The speed at which a mobile site loads, the ease of navigation, and the quality of the site content - in that order - are the top three things that determine whether a mobile web user will return to a particular mobile internet site, according to a study by InsightExpress Research, MarketingCharts reports.
At the other end of the spectrum, the study found that the absence of advertising had the least impact on whether a mobile web user would return to a site. Other features that weren't important when considering a repeat visit: The ability to personalize, and the number of links, videos or images on the site.
"There's a golden lesson here for advertisers," said Joy Liuzzo, InsightExpress's director of marketing and mobile research. "Mobile advertising presents a unique opportunity to take advantage of high engagement levels and less clutter on the pages. Plus, advertisers enjoy a large share of voice per page since there is often only one advertisement on the page and it takes up more screen space."
Smartphone Users More Engaged with 'Net
The study also gauged mobile internet engagement levels of smartphone owners vs. those who own other mobile devices, and found - perhaps not surprisingly - that smartphone users are significantly more engaged with the internet.
Specifically, researchers examined positive engagement (enjoyment in activity) while users were online on three different devices, a feature phone, a smartphone, and a computer. They found that 68% of smartphone users felt positively engaged while using the mobile internet, second only to the 70% of users who were positively engaged on a computer.
On the other hand, only 47% of feature-phone users reported positive mobile-site engagement. These results indicate that smartphone users are nearly as engaged with mobile internet content as those who are browsing the internet on a computer.
Survey findings also revealed other differences between smartphone and feature-phone owners:
While both groups prioritized the speed at which a mobile site loads, smartphone users looked next at the quality of the content, ranking ease of navigation as less important.
Feature-phone users found ease of navigation almost as essential as their #1 concern, how fast the mobile site loads.
According to InsightExpress, these differences can be explained by the limited navigation capabilities available with feature phones, making simple interfaces an absolute necessity. Smartphones, with their advanced browsers and inputs, allow for more complex page navigation.
About the study: This study was conducted in July 2009 among 1,210 respondents that reflect a representative sample of the online US population.
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