Do you know what percentage of traffic you get from mobile devices like smart phones or tablets?
You can find out in Google Analytics if you have it installed. Here is a screenshot from a small niche site of mine:
Mobile search traffic is around 40%%, desktop around 60%.
Here is the data from another niche site.
For this site, mobile traffic is actually higher than desktop, though both are around 50%.
Here is one more small niche site:
This one gets over 55% of it’s traffic from mobile devices!
For my sites as a whole, the average mobile traffic seems to be from 40 – 60% of all traffic.
However, I do have one site that does not get so much mobile traffic:
This one has 73% of traffic coming from desktop.
Want to know the difference between this site and every other one I have? This one does not use a mobile-friendly theme, so is not responsive and looks bad in mobile devices.
Why should that matter?
Google prefer to show show mobile-friendly sites to mobile users. This isn’t just a theory, it’s fact because Google have told us that this is the case. In a Hangout on January 30th 2015, John Mueller confirmed it.
As far as my last site is concerned, this means I lose a lot of traffic simply because the site is not mobile friendly. Put another way, it offers mobile users a poor experience so Google don’t show it in the SERPS on mobile devices unless there are no mobile-friendly alternatives. It will be interesting to see what happens to the balance of mobile v desktop when I do switch that site to a responsive theme.
Using Webmaster Tools to find Mobile Issues
Webmaster Tools added a new Mobile Usability feature that can help show you problems with your websites. Here is what this looks like when there are no problems:
Far more often though, you will find issues, even on those sites using responsive, mobile-friendly designs. Here is the report for one of my other mobile-friendly websites:
This site, despite using a mobile-friendly theme still has issues. 71 pages in total have problems. The problems are listed below – only 4 of them. To see which pages are affected by the problem, click the arrow at the end of the row.
On this particular site, the problems were with old HTML pages. The site is basically a WordPress site (with responsive theme) that has some older content created as HTML pages. It would be worth my time cleaning up those pages by either converting the good content to a WordPress post, or deleting it if it is no longer relevant to my site.
Google also provide a free testing tool that can help you see the problems with your website. You can find it here:
This tool will tell you whether the site is mobile friendly:
.. and give you a screenshot of the site as Google sees it:
Here is the analysis this tool did on one of my older non-Wordpress sites:
Clearly this site has mobile issues. If I don’t want to take a hit when Google update their algorithm (in April 2015 if my memory is correct) to favour mobile-friendly sites, then I need to make changes. In this case, I’ll convert the site from HTML to WordPress. It’s so easy to use a Responsive theme with WordPress.
My HTML to WordPress Course on Udemy
Convert HTML to WordPress
Current Cost: $99
Cost with Coupon: $17
- Helping users find mobile-friendly pages
- Google Is Experimenting With Special Ranking For Mobile-Friendly Sites
- Tracking mobile usability in Webmaster Tools
If you have any thoughts or comments, please leave a comment. I’d be interested in hearing about your mobile users and also your experiences with themes advertised as mobile-friendly. Are they as mobile-friendly as you thought?