2012 Mobile Traffic Report: How Much Did Mobile Traffic Increase in 2012?

2012 Mobile Traffic Header

[Editor's Note: Data & graphs below have been updated as of 1/23/13 to include all reported data through December 2012.]

Welcome to 2013, the year mobile website traffic is predicted to overtake your desktop traffic. If the analysts are accurate, by 2014 over 50% of website traffic will be coming from mobile devices (the Mayans also may or may not have predicted it…although their track record isn’t that great). Should you wait until after this “mobile apocalypse” happens to optimize your website for mobile? That depends on if you are a reactive or proactive type of person. If you have not had a look at your own mobile web traffic lately, this prediction may sound as unlikely as December 21, 2012.

A few months ago, we released a free tool that helps marketers easily pull their mobile traffic data from Google Analytics, while also giving a more in-depth analysis of your current mobile trends. Using aggregate and anonymous data from the free tool, we decided to test just how close reality is tracking to that “50% by 2014” prediction. What we found was interesting and eye opening, so we decided to share it with our readers. Without further ado, here are the stats:

  • The average website had 18% of its traffic coming from mobile by Q4 2012 (Tweet this)
  • Mobile traffic as a percentage of total website traffic nearly doubled from 10% to  18% from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012 (Tweet this)
  • Total mobile traffic was up 139% on average from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012 (Tweet this)

These stats are interesting, but most people want to know what is going on in their own industry. Here are some industries that are trending above the average:

Industries with above average (18%) mobile traffic.

2012 Top Industries by Mobile Traffic Graph

Industries with highest increase in total mobile traffic (Q4 2011 – Q4 2012)

Top Industries by Increase in Mobile Traffic Graph

It is interesting to note that web publishing and arts & entertainment are above average in both growth and current average percent. B2C Service companies saw the largest increase in mobile traffic, followed closely by web publishing and Healthcare.

It may look like we are far off from the 50% mark. But if we stay on the same growth trajectory and double the percentage of mobile traffic we will be at 40% by Q4 of this year. If you believe, like most, that the adoption of smartphones and tablets will accelerate this year, it’s a safe assumption that mobile traffic growth will also accelerate exponentially. This makes 50% well within reach by Q1 2014. Stay tuned, as we will update this analysis and report our latest findings before the end of the year.

How does your mobile traffic and growth compare to these numbers? We welcome you to share in the comments. If you don’t know and want to quickly find out, our free Mobile Dashboard tool makes it easy to view the trajectory of your own mobile traffic.

2012 Mobile Traffic Report Infographic

Click for full size infographic

Methodology: Data was reported and analyzed in aggregate from Bluetrain’s Mobile Dashboard. From a universe of ~300 individual reports, 50 websites were identified that exhibited >150 mobile visits per month. Industry verticals were determined after visiting URL provided, and were classified using NAICS 2012 categories.