Back in early October, we launched an improved version of our website with Responsive Web Design code to improve the interface and experience for visitors on mobile and tablet devices. After collecting about three months of analytics data, we thought we’d share our insights about how the responsive solution is affecting mobile visitor behavior. While this data is specific to our site, we believe the patterns suggest that any website can benefit from a responsive or custom mobile solution.
The two key metrics we cared most about other than Contact Form conversions, which are measured separately as Goals, include Bounce Rate and Time Spent on Site. Since our website is mostly presented on one single page with the Blog and Habitat (Events, Seminars, etc.) sections living on sub-pages, we were used to having a fairly high bounce rate. Theoretically, visitors could learn a great deal about us just from the main/home page of our site but a visit to the Blog or Habitat section to dive deeper is naturally a major plus.
Since launching the responsive code, our bounce rate was reduced by roughly 20% from 84.5% down to 65.1%. This means a direct increase in the number of visitors on mobile devices who are taking interest in things like reading Blog posts and learning more about our Labs Seminars or other Events. Additionally, the time mobile visitors spend on the website has increase from 0:39 to 3:08. Because the design is now far more pleasant to use on a smartphone or tablet, our visitors are taking the time to digest the content available, they stay longer and chances are they are willing to dive deeper.
The next metrics we studied were the content sections people were interacting with. We assigned a simple Event Action to any section of the website including the navigation which tracks a click to suggest the popularity of each section. The things that people seem to care most about when visiting our site from a phone or tablet are:
- Viewing one or more Portfolio pieces
- Learning more about our Team Members
- Accessing Contact Information including Directions to our office
- Reading more about our Labs Seminars
- Browsing our Events
One of the key decisions we made earlier on was to promote the Contact information higher up on the page for new clients trying to find our offices for the first time, so it was good validation to see that Event Action being interacted with from mobile visits.
The other metrics we like to keep in mind with regard to mobile visitor behavior are First-Time vs. Returning visits and Mobile Device Types.
The first metric broke down to 26% of people returning on their mobile device. As we continue to tweak and optimize our responsive code, it would be nice to see this number rise as it would suggest that visitors were intrigued enough to return to our site for additional content, information about an event or to get in touch.
The second metric was quite telling. For the most part, we’re a Mac shop but a few folks have Android phones and I’d always imagined that our Android visitors might outnumber our iOS visitors since Samsung dominates the smartphone market share with 25.7% according to a recent study published on CNET. At only 17.2% of market share, iPhone and iPad users totaled about 93% of traffic to our site.
While we would still advocate a true/fluid approach to responsive web design to accommodate as many devices as possible, it certainly helps to know what devices people are actually using in terms of where you spend the most time testing and perfecting.
Hopefully some of this research and data will help you decide to optimize your website for mobile and tablet visitors if you haven’t already done so. Web designers and agencies that have similar content sections as freshtilledsoil.com might also benefit from understanding the popularity of their content breakdown and its implications for their desktop sites as well.