The mobile web is increasingly becoming an important part of the overall strategy of acquiring Internet traffic for a web site. Recent studies by pingdom.com found that the mobile share of global Internet traffic is now over 13%.
In addition, a highly cited study by Walker Sands showed that over 23% of the total website visits in the US and Canada in December 2012 were coming from mobile devices. During the WebFest Conference in early February 2013, Oversee.net announced that an average of 18% of all traffic to its network properties in 2012 were from mobile devices. Tech watchers have predicted that mobile traffic could reach over 30% by the end of 2013.
To get some insight into how our customers perceive these new trends, DiscountASP.NET conducted a worldwide survey and asked questions regarding their mobile web traffic. We received 1,308 responses from around the world. Here we’ll limit the range of samples by looking at data from our U.S.-based and U.K.-based customers. We had 840 responses from the U.S and 102 responses from the U.K.
We asked customers how much traffic to their web site came from mobile devices in 2012 and how much they project their mobile traffic will be in 2013. The U.S.-based customer survey results show that 37% of our customers believed that less than 10% of their web site traffic came from mobile devices in 2012.
But this sentiment drops significantly when we asked them to project their mobile traffic for 2013, as only 6% of our customers in the US believe that less than 10% of their web site traffic will come from mobile devices in 2013. Of all the US respondents, only 4% stated that over 30% of their web site traffic came from mobile devices in 2012, but their projection quadrupled to 16% in 2013.
When comparing the results of the same mobile traffic questions between the US and UK customers, 27% of the UK of customers believed that less than 10% of their web site traffic came from mobile devices in 2012. In terms of percentage, more UK-based customers project that over 30% of their web site traffic will come from mobile devices in 2013 than the US-based customers, 19% versus 16%, respectively.
It’s interesting to see these differences between regions as they are partly due to regional differences in the adoption of mobile technology. But for all web site owners, it is time to think about putting in place a mobile strategy. As usage of mobile devices grow year after year, more and more users will visit your site from mobile devices.
Earlier in February I attended Oversee.net’s 8th annual 2013 WebFest Global conference (formerly DomainFest). I’ve been going to this conference every year since it started and over the past couple years I noticed that the audience numbers have been declining and the event itself has been becoming less relevant. I have many observations and thoughts to share with you.
Oversee.net is one the largest providers of domain parking services with the subsidiary company known as DomainSponsor.com. Since Oversee.net started this conference, it was one of the important conferences for domainers to attend. The speakers brought new insight into the domain business and the business of monetizing domains and the networking was excellent.
However, over the last few years the domain business has changed and you can see part of the result in the renaming of the conference itself from DomainFest to WebFest. The change reflects a change of focus from domains to web sites and that is part of the reason that the conference is not drawing the domainers in mass anymore.
This year’s conference was officially opened by Debra Domeyer who is now the CEO of Oversee.net. In her opening remarks, she emphasized the importance of the mobile web in today’s growth of Internet traffic. Based on all traffic to the Oversee.net network properties, Domeyer observed mobile traffic increased from an average of 12% in the beginning of 2012 to an average of 18% by the end of 2012.
Domeyer also reported seeing mobile traffic hit a record high of 27% in December 2012 on some properties. She projected that mobile traffic could reach close to 40% by the end of 2013. That is why some of the content of the conference was focused on the mobile web.
Oversee.net had some unexpected keynoters. For example, they had a fireside chat with Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately pictures were not permitted during Kim Kardashian’s fireside chat so I couldn’t document it, but Kim shared her early entrepreneurial work and the way she has been leveraging social media to expand her and her sibling’s online businesses.
It was very interesting and Kardashian is a very savvy social media user. Kardashian is now ranked #10 for the most followers on Twitter and she is also the #1 for Instagram followers. In fact, Instagram was her most favorite social media platform.
Kim also shared that she is now interested in a new type of social media platform known as Keek.com, a Canadian-based social network for short videos of up to 36 seconds. Of all social media platforms Kardashian has used, she told the audience that Facebook was the most effective for getting a message out to her fans and to potential buyers/customers.
With the exception of the mobile industry panelists, there were actually not many new panelists at this year’s conference as I had heard most of the panelists speak in previous years. But the workshop conducted by Tim Ash has always been one of my favorites.
Ash is one the world’s leading experts in Landing Page Optimization. Do yourself a favor if you are interested in this topic and do a search for Tim Ash in your favorite search engine and check out any of his material that you can find. It’s all good stuff and there is too much for me to write about it here.
In my opinion, I would not consider the mobile industry panelists as “experts in their field” since much of the discussion is still at the early stages of mobile web development. Those “experts” have very limited data and ideas to share and none of the discussion really related to the domain business.
The dynamics of the domain industry are changing and people are adapting. One of the newest trends coming out of this year’s conference was that more domainers have been developing websites than using monetized parked pages. And interestingly, instead of developing hundreds or thousands of websites, domainers are working on monetizing only a few sites with good domain names which is completely different from their past strategy where domainers monetized thousands of domains using parked pages. It’s gone full circle back to what most website owners have been trying to do for years.
For example, during the first day panel on “Domain Monetization Options Beyond Parking” the panelists said that having only a few sites to work on will help domainers to focus and by using good domains they could generate more money by targeting. And they also said that good content quality will also help to get Google search engine to like their site because it is more relevant. It would seem that the domainers have come full circle.
Another important trend was that with so many new gTLDs (e.g.; .web, .shop, etc.) coming into the market in 2013 and beyond, experts believe that those new gTLDs will only make the .com domains more valuable than ever. As more new gTLDs will be saturating the market, some domainers have predicted that the value of .com domains could quadruple in the next few years. Hold on to your good domains, if this turns out to be true.
Finally, this conference has always been known for their parties, and one of my favorite nights of this year’s conference was spending time dining under the wing of space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. With great food, drinks, and live music, attendees were able to chat with and listen to stories from a real astronaut, Garrett Reisman. Pretty cool.
Will I go next year for the 9th year? It’s going to depend on the agenda and speakers. We’ll see.
I was excited to attend this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the first time and while I came back with mixed feelings, I will go again if I can. The conference was definitely over-capacity with enthusiastic attendees. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a conference that was so packed.
But many technology watchers, analysts, and big companies ignored this year’s CES. Microsoft, one of the longest-running CES anchor sponsors with high profile Keynote duties, decided to pull the plug in 2013 and opt for sponsoring one small part of the conference. CEO Steve Ballmer did end up participating with a cameo appearance during a Qualcomm CEO Keynote, but the only Microsoft banner that I saw in the exhibit hall was at the Innovation showcase.
This is one of the reasons why many have asserted that CES is not relevant anymore. In the past, CES always served as the venue to launch new products but in recent times large companies are electing to host their own conferences to launch products and control their message.
So you may ask why people go to this “non-relevant” conference -– after all, you can stream the keynotes online, many large companies ignore the conference and launch their products with their own shows, and other companies announce their products prior to CES.
CES may have lost some of its prior status, but I think all of these trends are allowing more of the smaller startups and companies outside of the well-known computer/software industry to have the potential to shine as people are eager to check out what’s going on with these other companies. And of course meeting people and actually touching the devices you may have previously only heard about or seen online is also a main driver.
For me, while I had already heard about the Panasonic Ultra High Definition Television (4K OLED) with a 56 inch screen, it was sure fun seeing it in person.
I already know that many household products are becoming Internet-enabled, but it was still fun to see the LG and Samsung refrigerator that can spit out recipes. It was interesting and unexpected to see the hardware store Lowes getting into the action with Internet-enabled security products.
Some of the most interesting products were related to health care. There were wrist watch/band monitoring systems that communicated with the Cloud and allowed the consumer to access their health data through apps on their mobile phones.
Being my first time at CES, I didn’t know what to expect. I left with mixed feelings because I didn’t have the sense of excitement that I wanted to feel — like when Steve Jobs makes product launch announcements — but I still had a great time seeing and touching all the devices and some surprising innovations from “non-Google-Microsoft-Apple” companies. I left feeling inspired.
It was great seeing first-hand how different “non-phone/tablet/laptop” devices are increasingly becoming Internet-enabled and that the communication and data has to live someplace — and that would be at a host. So to see that the hosting industry is playing a increasingly bigger role in people’s lives makes it even more exciting to be in the hosting business.
We explored the social media usage among DiscountASP.NET users in our last two surveys conducted in March and October of this year. We thought it would be interesting to check out trends on which social media services our customers are using.
We received 701 responses in the March survey and 822 responses in the October survey from our U.S. based customers. In both surveys, we asked our users to rate how active they were in using Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and to select from four options, including “Do Not Use,” “Set up account, but never use,” “Use occasionally,” and “Active User.” Similar to our previous post, we only show the percentage of the “Active Users” for each of the social media services.
Both our March and October results showed that Facebook remains the top social media site actively used among our customers. In the October survey 39% of our clients indicated they were active users of Facebook, compared to March which was at 43%, a drop of 4%. We don’t know the reason for this drop; however, this may be an interesting question to ask in our next survey.
LinkedIn captured the second spot with 27% of our clients using the social media services for enhancing their business and personal development in our October survey. Overall, LinkedIn usage increased among our clients as compared to March which was at a 20% level resulting in an increase of 7% within the past six months.
Twitter took the third spot with 24% of our clients being active users according to our October survey. Similar to LinkedIn, Twitter usage increased 8% between the March and October survey. While Google Plus is the newcomer to the social scene, Google Plus usage was unchanged over the past six months. Only 8% of our clients are active users.
In summary, more DiscountASP.NET customers are using LinkedIn and Twitter in recent months, while Facebook experienced a bit of a drop in usage. Even with all the buzz, Google Plus remains in the last spot among the four social media services.
By comparing the two surveys, we see some interesting results on how the usage of these social media sites has changed within the past several months. We’ll keep an eye out on the future trends as it should be getting more interesting as Twitter prepares to launch their photo app, with Facebook acquiring Instagram, and the relative newcomer Pinterest attracting a large number of new users. In the next survey we may add those emerging sites into our survey questions.