Unless you’ve been in hiding, you can’t have helped but notice that the mobile channel is growing. In fact it’s not just growing, more spiralling. Every small and medium sized business needs to recognise this and adjust their marketing strategy to accommodate mobile web access. We’ve all probably seem various sets of statistics that demonstrate that mobile internet is gaining in popularity, but few studies better demonstrate the phenomenal rate of this growth than the latest report conducted by Walker Sands Communications. The report claims that in the third quarter of 2011, more than 10 percent of all web traffic was accessed from a mobile device: that’s a rise of 6 percent in just one year. (a year-to-year growth rate of 153 percent) 87 percent of this mobile web traffic originates from small scale mobile devices, but it’s worth noting that tablet devices are catching up fast. It’s now reached the stage where mobile web access comprises a significant proportion of most business’s total web traffic. This is significant news for all SMEs, but particularly significant for those businesses that have delayed entry into the market and not yet implemented mobile marketing strategies.
We’re all aware of the frantic growth rate of mobile smartphone sales, but few of us truly appreciate how this can affect businesses. Numerous studies have shown that mobile web access affects all areas of industry, even the more traditional ones like construction, manufacturing and logistics. A considerable proportion of website business for these industries is conducted by mobile. It makes perfect sense therefore for every other online business to plan and implement strategies for this channel and to take advantage of its growing popularity.
So, what can this study tell your business?
The Walker Sands study confirmed higher volumes of mobile web traffic for brands that conduct extensive email marketing. As the number of users who access email on mobile devices continues to climb, email marketing will play an increasingly important role in generating mobile web traffic.
Companies that successfully drive traffic to their websites through non-branded Search Engine Optimization campaigns tend to see higher than average rates of mobile traffic due to the increasing usage of mobile search. Mobile search usage is rising along with the use of the mobile web. According to a Performics 2011 survey, 32% of mobile web users search more from their phones than they do from their computers.
What are the implications for mobile website design?
The proliferation of mobile devices and the acceleration of mobile-empowered web traffic highlight several important strategies that should be incorporated into your mobile website design in order to maximize brand exposure in the digital arena.
The development of a comprehensive mobile marketing strategy is no longer optional for brands interested in maximizing their exposure to online audiences. Now that mobile traffic has reached a significant level, brands and businesses need to carefully evaluate their sites and design strategies that invite mobile access.
The variation in conversion rates for tablets and smartphones is largely attributable to the similarities between tablet and desktop browsing. Larger screens facilitate deeper engagements and ultimately, more opportunities for conversions. At a minimum, brands should optimize their websites for smartphones, making it easier for users to access information and respond to calls to action.
Email campaigns inevitably deliver higher levels of mobile web traffic. Based on current trends, the number of users who prefer to access email on mobile devices will increase, underscoring the need for marketers to consider the mobile implications of their email marketing tactics.
If your website doesn’t convert well for small screen devices like iPhones and Android phones, review your paid search campaign mobile inclusion settings to make sure you aren’t displaying ads to mobile phone users.
The acceleration of mobile web traffic is potentially good news for brands and marketing professionals. Equipped with the latest mobile gadgetry, B2B and B2C customers will have an even greater ability to connect with your company – but only to the extent that you intentionally target mobile channel access as a marketing priority.