60 Percent of Online Traffic Now Comes From Mobile

If your business depends upon online traffic, you should know. More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

A comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 6o percent of all online traffic up from 50 percent a year ago. And 51 percent of that traffic is driven by mobile apps (like those for digital radio such as Pandora or Spotify, digital messaging like WhatsApp or Viber and social apps like Facebook and Twitter.)

Significantly, this is a very different measure than the amount of organic traffic driven by mobile, as cited in another recent report from SEO platform BrightEdge.

That study suggested that about 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices while 12 percent comes from tablets. But this report looked only at traffic originating from mobile search, in other words, someone looking for something using a search engine like Google or Bing via their phone or tablet.

The comScore report examines a much broader cross section of online traffic. It could just as easily be looking at visitors delivered to your website via a link on a Facebook app as from a mobile search for your business on a search engine.

online traffic report

One conclusion is that, while categories like digital radio and photo sites like Instagram and Flickr may draw more activity, for marketers (and small businesses) social media is most important.

In it’s official report, comScore explains:

“While social networking does not rank at the very top of this list among the most mobile-skewing content categories, it is arguably the most important. The #1 category in terms of overall digital engagement accounting for 20% of total digital time spent, social networking now generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile. When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy.”

The report adds that:

  • Mobile activity on social media has grown by 55 percent over the past year.
  • It has also accounted for 31 percent of all growth in Internet activity over the same period.
  • Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online and its primary app is responsible for 18 percent.

The report should give you a whole new perspective on the importance of social media marketing for your business, especially on sites like Facebook.

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock, comScore


Shawn Hessinger

Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends. A professional journalist with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business, he has another 10 years of experience in digital media for trade publications and news sites. Shawn has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and eventually managing editor with responsibility for nine weekly newspapers, the Berks Mont Newspapers. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

117 Reactions

  1. Great article and a reminder to check your website analytics often. More traffic from mobile and more mobile on social media. Every company needs to have updated information and active content on their social media sites.

    Thanks for the great information.

  2. Aira Bongco

    So it finally happened. I also have a personal observation on this. I found that I am now using my laptop less and less and have relied more on mobile. But then, you still cannot play games that well on mobile compared to your PC.

  3. Vedarth Deshpande

    Wonderful post!
    I shared it @socinova

  4. People are no more using their laptop or desktop for using social media, everyone is active on their smartphones, this has made a significant improvement in mobile traffic. People are now habitual to use their mobile instead of their laptop or desktop to visit any website they want.

    Thanks Shawn for sharing such insights with us, it was nice reading it.

  5. I love my mobile devices, but when it comes to serious browsing I prefer my desktop. But that doesn’t change the fact that many people surf from an phone or tablet. And that is why it is so important for local businesses to have a mobile presence. Local + mobile is a winning combination that small businesses need to embrace.

    And that doesn’t even address the social media aspects of mobile!

  6. It used to be around 12% for most of my clients, some I am seeing as high as 45%.
    This makes a lot of sense as a sort of ‘portal’ to search via mobile —> “Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online”

  7. Social media plays an important role in acquiring mobile traffic . As most of the social networking site users are smartphone users , so the traffic you will be getting will also be mobile . It’s also important to make your site mobile friendly to retain each new visitor to your site .

  8. I guess I am not too surprised here. We knew it was coming. We see this in the survey world as well with over 50% of survey submissions coming via mobile in 2017. Thanks for sharing.


  9. I wonder how much it is now as 4 years have gone – hmm probably it touches 70-80%

  10. So true! The percentage will even go higher after a few years. Everyone rely on and do searches on their smartphones these days rather than going on a desktop. It is just very convenient. Thanks for this good article.

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