Can you win at search? Your website has to pass these two tests

Ultimately, you want to be on Page 1 for all three sections of a typical Google search results page. Picking the right one first will get you new business and new revenue sooner. It depends on your situation. If you have a modern website design that is responsive – also known as “mobile-friendly” – you’ve passed the first big test. The second is page load speed. If it’s slow, Google won’t like it as much and will penalize you. Here’s how to check for both.


Hello again. Michael Byrd here with WordwrightWeb. We are in Wilmington, North Carolina, doing video number 11. Remember, the sequence isn’t incredibly important. You can come in at any point. You can learn something; you can go back and look at the other videos if you’d like. You can just go forward. It’s really like podcasting.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and just by definition you’re not gonna come in at podcast No. 1. You’re going to discover a podcast that’s already established; already has 50 in the bank or 10 in the bank or 200 in the bank. And if you really like it you can go back and listen to the past ones just like you can do with this.

I am talking about search. We went and looked at your competition in the last video. We looked at your competition by using Google Maps and if you discover that your competitive landscape in your profession, in your geographic territory, is not overwhelming then perhaps organic search is right for you. So today we’re gonna look at two big things about your website to see whether you want to jump into trying to get organic search results. And that’s the 10 at the very bottom of the Google search results page. Ultimately I would say you do – you always want to do this. It’s just a question of whether you want to approach that one first or whether you want to do Google Ads or Google Maps first. So it’s really about sequencing and priorities, and in the process we learn about how this stuff works. 

Before I get to that, we’re at WordwrightWeb in Wilmington North Carolina. We’ve been here for almost 30 years – a traditional marketing company starting with graphic design and primarily print and we morphed into being a website company. In Wilmington we take on all customers. We do a lot of attorney websites, as I mentioned, (and) dentists, doctors … we do builders. There’s various segments that have emerged and one of the segments that emerged for us was the home services businesses. We started another brand called Home Services Digital. I’m just gonna spin around to show you our conference room and position a little bit differently. There is our other brand —Home Services digital and I’m doing that because what I have been doing in this video series (let me get backed up over here – I just dropped my mouse) what I’ve been doing in this video series is really doing the same series for Home Services Digital and for WordwrightWeb. I’m going to stop doing that because I want to spend more time concentrating on the content and so, going forward, it’s going to be Home Services Digital. But we’re still WordwrightWeb in Wilmington, and the brand is not important and not something to be too confused about. The point is really the content and the content is the same. 

One thing that I’ll say about the home services businesses, though, is that getting search is really, really important for the plumbers, heating and air contractors, roofers, painters, flooring companies, people in those types of businesses. And that’s one of the reasons that we started our national brand and have begun doing work for plumbers and heating and air contractors and roofers and painters and flooring companies and others in the home services business all across the country and its really been gratifying. It’s something that we do very well and that we saw a real need or see a real need in that in that sector. So you’re gonna see some more of that going forward but the principles of these are the same and so going forward we’re gonna go to Home Services Digital as the brand. We’ll occasionally mention that it’s a division of WordwrightWeb. That stuff’s not important. The content is what’s important.

OK, so I’m gonna switch over quickly and I am talking fast ‘cause I want to get to the point of today’s video which I’ve already done for the Home Services Digital Channel but for now it’ll be a separate video for WordwrightWeb and here we go. I’m going to switch over. I want to start the screen recording. I’ve gotten pretty quick at this so that’s good. All right the two things we want to look at. You’ve done a little competitive analysis (and) you see that it is worth doing organic search. So we’re gonna look at two big things before you get started in earnest on trying to get organic search because if you don’t have these two things in place your pathway to getting on page one is going to be longer and it’s going to take a little more money. all of this is within the realm, though, of most most businesses that are doing good business.

OK, so I went to – here’s the search I did. I decided I didn’t want to keep picking on Wilmington. I did “flooring companies Fayetteville North Carolina” and I decided to pick on this one right here. It’s the first one that comes up: Cape Fear Flooring. Now remember, they are getting good search results so a couple other factors are in here. One is that Fayetteville is not nearly as competitive a market as Wilmington. 

So what we’re gonna look at – the two things we’re gonna look at are page responsiveness: Do you have a responsive website? That means Is it mobile-friendly? And I’m going to show you how to check for that. When mobile devices began to be a prominent source of searches people started in numbers really searching from their phones – mostly phones but also tablets – for doing search, Google search, looking for a flooring company, looking for plumber, looking for auto collision repair, that kind of thing. When those numbers started creeping up it started to become important for the user experience to have a mobile-friendly website, also known as a responsive website. There were a few different ways of doing it but it turns out that responsive design is the way that won out and later, as in last year, year and a half ago Google started penalizing the sites that were not responsive. So not only is it user experience but it’s Google and it’s worth thinking about those things today. For example, this is a little side note but content on your site is really important. It’s somewhat important for the user but it’s really important for Google and getting search results.

So what does it mean to have a responsive website? Here’s how we check. We look at the website. We call it up and we grab this right corner right here and we move it to the left and it’s important but it’s kind of interesting to watch what happens to the elements. They shuffle themselves and they shuffle themselves and what you end up with is this universal symbol right here which means menu. And we’ve all quickly become trained to understand that that is a menu and then when you get it into this sort of position you realize that normally if it’s really really responsive and you get the phone shape — this is a vertical phone shape — this horizontal scrollbar goes away so this one needs a little tweaking of the code. But if you were doing this on your phone you would put your thumb over top up the website and you would just move up and down this way. 

OK, well, that is a responsive website. I’ll show you one that’s not responsive and I’m gonna show you one that’s partially responsive. And I’ve already got these queued up. And we do a lot of dentists (so) I’m going to pick on this dentist. Here are a couple of things about this site. This one is not responsive although it has one element that is responsive and actually that element has gone away so maybe it’s not responsive at all. There used to be a picture right here and then when I moved, when I did the little shrinking deal, the picture went away but nothing else moved. There, see, nothing there’s the picture all right so that just sits there. That’s a picture that goes in and out. That’s what that is. It’s not doing anything. None of these elements moved this website would be not very good to navigate on on your phone. This thing happens to end up in the center of your screen but your menu items and so on are not shifting themselves so you would have to scroll vertically and horizontally and on a phone this is a huge hassle. This is a website that’s not responsive.

Now I’m going to show you one that’s sort of kind of responsive but they didn’t do it right This is the one I want to show you that sort of kind of responsive but not exactly. All right, so stuff is starting to move but then what you end up seeing is a bit of a jumble  — it’s a little bit of a jumble here. That’s stuff all kind of on top of each other so this one and here’s this “our service will something you” and there’s no horizontal scroll so you can’t see it even if you wanted to. 

All right, so that is item number one. Is it responsive? Is your website responsive? And if you have a full-service website provider they should tell you that you need to make your website responsive and they should have done that about two years ago.

OK, now we’re gonna look at another big one: page load speed. Now remember Cape Fear Flooring. We gave them good points for being responsive. Page load speed: I did this search to show you where the tools are I know what I’m looking for but you can find it by doing this page load speed we’ve got various tools. We don’t really want that one. That’s really more about your internet service provider speed. Page load speed: the best one is right here. Anything that’s Google is good. Google’s good. Remember that, yeah, for now. If they turn evil we’ll turn on them. So we go here, We click on this and it actually comes to here. Now I copied the URL over here copy, copy, paste and then that’s right here’s the page. You paste it in here and then you hit the analyze. And I’ve already done it and here’s what we see. The desktop version of the site is slow to load. That’s what that means. Page speed tools, page load speed, the desktop version is slow. Poor: 30 out of 100. Mmmm, not great. The mobile version of the site mmm not great either.

However for Cape Fear Flooring in their marketplace, Fayetteville North Carolina, for this search even with a poor page load speed they came up. They’re first. OK, so that is our our message for today. Check your page load speed. Check your responsiveness and if you’ve got one or the other or both and they’re pretty good then you can, then you’re in a position to get good search results with the easier stuff. The easier stuff is the content stuff and a couple of other things. That’s our video for today. Look for us going forward as Home Services Digital. We’ll mark those videos and also say WordwrightWeb. And please remember to subscribe and to tell your friends about us. Michael Byrd with WordwrightWeb and Home Services Digital. Thanks. 


Updated: 10/25/2023

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