Five reasons why your lousy website is hurting your business

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The latest Sensis eBusiness Report has just been released and it’s revealed that while more than six in 10 small and medium businesses in Australia now has a website, only 43 percent of those have a website optimised for mobile devices.

If you haven’t yet optimised your website you are giving your competitors an edge, missing out on sales and potentially doing long term damage to your brand.

Here are five reasons why you must optimise your site for mobile:  

#1. Mobile is where your customers now spend their time

The days of people sitting patiently at their desktop computer waiting for your website to load are over. The Sensis survey found that 78% of Aussies now own a smartphone, and 73% use it to search the internet. This rises to 91% in the important 18 to 29 age bracket. Consumers don’t just want a mobile optimised website anymore, they expect it. And they’ll bounce from your site as soon as they arrive if they don’t get it.  

#2. Google’s algorithm preferences sites that are optimised

Almost six in ten businesses Sensis spoke to said that being on page one of a Google search is important. And it makes sense; because you want to be one of the top choices consumers see when researching products or services in your category. That means Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is crucial. These days, Google preferences sites that are optimised for mobile, so you need to upgrade your site to ensure you are achieving the best SEO results.

#3. Facebook preferences sites that load faster

Facebook recently announced it will push advertisers who have websites with slow times to the back of queue on its platform. The justification? That’s what consumers want. In making the change Facebook said that it had found that 40% of users leave a site after a single click, frustrated by sites that take longer than three seconds to load. Advertising on social platforms such as Facebook is a growing space that your business is either already engaged with, or will be in the future. So it’s another reason you need to upgrade your site.

#4. Mobile advertising

Around a third of small and medium businesses advertise online (32 percent), with a similar number advertising on social networks (34 percent). Digital advertising is one of the best forms of advertising because you can track and change your approach in real time, as customers interact with your ads. But there is no point advertising online if you are driving customers to a website that is not up to scratch, in fact, you will do your brand long-term damage if you do. The first step is to get your house in order, so you can then focus on driving traffic to your site.

#5. User experience

In the end, being mobile friendly is all about giving your consumers a seamless experience with your brand, which will keep them coming back. People now have high expectations about their digital customer experience. And most importantly, they also have choice. It’s literally at their fingertips. If you don’t want them to bounce from your site to one of your competitors, you need to deliver the frictionless experience you now expect yourself as a consumer.

So while you might think that old, clunky website isn’t doing your business any harm, it probably is. Upgrading is probably easier and more affordable than you think. Businesses only spent $3,300 last year building and maintaining their websites. Given the consequences of not upgrading, now is the time to optimise, before you get left behind.

The Sensis eBusiness Report for 2016 is available at www.sensis.com.au/ebusinessreport.

Rob Tolliday is the Commercial Director of Sensis