This isn’t news. We know that more and more mobile devices are accessing the web on a daily basis. What might be news to you, however, is the coming mobile tidal wave reports are predicting. A recent Tech Crunch article states mobile traffic is expected to rise to 40 times its current level in the next five years. A often cited AdMob study shows smart phone traffic up by 193 percent over 2009 numbers. That was March 2010…before the iPad. In the last year global mobile traffic data has increased by 160 percent according to a February 2010 Cisco study. Fortune’s August 2010 article sums it up: “The numbers don’t lie: Mobile devices overtaking PCs.”
The coming tidal wave of mobile devices is turning into a tsunami. As such we need to evaluate how mobile users are engaging with our virtual storefront.
Your Mobile Visitors
Have you looked at your site’s mobile traffic? Here’s how to with a Google Analytics account:
1. Log in to your Analytics account.
2. Once logged in, you need to look on the left hand column for “Visitors.”
3. Under “Visitors,” click on “Mobile.”
You will then see statistics of people who viewed your site with mobile phones.
Chances are you’ll be surprised at the number. Even more interesting—look at how that number has increased over the last few months. Dealer Refreshfocused on this topic in May of this year; read the comments sectionfrom participating dealers.
Bouncing or sticking?
Next, let’s take a look at how mobile visitors are behaving on your site. Specifically take a look at bounce rates of mobile visitors and compare them to traditional visitors. If you’re like many, you’ll see sky-high bounce rates on your mobile visitors. In his podcast on www.im-mobile.com, Eric Hanson talks about mobile visitor bounce rates of vegas.com and how optimization strategies effectively lowered those stats.
Understanding Mobile Visitor Behavior
More and more reports are showing different behavior patterns for mobile visitors vs. desktop. This only makes sense, but we are now seeing data to back it up. What’s clear, is that giving a mobile user a desktop experience results in bounces and decreased conversions, if any.
Time on site metrics for traditional desktop users continues to be higher than metrics for mobile devices. Mobile visitors are on the go. They consume information many times in sections rather than a single sitting. The essence of being on the go doesn’t allow for prolonged spans of attention. An interesting study by ClickTale, puts some numbers to the speculation that mobile users don’t like to scroll. Long loading times, scrolling, zooming—all of these functions are turns off and contribute to bounces for a desktop formatted website.
Capturing Mobile Visitors
A good dealer website is designed to capture your customer, providing first the information they are seeking, then spurring them to action. If you buy a website package from a quality vendor serving the dealer market, you’ll see a lot of attention has been placed on channeling the customer through a specific set of processes. As mobile site traffic increases, we’ll need to better understand and capture our mobile users as well.
Apps and mobile sites are at the forefront in retaining mobile visitors. The mobile site vs. apps debate is for another discussion, but these options are proving to stall the onslaught of mobile visitor bounces.
Ben Anderson is the president of AutoMotionTV www.automotiontv.com, a Minneapolis based marketing company specialized in automotive video and mobile marketing. You can reach Ben at 612-353-4125.
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