Study: Mobile Gains Power over Desktops in Driving Traffic, Catches Up on ConversionsMobile has been steadily growing in power as a channel for reaching audiences. However, many still have not developed a mobile-friendly online marketing strategy because of the question of conversions and ROI. A recently released report from SEO platform developer BrightEdge shows that mobile is far ahead when it comes to driving traffic, and that it is gaining traction in converting visitors.

Growing Interest in Mobile

Multi-device ownership is growing at a fast pace, and mobile is leading the way. The survey shows that mobile online traffic increased 125% between the first half of 2012 and the first half of this year. Desktop online traffic, on the other hand, only increased 12% in the same period. This means mobile visits grew ten times more than desktop visits.

The study also revealed which industries experienced the most growth in mobile traffic over compared to desktop traffic year over year. Websites from the software and technology industry lead the pack, with mobile traffic growing 21 times compared to desktop traffic. The other industries are as follows:

Study: Mobile Gains Power over Desktops in Driving Traffic, Catches Up on Conversions

Desktop and Tablet Conversions Equal

The efficiency of mobile devices in converting customers differs, but mobile is showing that it has a fighting chance of overtaking desktop in the years to come. Tablets are already showing promise when it comes to generating conversions. Between the first half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, desktop computers and tablets have the same conversion rate.

Smartphones, on the other hand, still have a long way to go. The study shows that while tablets are at par with desktop units, smartphones only succeed converting at one-third the rate of the previously discussed channels. Media and entertainment sites lead the pack with the highest conversions, followed by travel and hospitality, and ecommerce.

Study: Mobile Gains Power over Desktops in Driving Traffic, Catches Up on Conversions

Maximizing Conversions on Both Channels

It’s important to realize two things from this study:

  • In order to maximize conversions, it’s important to note that many users own multiple devices, and optimizing for both desktop and mobile devices is the way to go.

It pays to read Google’s guidelines on mobile optimization to make sure your websites are performing up to their standards. They recommend using responsive web design whenever applicable, or serving different HTML codes in cases where responsive web design may not be your clients’ best option. The most recent guideline Google released on mobile optimization is about speed – because mobile versions are lightweight, they need to load faster on tablets and smartphones than they do on desktop browsers.

So far, not all industries will achieve the same mobile activity growth as the ones mentioned above. You may take the steps to prepare these sites for an upcoming mobile boom, but remember to keep your traditional search engine optimization strategy running.

Finally, devise a plan to reach your customers in these multiple devices. A good retargeting campaign works well, but you need to create different segments for desktop and for mobile users. You’ll also need to provide mobile versions of your ads for them to display on each device properly.

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Clayton Wood

Clayton is the Marketing Director of SEOReseller.com and managing partner of numerous successful online brands offering white label SEO and other online marketing services.