Did You Know?

By Cathy Hodson

One of the most challenging aspects of being a website owner/administrator is being able to deliver content across myriad platforms, the multiple versions of those platforms, in addition to multiple devices and their various operating systems. A burgeoning (some might say exploding) segment of website traffic now comes from the mobile market.

Did you know that nearly half of American adults own a smartphone? According to a March 1 Pew Internet Report, 46 percent of American adults “are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35 percent of Americans who owned a smartphone last May.”

The report goes on to say that “Two in five adults (41 percent) own a cell phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones.”

And it’s only going to keep increasing. Is your website ready to handle this mobile customer? Do you know how much of your web traffic comes from mobile devices? Is your website mobile-enabled or even mobile friendly? If you have ever tried accessing a regularly configured website on your cell phone, you know how difficult it can be – the type is way too small, and if you expand the view so the type appears larger, you have to scroll in every direction just to see and read everything.

The mobile market is being spurred on by the advent of QR (quick response) codes, a stamp-sized code that smartphone owners can scan with their phones for more information about something. These codes will drive more mobile traffic to our websites. Being able to give our visitors information they seek quickly and in a mobile friendly format will help to boost your helpfulness to your customers.

Mobile is here to stay. Are you?

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2 thoughts on “Did You Know?

  1. Great article, Cathy. Miniaturization – or perhaps it’s nano-ization – is where all computing is headed, and as web editors we need to keep thinking smaller and more compact. Your stats are a good reminder of this trend.

  2. The two websites I edit are subscription based, and every month I send an email to those who have already subscribed, telling what to look out for in the month ahead.

    After I have finished editing my monthly subscriber emails, using MagnetMail, I edit the Web and mobile versions. The original email version remains the same–with jump links at the top, images and some descriptive text.

    I leave the Web version alone, but shorten text for the mobile version. MagnetMail automatically strips out the images, and most formatting. I significantly text to the bare bones, and add more line breaks. For some reason MagnetMail moves the jump links to the bottom in the mobile version–so I move them back up, adding more space between. Actually, it’s not a mystery why they do this–I’m pretty sure it’s because of columns in the subscriber email layout.

    Last month’s subscriber email was only the second time I did this, so it’s new for our subscribers. Of the total open rate–which was 23% last mongh, 91% was via computer and 9% via mobile. I think “mobile” includes iPad but I am not sure. In our case all of the mobile “opens” were via iPhone.

    I think this is pretty good considering our audience consists of marketing people in credit unions who have already made the decision to subscribe to our websites.

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