Mobile device traffic is increasing rapidly. Have you adapted your blog?
In one year, mobile device traffic to my websites and blogs has increased from a little over 20% to well above 50%. This does not include tablet traffic, which remains at a little under 10%. These statistics from Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015 show details of the trend, and how desktop traffic is now running second.
So what does this increase in mobile device traffic have to do with authors? A lot in fact.
As has been the habit for so long now, many authors have got used to the idea of blogging to promote their books. This has meant writing informative and interesting blog articles, and including book links in the sidebar of their blogs. This is all well and good for desktop traffic, but for mobile device traffic, it’s a loser. A disaster in fact.
Why? Because all the blog sidebars that are visible for desktop users, disappear for mobile device users. Not entirely, but they do get shoved to the bottom of what mobile device readers see when they view a website, so what is included in sidebars is mostly missed or ignored.
This is also a problem for authors with self hosted blogs that carry Google Adsense advertising in their sidebars. Again, this advertising will be totally lost to mobile device users, because it will be moved to the bottom of the page after comments, share buttons and related posts.
What this change in user behaviour means is that blog and website owners will need to adapt and change their sites to make sure that what is important is included within the body of each each post or article, and not in a sidebar, which mobile device users are unlikely to see.
For my own site, this is the view desktop readers will see. Notice my sidebar and Adsense block at the top right.
But for my visitors using a mobile device, this is what they see.
No side bar, no sale!
No side bar, so no recent articles, and no Adsense ads. This of course creates a very big problem, and requires a total rethink about how blogs and websites are designed. If more than 50% of visitors are not seeing what you would like them to see, it means redesigning your websites completely.
The easiest way around this problem is to move everything that you want a reader to see, into the blog post or article itself. In my most recent post about ebook marketing, uses now get a layout that is totally mobile device friendly. Notice that the sidebar is now extremely barebones. Well, if you are viewing this on a desktop that is. If you are viewing this post on a mobile device, you won’t notice a difference.
So if you are an author promoting your books in sidebars and footers, it is time to have a big rethink about the design and layout of your blog or website. Over half of your visitors will not see your Amazon, iBooks or Goodreads widgets.
Of course, you may well find that it is neither practical nor possible to include your promotional widgets in the body of your articles. So the best way to achieve the same result is to use an image link as I have done on the left, or create inline links such as this. You can view my book Louis on Amazon.
Of course, you don’t need to click on my example links above to know that they work. But they do show how easy it is to include links in the body of articles and posts, instead of always using sidebars for promotion and advertising.
So whether you are using your blog or website for book promotion or advertising revenue, make sure you consider mobile device users now, and ensure that you redesign your sites so that they see what you want them to see, and click on.
And yes. Nothing stays the same when it comes to things Internet. Change is the only constant.