When you want to find out information as quickly as possible, where do you turn? It’s almost a guarantee that you will reach for your mobile device, whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, to answer any question you might have.
In short, people are spending a lot more time on their mobile devices than sitting behind their desktops. According to a 2014 Landmark Interactive study, Franchise Update explained that the number of prospective franchisees researching and following up with a franchise opportunity using their smartphone rose from 23 percent to 42 percent between August 2013 and August 2014.
Prospective franchisees researching an investment opportunity are increasingly using their smartphone or tablet to get the information they need to take the next steps.
What Does It Mean for Your Franchise Brand?
Google, as a key player in the online marketing scene, has taken steps to motivate businesses to make their mobile websites friendlier to on-the-go users. In fact, the most recent Google update – in addition to Penguin and Panda – penalizes franchise brands that haven’t made the effort to create an intuitive mobile experience.
The update affects your brand’s search ranking on mobile devices and applies to single pages instead of an entire website. The algorithm also impacts search engine results regardless of language. So, if you don’t take the necessary steps to make your mobile franchise website user-friendly, potential franchisees will have a difficult time finding your site. As a result, you won’t be able to effectively generate leads or move prospects through your sales funnel.
What Steps Should You Take?
Despite the fact that the Google update was ominously nicknamed Mobilegeddon, there are some fairly straight-forward steps you can take to make sure your mobile site gets some love from Google.
1. Integrate Responsive Design – and Make Certain It Works
When you load your franchise website designed for a desktop experience on a mobile device, it immediately becomes clear that navigation will be poor. Integrating responsive design into your site will make it so that visitors’ browser window will automatically adjust to the size of the screen. The menu is usually condensed, and all the copy and images are clear. However, Search Engine Land warned that it’s still possible that added features, such as comparison tables, won’t render well and will cause the prospective franchisee to scroll endlessly. This is why testing out the site is imperative.
2. Put Your Site to the Test
In anticipation of the mobile algorithm, Google put together a list of criteria that its Web crawler looks for in a mobile-friendly website. It’s essentially a test you can use to make sure you’re meeting the search engine’s expectations. A few of the benchmarks are making certain you avoid software – like Flash – that doesn’t always work on all devices, ensure viewers don’t have to zoom in or out to access content, horizontal scrolling is limited and you can easily tap on all links.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Traffic
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying too hard to please Google to ensure your organic traffic flows freely and you generate high-quality leads. But it’s important to remember that your franchise opportunity will attract a unique audience that may behave differently than other brands’ target audience. For instance, if most of your online traffic comes from entrepreneurs using their desktop to search for information, then having a stellar mobile site may not be the top priority. Keep on top of your traffic to be certain of what steps will be right for your brand.
Many franchise sales executives don’t recognize how much their website influences their lead generation campaigns. By ignoring prospects’ mobile experiences, you could be alienating a significant chunk of your audience by poor navigation and design. Fortunately, it’s a fairly straightforward fix that can pay dividends when you take the right steps.
Find out what you need to do to make your mobile franchise website shine…