First Half of 2015 Sees Huge Mobile Jump for Ag

 

By Bob West

Two topics have dominated headlines for digital marketers in 2015: native advertising and mobile. We’ll share our thoughts on native in another post soon, but focus on mobile today. We’ve written quite a bit about this topic in the last year or so (here’s one good post), but key metrics pulled after the second quarter of 2015 warrant attention.

In short, mobile traffic to Meister Media’s eight primary websites exploded over the past six months. Here are the numbers along with some historical context:

Brand 2012 Mobile Sessions 2013 Mobile Sessions 2014 Mobile Sessions 2015 Mobile Sessions
CottonGrower.com 17.8% 22.4% 38.5% 41.2%
CropLife.com 16.4% 19.4% 26.1% 34.9%
GreenhouseGrower.com 12.8% 19.1% 27.6% 33.0%
Hortalizas.com 6.0% 14.1% 22.7% 32.8%
GrowingProduce.com 13.4% 20.0% 21.8% 31.3%
PrecisionAg.com 13.9% 21.4% 27.5% 30.5%
TodaysGardenCenter.com 12.9% 17.7% 19.7% 22.0%
FarmChemicalsInternational.com 6.5% 13.3% 14.7% 19.6%

 

We redeveloped all of our websites to put them on mobile-friendly, HTML5 platforms over the past 18 months. This investment has clearly helped boost engagement with our audiences.

Use of mobile devices by specialty ag continues climbing, too. Smartphones account for at least 65% of mobile traffic on all of our websites, and that number goes as high as 80% for our international sites. So, a third factor driving the growth of mobile traffic on our websites is the ever-expanding screen size of phones, which makes them more useful web-browsing tools.

What does this mean for you, the marketer trying to reach these folks?

First off, you want a mobile-optimized website sooner rather than later. A good website has to deliver a positive experience for customers and prospective customers alike regardless of the device they use to get online.

Plus, Google’s algorithm changes from earlier this year (details here) mean non-mobile sites lose search engine ranking (and traffic!) every day. To that end, we recently analyzed the Google Analytics data on a client’s non-mobile website to help them understand what the numbers tell them, and one obvious takeaway was the traffic drop they’ve experienced every month since Google made this change.

(If you don’t know whether your website is mobile friendly or not, take 2 minutes right now to test it via this free tool from Google.)

Secondly, mobile use is to the point that you have consider the mobile friendliness of all email communications you send need. How they do they look on a phone? Are they readable? Can recipients even read the calls to action to know what you want them to do? (We began adapting our enewsletter templates for reading on mobile devices earlier this year, and we’ll likely roll out entirely new enewsletters in early 2016 for this reason.)

We know many of our clients are still working to develop a website they like and to which they want to send prospective customers, so the idea of tackling mobile can seem daunting. That’s not the reality. Adapting your website to serve your audience’s use habits only makes sense …. and that means mobile.

Bob West is the Director of Interactive Sales for Meister Media. For more information on these audience trends or to discuss how Meister can help your company update its website, contact him at 440/602-9129 or bwest@meistermedia.com.

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