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The Amazing Mobile Advantage for your Small Business

15 July 2015
people using mobile phones for small business stephdokin marketing

Why do anything about the most recent mobile update? Google updates their Algorithm way too often…or at least it seems that way. Last year saw 15 updates and in 2012 there was a whopping 37 of them, so far this year there have been 3. So I know you are happy the way things are, why should you care? Why go through all the effort when Google will change things again anyway? Technology is moving quickly, you need to be proactive. You need to keep up with algorithm changes in general. So what about mobile? Is it just another crazy Google initiative? I would argue the recent Mobile Algorithm Update is the most important one yet. Smartphone use and Mobile in general is not a fad, it’s here to stay. Google’s next Algorithm change could very well be mobile focused yet again (my guess is that it will be).

If you fall behind in mobile it will be hard to catch up. Tech moves fast and it will only get faster. Therefore, you should have a plan in place and take the steps towards improving usability on smartphones.

So the big question: How many are actually using mobile to search the world wide web? The customers you serve don’t use smartphones right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

A very large number of people are on mobile for many reasons. Product research, finding retail store locations, looking for nearby coffee shops…and the list is expanding fast.  Are you taking advantage of your customers search habits? Don’t fool yourself, they are searching for you on their smartphones. The question is are you showing up or is it a competitor?

A quick side note on searches in general: There are over half a billion unique Google search queries per DAY. That’s 3.5 billion total searches/day…are you capturing a piece of the pie?

Courtesy of


But this post is about mobile, no more desktop stats. Time to focus!


Mobile by the Numbers

The number of mobile searches vs. desktop are increasing fast. In all likelihood your customers are searching you on mobile. Whether young or old, male or female most everyone uses Google. Lets get into some hard stats, let’s prove that mobile is here to stay. Your optimization efforts will be well worth it!

Mobile usage is growing 8X faster than the web did in the 1990s. This is a fundamental shift in the way we consume the internet. It’s big, and if you don’t stay on top of it…well you kinda have to.

Check out a previous slideshare post that still blows my mind:

Things are growing fast, our world is moving quickly. To put things in perspective click here and scroll down to “Society & Media” OR check out how many smartphones were sold today. Mind blowing stuff! We are going to see over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2016. So how many search queries is that going to be? Again, very much lots…

wow mobile much query very google so algorithm dog meme


Here at The Stephdokin Digital Brand Agency we know that mobile is important. People use their smartphones in interesting ways, lets understand this a little better:

  • 90% of people move between devices when accomplishing a goal.
  • 71% of mobile users expect a mobile site to load faster than on a desktop.
  • By 2020 90% of the world’s population over the age of 6 will have a mobile phone.


And according to more iPhones are sold each day than babies are born, that doesn’t even include other models. Soooo…Much Mobile!

Now how do we know the number of mobile users visiting your site? Assuming you have Google Analytics installed this will be super easy, login and click on Mobile Overview. Here you can see the percentage of mobile users you have historically received. In our experience 30% is quite high (we deal mainly with B2B clients).

mobile searches google analytics stephdokin stats 

Even if you are on the lower end, maybe around 10% this does not give you an excuse to avoid mobile optimizations. You will likely gain more mobile visits down the road. Not taking action now will leave you behind the eight ball.

What about the varying mobile devices? What is your site being viewed on? Again in analytics click on Mobile and then Devices, you will get a breakdown like the one shown below:

 smartphone breakdown device samsung apple iPhone berry percentage analytics google


So we know what percentage of traffic is mobile, we know the devices they are using…what’s next?

The main points you will want to identify at this stage are:

  1. Mobile Bounce Rate – Is it higher than your overall bounce percentage? If so, why? Keep an eye on this number as you make changes.
  2. Mobile speed – Are people exiting your site before it even gets a chance to load? You may want to request a free custom report or use tools such as Pagespeeds (although this tool is being phased out soon).
  3. Webmaster Tools – Are your viewports configured? Do people have to pinch to zoom? Is the text readable and navigation easy to use on most smartphones? This will give you some fantastic clues on where to begin optimizing.
  4. Other google tools – As we outlined in our Mobilegeddon Post Google also provides many other tools to help us out.


Quick Point on Tablets

Is there a difference between Tablet and Smartphone users? The data says yes, tablet users behave much differently than smartphone users. Google Analytics tracks these in a separate category (the above graphic shows tablet users at 8.39% of overall sessions). But there is more…

Tablet users are also more likely to purchase certain products and their browsing habits are also drastically different than smartphone users. In fact Tablet users actually spend 50% more than desktop users. So you don’t necessarily want to lump tablet users in with the overall “smartphone” category.


What Else Should you be Thinking About?

Now we have an understanding of mobile, what it means for us, and how we can analyze/improve. We identified that tablet users are much different, what else should we be thinking about?

  1. The first thing that comes to mind is Ecommerce. More and more sales are happening on smartphones. We will touch on this below.
  2. Second we will talk about Email. It’s going to be around for a long time, but have you thought about your open rates? What about open rates on mobile phones? Is your monthly newsletter optimized for your raving fans who consume on mobile?
  3. Lastly we will touch on apps. Mobile app development as well as mobile advertising. Should you pursue these avenues?


1. Mobile Ecommerce on the Go

Mobile sales are huge! If you are in the ecommerce space than optimizing for mobile is very important. I would argue that we all need to think like an commerce store, we may not be selling physical products but we still need to think about sales (wether a service, course or an ebook). So in the end the name of the game is leads. They convert to sales and that means you must convert on mobile as well. The flow looks like this:

Website Traffic –> Leads Generated –> Sales

You will want to track your lead conversion rates (ex: forms filled out from traffic) as well as your close rate (leads converted to a paying customer). Ask us about our detailed Dashboarding view that gives you this info and much more (the insights you gain from this data will amaze you).

In 2014 Amazon saw 60% of holiday shoppers coming from mobile platforms (web store and the amazon app). If this selling machine sees traffic like that on mobile you may want to shoot for a chunk of it yourself. I’m not saying go out and sell on Amazon but take advantage of the volume of mobile traffic coming from all directions.

If you are thinking of selling online Shopify themes have been mobile friendly since 2012 and Woocommerce engines work well on mobile (if built properly). So I will leave you with this: Over 50% of online shoppers who own a smartphone use it to buy online and mobile accounts for 50% of all Ecommerce Traffic. Wow.


2. So what about Mobile Email?

If you’re an email marketer this is something you need to think about, 45% of email opens occured on mobile…

This number was quite surprising to me at first, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Reading emails on the go or in line at the grocery store seems common (I mean I do it all the time). So do companies focus on their emails on mobile?

email mobile open rates responsive smartphone desktop centric stats mobile monday mobilegeddon

Click Image for source.


We know mobile is important for browsing, leads/ecommerce and for email. And because I love infographics and stats here is more on email marketing: Infographic: Email Marketing is Changing – The Rise of Mobile and Triggered Emails


3. Do I need a Mobile App?

Should you develop one? What kind of sales do you have? Should you develop on iPhone, Android or both? Which to do first? These are all questions that need to be tailored to your specific industry and business. Just remember an app is not always the solution, you need to have a clear plan and specific goals on what you are trying to achieve.

The changing technology landscape is a great opportunity for retail brands to customise and personalise the experience for their users. From a brand’s point of view, once the customer downloads an app, the app will always be logged in. This will allow the brand to collect user specific data such as recurring purchases, duration of browsing, preferred platform to share information on and so on. Companies will now build their own data analytics competencies to serve its customers better while also supporting their own marketing functions (source).

It’s more likely your business will benefit from mobile ad placements. They are cheaper and if implemented properly can produce fantastic returns. I could discuss these topics for a while, thats why I am reserving more detail for another post, so stay tuned!


Apples, Androids, Berries and…Nokias?

Mobile is the future so be prepared for an influx of iPhones, Androids and…Strawberries? Wait no, thats not right, I mean Blackberries. Hmm I almost forgot how those little berry buttons felt under my fingers. Regardless of the phone model, mobile is another way to attract people to your site. And if its not mobile friendly then prepare for a high bounce rate.

Smartphones are the way more and more people interact with the web. Mobile searches will be overtaking desktop searches this year and this is significant. For you, for your business and for your profits. Without a mobile strategy you are essentially throwing traffic/leads out the window. Attracting web traffic is hard enough so make sure you are taking advantage of the entire usage base. This includes mobile, desktop, and tablet. Oh and what about Watches? Damn it eh? Not another avenue to think about 😉

Your business will be better off if you gear towards mobile optimizations as soon as you can. The stats are irrefutable, take action today!

Mobile opimtization cannot be ignored any longer, texting with our heads down and walking into walls will not be going away. So why not allow for a streamlined mobile experience wether or not the user is safely sitting down or ends up tripping on a curb; either way they could be a potential client. Why not convert them either way? So is this Mobilegeddon? It is if you don’t take action. There are solutions and it’s not as hard as you think. Now let’s get optimizing!




I will leave you with the following infographic from Kissmetrics, don’t you love data?



++ Click to Enlarge ++
How Mobile is Changing Business
Source: How Mobile is Changing Business – Infographic
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