STUDY: Mobile Traffic Growth Flat in Q1 2013

Walker Sands' Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report reveals the largest spike in mobile traffic typically occurs in late Q4.

CHICAGO – June 12, 2013 – Walker Sands, a public relations and digital marketing agency for B2B and technology companies, recently released the Q1 2013 results of its Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report. The study found that mobile traffic growth remained stagnant from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013, increasing less than one percentage point.

Since Walker Sands launched its Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report in Q1 2011, the amount of total web traffic originating from mobile devices has increased nearly every quarter. While mobile traffic has continued to rise over time, the report has found that growth is typically flat during the first quarter of the year.

The largest percentage increases have generally occurred late in the fourth quarter — coinciding with the holidays and a spike in mobile phone purchases, according to Daniel Laloggia, digital marketing manager at Walker Sands. For instance, from Q3 to Q4 2012, mobile traffic jumped six percent, accounting for the largest increase in traffic compared to any other quarter last year.

"The key takeaway from these findings is to avoid complacency as traffic slows. Although it's important to improve your mobile website ahead of the holidays to prepare for a spike in traffic, it's critical to have a strong mobile presence all year," explains Laloggia. "If a fourth of your visitors can't access the content they need, they'll go somewhere else."

Mobile Traffic on the Upswing Year Over Year

Despite these Q1 results, mobile traffic continued on an upward trend year-over-year. According to study findings, 24 percent of total website traffic came from mobile devices in the beginning of 2013 — up 78 percent from the same time in 2012 and 109 percent since 2011.

"Every quarter, our web traffic report has demonstrated a steady increase in the percent of total web traffic originating from mobile devices. When you look at growth over the last two years, it's clear that mobile shouldn't be viewed as a separate entity, but rather as a fundamental part of your digital strategy," said John Fairley, director of web services at Walker Sands. "Just having a mobile website isn't enough — you need to provide an exceptional experience for users."

Mobile Browsing by Device

The study also observed website traffic by operating system and device. Apple iOS emerged as the leader with 53 percent of total site traffic, followed by Android devices with 42 percent of total site traffic. Mobile traffic originating from BlackBerry devices accounted for the lowest portion — a mere two percent at the end of Q1 2013.

Website visits from iPads realized a growth rate of 85 percent from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013, while the average growth in mobile visits across devices was 93 percent. "Apple and Android devices continue to account for the majority of mobile traffic, despite new device releases from other manufacturers such as Windows and BlackBerry," added Fairley. "Although website visits from tablets are on the rise, they have kept pace with the growth in traffic from other devices."

Top mobile traffic segmented by device:

  • Android: 42 percent of mobile traffic, down from 45 percent in Q1 2012
  • iPhone: 36 percent of mobile traffic, up from 29 percent in Q1 2012
  • iPad and iPad Mini: 18 percent of mobile traffic, consistent with 18 percent in Q1 2012
  • BlackBerry: two percent of mobile traffic, down from three percent in Q1 2012

Discovering Your Website's Mobile Traffic

With mobile traffic at record-high levels, it is crucial to ensure your site is mobile friendly. For a step-by-step guide to determine your own mobile traffic, visit walkersands.com/mobiletraffic.

Walker Sands Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report

The Walker Sands Quarterly Mobile Traffic Report is compiled to determine significant web trends. The report is conducted by examining web analytics data across a wide range of B2B and B2C clients in multiple industries.

About Walker Sands
Walker Sands Communications is a full-service marketing and public relations firm offering service to B2B and technology companies ranging from startup to enterprise-level. With offices in Chicago and San Francisco, Walker Sands was founded in 2001 to provide marketing and public relations support for a wide array of companies with the business mission of providing best-in-class communications counsel. In 2012, Walker Sands was named a PR News and Bulldog Reporter finalist for Small Agency of the Year. To learn more, visit walkersands.com.

Walker Sands Mobile Traffic Report: Quarter 1 2013

Methodology Notes

  • A dozen Walker Sands clients were sampled for this report. All client websites are U.S. based companies.
  • All traffic data was collected by Google Analytics.
  • Data is for all visitors, U.S. and non-U.S.
  • iPhone data includes both iPhone and iPod Touch devices.
  • Mobile platform percentage breakdown does not equal 100% for each quarter because of other devices such as Windows Mobile and Symbian were not displayed in the report due to low volume.