At Legnd, we’ve been following mobile internet behavior since mobile-friendly was a “thing.” So, it should come as no surprise that we’ve also been tracking the behavioral trends associated with mobile browsing. What may come as a surprise, however, is that mobile browsing has presented a lot of unique challenges for marketers concerned with the #1 of internet marketing: conversions. Why does this matter to you? It’s simple: If you have a website, then you absolutely must care about mobile visitor behavior.

One of those unique challenges is what we call the “unique visitor.” A unique visitor is one unique individual who interacts with your website. So, think about the monthly SEO reports you receive, or the Google Analytics platform you log into from time to time. When you see the “users” metric, those are unique visitors who have visited your website.

Another metric to keep in mind is the breakdown of desktop and mobile sessions on your website. Mobile internet browsing and searching continues to increase substantially. Our own SEO and optimization clients are seeing these exact trends from month to month.

Up to now, all of this sounds great, right? You’re seeing more unique visitors on your website and these unique visitors are taking part in the mobile-browsing trend (score, SEO!). Sometimes, though, we don’t always see the level of engagement from mobile visitors that we do from desktop visitors. And, overall, many clients are still seeing that the majority of their conversions are still from desktop users (despite sometimes having more mobile traffic than desktop traffic).

tl;dr: Even though your website may have more mobile users than ever, they may not be as engaged or as likely to convert as your desktop visitors.

It may seem easy to point the finger at your mobile (or responsive) website. But, I’d caution you to hold off on that for one more minute. Last week, Google and the Think With Google team shared this piece of information with us on their LinkedIn profile.


Source: ThinkWithGoogle, LinkedIn

According to Google, 6 in 10 searchers begin their shopping experience on one device, but ultimately make their purchase using a different device… that’s 60%! This may be somewhat surprising to some business owners. However, this is a trend we had already pointed out to quite a few of our own SEO and optimization clients while analyzing and reporting on their web data. As is common with data, it’s likely that the numbers aren’t telling the full story regarding unique visitors and mobile conversion rate.

Consider this likely scenario:
One of your website visitors goes to their usual coffee shop before work to prepare for the work day. While sipping on coffee, this visitor searches for something on Google, and finds your website. Your new, unique website visitor browses your website for a few minutes, then leaves.

After all of that?... page 1 ranking and beautiful mobile-friendly website, and they still left.

But after work, this same person finally gets home and sits behind the computer. With the stresses of work and the daily commute behind them, they are ready to re-visit your website and purchase the item they saw nearly 12 hours earlier.

So, by the end of the day, your website converted and you’ve made a new customer. However, let’s remember the story your data probably shows you:

  • You had a unique mobile visitor leave the website without converting at 7:45am.
  • You had a unique desktop visitor make a purchase and convert at 7:45pm.

Bottom line: without truly analyzing your data and being aware of global and industry trends, it is possible to miss the bigger picture. Numbers can often tell one story, while the actual story is much different. Conversions on mobile are still catching up to conversions on desktop, and it may be some time before this happens.

So, before you abandon hope for your mobile or responsive website, think again: your mobile-friendly website might be doing all of the legwork for your company!

Interested in learning how Legnd can help your brand improve its online presence? Reach out to us – we’d love to talk!


Kristen Kindon
Kristen is our Conversion Scientist, and she specializes in analyzing web traffic data for conversion optimization opportunities. In addition to conversion optimization, Kristen is also our AdWords specialist. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys traveling, astronomy, her 2 dogs, and spending time with her family and her husband.
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