When Bango surveyed the Top 20 most trafficked PC websites* (according to Nielsen Online), they found that half of these sites did not work well on leading mobile phones – despite the fact that typically 5% of visitors to PC websites now come from mobile devices, up from 1% a year ago. The problem is that PC websites are not adapting fast enough to match mobile browsing trends and are failing to present mobile-friendly versions of their sites.
Many online businesses questioned by Bango admitted they do not know how much mobile-originated traffic is hitting their PC site. Bango’s research reveals that between 3-10% of on-line traffic to a PC website now comes from users entering web addresses on their mobile device.
Bango has responded to this significant trend by releasing a service called “Analytics for PCs”. This simple plug-in tool measures the actual number of mobile phone users hitting a PC web site and provides detailed metrics of these mobile visitors including the percentage of mobile traffic as a unique visitor count plus the country, network and device mobile users connect through. It provides the vital data needed by on-line brands to develop their mobile web strategy.
It’s not just iPhone users that are regularly accessing the internet from their phones. Researchers at IDC say that 1.3 billion people will connect to the Internet via mobile phones by end of 2008, and the vast majority of these mobile browsers are using mass market phones from Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.
“Our figures indicate that up to 10 out of every 100 customers are now routinely entering web addresses from their phones and hitting a site designed only with PC users in mind, which results in a bad experience,” said Anil Malhotra, SVP of Marketing and Alliances at Bango. “Businesses should be asking now which handsets, countries and languages matter most to their business and developing a mobile strategy to match this.”
Some mobile network operators are routinely transcoding desktop websites to fit better on their subscriber’s phones. While this improves the formatting of PC web pages when viewed on a phone, it is no substitute for a properly designed mobile site, with thought given to relevant content, the right mobile feature set and easy mobile navigation. Made-for mobile websites generally have a simpler layout with content that’s relevant for a mobile user in the top slot on the home page.
Bango Analytics for PCs is available as part of an Early Access Program at www.bango.com/eap. The webmaster puts a line of code into the home page of the PC website and Bango starts measures unique visitors to the website from mobile devices with specific details on the users’ country, network and device. All the data is viewable from the Bango Management tools console in real-time.
* Bango surveyed the Top 20 most trafficked PC websites as published by Nielsen Online, July 2008. Tests were carried out on the Motorola V3 Razr and Nokia 6300 on AT&T in the US and Vodafone in the UK. The full results are published at blog.bango.com.
Disclaimer: Bango Analytics is a sponsor of this blog