Google’s New Website Tool: Why Your Small Business Should Care

There’s been quite a bit of noise in the tech world over the past week about one little tool that Google has released. ‘Test My Site’ has been praised for giving small businesses the online push they need, even if it has come later than business owners (and customers) would have liked.

Intrigued? If you’re a small business owner, you certainly should be. Google’s latest gadget has a lot of to offer, so start taking notes!

What is it?

Google’s new tool is targeted specifically towards small businesses who don’t have the same SEO resources as large businesses. Test My Site tells you simply how well your website performs on all devices, with an emphasis on mobile-friendliness.

Considering over half of the adult population own a smartphone, this is data you should be interested in. If you want to stand a fighting chance at surviving your first year of trading, you’ll need to stay up to speed with the latest eCommerce trends.

While there have always been tools available to analyse the performance of your site (such as Google Analytics) they’re geared towards those with in depth knowledge of SEO and website building. Test My Site was instead built with the aim of being simple to use. Google has stripped back the bells and whistles and just made the tool for the one purpose – to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

How can it help my small business?

When it comes to mobile browsing, small businesses are often flung aside by the big leagues. Their inexperience is played on by the bigger brands, who have the money and know-how to keep their website up to scratch.

As people are five times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t desktop friendly, this makes it even more difficult to appeal to potential customers. To create a level playing field, Test My Site has offered a simpler version of Google Analytics to aid the search ranking of small business websites.

The tool’s user interface makes it clear what performs well, and the green, yellow and red indications make it clear what areas you need to work on.

Whether you decide to make improvements yourself or outsource, eventually your website will be ranking higher in Google and have more traffic heading to it. This will encourage customers to buy from your site and make their user experience more enjoyable – a win-win for everyone!

How to use it

To get your results from Test My Site all you need to do is enter your website URL and wait for Google to sprinkle a little magic. The tool will then return with a rank out of 100 on how your website is performing in terms of mobile friendliness, mobile spend and desktop speed.

Once complete, you’ll have the option to receive a free email report on what needs fixing. If your website needs a rebuild and you’re taking on the challenge yourself, this email will point you in the direction of platforms that can help you do so.

In the free report you’ll see an in depth evaluation of your website, including exactly what you need to fix in order to make your website as mobile-compatible as possible.

Instead of simply pointing out the aspects of your site that are underperforming, Test My Site will provide you with links on how exactly to improve each section to get the site running smoothly across all devices.

Too little too late?

If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly site, it’s likely you’re being penalised by Google in your search ranking. This is set to become more severe with the release of a new update in May that will see websites more heavily penalised if they aren’t mobile-friendly.

The hope is that small businesses are now able to enter the running with bigger brands – as long as they get their sites up to speed on mobiles as quickly as possible. Only time will tell if this is enough to help SMEs find their virtual feet!

Have you tried out Google’s website tool for your small business? Leave your opinions in the comment section below!

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