How Many Visitors Come to Your Site on Mobile?

Do you know how many visitors come to your website on a mobile device ?

Or maybe you’re a small business and figure it’s not important.

Maybe you figure mobile strategy is for the big guns – businesses with stacks of traffic, stacks of customers.

Work the Details

Looking at Google Analytics today I could see that the traffic to this website on a mobile device has increased by 72 percent in the last 12 months.

I’ve witnessed similar increases on clients’ sites but figured that their business was more suited to mobile, that their target audience was likely to be accessing their sites on the go.

I had fallen into the trap of thinking there wouldn’t be much interest in my business website on a mobile device. Not a business blog surely?

But the fact of the matter is that it seems people are using mobile devices to access the kind of sites they were visiting on laptops and desktops a couple of years ago, albeit on the move. The biggest culprit for me is Google, which is sending mobile traffic my way.

It makes sense, of course. When you’re out and about you check for info on your smartphone. I use Google’s iPhone app nearly every day.

Your customers and prospects do this too so its imperative your website works no matter what device is used to access it.

What’s the Best Mobile Strategy for Your Small Business

First and foremost you need a website that works on mobile. By “works” I don’t just mean loads; I mean a site that:

  • loads quickly
  • is easy to navigate
  • and does exactly what you want it to.

I use the phrase “does exactly what you want it to” here because it could look cool because you want to brand your business as cool; or it could look ugly as sin but enable people to, say, contact you as easily as possible. It all comes down to your goals.

The best mobile design strategy at the moment seems to be so-called responsive design:

an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones) (Wikipedia).

From a business perspective, and particularly if you’re bootstrapping, it makes sense to invest in one solution that fits all rather than creating a website version for each resolution and new device. After all this would be expensive and highly impractical, especially given the speed at which new devices are being launched.

So if you’re just starting out with your digital marketing or considering refreshing your site, make sure you’re paying attention to the number of visitors that come to your site via mobile devices.

In November 2012, that means using responsive design.

  • Ralph Dopping

    Responsive sounds like the way to go. How about some example platforms from wordpress that are structured for responsive design? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    • Jon Buscall

      It’s all in the actual design code and not the WordPress itself. So for example, a custom made site, a Genesis theme or Thesis theme can all be responsive. Or, they could all be fixed. It depends on the theme you’re using.
      Genesis and Theme Forest have a good array of responsive themes.

      • Ralph Dopping

        Cheers Jon! Thanks for the recommendation.

        I am looking for a web designer right now for a overhaul of my site. Actually a redo. New look and responsive is a key considering all the conversation regarding mobile. I checked my stats and only 11% of my pageviews are mobile right now but I am watching that number closely.

  • Richard Rutter ツ

    Great post Jon.

    Twitter is he single biggest source of mobile users to my site. To accommodate them, I have been using a free WordPress plug-in which auto-detects and displays a mobile format. Its called WP-Touch. However it doesn’t carry the same look and branding as my desktop theme, but makes it very easy for users to read and navigate.

    Being a brand consistency advocate, really it should carry the same colour schemes and images, but there is just so little room to work with on small devices!


    • Jon Buscall

      You’re right, Richie. The trouble with the majority of these themes like WP-Touch is that you lose the branding. I’m a massive fan of the Tomkins Times Liverpool FC website. It’s the best content on the Net. However, it’s dreadful to access the pages on mobile.
      Personally, I prefer responsive design for mobile at present. At least, if you’re working on a tight budget.