Site speed is often considered a crucial factor when it comes to Google search rankings, especially for industries with complex websites such as car dealerships. This post aims to debunk the myth surrounding site speed and its impact on Google rankings, especially for complex auto dealership websites.
The Unique Challenges of Auto Dealer Websites
Websites for car dealerships face unique challenges that can make them slower compared to other sites. These websites need to track customer behavior for lead generation and display a detailed catalog of inventory that is searchable and filterable by numerous factors such as color, fuel economy, trim, and other auto-specific variables. In many cases, the code running these websites will be shown as a top scripting bottleneck in testing. There is nothing an individual dealership can do about this, it’s simply the cost of running on a platform with the capabilities to effectively sell cars.
Debunking the Myth: Google’s Perspective on Site Speed
Despite the widely held belief that site speed is a critical ranking factor, Google’s own experts have confirmed that it is, in fact, a “teeny tiny” ranking factor. Gary Illyes, from Google, has stated that site speed has almost the same weight as the HTTPS ranking factor. John Mueller, another Google expert, has also emphasized that the Page Experience Update, which includes site speed, is a subtle update and shouldn’t make or break a website.
In a recent video, Mueller further explained that making a website faster may lead to some changes in visibility but not necessarily significant ones. He also encouraged website owners not to invest excessive time and money into improving site speed solely for ranking purposes, as there might be bigger problems to address.
The Importance of Site Speed for User Experience
While site speed may not be a major factor for Google rankings, it is still essential for user experience. According to Jakob Nielsen’s response-time limits, an ideal response time for a website is 0.1 seconds, which gives users the feeling of instantaneous response. A one-second delay still allows users to feel in control, but a 10-second delay can lead to users leaving the site immediately.
For auto dealer websites, it’s crucial to find a balance between site speed and functionality. Although these sites may be inherently slower due to their complexity, it’s essential to ensure that users can access information quickly and efficiently.
In summary, the myth that site speed significantly impacts Google rankings for auto dealer websites is largely unfounded. While site speed is a factor, it is a minor one according to Google experts. Instead, the focus should be on providing a seamless user experience without sacrificing the features and functionality necessary for car dealership websites. By prioritizing user experience, auto dealers can create an engaging online presence that keeps customers coming back for more.
The Automotive Advertising Agency is here to help car dealerships find that balance and ensure we’re focusing on the factors that matter most to your long term ranking success. Contact us today to discover how our SEO services drive results for your dealership.