SEO Moneyball: Mobile Browsing is Up. How Do You Take Advantage?

Nashville SEO associate Jackson Martin's Moneyball image is shown, featuring a man on a baseball diamond.

We keep seeing reports that mobile internet usage is on the rise- and in a big way. Mobile Internet usage now accounts for one out of every three digital consumption minutes. The increased amount of mobile visits to websites is leading many companies to alter their web strategy and tailor it to their mobile users.

Visits aren’t everything, and, as with any data on web traffic, we need to look closer at the numbers and figure out what the real solution should be moving forward. Like most marketing strategies, the answer is going to be different for every company and every industry.

Growth in Visits Smartphone vs Desktop

A BrightEdge Mobile Share report found that mobile traffic to sites has increased 125% since 2012, with the biggest gains coming in the Software/Technology and Financial Services industries.

Industries Leading Market Growth of Smartphone vs Desktop

This is a tremendous amount of growth for mobile visits, an amount that cannot be ignored. More and more, we must learn to think of the mobile user during web design.

The problem comes during the most important step: conversions. Mobile users convert at under a third the rate that desktop and even tablet users do. People just do not buy at the same rate on mobile, and BrightEdge says, “”Marketers need to a do better job at addressing the user experience on smartphones [by] paying close attention to common mistakes such as smartphone-only 404s and featuring app download messages that may disrupt the user experience for visitors to that page.”

Conversion Rate Smartphone vs Desktop

Mobile browsing should be a simplified experience, but when these disruptions occur it is difficult to salvage any conversions from customers.

“Marketers have understood for a few years that they need mobile sites to take advantage of the explosion in mobile traffic, but many have existing sites that were not built for a smaller screen and do not take into account the user experience on mobile vs. desktop vs. tablet,” said Brad Mattick, BrightEdge’s VP of Marketing. “Each device is unique in how consumers interact and engage, and marketing activities should reflect this. Leaders are taking the time to develop responsive web sites- our customer Microsoft for example has optimized their site for all device types and offers a fantastic targeted experience.”

There are a few industries that convert better on mobile than on desktop. The media and entertainment sector has seen conversions on mobile connections skyrocket to 1.6 times better than desktop users.

Industries With Highest Conversion Rate Smartphone vs Desktop

In this sector, along with the other industries that perform well on mobile conversions (real estate and commerce), there seems to be a strong correlation with the presence of onsite videos and other multi-media content. Videos and other multi-media content feel natural to consume on smartphones, and so users interact with the entire piece of content without needing or wanting to switch platforms.

The results of the study clearly show that not everyone is prepared for the mobile browsing boom that is happening right now. While tablet users tend to convert at the same rate as desktop users, mobile conversions lag far behind. In order to maintain conversion rates across the board, marketers must optimize their site for mobile or be left behind.

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For more SEO Moneyball check out these posts!

SEO Moneyball Series

SEO Moneyball: Control the Conversation About Your Brand

SEO Moneyball: Taking Advantage of Facebook Hashtags

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