Mobile traffic has increased for just about every website in recent years. As mobile becomes a larger and larger percentage of your total web traffic you need to make sure you are effectively serving your content to these users. Do your pages load quickly? Is all content visible, clickable, and correctly displaying on mobile devices? Below is a summary of the growth of mobile traffic on Google, globally, and for small and medium sized businesses in recent years.
Google Traffic & Mobile Searches
As of 2015 mobile searches overtook desktop searches. In 2018 Google estimates that up to 60% of searches occur on a mobile device. This is a huge shift from only 10 years ago when mobile search was almost non-existent. Mobile search will only increase as consumers spend more and more time on their devices.
Did You Know: 62% of the total daily minutes spent online by Canadians are on mobile devices. (comScore)
Growth Of Mobile Traffic
Although almost 3 years ago mobile searches overtook desktop searches it wasn’t until last year that total mobile traffic caught up to desktop traffic. In 2017 Mobile traffic grew to approx 50.3% of total traffic globally. The following is a graph that depicts the meteoric rise of mobile traffic share globally from 2009 to 2017.
Although mobile has overtaken global desktop traffic this is across all sized websites and verticals. We have been seeing large increases in the percentage of mobile traffic in our own clients analytics as well. This had me curious. Are smaller websites as affected by this switch to mobile? What is the percentage of mobile traffic for small to medium sized websites? What is the change between desktop and mobile over the last couple of years? Are certain verticals seeing a more drastic switch to mobile traffic than others?
So naturally I went to work, pulled together the data from 2016, 2017, and so far in 2018 (as well as estimated the rest of 2018) and compounded it into a nice big spreadsheet. Below are my findings and answers to the questions above.
Are smaller websites seeing the same drastic switch to mobile traffic?
In short, yes. Mobile sessions (traffic) as a percentage of total sessions increased for 86.67% of websites in our sample in 2017 and 60.00% of website so far in 2018. In 2017 the average growth rate of mobile sessions for the entire data set was 27.21% compared to 2016. In 2018 growth slowed to only 3.44% over 2017.
Although the majority of the websites that did not have an increased percentage of mobile traffic in 2018 so far were less than 1% off their total percentage of mobile traffic from 2017. I would expect that by the end of 2018 the mobile growth numbers will stabilize and we will see an increase in average growth as well as a decrease in the percentage of sites without year over year growth.
What is the percentage of mobile traffic for small to medium sized businesses (SMB)?
- In 2016 the average SMB’s mobile traffic was 29.07% of total sessions.
- In 2017 the average SMB’s mobile traffic was 36.99% of total sessions.
- In 2018 (to date) the average SMB’s average mobile traffic was 38.26% of total sessions.
Here is a breakdown of the average session share of all 3 channels (Desktop, Mobile, & Tablet) from 2016-2018
What is the change between desktop and mobile over the last couple of years?
Mobile has seen a 31.59% increase in mobile sessions across the entire data set between 2016 and 2018. Tablets saw a small 0.70% increase in sessions between 2016 and 2018. Desktop saw a 14.80% decrease in total sessions between 2016 and 2018.
Are certain verticals seeing a more drastic switch to mobile traffic than others?
Although we used a relatively small data set for our research a few clear trends started to show up. Automotive based websites had mobile traffic grow as a percentage of total traffic by an average of 195.61% between 2016 and 2018. In addition service based businesses saw mobile sessions grow as a percentage of total traffic by 169.43% between 2016 and 2018.
Below is a chart that shows the percentage of mobile searches by vertical.
What Does This All Mean?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record it means mobile is important. We are moving towards a digital world that is dominated by our smartphones and other mobile devices. As a business you need to be aware that an ever-increasing amount of people are searching for and accessing your business information through mobile devices. You NEED to be accessible in this space.
From search to user experience and conversion, your website needs to be optimized for and perform well on mobile. Google cares about it, the customer cares about it, you should care about it too!
If you would like some help optimizing your current site for mobile please contact us.