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What 1 in 4 Mobile Sites Is Doing Wrong

July 10, 2014 By Jim Yu
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Mobile is crucial and it's here to stay. Marketers today understand how important mobile sites are for reaching customers—in fact, according to the PewResearch Internet Project, nearly 60 percent of American adults own smartphones and 40 percent own tablets. Smartphones and tablets together command fully one third of organic search traffic, and that's only projected to grow. According to BrightEdge's newly released "Mobile Share Report," smartphone traffic will grow 50 percent within the next year.

But for all that growth and momentum around mobile, there are major gaps between the traffic that marketers can achieve with mobile and what they actually are achieving. Why is that? Twenty-seven percent of mobile sites—yes, more than a quarter—are misconfigured, the BrightEdge report shows. This means marketers are losing out on an average of 68 percent of smartphone traffic to their competitors, as well as potential revenue. When nearly a third of websites in this report are incorrectly implementing mobile, it points to a massive, Internet-wide opportunity to drive more traffic. According to the data, if marketers rectify those misconfigurations to reach their full mobile potential, they stand to see a 212 percent jump from their current traffic. The mobile boom is impending, and now is the time to take full advantage of it.

Why Configuration and Implementation Matter
The report found that, on average, 62 percent of searches show different results depending on whether the search was performed on a desktop or a smartphone. The real question we were eager to discover was if this difference is due to the type of mobile configuration (responsive, dynamic or separate) or if it's due to the implementation of the mobile configuration. Turns out, performance does not vary significantly between responsive, dynamic or separate. Instead, an incorrectly implemented site is the root of marketers' traffic woes.

With incorrect mobile implementation, smartphone search rankings dropped by almost two full positions. That might not seem like much at first glance, but clickthrough rates are extremely sensitive to rank, leading to a 68 percent drop in traffic. What does that mean for marketers? Misconfigured sites only see an average of 7 percent smartphone traffic; whereas, their competitors' correctly configured sites bring in 23 percent of smartphone traffic.

 

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