Facebook ad campaign shows the importance of mobile friendliness

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
These days, with smartphones being so hugely popular and relied upon, having your website optimized for mobile usage is a no-brainer. This aspect has had major ramifications for SEO for a while, with countless pages being pushed well down the rankings because they don't load snugly into the small screens that so many people are Googling on. 

Then there's the fact that such a huge amount of traffic comes via social networks -- Facebook in particular. And a high percentage of users on this platform access it on their iPhones and similar devices.  

I was reminded of this just recently in a pretty powerful way. This is a fairly new site, and up until recently the template I was using wasn't actually mobile friendly.

But it looked fine when viewed on a desktop, and I noticed that I was slowly but surely climbing up the Google rankings for my chosen keywords. So I didn't worry too much about addressing this particular aspect.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I decided to run a Facebook ad campaign to bring some more people to this page. After a day or so I looked at the analytics for it and saw that the vast majority of visitors had seen the site on a mobile device.

This was careless of me. I should have thought about this in advance. The relevant usage data is all readily available, after all. But I was just being subjective.

See, I have a basic smartphone but don't do that much on it other than call, text and check Twitter occasionally. I actually much prefer to use Facebook on a laptop or desktop so I assumed that's how most other people would be looking at my ad. But I was completely wrong, of course ... So, almost all the people who'd clicked on it would have gone to a hard-to-read site, resulting in a high bounce rate. 

Now, of course it's possible to choose only desktops for your ad to be shown on. But being eager to get some more traffic I didn't think about this when setting up the campaign. (In any case if you do this you are reducing your audience size because of the reliance on smartphones mentioned above.) 

So there was a good little lesson there. Be thoughtful and objective when setting any paid campaigns up, and don't make assumptions about your audience. Go on the data instead because it's all out there and that's going to keep changing. If you don't do this, you could end up wasting money. 

But I'm glad this has happened. I've blown a few bucks but it's made me do something about mobile friendliness for this site. The current template is much more responsive in this regard. It's a relief to have sorted that out!

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