How mobile traffic data can open new doors for your businessRohan Ayyar
With more consumers coming online, especially in growing markets like India, it’s crucial to optimise your website for more engagement and sales from mobile visitors.
The internet has gone mobile-first.
If you have any doubts about that statement, get this: globally, 57 percent of all internet access takes place from mobile devices, according to data from StatCounter.
Closer to home in India, the figure goes up to a whopping 78 percent! Further, a large part of this audience accesses the web only through a mobile device.
Basically, if a significant part of your business depends on online visits to your website (which is the norm for most businesses these days) you simply cannot be focusing only on how the desktop version of your site looks and functions. In fact, a simple overview of your web analytics (assuming your site has the ubiquitous Google Analytics) will tell you that some three-fourths of your traffic comes from smartphones.
Clearly, you should be placing more importance on mobile traffic. But what data or metrics should you be looking at? How can you figure out if your mobile visitors are purchasing more or less of your products compared to desktop visitors? How can you offer them a better user experience? How can you get them to buy more?
Mobile influences SEO
For a few years, Google has been taking note of how mobile usage has evolved. Mobile searches overtook desktop on Google in 2015. The next year, mobile web browsing went past desktop.
Starting with their “Mobilegeddon” update in April 2015, the search engine giant has consistently prioritised the mobile search experience over a desktop, culminating in the full rollout of its mobile-first index to a large part of the internet earlier this month.
No wonder Google rewards page loading speed on mobile, recommends a responsive web design, and offers a mobile-friendly testing tool as well as a mobile speed testing tool for web pages right there on its SERP.
The takeaway for businesses here is that they constantly need to stay on top of their traffic data, looking at their mobile vs. desktop spread not just for overall traffic, but also segments like paid/organic and channels like search, social, email, direct, referral, etc.
Digital marketing tool suite SEMrush provides this data in a comprehensive and actionable form with its Traffic Analytics tool.
With a few clicks, you can pull up the number of unique visitors, page views, visit duration, and bounce rate for users browsing your site via mobile devices. You can also compare all of these metrics against those of your competitors.
Mobile influences the customer journey
For any business that sells its products or services over the internet, be it an ecommerce retailer or a SaaS platform, it is extremely important to find out where its customers are coming from, how they’re interacting with various web pages, and what factors influence them to whip out their wallets or back off from making a purchase.
If you cater to customers across the world, you could simply start by shortlisting the countries from where the bulk of your customers come and see what percent of them browse your site using mobile phones.
You can then head over to the Google Analytics User Flow report and see how mobile visitors from each country access your site – the pages on which they land first, the pages to which they move on, and the pages from which they exit your site.
Of course, the high point of every customer journey is the sale. Are your customers comfortable using their mobile phones to buy from you? Well, the Ecommerce Conversion section in Google Analytics can tell you that. You can see how conversion rate, number of transactions, total revenue, average order value (AOV), number of unique purchases, and quantity of products sold compares to overall figures.
Mobile influences user experience
It’s a no-brainer that your mobile users need to be getting the same (if not better) experience while browsing your site as they would from the desktop. Browsing preferences for desktop and mobile devices also vary by time of the day.
At a bare minimum, you need to look at the following metrics for your website while comparing mobile usage with desktop:
- Total time on site
- Average time on site
- Average bounce rate
- Total page views
- Average page views per visit
Depending on the demographics of your audience, you might find that even if you’re getting a lot more mobile visitors compared to desktop, they’re not staying on the site for long or converting well. That would be a clear sign that there are some drawbacks in your UX somewhere along the funnel.
For example, data from SEMrush Traffic Analytics shows that for a particular website, even with six times more unique visitors from mobile, the time on site is just three-fourths and bounce rate is double that of a desktop.
In such cases, you need to identify the pages from where your users are dropping off and optimise the elements therein.
Here are a few tips for more engagement and conversion from mobile devices:
- Promote your content and products on social networks and apps. A lot of mobile traffic is generated from these channels.
- Get listed on local directories. Customers frequently end up on these when they google local services.
- Simplify your mobile content and navigation. Use shorter blocks of text, good font spacing, larger and more calls to action (CTAs), and shorter, progressive forms.
- Make liberal use of Click-to-Call buttons. Incoming calls convert better than web CTAs any day.
- Use text, IM, and app push notifications as additional channels in a promotion. Make these highly personalised, contextual, relevant and timely. For example, consider a customer who has just walked into your store, looked at a product, scanned its barcode and searching for a cheaper price online (showrooming). You could send them a text with a personalised coupon offering them a discount if they purchase in-store in the next five minutes.
Over to you
Mobile traffic is scaling new heights every day. With more consumers coming online, especially in growing markets like India, it’s crucial to optimise your website for more engagement and sales from mobile visitors. Web analytics tools – both free and premium – will help you glean insights and tweak your marketing strategy quickly and accurately.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)