A spot check of ChannelNet’s internal data for loan self-service accounts confirms Google’s official announcement that mobile traffic has surpassed the desktop. Last week, Google revealed on its blog that “…more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.”

Our own client metrics point to the Sept. 19, 2014 release of iPhone 6 as a possible tipping point (see image). Since September, one client’s mobile visits jumped up 17 points from 36 percent to 53 percent. These are not visits prompted by a search; these are direct visits in response to targeted emails. The point: mobile traffic is not just dominating search.


Mobile vs. Desktop Visitor Traffic to Online Self-service Installment Loan Account

Companies have had plenty of warning that this moment was coming. The usage of smartphones and tablets has been growing exponentially. In response, last month Google changed its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly sites in search rankings. Bing will soon do the same. If your company website(s) is not optimized for mobile, you need to move fast or your rankings will plummet and customers will abandon your pages.

“Consumers, particularly on mobile devices, now have higher expectations than ever before — they want everything right, and they want everything right away,” Google said in its blog. “This requires that marketers answer their needs in the moment, whenever and wherever they are. Our investments in mobile are driven by consumers’ expectations for immediacy and relevance in the moment.”

Renee Triemstra, ChannelNet’s vice president of strategy and customer experience, says, “‘View full site’ is no longer acceptable on your mobile website, and neither is ‘download our app.’ Not everyone wants to download an app just to interact with your brand on their phone.”

Triemstra recommends a responsive website — with one code base and one content base — as the preferred mobile-friendly solution.

Here are some of her tips for implementing a responsive, mobile-friendly solution:

  • Begin the design phase with a content strategy. With the smaller mobile screen, you have less real estate. So the primary screen space should be dedicated to the most important message or feature that you want to deliver. It is important that you understand your content strategy and know your primary message or features.
  • Plan your breakpoints. For our websites, we typically develop wireframes and mockups for two breakpoints — mobile and desktop — and the responsive behavior between those two breakpoints comes together through collaboration between design and development during the build phase. However, if your user base includes a large number of tablet users, you may want to wireframe and design for the tablet breakpoint, too.
  • Starting with a mobile-first approach forces you to envision the most important content and features first. Then the designer can scale up from there for a richer experience on larger screen resolutions. This way, all the critical content is available for all screen sizes. Once you have that information nailed down, you can add to it.

It is important to note that the mobile search stats were a footnote in a much bigger announcement about new Google AdWords products and automated buying tools. The mortgage and auto industries in particular can expect more game changers in the near future.