Why franchises need to keep up with the pace of technological change
The bfa recently held a seminar at the Google offices in London with speakers from Google, Google partner Push and The Franchising Centre. It was an eye-opening day for all that brought home the importance of having a strong online presence.
The way we consume media has changed dramatically. TV used to be the most popular media format but in 2016 digital is taking the top spot, according to a report from eMarketer. The rise of smartphone technology has meant that we have constant and immediate access to all the information that we want at our fingertips.
It’s important to remember this when you’re designing your website and thinking about your presence on search engines. According to Ofcom, the independent regulator for the communications industry, more people in the UK access the internet through a mobile device than a laptop. This means that making sure your website is responsive and optimised for mobile is more important than ever. If it’s not, you could be putting potential customers off. In fact, Google’s research has revealed that 61% of people will leave your website if they can’t find the information they’re looking for straight away and 46% said that waiting for slow pages to load is what they dislike most when browsing the web on a mobile device. Google also considers mobile-friendliness when ranking websites, so making your site responsive gives you the best chances of ranking highly.
Google’s location services are also becoming increasingly more important when looking at the user journey. In fact, according to Google 30% of all searches now include some sort of location data and 61% of people conduct local research just a day or less before buying something. When people are looking for a nearby restaurant for example, they no longer search for ‘fish and chips in London’. Instead, they’re likelier to search for ‘fish and chips’, knowing that Google knows where they are and will bring up the results nearest to them.
This means that it’s important to make the most of services like Google My Business so your location data is as accurate as possible, making it easier for people to find you.
The digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace and it’s often hard to keep up. But by maintaining your website with up-to-date information and making it as easy as possible for people to navigate it on any device is the best place to start.