Our recent seminar emphasised the importance of having a strong online presence, Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the British Franchise Association, says
The British Franchise Association recently held a specialist seminar we were proud to be able to hold at the Google offices in London.
With speakers from Google, Google partner Push and The Franchising Centre, it was an eye opening day, which brought home the importance of having a strong online presence and ensuring you’re making the most of all the services available to you.
Since 2011, the way we consume media has changed. Television used to be the most popular media format, but in 2016 digital took the top spot, with the average adult spending over four and a half hours a day consuming digital media.
Gone are the days of dial-up where we had to actively go online - we now have to actively go offline. Smartphones have meant we have constant and immediate access to all the information we want at our fingertips.
It’s crucial to remember this when you’re designing your website and thinking about your presence on search engines. In 2015, mobile exceeded the desktop for how we access the internet, so making sure your websites are responsive and optimised for mobile is more important than ever.
61 per cent of users will leave your website if they cannot find the information they’re looking for straightaway and 46 per cent said waiting for slow pages to load is what they dislike the most when browsing the web on a mobile device.
Google considers this when ranking websites, so making your sites mobile friendly will ensure you’re helping potential online customers as much as possible and give you the best opportunity of ranking highly.
Google location services are also becoming increasingly important when looking at a user journey. 30 per cent of all searches now include some sort of location data.
When people are looking for a nearby restaurant, for example, they no longer search for ‘Fish and chips in London’, but ‘Fish and chips’, as they’re aware Google knows where they are and will bring up the results nearest to them.
This means it’s critical you’re making the most of services such as Google My Business to ensure your locations and details are accurate and can be found by as many people as possible. 61 per cent of people research locally a day or less before purchase, while 85 per cent only consider one to three local businesses before deciding where to buy.
The digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace and it’s often hard to keep up, but making sure you’re websites are up to date with accurate information and it’s easy for people to navigate them on any device is the best place to start.