How important are mobile devices to your website? There’s a school of thought which says that in the business to business sector, anyone looking at your website on a mobile device must be pretty serious about wanting to find out something about you, as they’re less likely to stumble across your site by accident. Even if that’s not the case, it’s worth monitoring how many visitors are on desktop PCs and how many are on mobile phones or tablets.
If you use any mobile devices yourself, you’ll be quite familiar with how poorly some websites display, and how often features such as navigation simply don’t work. If your company website performs badly on mobile devices, does it really matter? Some companies don’t think it does, because they don’t believe there are enough visitors using mobile devices to worry about. Sure, if you’re Facebook or even Cineworld, it’s an issue. But for The Blue Widget Company? Well, let’s find out.
I took a look at the visitor data from 30 company websites, ranging from 65,000 visits a month down to just 750. All were primarily engaged in the industrial or scientific sectors, and would expect the majority of their visitors to be professionals. The survey covered the second half of 2012.
Using Google Analytics, we can look at the operating system of the visitor’s browser, which tells us what sort of device was used. For every one of the 30 companies, by far the dominant operating system of their visitors was Microsoft Windows (indicating a desktop PC in most or all cases), with an average of just under 85% of visits. The number two slot – although always a long way behind – was split almost evenly between the Macintosh OS …and Apple’s iOS mobile devices. Both averaged between 5% and 6% of visits over the 30 websites. Fourth and fifth place was normally contested by Linux (the third major desktop system) and Google’s Android mobile operating system, each with around 1% of visits. The remainder of visits were divided mainly between other mobile operating systems including Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone and Symbian, each of them averaging well under 1%.
So, if you don’t have a proper visitor analytics setup on your company website (and it’s hard to believe you can do online marketing without it, but I know it’s the case for a few companies), you can take those figures as something to work with. If you do have visitor analytics, take a look at your own (it’s under “Technology” if you use Google Analytics) and compare them to the figures above. Either way, it’s almost certain that between 5% and 10% of your visits are from people on mobile devices, and although this is almost certainly nothing like many high volume sites in the consumer sector are getting, I would suggest that this is still a significant number.
Tomorrow I’ll look at the implications of this mobile traffic.