You have been reading for years about how “this is the year that mobile takes over!” Insiders telling you to make sure that you’re stocked up and ready for the massive transition that seems to never come, just like Y2K and the 2012 Apocalypse.
While we’re not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be optimizing for desktop users anymore, we will suggest you be cognizant of what device categories visitors are using (i.e. desktop, tablet, or mobile) to access your website and be aggressive in improving your website to stay ahead of the paradigm shift in mobile traffic.
Mobile Traffic by the Numbers
Smartphones are more affordable than they’ve ever been and have higher-generation network connectivity (3G, 3.5G, and 4G or LTE). In 2013, 88% of mobile traffic came from 1.7 billion Smartphones and that number is expected to rise to 96% of all mobile traffic in 2018 which will come from 3.9 Billion devices. A smartphone generally has 49 times the amount of traffic than a basic mobile device, which accounts for the discrepancy between smart and non-smartphones even though the latter far outnumbers the former.1
How Does Our Cake Match Up?
Here at Be Found Online, we’ve audited 34 of our clients and have found significant shifts in device category usages since the beginning of 2014 (January 1st-March 16th). At this rate, Mobile devices could make up a third of the traffic for our clients by the end of the year and desktop traffic will fall below 50%.
The single largest driver of Mobile traffic has been commercials. Those clients who are optimizing their website along with running TV commercials have had the most visits from mobile users. It is not surprising that mobile users are driven to websites by commercials. It is far quicker now to access desired internet content via a smartphone than waiting until one has access to a desktop either at home or work.
How to Obtain Actionable Insights
Be Found Online likes to share the knowledge, so we’ve gone ahead and created the Advanced Segments that you need in order to break up your Google Analytics data into the separate device categories. You will now have the ability to see how Mobile devices are affecting traffic to your site and optimize accordingly.
Three Advanced Segments have been created and shared in the Google Analytics Solution Gallery. When logged into your Google Analytics account, this link will direct you to the “Be Found Online’s Device Segmentation” post while this link will automatically prompt you to download the three segments.
Search for “BFO”, click on the three segments you downloaded, and Apply. You can now view any report and time frame with the segments separating your traffic by device category. Try it out for yourself and see what percentage of your website’s traffic is coming from Mobile devices.
If you want to learn more search strategies to help rank your site on both mobile and desktop, check out our ebook!
Mobile traffic. 1: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013–2018: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/white_paper_c11-520862.html