Google’s announcement yesterday about the launch of their new PageSpeed Insights’ User Experience rules is really driving home the importance of usability and site speed on your mobile website.  They’ve previously discussed how important the speed at which your website loads (both desktop and mobile) is to their algorithm – site speed can impact the ranking of a website on Google’s SERP, as well as the likelihood of visitors to leave your site.  But at the end of the day, a fast loading site can only take you so far, especially when it comes to mobile devices.

google-logo-2011-185x114Google is quick to point out that it is not enough to have a fast mobile website if your mobile site is not configured appropriately.  That means that users shouldn’t “have to spend another 5 seconds once the page loads to pinch-zoom and scroll the screen before they can start reading the text and interacting with the page,” because “then that site isn’t really fast to use after all.”  In other words, your mobile site needs to automatically adjust to each device.  One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to make sure your dealership has a responsive website.

To help web developers improve the user experience on their sites, Google has launched the new PageSpeed Insights’ User Experience rules that identify and provide suggested fixes for usability issues for mobile sites.

These rules cover such things as:

  • Font Size – make sure users can read your content without having to enlarge or diminish the screen.
  • Plugin Use – since most smartphones don’t support Flash, make sure mobile users can see the most important parts of your site. If plugins carry the value and content of your dealership website, your mobile users will miss the most important information.
  • Scrolling – mobile website visitors are accustomed to scrolling vertically, not horizontally. If you aren’t using a responsive dealership website, make sure your mobile site fits the width of the device it’s designed for.

You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool to test both your desktop and mobile pages. Stay ahead of the curve (or make sure you’re caught up) by checking your mobile pages now. Many dealerships are already seeing the majority of their traffic come from mobile devices (tablet, smartphone, etc), so it’s especially important you’re presenting those visitors with the best experience possible.

While having a responsive dealership website will solve many of the usability issues your site may have, it won’t fix them all if you have a bad design. Check your mobile website regardless of the technology it is built upon.