Site speed tends to be a common topic of conversation when it comes to car dealership websites. Is this site slow? Is this site fast? All questions that have been asked by your customers, employees, or even yourself. In this blog, we will be diving into what site speed really means when it comes to dealership websites and how to measure it.
TYPES OF DEALERSHIP SITE SPEED
Website speed is not measured in just one way, in the same way that speed for cars is not. For cars we talk about things like, how fast does a car go from 0 to 60? How much horsepower or torque does it have? What is the top speed? And sometimes most important, what is the driver’s experience? To help understand dealership website speed, we’ve identified three core aspects: clock, perceptual, and score.
The first is clock speed. This is the actual time (in milliseconds, seconds, minutes, etc.) it takes to load the web page. There are three different ways in which website clock speed can be measured. Locally, with a clock or stopwatch; Remote, through a tool such as Google Page Speed insights; or Real User Monitoring, which is the actual user reported load times, which can typically be found via Google Analytics or Pingdom Results.
The second is perceptual speed. This is the perception of how fast the site is. Do you feel like it took longer than it should to load or do you feel like it was super fast?
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PERCEPTUAL SPEED include technical, or lazy loading, which is when the content is not loaded up when you load the web page but is intelligently loaded at a later time based on your actions on the page, e.g. only when you need it. For example in a slider, the first and second slides will load when you enter the website homepage, but we wouldn’t load the fourth slide until you’d seen the second, or the fifth until you’d seen the third.
The second type of perceptual website speed is visual. An example of visual is when you see a menu animate, or slide in, the animation is typically 300-800ms. During that time you are watching the animation because movement is cool, but the site can be loading up data that wasn’t needed until you looked at the menu.
The third type of speed is score. This is the website speed score that Google will provide you based on their reports. Embrace Google! Google gives you a measurable bar of success for customer experience, so why not trust them? Just know that with website score speed, it is ever changing. The best practice today may not be the best practice tomorrow.
(Google Page Speed Insights)
OTHER WAYS TO CHECK SITE SPEED
A great way to check auto dealership website speed, is through checking on your mobile device. Compare the speed with the device connected and disconnected to wi-fi. This helps determine if the issue is localized to a wi-fi location or cellular service. Maybe there are data usage restrictions in effect or the wi-fi has too many users on it.
Another great way would be to check competitor sites for comparison in your market and see if it’s all sites that are slow or just your own. If it’s all sites, you can narrow down the speed issue to an internet problem but if it’s just your dealer website, it could be time to comb through your scripts or banners and narrow down what it is that’s slowing down your site.
Now that you know more about the different types of auto dealership website speed, in our next blog we will go over what can potentially slow down your site and how to prevent/fix the slowness.