As our digital tools improve and mature, we are moving our online tasks from PC to mobile at rapid speed, according to some recent research.
GlobalWorldIndex, a respected world-wide research firm, says its most recent surveys suggest internet users are now, for the first time, performing more digital tasks on mobile devices than they are on PCs, laptops or other connected devices.
“At the start of 2016, digital consumers were averaging about 19 distinct online activities on PCs and laptops, more than they were completing on their mobiles (which was 14),” according to GWI. “Fast-forward to (the first quarter of) 2017 and we see that mobiles have overtaken computers for this metric, with the average internet user completing 16 distinct online activities on their mobiles vs. 13 on computers.”
The research firm is quick to point out we have not yet reached a mobile-only world – and, in fact, it finds internet users are quite comfortable moving back and forth between connected devices and mobile devices. But the evidence suggests – for digital marketeers – if you’re not mobile you’re standing still.
“In a mobile-first world, people expect answers at their fingertips,” explains Google, which knows a thing or two about searching the internet for answers. “They turn to the nearest device to make a decision, learn something new, or get something accomplished. Connecting the dots across these micro-moments is necessary for marketers to tell a single story across devices, channels, and formats.”
We’re all on smartphones and we’re using them as our most frequently used tool through out the day. Think about it: when you want to find a bit of information where do you turn these days? To your smartphone, of course, and ask Dr. Google. Yea, everyone else does that, too, and digital marketeers need to know that and incorporate that plain fact into our efforts.
For digital natives, those (still) younger folks who don’t remember the world before smartphones, before computers in general, the rate of use is even higher than for older consumers. (And, those young folks you want to reach because they have decades to be loyal customers and supporters.)
GlobalWebIndex says the 16-24 year old crowd spends around 3.5 hours each day looking at their screens.
“Social (media) plays a major role within this daily online time, with 88% of 16-24s saying they use social networking apps and 86% using messaging apps,” says GWI, a respected world-wide research firm. “That’s yet more evidence for why instant, mobile-first strategies are so key to engaging this group.”
Speed is most important
If you’re digital marketing efforts are more and more becoming based on mobile devices – as they should be – the speed at which our landing pages load on consumers’ smartphones is critical.
“The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds,” according to an analysis performed by Google in February. “Yet 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s a big problem.”
A slowly-loading mobile page is going to hurt, even kill, any digital marketing efforts.
“It’s no secret that shoppers expect a fast mobile experience,” insists Google. “If there’s too much friction, they’ll abandon their cart and move on. Today, it’s critical that marketers design fast web experiences across all industry sectors. Consumers want to quickly pay bills on finance sites, get rapid results when they’re browsing vacation reviews, and view an article immediately when they click through.
“Despite the fact that more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile,3 our data shows that mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop.4 In short, mobile page speed equals revenue.”
And, says Google, it’s the elements of a mobile landing page which tend to slow down loading times: too many elements, too many images and visuals.
“For 70% of the pages we analyzed, it took nearly seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on the screen, and it took more than 10 seconds to fully load all visual content above and below the fold,” Google said.
“Recently, we trained a deep neural network—a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system—with a large set of bounce rate and conversions data. The neural net, which had a 90% prediction accuracy, found that as page load time goes from one second to seven seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 113%. Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.”