When was the last time you looked at your website on your mobile phone? On other mobile phones? If your answer is never or a very long time ago, take a minute and have a look. Because I guarantee other people are – and the visitor experience may or may not be a good one for them.
Global share of web traffic by device
|Device||Share||Versus a Year Ago|
|Laptop & desktop computers||45%||down 20%|
Canadian share of web traffic by device
|Device||Share||Versus a Year Ago|
|Laptop & Desktop Computers||59%||down 16%|
How many visitors are coming to your website using their mobile phone or tablet? If you don’t know, it’s easy to find out in your Google Analytics. In the list of reports, you’ll see one for Mobile. Under Overview you’ll see the breakdown between desktop, mobile and tablet visitor sessions.
In the example below, it’s nearly a 50-50 split between desktop and mobile. We can also see how many are new users, if they bounced (left the site on the same page they entered on, either they found what they were looking for on that one page, or they weren’t interested and left), the average number of pages they visited and how long they stayed.
In this example, we see that mobile users were
- more likely than desktop users to visit more than one page on the site because they had a significantly lower bounce rate than desktop users – more reason to be sure their experience on the website is an excellent one; and
- spending half the time on the website that the desktop users were. Oh, oh. Did they find what they were looking for or did they give up?
What do your Google Analytics tell you about your visitors?
Example: Google Analytics Mobile Report
Optimizing your website for mobile
For custom-designed websites, your programmers have no doubt addressed how the site appears on mobile devices, either with an off-the-shelf solution or a customized one.
For sites using design templates, such as WordPress themes, the good news is that, by now, most are a responsive design meaning that the design will automatically respond to the visitor’s device screen size and include standard conventions, such as stacked vertical lines to click on for the site navigation list.
But, if your templated site design hasn’t been updated in three years or more, your site may not be meeting your site visitors’ expectations.
Does your website look like a mini version of itself requiring visitors to use their thumb and index finger to enlarge sections to be able to read the font and then have to scroll sideways to see the full width? That is not a mobile friendly experience. That is just plain frustrating.
An optimized site will load quickly and have easy to view text, content that is vertically stacked, intuitive navigation layers and images that scale appropriately for the device the visitor is using. The most optimized sites will also tailor the content displayed according main reasons people may visit the site from their phone.
Quality mobile experiences and SEO
Google and other search engines evolve their algorithms to ensure that search queries deliver quality results. And as web traffic on mobile devices continues to climb, the quality of the mobile experience will contribute more and more towards your search engine rankings.
In fact, at the end of 2016 Google began implementing a “mobile first” algorithm meaning that rankings are based on the mobile experience, even for searches conducted on a laptop or desktop computer.
The bottom line
2017 marks the ten-year anniversary of the iPhone. And now more than ever delivering a quality visitor experience on mobile is critically important for your audience, your search engine rankings, and ultimately achieving your digital marketing objectives.