Director, SMB Marketing-EMEA, Google
Google recently announced the updated version of its Test My Site tool. Google’s Test My Site was launched last year and promoted as a business-friendly site scoring tool. In its latest edition, Test My Site would let website publishers gauge the time it takes the mobile site to load. However, it’s the competition analysis of different mobile sites that are making most news. Apart from seeing how many visitors you lose with a low mobile site, Test My Site also provides a benchmark result of how your mobile ranks against others in the industry. To understand how this tool would empower businesses to make smarter decisions, we spoke to Marcin Karnowski, Director, SMB Marketing, EMEA, Google.
MTS: In a largely fragmented device landscape, how does Google’s Test My Site empower businesses to get a real picture of infrastructure indicators?
Marcin Karnowski: As a tool, Test My Site is designed to increase the awareness of how important Mobile Speed is to business success. In a landscape that’s filled with various devices, Test My Site provides businesses with a method of identifying what constitutes mobile excellence through four key metrics:
- Absolute loading time in seconds: speed index is the average time at which visible parts of the page are displayed. Test My Site simulates a 3G network, as 70% of cellular network connections globally will occur at 3G or slower speeds through 2020.
- Visitors lost due to speed: what percentage of visitors likely lost vs a site that loads in 3 seconds or less (source: Google study)
- Mobile Friendliness: if a given site is not mobile friendly, Test My Site will flag that issue and include in the recommendations
- Test My Site compares your load time against an industry benchmark
MTS: What are the core tenets of performance monitoring and continuous integration for Test My Site?
Marcin: We believe that businesses should regularly evaluate their sites for performance, and Test My Site is an easy way for SMBs to get a high-level snapshot of how they’re doing in digestible language, with access to more detailed feedback for webmasters.
We encourage SMBs to come back and test their sites and hope it inspires businesses to explore ways to make performance testing part of their regular site management plans. It’s important to note that Test My Site is a spot-checking tool, not a monitoring service or CI tool to use in automated build systems.
MTS: Would you take us through how Test My Site helps in detecting underlying API issues before they impact website performance?
Marcin: TestMySite is not a load testing or APM tool and so doesn’t observe underlying API calls (at least calls performed on the back-end). The Speed Index is quite sensitive to delays and will show some impact from API calls slowing the initial page response.
The key point is that the back-end (where the API calls happen) is usually only 5-10% of the actual content’s loading time and the vast majority of the time (and issues) come from decisions made on the front-end (scripts, CSS, images, etc).
MTS: How should B2B companies evolve with data-driven analytics for better omnichannel marketing?
Marcin: Businesses that have embraced data-driven analytics are able to measure the effectiveness of their marketing in an unprecedented manner. Tools like TestMySite allow marketers to keep their fingers on the pulse of their business and contrast it against the health of the wider industry as a whole. Armed with these insights, marketers are able to tailor campaigns across all channels to achieve greater potency.
MTS: What are the critical performance testing challenges that hamper mobile metrics from delivering accurate results?
Marcin: On Test My Site, results can be inconclusive in a few, limited cases. For example, if your site uses a carousel or large interstitials it may score more poorly than it actually should. In those cases, we recommend SMBs work with their dev teams to test the site manually using a tool like the Chrome Tools Network Tab with network throttling to simulate a 1.6 Mbps 3G network.
MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Marcin.
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