The Mobile Revolution

The Mobile Revolution

2nd August 2012

It is with no doubt that the integration of Smart Phones and tablets have revolutionised the web over the past three years. I have had the opportunity of going to conferences for a good number of years and at each one someone would make the bold statement that this is the year of mobile.

Last year I started to notice a clear difference, “Mobile had finally arrived”. This was something which I have been tracking for the past three years and I hope that reading this article you can clearly see that if you are not accounting for the impact of mobile in you marketing campaign you need to rethink and fast.

What I’m going to show you today is the data from that research. The data set uses the Analytics from 402 Google Accounts. Approximately 70% are from B2B websites and the majority is for small to medium enterprises.

There are some elements we are going to have to trust such as:

  • Goals have been set up correctly
  • Ecommerce tracking has been set up correctly.

I should be thinking about mobile, prove it?

The graph below shows the mobile visitor segment over the past two year across the data set. This is simply staggering from 1.6% of visitors in 2010 to now 20% in 2012.


That’s right 20% of your visitors are coming from a mobile device (try it yourself in analytics), this gives me an initial train of thought regarding conversion:

  • Load speed – It is imperative that your site loads quickly on a mobile from a user perspective.
  • Call to actions – When it comes to conversion your layout needs to be simple for people to make an action via a mobile device.

Smart Phone versus Tablet:

The common theory is that tablet devices have accelerated this mobile use of the web so for these B2B website which are the common devices or operating Systems.


So if the Ipad is 32% of the mobile visits we can still view smart phone usage as growing to approximately 16% of your monthly traffic.

Device usage over time.

To illustrate the above in more detail the graph below shows the change in device usage of the last two years.


It shows clearly that the IPhone has had the biggest impact, with the Ipod and Ipad use starting to grow in July & September 2010. The significance of the figures above is that Apple Devices account to nearly 80% of the mobile visits to the 400 websites in this study.

The Important Question: Are people buying?

The chart below clearly shows that people are now actively making an action via a mobile device, even more so the first quarter of 2012.


So If 20% of your visits come from a mobile device and as much as 20% of your enquires or sales come from a mobile device then if you have not embraced mobile as a channel you could be potentially losing a staggering amount of revenue.

Conversion Rates by Device

The highest conversion rate is for the Ipad, I would personally expect this because tablets are more of a hybrid between desktop and smart phones.



Where are the visitors coming from?

This chart is real data, but I will express than the majority of sites in this data set have not embraced the social and mobile connection and this is why I think the referral percentage is not greater.


It is interesting that email as a channel produces the second largest provider of visitors and has the highest conversion rate. Your site should really be making use of those opt in mail lists and follow up emails as they seem to be working.


Do people search differently via a Mobile

From the data below is shows that people are NOT searching differently, in terms of B2B websites and purchases, which is logical to me, if I want to look for a “cheap flight to New York”, how would this be written differently on my mobile? I can’t shorten it and I would simply use the same language.

The chart shows the number of keywords driving traffic by keyword length. Blue is desktop keywords and red is mobile keywords. Apart from the difference in volume it shows a similar pattern.


The actual Keywords

Further investigation showed that across 60,000 keywords used in mobile searches 66% were also the exact same search as a desktop phrase.


The other 34% of keywords were still long phrases i.e. the majority of visits came from three, four and five word phrases.


Last words:

The above is all extracts from a data set, I will publish the full report soon, which contains further information about local search phrases and click through rates.

However it is clear that Mobile is here and is BIG, if you have been able to see any of the talks from Bas van den Beld about So-lo-Mo (Social Local Mobile) he illustrates how Mobile is combining channels allowing marketers to take advantage within their campaigns.

What I’d like to see as a marketer!

If you familiar with Google Multi Channel conversions and like it as I do, then I would love to see integration of how mobile impacts on the conversion process i.e. does someone come to your site from a mobile device then return on desktop and make a conversion? If Google adds this to the Analytics armoury then I truly think it would help accessing the channels we use and focus on.


Written By
Neil Walker started working as an SEO in 2002 and rose to become Group CTO for Swedish Marketing Agency “Online Group” in 2010 he moved to consulting with agencies, in-house teams and PR companies. In 2014 he formalised this work and founded Made Notable Ltd a boutique digital consultancy based...
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