How mobile web traffic has affected screen resolution

With the popularity of smart phones on the increase, and the growing ubiquity of WiFi and 4G connections available to us on a day to day basis, we thought we’d take a look at how the average screen resolutions for web users have changed over the last 5 years, using a few statistics from one of our lovely clients, Cardiff Airport (thanks guys!).

Average screen resolution statistics 2012 - 2017

Using Google Analytics, we looked into Cardiff Airport’s year to date (YTD) statistics for each year between 2012-2017, comparing the average screen resolution trends.

To put a little perspective behind this, the sessions in 2012 were around half of what they are for 2017.

Desktop appears to dominate the top 5 screen resolutions used to access Cardiff Airport’s website in 2012, with only a single mobile resolution making an appearance on the list!

Comparing the statistics from 2012 to 2017, there is a clear difference in the top 5 screen resolution sizes. The percentage of desktop users has taken a massive step back on account of mobile and tablet use, largely due to the growth in mobile usage globally. What these statistics indicate is a significant drop in the percentage of users accessing the Cardiff Airport website through much larger desktop screens.

To put this trend into perspective, the average screen resolution based on 2016 and 2017s top 5 was 375x667 (this is actually an iPhone 6 screen resolution!). Desktop, on the other hand, does not make an appearance as an average screen resolution for users until as far back as 2013 and 2012 (1024x768 and 1280x800), while tablet screen resolutions take the lead as the average for 2014 and 2015 (768x1024).

Taking this into account, the average screen resolutions that users are experiencing Cardiff Airport’s website on over the last 5 years have been getting smaller and smaller.

What devices have we been using over the last 5 years?

The above statistics come as no surprise when looking directly at the devices that users are opting for when engaging with the website, the growth in mobile users, and the steady decline in desktop users over the past 5 years.

You can see a clear distinction between what desktop, or larger screen resolution statistics once were, compared to what they are now. As a result, the percentage of mobile users is creeping higher and higher.

Keeping in mind that the traffic has doubled YTD since 2012 - in 2012 the amount of desktop users was 4 times the amount of mobile users! Comparing this to 2017, the amount of mobile users is more than twice as many desktop users now. This change signifies that although there is still plenty of users opting for desktop, there are in fact more mobile users, and that number is increasing as the years pass.

Taking these statistics into consideration, it’s easy to conclude that with the increase in traffic to the Cardiff Airport website, more are opting for mobile over desktop computers and for much smaller screen resolutions when engaging with the website.

Looking at the above chart for device trend over the last 5 years, we can see the start of a steady increase in the use of tablets, but that remains stagnant after 2014, and even declines slightly more recently.

Could this be because our mobile phones connect to the internet much easier and quicker than they once used to? Perhaps because digital content is now better suited to offer a seamless user experience through mobile? Desktop is still important from a business point of view but are we moving into a mobile-dominant future for content consumption? If this trend keeps up, it would appear that we are!

Check your Google Analytics account to find out the changes in devices and screen resolutions to see how users are interacting with your website, and make adjustments accordingly. You can find out more about why mobile is becoming more important, how Google favours mobile and more – simply by browsing the Spindogs blog. Our team is always on hand if you need guidance and suggestions on how to optimize your site for mobile – just get in touch!

Dave Morgan
About Dave Morgan

Dave leads our web development team as Technical Director of Spindogs. He is Director of the company alongside Liam and is constantly thinking of new ways to grow the Spindogs brand.

Kirsty Jones
About Kirsty Jones

Kirsty is part of the Support team at Spindogs and is always here to offer friendly advice and help to any client who needs it.

As a Google Analytics Certified member of our customer support team, Kirsty can help you with your queries by providing insight into how your customers are using your website or helping you find the best way to implement a new feature.

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