Progressive Web Apps – Your Solution To Google’s New Page Speed Rules

Starting in July 2018, Google is prioritizing page speed as a top factor in mobile search rankings. Whether you like it or not, this will have a major effect (positive or negative) on your business.

Bottom-line, if your eCommerce store does not provide a “Google acceptable” response time, your search engine rankings will drastically drop.

For eCommerce stores operating in the millions of dollar range, any drop in organic search traffic could cost your business losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You have two straight-forward options to address this:

  1. Do the work to optimize your site’s load times (i.e., page speed performance).
  2.  Upgrade your site to a Progressive Web Application (PWA).

While both of these options require time and a budget, Progressive Web Apps  provide huge added value benefits.

The Progressive Web App Approach To Speed

PWAs offer technological advances that deliver superb user experiences, specifically as it relates to speed. Essentially, they allow your customers to have a native-app like experience in a web or mobile browser. From a technological perspective, PWAs are fast loading as they:

  • Follow a separate delivery protocol
  • Cache onto the user’s devices
  • Are agnostic to your network conditions (i.e., 3G or limited connectivity areas)

PWAs not only resolve page load times immediately to the “Google acceptable” definition of response times, they also provide a meaningful user experiences that include:

  • Push notifications
  • Offline transactions
  • Home screen button
  • Massive improvement of page load times (PWAs load 300% faster on mobile devices)
  • Enhanced security
  • Identity information stored on device
  • Payment information stored on device
  • And much more

The Alternative Approach

The alternative approach to PWAs is investing money and time into improving your existing codebase.

For those operating on systems like Shopify or Demandware, unfortunately without using a PWA, you have limited options to improve your speed. This is because your backend code is entirely encrypted and the delivery method of your frontend code is dictated by the platform. So while you can take proactive steps – you’re up against a pretty heavy wall.

If your business operates on systems like Magento or Spree, where you host the servers, you might assume that your business won’t face any challenges with improving speed. However, improvements will prove to be very expensive and time consuming as it will require custom architecture and development.

Summary

Your best option is invest to upgrade your eCommerce store to a Progressive Web App. The risk for your business, and potential lost revenue, is too high with the alternative approach.

Even if you get speed improvements with the alternative approach – how do you know it will qualify as Google acceptable?  With PWAs, Google immediately tells you that it’s acceptable as it’s built into their speed testing tool – Lighthouse.

Progressive Web Apps truly get your business the best of both worlds while satisfying your Google SEO requirements.

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