Poorly performing property sector websites potentially driving online traffic to competitors
Research by SoftForge
, commissioned by Net Yield
, has revealed that 58% of the websites operated by property agents fail Google’s “mobile-friendly test”
, or are simply not working - increasing the chances that online visitors may simply visit the websites of competitors.
Andrew Barber of Net Yield said: “Figures released by Google suggest that 61% of people using mobile devices to are unlikely to return to a website where they have trouble accessing content. Google also revealed that 40% of users would choose to visit a competitor’s site instead of returning to a bad site.”
SoftForge, the website design, build and hosting business, repeated the study of property websites it first undertook in 2016 and examined the sites belonging to almost 400 firms around the UK.
“The statistics have changed very little over the past 12 months,” said SoftForge’s Philip Walton. “Not only did 58% of the agency sites fail the test, or were found to be inaccessible, but we also discovered instances where sites had been hacked.
“The lethargic adoption of mobile-friendly websites is, all too often, due to the reluctance to invest. There continues to be a misbelief that simply having a site that looks OK on a desktop or laptop is enough.”
Andrew Barber added: “Property is not immune from the transformation in how users discover and access information on the Net and it is no coincidence that the having web content that is easily accessed via mobile devices is an increasingly important factor in the position within Google’s search engine result pages.”
“The fact that the study revealed instances of hacking is also a concern. Such sites are often used as Spambots and used by criminal gangs for sending unsolicited emails around the globe. This can be very bad for the reputation of a business and can have very real impact on a company’s ability to operate online.”
The study was undertaken using Google’s ‘mobile-friendly test
’ application and showed that that housebuilders, with a focus on the consumer market have embraced the power of mobile-friendly websites, with only three of the Top 25 housebuilders having websites that failed the test. The performance of the Top 25 commercial developers had also improved since the study was first undertaken in 2016 with just five of the Top 25 developers’ websites failing the test.
While the worst performing sector was revealed to be the agency sector the problem seems to be particularly acute with smaller firms, as 17 of the top 25 agency firms were found to have mobile-friendly websites, compared to 12 in the 2016 survey.
Further information regarding the study can be seen here: "Why is the UK property sector so slow at adopting mobile technology?"
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