Nearly one third of all UK web page views originate from smartphones and tablets according to a recent report, with growth expected to accelerate in the next four years. The changing landscape in internet accessibility and mobile devices means that by 2018, global mobile data traffic could reach an annual run rate of 190 exabytes per year. This is compared to the 18 exabytes seen in 2013 according to the Cisco Systems annual review of mobile traffic, in which they also remind us that an Exabyte is equal to one billion gigabytes.
In its report, Cisco predicts that the number of mobile users will rise to 4.9 billion in 2018 from the 4.1 billion seen in 2013. This is due to an increase in mobile connections, mobile ready devices and a vast improvement in mobile network speeds such as the improvement from 3G to 4G internet connections.
The advances in mobile technology and internet access mean that it is no longer sufficient for a website to be mobile friendly; it must be fully optimised for mobile traffic if it is to compete in this expanding avenue of digital marketing. To start planning your mobile marketing strategy you need to know what percentage of your web traffic comes from mobile devices. A good starting point is to segment your referral traffic data in Google Analytics, which will tell you how many visits to your website were made on a mobile device.
Once you have identified how much of your web traffic originates from a mobile device you can then work on optimising your website for mobile users and watch the numbers rise. Traditional conversion rate optimisation (CRO) techniques can then be employed to enhance your website for mobile visitors. Do any pages have a high bounce rate, if so why? Identify and resolve any issues that may be affecting the usability of your website.
As mobile e-commerce, or m-commerce, continues to gain traction there will also be an increase in mobile advertising. According to the ‘Quarterly benchmarking index’ from Interactive Media and Capgemini, mobile visits to UK retail websites rose from 24.0% to 45.0% between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013. Businesses are beginning to take advantage of these figures and it is speculated that global mobile advertising will reach up to $18 billion in 2014 compared to the $13.1 billion spent in 2013. Currently it is the larger, branded e-commerce stores that are investing large amounts in mobile advertising but smaller businesses are already following suit.
More consumers than ever are using mobile devices to research companies and their products online, so if you don’t know how many of your customers are using a mobile device to view your website, now is the time to find out.