In 2015, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop web traffic for the very first time. Since then, that trajectory has continued and there is no going back. We are living in a mobile world where mobile device usage has skyrocketed. How does the rising importance of mobile affect search traffic and what does it mean for your law firm’s website? Here are the statistics you need to know.
As of March of this year, Google switched to mobile-first indexing for all websites. Most websites had already made the necessary changes, including optimizing load times on mobile, adjusting video and image quality for mobile, and ensuring that primary content is the same on desktop and mobile. To help you to further understand the digital landscape, take some time to review the following findings from this study by SEMRush.
Global Internet Search Traffic Trends: Desktop vs. Mobile
Global search traffic increases were coming predominantly from mobile devices. For the 1,000 most visited sites in the world from 2019 to 2020, absolute traffic volume increased by 22%. That traffic was predominately mobile, with devices driving roughly 66% of all site visits last year.
Desktop users are spending more average time on site. Visits on desktop devices were 40% longer than those on mobile devices in 2020. However, users are typically spending less time on sites across the board, perhaps due to shorter attention spans.
Bounce rates are similar for mobile and desktop. From 2018 to 2020, visits via mobile devices had a 3% higher average bounce rate than desktop, but this gap had narrowed to only 0.2% by the end of the year. Users are becoming increasingly device-agnostic and law firm marketers need to be more creative about engaging them.
Sites and domains are losing rankings and search traffic on mobile. In the study conducted by SEMRush, a lot of sites and domains lost their visibility in mobile search. Out of all the pages that make it into the Search Engines Results Pages (SERPs) for the analyzed keywords, only 11% maintained the same rankings across both desktop and mobile search.
It’s important to note that dropping out of top positions on mobile will have a much more dramatic effect on traffic than it will on desktop simply because of the reduced real estate available on a mobile device screen.
Desktop users are seeing more Google Ads and Featured Snippets. There were shifts in how often certain SERP features appeared across mobile vs desktop devices. Differences in device don’t seem to matter across Top Stories, Local Pack, and People Also Ask features. That being said, desktop users were twice as likely to see a Google ad or a Featured Snippet, while mobile users saw 12.5X more images and 3X more videos in organic search.
Key Things to Consider in the Mobile-First Era
Search experiences will be increasingly mobile. In order to future-proof your website, here are three actions you can take.
- Understand insights provided by your competitors and industry trends. It’s important to gather industry averages and benchmark your competition. This will help you understand where you’re falling short and take action.
- Review your own mobile performance and take action when needed. Get updates on your mobile performance as often as possible, even daily. Look at your ranking for important keywords and target locations. In particular keep a pulse on metrics like visibility and share of voice. Run a free website audit to check out your mobile compatibility score.
- Create cohesive touch points across devices. Never assume that users will engage only on one device. As they build a relationship with your law firm, they’ll likely leverage desktop and mobile. Make it easy for people to switch back and forth and to access valuable content no matter their platform.
Business is becoming more digital in general. Mobile will become increasingly important in your online efforts, and combined with Google’s latest indexing, it may even become difficult to be found without optimizing for mobile. Review these trends to understand where to place focus and resources, and reach out to us to learn more about creating an aggressive mobile strategy that will keep you at the forefront of search results with your potential clients.