Most of us know intuitively that there has been a huge increase in mobile browsing. We see people at work, in restaurants and those waiting for others constantly fixated with their smart phones. Much of this activity it taking place online as people connect with others or search for information on a subject.
As the use of smart phones has increased, so too has the number of visitors from mobile devices. The data backs this up quite clearly. In July 2014 mobile users have increased by 50% from the same period in 2013. This is a significant year on year increase. What is equally noticeable is that while traffic to our websites is on the increase year on year; that desktop traffic is actually on the decline.
Simply put, the way the internet is accessed is changing, and rapidly.
So how much of online activity can be attributed to mobile devices?
After running through our larger clients we noticed that a significant number of visitors to our websites were doing so on a mobile device. As expected the majority of our visitors were using a desktop PC. However it was interesting to see that mobile (smart phone) users made up 28% of all visits while tablet users made up approximately 9%.
Most websites are designed to be viewed on large screens with certain sizes being considered a standard. This made the desktop browsing experience that much better. While this kind of development does still cater to the majority of web users at this time, it’s is clear that this is changing. Often this method of development can exclude or have a negative impact on a certain group of users.
Impact on Website Usage
Digging deeper into our statistics we noticed that desktop users recorded the lowest average bounce rate and highest number of pages viewed on average. Conversely those on a Mobile device saw the highest average bounce rate and lowest number of pages viewed on average. As expected those using a tablet, which generally has similar browsing capabilities as a desktop PC, recorded values in-between these two. It was quite concerning to note that mobile users were quickly losing interest in a website that otherwise was performing well.
So How Important is a Mobile Website?
Combined, mobile and tablet devices already make up a staggering 37% of all our web traffic at this time. This is almost 4 out of all 10 web users that may have a less than optimal web experience due to the website being developed for an enhanced desktop experience. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, can you afford to not offer a similar experience to a mobile user?