Website Download Time is Critical

In Digital Marketing, TIME works against you

Website Download Time is Critical

As people get more and more spoiled by beautiful images on Instagram and Pinterest, and enjoy looking at videos (thanks to Stories, YouTube, and TikTok), download times are becoming a huge issue.

Here’s a great client example: they’d like their website to feature a video on the Home Page. Their competition also features videos, starting off right at the top of their Home Page. In fact, all the data points to people loving video and we hear it, as marketers, all day long. Video, video, video.

I’ve even written about it and done videos about it myself!

But here’s the catch: NO ONE wants to wait for your video to load. And now Google is ranking its search results based on how fast your website loads. Got that? Google is going to rank you, versus your competition, taking into account how fast your website loads on a mobile device.

Here’s Google’s own website, with their quote (as of 2016 – three years ago): “…we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.

That means that the fastest loading website will have an advantage versus its direct competition. What does this mean for local marketers?

  1. Think about downloads first in your design. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how fabulous your site looks if people don’t take the time to wait for it to open.
  2. Mobile-first is always the way to go. Yes, it’s important to be beautiful but if it’s not beautiful and fast, then you’ll lose out to your competition. And the whole reason you’re shifting to video is to out-do your competition, right? Why shoot yourself in the foot by not taking into account mobile-first speed?
  3. Video is great, but shorter/more compact is better. While everyone who owns a phone is looking for videos, they don’t have to be long. Shorter can be better here.
  4. Google has high expectations! Maile Ohye, from Google, said, “2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.” The longest should be 4 seconds.

Not sure how to incorporate video on your website so that Google is your friend? Contact me and let’s talk!

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