Mobiles driving traffic growth to corporate websites

Oct 04, 2013
<p>One fifth of corporate website traffic now coming from mobile devices&nbsp;</p>

The total number of visits to UK corporate websites is up by almost a quarter (24 percent) as traffic gets a boost from mobile devices.

‘This growth has been driven almost exclusively by the accelerating use of mobiles from January 2012 onward,’ say researchers for the first Investis IQ ‘Audience Insight’ report. While visits to corporate websites from desktops remain largely unchanged, visits from mobiles have jumped 400 percent since August 2011.

Analyzing traffic to 60 corporate websites – mostly belonging to UK-listed firms plus a small number of European companies – with an average total of 2 mn visits per month, Investis found that two thirds of all mobile traffic was being directed from iPhones and iPads.

Despite this, the researchers say only 23 percent of companies currently offer either a mobile site or one designed to respond to different devices. Marcus Fergusson – who led the research at Investis, the world’s second-largest provider of corporate websites – says websites are often updated for mobiles when a company chooses to redesign.

‘While undoubtedly there are companies that don’t see mobile-friendly sites as being of high importance, this is not true of the majority,’ Fergusson says. ‘Rather, the issue here is the cycle of website redesign and the fact that redesigning a website is a big exercise. This goes some way toward explaining why only 23 percent of websites surveyed in the report offer a mobile solution, although this is a global figure and some indices do perform better.

‘Given that our latest IQ research shows that one in five visits to corporate sites now comes from a mobile device, companies really need to be meeting the needs of this section of their audience now.’

Investis Audience Insight, Q3 2013: Percentage of index with a mobile-friendly site
Source: Investis Audience Insight, Q3 2013. Click for a larger image

Fergusson advises firms to opt for a mobile site as a ‘quick-win’ or stop-gap until a full redesign to a new responsive website that will fit to any screen size can be achieved.

Social media is also pushing views to corporate websites. Site visits from social media have tripled over the past two years, though Investis notes that the medium is ‘still not a significant driver of traffic overall’. LinkedIn is now responsible for 64 percent of all social media referrals, it says, ‘while Facebook is rapidly losing ground’.

Geographically – and excluding European firms from this section of the study – Investis says that 58 percent of visits to the corporate website of UK-listed companies now come from outside the UK. ‘The proportion of visits from outside the UK is gradually rising, reflecting growing international interest in UK-listed companies,’ states the study, noting recent Office for National Statistics figures showing that more than half of UK-listed shares are now owned by foreign investors.

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