The new tools tell online retailers how many seconds it takes their smartphone website to load and what percent of users leave the site while waiting for it to load.

Google Inc. on Wednesday launched new features on its free web tool Test My Site where online retailers and businesses can test how fast their websites load on smartphones.

The retailer enters its URL, and Google provides info on how fast (in seconds) the site loads, a percentage estimate of shoppers who have left the website because the load time was too long, how the site ranks compared with other sites in its category and tips personalized to that retailer about how it can improve its website load time.

For example, if Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, entered its URL, Google recommends the web giant not load Javascript immediately because it isn’t critical to the initial render. Google also suggests that it reduce the number of requests and load visible content before loading cascading style sheets and Javascript.

All of these features are new. Previously, the Test My Site tool only provided businesses with qualitative insights on how fast their mobile site was, and did not give the exact metrics.

Pet fencing retailer Yard Dog Fence Co. used the Test My Site tool to improve its mobile speed to five seconds from 26 seconds, which had a huge impact on sales, says Michael Casper, owner of Yard Dog.

advertisement

“90% of our business comes from our mobile site. Since we improved our mobile speed, we doubled our sales,” he says.

Google says 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, according to global Google analytics data from 3,700 smartphone websites visitors in March 2016. Mobile retailer websites load in 2.81 seconds, on average, for the top 500 mobile retailers in Internet Retailer’s 2017 Mobile 500 Guide, according to Top500Guide.com.

“Retailers struggle tremendously with mobile speed and low mobile conversion, so they should get to work ASAP optimizing for mobile speed ahead of the holiday shopping season,” says Brian Klais, founder and president of Pure Oxygen Labs, a mobile marketing and mobile search engine optimization firm.

Google’s new tool does a good job of summarizing key points without getting too technical with jargon, Klais says. “While it’s great for building a business case for mobile speed optimization, the tool does not solve those issues for you, or tell you how best to fix your speed issues. Plus it just looks at a single page; It’s not a site-wide analysis,” Klais says.

Retailers can receive a more detailed report for free, but they have to agree to receive emails from Google with tips, recommendations on Google products and services and allow Google to contact the business about the Test My Site results.

advertisement

Internet Retailer and digital performance analytics vendor Catchpoint Systems create a monthly mobile performance index that benchmarks the top 100 online retailers according to mobile site speed. Here are the most recent results: