Traffic is Shifting to Mobile, and You Should TooReading Time: 3 minutes
The rise of the smartphone has been faster than web development experts expected. 10 years ago, any web developer would have said that mobile web would catch up with desktop web traffic in 2020 at the earliest. That was a sore miscalculation. Mobile web traffic has caught up and overtaken desktop traffic 3 years before the expected date. In fact, web analytics show this might have happened in 2016. With 2 billion smartphones in the world and growing, this trend is irreversible.
- At least 66% of households in North America and Europe have 1 smartphone while 65% have a laptop. Another 55% own at least 1 tablet
- Mobile owners are expected to use 2 hours 16 minutes per day listening to radio on their mobiles in 2017
- Video content is growing on movie. YouTube was downloaded over 12.5 million times in 2016 and it is expected that 60% of smartphones will have YouTube by end of 2017. Other video apps that are popular are Instagram appearing in 39% and ComScore appearing in 25% of smartphones
- Social media apps were the most popular apps in the world. Whatsapp, Messenger and Facebook were downloaded a total of 117 million times in 2016. Instagram had 26 million downloads while Snapchat has 27 million.
- Google’s search traffic is 30% location based coming from mobile and this is growing at a rate faster than 50% per year over the last 3 years.
- 12% of global ecommerce in 2016 was done on mobile accounting for about $45 billion. Experts predict this amount to climb to $54 billion by the year 2024
The mobile’s influence on ecommerce and the structure of the web cannot be ignored. Some of the influences of mobile in the way web development is happening include:
Mobile first policy
Tech giant Google has changed its ranking metrics. Recognizing the shift towards the use of the mobile, Google is ranking mobile pages higher. Those with good user experience for mobile users are getting the highest ranking.
Web designers have been forced to recognize the need to design for the smaller mobile screen. This means building responsive scripts that change to suit the size of different mobile devices. This is expected to become standard in the next 2-3 years.
Content generators have also been forced to look for ways to make the mobile user have the best experience when viewing content. The challenge of a small screen and the absence of tabbed browsing have led to snapview content that users can expand if they wish to view.
The software development cycle has been disrupted to take care of the fact that at one point a conventional web based application has to interact with a mobile user. This is creating the need for applications that can integrate with major mobile OS Android and iOS.
Social media and apps
The biggest promotion of apps is on social media. There are plenty of ads about different apps that are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These will be the premier app promotion platforms for some time to come.
Big name mobile investment
Google has deployed Accelerated Mobile Pages which is to make webpages load faster on mobile devices. There is a similar rush by Facebook to be mobile friendly. With 47% of its 1 billion plus users using the mobile to check their social media, Facebook has the top 3 apps. This means that social media marketers must also focus on mobile based social media.
Mobile traffic optimization
Businesses have to focus more energy on optimizing for mobile to tap into this lucrative market. Some of the ways that this is being done include:
- Email optimization
- Over 50% of emails are getting opened on mobile devices. Optimizing for mobile involves making sure that objects like the subject line are sitting as expected and the content is all legible.
- Location based marketing involves delivering content to mobile users depending on their location. This targeted marketing is gaining currency with service providers.
- SMS coupons
- With 4/5 mobile owners using their smartphones to shop at one point or another, SMS coupons have become very popular.
- QR codes
- QR codes saw a 22% increase in 2016 for different uses including payments, coupons, tagging and other uses
The benefits of investing in mobile apps and web development far outweigh the costs of investment. With 2 billion users and growing the potential of growing a market is vast. The mix of mobile technology and social media means that a business can access this market by an affordable mix of content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation.
Mobile apps also have the benefit of delivering accurate analytics. Mobile users interacting directly with an app meaning that the market data obtained from mobiles represents a truer picture. This is very crucial in making a business responsive to market demands and improving its competitive edge. The business can acquire this data cheaply and stay ahead of the competition.
Businesses that implement the correct digital marketing strategies stand to gain a lot from mobile development. A slice of this vast market is worth a pot of gold.