Fresh Chalk analyzed 150,000 small business websites with the end-goal of determining which website builders offer the highest performing tech stacks.
They analyzed business websites across dozens of industries including real estate, and Carrot outperformed ALL other website builders, (except Google’s own Google My Biz websites) including Wix, WordPress.com, Placester, Shopify, Hibu, just to name a few.
We’ve always known that our Carrot websites are high-converting and high-performing, but seeing the data from a third-party has made us even more proud of the service that we offer our members.
Take a look for yourself…
Yeah… we were pretty darn excited. :-)
We wanted to learn more about the research methodology behind this study, why website page speed is so important, and why Carrot got included in the first place, so we interviewed Adam Doppelt who conducted the research. Here’s what he had to say.
Q&A with Trevor, CEO at Carrot and Adam Fresh Chalk founder
Q: What made you want to do this research project and how did you choose which 150,000 sites to use in your study?
A: The idea emerged from a discussion with my co-founder Patrick. He crawled roughly 150,000 of the small businesses listed on Fresh Chalk to improve the contact information we display on the site.
We were chatting about his project and came up with the idea… perhaps we should poke through the data and see if there was anything interesting lurking inside.
Q: As you were digging into the data, you found which website builders were the most popular. Was there any correlation between popularity and performance?
A: Market share and website performance don’t seem to be strongly correlated. Some of the largest website builders create ineffective, slow websites.
I think this speaks to the power of marketing. I see this as a challenge and an opportunity. We need to do a better job of making our products fast and educating the world about the benefits of speed.
Q: How important is page speed and time to the first byte when it comes to Google rankings in your study?
A: Google has stated that page speed is a direct ranking factor in Google search results. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of factors that feed into Google rankings, so page speed is ultimately just one in a crowd.
A terrible website won’t rank well even if it displays quickly.
Certainly Google itself invests heavily in speed.
There’s also a ton of evidence that improving page speed also benefits conversion rates, retention, and user happiness.
Q: In the study, Carrot popped up on the radar, and while we host far fewer websites than WordPress or Wix, why did you include us in the report? What surprised you about the performance you saw on the Carrot sites in the study? How does Carrot stack up against the other website builders you found in the study?
A: Carrot stood out in my results like a cheetah in a world of slugs. Carrot websites are just plain fast. I had to include them, just to show the world that it’s still possible to build great products that are still fast.
By some measurements, Carrot sites are twice as fast as Squarespace. Consumers notice and convert better.
By the way, I can tell you that Carrot’s median Google PageSpeed score was 98 as measured across 118 Carrot real estate websites.
I didn’t have room for that in the report. Pretty amazing compared to the competition!
Q: How does page speed and time to first-byte impact search results?
A: Speed definitely has an impact. Time to the first byte isn’t itself a ranking factor, though it feeds into Google’s PageSpeed metric.
It’s my opinion that Google uses the PageSpeed number verbatim as the ranking factor. I doubt they built two separate speed ranking systems.
Q: Seeing how the only website builder that beat Carrot was Google’s own websites, can you place a dollar amount or value on the tech stack or speed people are getting when using Carrot?
A: Google My Business sites are fast because they are simple and get to piggyback on all the other infrastructure that Google built for their data centers and search products.
My guess is that it would be nearly impossible for them to speed up those sites without a huge amount of effort!
There is also a ton of research showing that fast websites convert better than slow ones.
For example, in 2017 Google concluded that 53% of mobile visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Can you imagine losing half your sales just because you picked Wix instead of Carrot?
Q: For the future of small business, how important do you feel it will be to focus on performance with their website to stay competitive with others in their market?
A: Users, in general, are intolerant of slow websites. If I remember correctly, one study a couple of years ago showed that users would exit after a few seconds spent waiting for slow websites.
Speedy websites help users feel that the businesses behind those websites are active and in touch with consumer demands.
It’s our responsibility to make sure that websites are fast even when running on pokey cell networks. It’s incredibly important!
Pretty awesome, huh?
At Carrot, we are constantly working to improve the speed, rankings, and conversion rate of our member’s websites. Since we’re smaller than Wix or WordPress, we can dedicate more time to helping our members succeed at business.
And it’s our belief that by helping you build a business that provides you with the entrepreneurial freedom you crave, we will build a business that gives us time for the things that matter most in life.
Want to know what your page speed is? Check at Google PageSpeed Insights.
If you want to see whether our results speak for themselves, you can sign up for a 30-day risk-free membership.
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