Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

by Posted @ Oct 26 2011

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The last two years have shown that the computer industry is quickly changing. More mobile electronic devices are being purchased and the traditional classic computer towers are being used less and less. Steve Jobs was right when he said that “PCs are going to be like Trucks” and used only for heavy computing.

It has become common to grab a tablet computer like the iPad or use your smart phone to search for information on the web. Each month the number of individuals browsing the web on tablets or smart phones is increasing and this trend is expected to continue strongly into the future.

Tablet computers like the iPad are becoming a center piece of consumer use. Additionally half of all CIOs are planning on using a tablet device in their corporations.

This growth is particularly important for websites in industries related to travel and media. It’s not uncommon for people to browse for vacations or view trailers for upcoming movies while sitting in bed or on the couch with a tablet device.

The expectation that use of tablet and mobile devices will continue to grow has led many to wonder, “Is my website mobile friendly?”.

How Much Mobile Traffic Hits Your Website?

While I believe that it is important that all website be mobile and tablet friendly, it does make sense to prioritize your budget related to when you make improvements to your company’s online presence. To do this, I suggest identifying how much mobile traffic your website receives now. If it is a significant amount, it may be time to invest in improving your website to make it more mobile friendly.

To check the amount of mobile traffic your website receives you’ll need a traffic analytics service that can identify mobile traffic verses visitors that come to your site from traditional computers. We use Google Analytics with our clients and setting up analytics to identify mobile and tablet traffic is quick and easy.

    • First, login to your Google Analytics account and select the new version of Analytics if you haven’t already done so.
    • Select your website and then click the Advanced Segment button.

    • Next, you’ll need to create a custom segment. To do this click the new custom segment button.

    • On the next screen you’ll need to give your Custom Segment a name. I usually name this “Mobile Traffic”.
    • After you’ve given the custom segment a name you’ll need to configure the segment to only include traffic from mobile operating systems. Select Include >> Operating System >> that Matches Exactly >> iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry.

    • At this point you can click the Preview Button to see how much mobile traffic your website is getting. When the preview has finished loading, the graph below will show you the daily mobile traffic you website has received over the last 30 days.

  • After previewing the segment, click Save to add it to your Custom Segments list.

With your custom segment created, you can view information about mobile visitors to your website by selecting the segment from the Advanced Segment button we mentioned earlier. Then use Google Analytics as you normally would to review information about visitors to your site from mobile devices.

Look at Traffic Over Time

Now that you’ve created a mobile segment in Google Analytics you should start to investigate the traffic trends from mobile visitors to your site. Is traffic from the mobile segment pointing upwards over the last 2 years? If so, you can expect this pattern to continue.

This means more visitors to your site via the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. It also means that if your website is not optimized for these devices, then you may drive away potential clients.

Additional Insights

Creating this mobile segment can also provide additional information to help you and your business. You can find out information such as how mobile traffic behavior compares to users that visit the site on traditional computers. This information can be very valuable to your business as nearly half of all tablet owners have already made a purchase on their tablet device.

The information you can investigate includes:

  • Do mobile visitors leave your site faster?
  • Is mobile traffic viewing less pages?
  • Is the amount of time they spend on your site significantly less than users that visit your site through a computer browser?

If you’re seeing these things then your site is probably more difficult to use on mobile devices.

What Site’s Don’t Work on Mobile Devices?

One type of site that will not work on the iPhone, iPad, and many Android phones are those that are built entirely with Flash. Additionally, if your website has a Flash banner than site visitors on many mobile devices will not be able to see that banner.

While your site may not have flash and technically can be viewed on mobile devices it may not be optimized for an easy user experience. For example, if your site has lots of tiny links that are difficult to navigate or select with a finger it can make the user experience difficult and drive traffic away from your site.

Check Your Site

The best way to check to see if your site is mobile friendly is to visit the site from a mobile device. Does it look right. Does it load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? Would you do business with a company who’s website works the way yours does?

If things aren’t loading correctly or are difficult to navigate, your site needs improvement to keep up with the market. Often these changes can be made quickly and do not have to cost a significant amount of money.

Get Help

If your site needs assistance to make it more mobile friendly let us help! We offer services that include:

  • Mobile Traffic Identification
  • Mobile Website Design
  • Flash Free Interactive Website
  • Mobile User Behavior Analysis – Understand how your mobile users use your site and take advantage of it

Feel free to give us a call or reach us through our contact form on this site.

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