It’s no secret that a mobile-friendly website is of paramount importance. Overall, mobile traffic on websites surpassed computers in 2017 and is even higher now. But do you know where your traffic is coming from? Let’s take a look at some trends, how to find out where your traffic is coming from, and what it all means for you.
Who uses your site and why?
The two biggest factors that impact your usage statistics are who uses your website and what type of content you offer. Research shows that larger devices — tablets or computers — are preferred for “more important” tasks but phones are preferred for casual browsing. If your website offers something seen as “complex” or “important,” such as doing your taxes, your users are more likely to use a computer.
Research also demonstrates that smartphone ownership is lower among those aged 65 and older, so the average age of your users can also make a difference.
How are your users viewing your site?
Looking beyond mobile vs. desktop, another consideration is the platform your users use to view your site. Over 90% of mobile usage is through apps. Does your website also have an app people can use to view your content? If not, are people viewing your content through an app like Apple News or an RSS reader? If so, you’ll want to make sure your site is optimized for those platforms. The same is true for Google’s AMP platform.
How can you find out how people are using your website?
You could make wild guesses to answer these questions, but it’s even better if you could know the answers for sure. The WordPress Jetpack plugin provides some useful statistics to help you learn about your visitors, but tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics can provide even more. While more complicated than Jetpack, Google Analytics offers a more detailed view of who uses your site, and it’s a free tool.
What does this mean for my site?
Once you know some trends about your users, you’ll want to adjust accordingly. Are more people viewing your website through mobile devices than computers? Adjust accordingly and design your site for mobile first and don’t rely on computer-only functionality like hover effects. Are more users visiting your site from computers? Ensure you don’t rely on mobile-only gestures like swiping and tapping, and make sure the site looks great on a computer. But of course, you’ll want your site to look great on every device regardless of which devices are topping your stats.
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