Web traffic from devices increasing dramatically

Businesses that have optimized their websites for tablets and smartphones may be developing a distinct advantage over those that haven’t, new statistics from Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI) suggest.

OutRank – a service offered to Rogers business clients to improve search engine optimization and sponsored rankings – released statistics this week that showed a 60% increase in web traffic from mobile devices.

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In the first quarter of 2012, 18% of the visits to OutRank customers’ websites were from mobile devices. That increased to 29% by the fourth quarter of 2012 – a 60% increase in just nine months.

The data suggests that good search engine optimization is no longer enough to drive web traffic because an increasing number of users may not be able to properly view websites on their devices.

“These statistics are one more proof point that Canadians are increasingly searching for products and services using their smartphones and tablets,” OutRank general manager Milind Mehere said in a press release.

“If a small business does not have a mobile web presence, it will find itself at a great disadvantage when competing for new business opportunities.”

As reported by Business in Vancouver in March 2012, Morgan Stanley predicts half of all website visitswill be via smartphones or tablets by 2014.

Many websites designed for large screens do not render well on smaller screens. That doesn’t mean all businesses need to develop native apps for the whole range of smartphones and tablets, experts say, but it does mean they should have their websites optimized for mobile viewing.

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