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How is mobile traffic different from desktop traffic?

A whopping 70% of website users are browsing the internet on their mobile phone. With the incredible growth of mobile phone distribution amongst society, the usage of mobile phones became visibly heavier over the past 10 years. 16% of Australians already use mobile voice assistants, which change the way they’re searching in Google. Summarised, we’re currently witnessing how the success of the small screens is changing how the internet looks like. The question is, is your business ready for mobile? To give you an idea of what the change from desktop traffic to mobile traffic means, we made a list of the major issues you’ll need to prepare for.

Mobile screens are smaller.

The most obvious comes first: As mobile screens are smaller, your businesses website needs to be displayed differently. A responsive website theme takes care of that by breaking your website content automatically if viewed with a small-screen device. Some themes enable you to set whether an element (such as a bulky chart) should even be displayed on a mobile website or not.There are still websites out there that don’t use responsive themes. If you haven’t done this yet, open your businesses website on a mobile phone and see if it’s presented nicely.

Finger vs. mouse

Another change that mobile traffic brings is that the mouse on desktop is replaced by fingertips. With smaller screens and round fingertips, clicking on the right button or element on a mobile website can become an annoying affair if the spacing between the elements is not sufficiently wide. I’m sure this has happened to you before – you wanted to click on one point, but your fingers accidentally hit the element below and led you somewhere else. Frustrating. Make sure your mobile website is comfortable to navigate, with big clickable elements / buttons and enough spacing between several elements. 52% of users are unlikely to engage again with the same business after having a bad mobile experience – 40% of them even go directly to your competitor.

The focus changes.

While big, beautiful pictures on a desktop computer can be perfect to draw users in, the same image might not look as impressive on the small screen of a mobile phone. Getting across your main message with few words and lots of appeal is key to have success in the mobile world. If you place important stuff too far down the website, desktop users need to scroll twice to reach it – but mobile users need to scroll probably 5 or 6 times to get there, if they haven’t lost interest before. Navigation and clarity are main issues to keep mobile users on your page. On mobile, you constantly get messages, might be interrupted by a phone call or quickly have to pay your myki fare online while hopping on the train. Everything is on the go, different tasks overlap each other more constantly than ever.

A different way of searching.

As mentioned before, the way people search changes. Instead of typing “buy tshirt online”, a person might ask their mobile to search by voice, often changing into a question: “Where can I buy a tshirt online?”. This already changes the search term significantly for Google and therefore also the ranking of search result pages. Mobile users want results to be clear, easy and fast – not searching through five different Google results on a small screen.

The mobile evolution continues at a high pace. There’s no need to follow every new trend immediately, but by 2019, your digital presence should be solid on mobile. If you need help to get there, make sure you drop our digital experts a line.