The UK property industry’s adoption of mobile websites

With Ofcom reporting that 52% of internet users say that smartphones or tablet devices are their preferred device for getting online1, and with Google stating that more searches “take place on mobile devices than on computers”2, is the UK’s property industry embracing the change in how individuals are searching the internet and accessing websites?

Summary

  • 48% of agents’ and surveyors’ websites failed Google’s mobile-friendly test
  • A third of the websites belonging to 75 of the leading property brands are not mobile-friendly

How mobile-friendly is the UK’s property sector?

The websites of 75 companies within the property sector were analysed using Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” to see whether the world’s leading search engine considers the sites as “readable and immediately useable” by those viewing the site on a smartphone or tablet device.  The sample group included the UK’s major housebuilders, commercial property developers, property companies and the leading firms of property agents and surveyors. A third of the websites tested failed the mobile-friendly test and will, as a result, be penalised by Google in mobile search results.

The study revealed that 80% of the housebuilders have mobile-friendly websites. This high percentage probably reflects the housebuilders’ understanding of the target audience and their appreciation that many homebuyers will approach them direct or visit their websites to search for new-build homes.

Of the leading 25 commercial developers and property companies 68% had websites considered as being mobile-friendly.

When the websites of the top 25 agency and surveying firms were analysed, it was revealed that almost half (48%) of the failed the mobile-friendly test.

The poor performance of the websites belonging to agents and surveyors was then extended to include 3XX websites from around the UK. Of these websites 60% failed the mobile-friendly test.

Why are mobile-friendly websites important?

The importance of having a mobile-friendly website can really not be underestimated for any business. The ranking of a website in Google searches made on smart phones and tablets is influenced by the ability of the site to be easily read and accessed via a mobile device and the world’s favourite search engine is penalising websites in mobile search that are not mobile-friendly.. By giving mobile-friendly sites a higher ranking, Google is looking to ensure that users get a better experience when searching via smartphones and tablets.

Test your own site using Google’s mobile-friendly test.

Follow this link to learn more about mobile-friendly websites.

Notes

SoftForge and Flashbulb undertook the study of the websites of over 400 property companies and businesses in January 2016.  The statistics quoted are based on the results obtained via Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and do not include those sites that block Google’s search engine or those that were offline and unavailable at the time.

  1. "The UK is now a smartphone society" (Ofcom: Aug 2015)
  2. Building for the next moment” (Google: May 2015)