competition, you can begin investigating opportunities to improve your site speed further, particularly if your competitors are ranked higher than you on the Scorecard.
How to use the Impact Calculator
The Impact Calculator uses benchmarking data drawn from Akamai’s The State of Online Retail Performance (Spring 2017), which showed that a 0.1 second delay in load time could decrease conversion rates by up to 7 percent.
By default the first site you entered into the Speed Scorecard – which should have been your own domain – will be added to the Impact Calculator, along with the reported speed. You then need to manually enter some data, which you can pull from Google Analytics, or your preferred site analytics tool:
- Average Monthly Visitors – remember to segment your data so that you only use the figure for visitors on mobile.
- Average Order Value ($) – if you’re working with Google Analytics data, and have an e-commerce site, you should have previously set up e-commerce tracking. Select Conversions >> Ecommerce >> Overview in Google Analytics. Now select “All Users” at the top of the page, and change it to “Mobile Traffic” to reveal the Average Order Value for mobile traffic only.
- Conversion Rate (%) – this data is found under Conversions >> Goals >> Overview. As with monthly visitors, segment the data for mobile traffic.
Once all this data has been entered into the relevant fields of the Impact Calculator, the table below it will now show $0 instead of $-. Dragging the slider from Current Speed towards Minimum Speed will reveal the potential impact any speed improvement would have on your annual revenue. The higher your current speed is, the more significant the potentials gains will be.
The Mobile Speed Scorecard and the Impact Calculator are tools meant to motivate you into improving your website’s speed on mobile devices. As noted earlier, it doesn’t give you any insights into what you could do to improve page load speed, but we have previously published several articles that touch on various factors that could affect your site speed.