5 Lessons I Learned From Analyzing 259,240 Visitors in 2015

I recently analyzed traffic from 54 websites in a wide variety of local and national niches in 2015 to better understand traffic trends and make sure we’re staying on the cutting edge in internet marketing.

There were 5 major takeaways from the data.  Let’s jump right in!

Total Traffic Analyzed – 249,587 Visitors

total visitors in 2015

34% of traffic is mobile in 2015 … a 50% increase since 2014

2014 mobile comparison2014 Traffic by Device

66% Desktop

22% Mobile

12% Tablet

2015 mobile traffic comparison2015 Traffic by Device

55% Desktop

34% Mobile

11% Tablet

Mobile devices are driving more and more traffic while desktop traffic continues to decline.  Next year, mobile traffic will be neck-and-neck with desktop traffic if this trend continues.

The Takeaway:  You need a mobile friendly website.  I suggest a responsive design that looks great on all devices.

Mobile Visitors Spend 25% Less Time & View 23% Less Pages

Mobile visitors don’t waste time on websites.  They quickly look for the information that they need and if they don’t find it, they leave.

The Takeaway: Mobile Traffic forces us to capture attention faster than ever.  To do this, make sure your website is focused on getting your visitors to become subscribers or customers as soon as possible.  We’re doing this by testing exit intext popups to try to capture visitors email addresses before they leave the site.  By using split testing and multivariate testing on your website, you can get a greater percentage of people to becoming a returning visitor.

 Chrome is The Most Popular Browser

2015 browser usage38% – Chrome

27% – Safari

14% – Internet Explorer

11% – Safari (in-app)

7% – Firefox

3% – Other

This statistic is important for cross browser compatibility testing.  Basically, you need to test 4 different browsers on your computer (Chrome, Safari, IE, and Firefox), and the browser on your iPhone and iPad whenever you make any sweeping changes to your website to make sure it looks good on all devices.

Some of the most common changes that I have found need to be tested are anything that involves JavaScript or CSS.  For example, I am testing an exit popup on a few different sites and trying to find the best popup to use on each site.  By testing this popup in the five browsers listed above, I discovered that it wasn’t working in Internet Explorer or Firefox, which basically means that I’m missing out on 20% of all traffic if I don’t find a popup that works in those browsers.

The Takeaway: Just make sure you test new website features thoroughly across the five major browsers and devices listed above and you’ll be good to go.

The iPhone & iPad Are The Most Important Mobile Devices

2015 mobile devices

50% – iPhone

21% – iPad

17% – Other

12% – Unknown

This reinforces the browser data from above.  There are lots of other devices used and I looked through this data quite a bit.  The next most prominent device is the Samsung Galaxy.

The Takeaway: If you don’t already have one, go out and buy an iPhone and an iPad so you can test these devices on your site as you make changes in the future.  I’ve tried using emulators in the past, but they are not as reliable as using the actual devices that will be used by your visitors.

Pinterest Sends SERIOUS Traffic!

social media traffic sources

Pinterest is sending more traffic than Facebook and WAY MORE traffic than Twitter.

I’ve been seeing this trend for about a year since Facebook changed their newsfeed algorithm and brands are not getting the same “love” that they were before.  Facebook has become a “pay to play” platform and is causing a lot of businesses to reduce their efforts on Facebook.

Other notable traffic sources include Yelp, Discus, Blogger, LinkedIn, Google+, and TripAdvisor.

The Takeaway: If you’re not actively creating content for Pinterest, you’re missing out on a massive traffic source.  This is quite literally the best single social media site to drive traffic to your business right now.  We’re driving traffic to our client’s sites through Pinterest by creating visual content (like infographics, recipes, guides) and sharing images that are first posted to our client’s blogs and then pinned to make sure that all clicks come back to our sites. This strategy is working like gangbusters.  I’ll do a full blog post on this strategy soon.

Also, if you want to drive traffic with Facebook, a Facebook Advertising campaign is an absolute necessity.  I’ve found that driving traffic organically from Facebook has become incredibly hard, but their advertising platform is light years ahead of any other site.  The targeting features on Facebook give you the ability to laser target your prospective customers and drive traffic to your website for significantly less than almost every other platform.

How I Analyzed This Data

Thanks to BIME Analytics for allowing me to use a free trial of their application to collect and compare all of this data.  Comparing information about multiple analytics profiles is not a native function in Google Analytics, but BIME allows you to connect to multiple analytics account, import all of the data, and compare it in a single dashboard.  I compared three different similar solutions and BIME was the best multi-account analytics application I could find.

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Mike Nacke

Owner at Nacke Media
Mike Nacke started Nacke Media LLC in August 2011.He has been an entrepreneur since 2001 and writes about internet marketing, driving traffic, WordPress,and conversion rate optimization.
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Mike Nacke