does anyone really get any mobile traffic on their sites?

I keep hearing how mobile is the next big thing.  And I don’t disagree.  More and more, I do everything I want and/or need from my Blackberry.  So when I hear consistent chatter about an ever increasing wave of mobile users, it makes me think:

How do I, as a business, prepare for and capitalize on these mobile visitors?

First, I wanted to see if I even had any mobile traffic.  And then I asked other real estate agents about their mobile traffic, just to compare.  I had 9 responses in this oh so scientific study.  Here’s what I found.

On average, mobile traffic accounts for 3.46% of a real estate agent’s site visitors.  Answers ranged from 0.55% to 5.98%.

For most, that mobile traffic arrives via a search engine – most answers were 50% to 80% search engine traffic.  And you know what those users were searching for?

The same random stuff they search for on their laptops.  Lots of long tail type keywords mixed with those nice juicy real estate type of phrases.  And while only one person I asked had an individual property address in their top 10 overall site keywords, nearly everyone had an address (or subdivision search) in their top 10 mobile keywords.

There were, however, 2 people that had half or more of their mobile traffic from direct visitors – people who came to the site directly by either typing in the URL, navigating to the site via some kind of saved bookmark, or possibly those who clicked on a link within a document or email.  It’d be interesting to look at those two further, to look at the behavior of those direct visitors, confirm they already have a loyal mobile user following.  Perhaps not coincidentally, those two have the least traffic by far of all the agents I asked, they target the smallest areas, and tend to cover more community type events rather than the larger ‘real estate in your area’ kind of stories.  Food for thought, anyway.

So my mobile traffic pretty much falls within the averages mentioned.  Nearly a quarter of my mobile visitors are direct traffic – Google sends the most mobile traffic, followed by direct visitors, and a distant 3rd are my RSS email subscribers clicking through from those emails on their phone.

The vast majority of my mobile users are iPhoners and Androiders.  No surprise there, as those have the best browsers on mobile devices, IMHO.  People on iPads and iPods account for twice as many visitors as those on Blackberries. 

I didn’t have a single property address in my top 10 mobile keywords, but my mobile keywords and my regular site visitor keywords were pretty much the same.  But bear in mind, these are my blog visitors.  My property search (and quite honestly, the site where I target the juicier real estate type keywords) and my indexable IDX bit live on a different domains and different analytics profiles.  So that makes sense for me.

Other than making sure my site loads quickly for mobile visitors, is clean and easy to navigate on mobile devices – what should I do?

My gut tends to think that mobile users will turn to apps to search for property and get neighborhood information, and not to individual agent sites via browser search results.  And Lord knows I don’t have the resources to compete with the larger real estate app vendors out there.

So what can I do as an individual agent?  Make sure my site is easily readable and navigable via mobile devices, certainly.  But what are my chances to capture eyeballs that lead more directly to sales if I’m competing with really slick national mobile apps, and what’s the best way to do so?

What do you think?  Comments are open, below!

(oh, and we’ll look at how to find these numbers in your analytics in the next post.)


  1. I have made similar observations. With tracking on my sites.

    As a realtor do you actively use QR code? My experience on a countless number of times, those home info tubes hanging from the for sale signs are empty. It would be much easier to scan the QR code posted on the sign, and be taken to info about the house on my mobile device as I am parked in front of it.



  2. Hi David – I don’t use QR codes, but I don’t use info tubes either. I make custom signs for each of my listings that include home photos and all the details you’d find on a flyer. My market is not incredibly techno-savvy. I could probably include a QR code on my custom sign, but would never do that as the only information source.

    Thanks for your comment!


  3. I can see people pulling up in front of a house with a “For Sale” sign and checking it out online for more info.

    Other than that, searching for homes online is kinda complex so I think it’s much more convenient to use a keyboard. The heavy lifting jobs will skew towards keyboards.


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