You may have heard back in April that Google announced a new signal in their search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
Google even conducted an experiment that intentionally slowed down search results speed incrementally which resulted in reduced number of searches by users. Jake Brutlag from Google’s Web Search Infrastructure team stated, “Our experiments demonstrate that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user.” Imagine slowing your dealer website down by seconds and what impact that would have on inventory searches on your website.
Google is so obsessed with speed that they now factor it into search rankings! So as your dealership’s Internet marketing provider, we knew we had to respond.
Here to tell you all about what AutoRevo has done to dramatically improve speed is Matt Shannon, Senior Web Developer and team lead on PowerSites 2.0:
At AutoRevo, we have a need for speed! We rebuilt our website solution from the ground up with speed in mind.
Why does speed matter to you?
- A zippy site provides a better user experience. We are all frustrated by slow loading pages.
- Google is obsessed with speed and the load time of your site matters for SEO.
- “You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.” Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer, Google Search Quality Team
Let’s take a look under the covers to see what we’re doing that differentiates your PowerSite from a competitor’s product.
Optimizing on the Server
The data driving PowerSites resides in a database separate from the backend tools of the AutoRevo Vehicle Marketing System. This seemingly simple feature represents a significant investment, and for you it means your PowerSite is isolated from the ebb and flow of demands on the rest of the AutoRevo system. And because the database is designed for a single purpose, it can be highly optimized for the needs of PowerSites.
Even when your site is serving thousands of visitors, we answer your customer in less than a second. Some competitors achieve these response times by decreasing the amount of information they show visitors, and still others just sell slow sites. The inventory listing of an AutoRevo dealer website can filter on up to 25 different parameters for hundreds of vehicles at a time while still providing prompt results.
You may be surprised to learn that the “Similar Vehicles” section of a PowerSite requires thousands of comparisons to compile, yet this hard work happens in an instant as far as your customer is concerned.
Optimizing on the Client
Imagine that you’re relaying a conversation between two people a few words at a time, and they’re some distance apart. Every time you have to relay a message, you’re incurring the overhead of the trip regardless of the message contents. A web request does the same thing, and we call these server roundtrips.
Here’s the network activity for a typical competitor’s site… Actually, it scrolls off the page, so here’s the summary: 105 objects requested, and 4 seconds of rendering time. http://screencast.com/t/YTQyZWFlZ(first screen) http://screencast.com/t/N2I4YTUyNG(second screen)
Now, compare that to a PowerSite. http://screencast.com/t/NGNhMzRh
Client-side script and style assets are compressed and compiled into single requests, so we don’t incur the cost of unnecessary roundtrips. These assets are also saved in the visitor’s browser instead of being downloaded again on later requests!
You don’t have to take our word for it. Google provides a tool to score sites called “Page Speed”. Here’s a couple of scores we pulled for home pages:
AutoRevo – 91 – Bachman Bernard Nissan – bachmanbernardnissan.com
Dealer.com – 81 – Nissan of McKinney – nissanofmckinney.com
Reynolds Web Solutions – 71 – Luther Nissan Kia – luthernissankia.com
Cobalt – 76 – Invergrove Hyundai - invergrovehyundai.com
VIN Solutions – 72 – Inskeep Ford – inskeepford.com
TKCarSites – 70 – Dallas Dodge – dallasdodgeusedcars.com
eCarList – 68 – Orr Nissan of Corinth – northtexasnissan.com
BZ Results – 65 – Boulder Nissan – bouldernissan.com