New metrics show website visits from mobile devices

Experian data doesn't include traffic from mobile apps

Zillow’s dominant market share of desktop traffic to listing portals is even more pronounced among mobile users, according to new mobile Web traffic metrics from Experian Marketing Services.

Until now, third-party Web traffic metrics excluded measurements from mobile devices, which left a large chunk — about 25 percent, by some estimates — of traffic unaccounted for.

The new Experian data must also be taken with a grain of salt, because it doesn’t include mobile app usage — only website visits by mobile users who are surfing the Internet using a browser or Web app.

Desktop and mobile traffic data in January tracked each other with some notable exceptions, according to Experian, which surveys mobile data from Apple and Android smartphones and tablets over 3G and 4G networks, and from all mobile device platforms over Wi-Fi.

As is the case with the previously released numbers for desktop traffic, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are the three real estate sites with the most traffic in the category. But Zillow takes a significantly larger chunk of traffic from mobile users (19.78 percent), compared with a 9.17 percent share of desktop traffic.

Redfin (3.69 percent of mobile traffic) and ZipRealty (2.77 percent) also fared much better on mobile than desktop, rising to No. 4 and No. 6 on list of most visited real estate sites from mobile. On desktop, they captured 0.83 percent and 1.13 percent of traffic, respectively, which made them the 18th and 12th most-visited sites in January.

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Top 10 most-visited real estate-related websites from mobile devices in the U.S. for January 2013*

Rank Website Visits share
1 Zillow 19.78%
2 Trulia 8.87%
3 Realtor.com 4.40%
4 Redfin 3.69%
5 Homes.com 3.54%
6 ZipRealty 2.77%
7 RatePlug 2.48%
8 FrontDoor Real Estate 1.69%
9 Apartment Guide 1.58%
10 HotPads 1.45%

Source: Experian Marketing Services *Excludes traffic from mobile apps

Applying the mobile lens to Web traffic shows Trulia with 8.87 percent market share, compared with 7 percent of desktop traffic.

Experian data shows Realtor.com getting a smaller share of mobile traffic — 4.4 percent — than the 6.09 percent of desktop traffic the site captured in January.

MSN Real Estate, which serves up framed Realtor.com search results, was ranked seventh in January among desktop users, but did not make the list of top 10 sites by mobile traffic.

Realtor.com operator Move Inc. also supplies a separate set of listings to AOL Real Estate through a subsidiary, ListHub. AOL Real Estate was the ninth-ranked listing portal among desktop users in January, but did not make the list of top 10 sites by mobile traffic.

HotPads, the map-based rental and home search site that Zillow purchased in December, is among the top 10 most-visited real estate sites on mobile with 1.45 percent of the market share. On desktop it doesn’t show in the top 20 ranking.

With HotPads and HGTV’s FrontDoor Real Estate, which Zillow will begin exclusively providing for-sale and for-rent listings for beginning in April, Zillow’s non-app mobile real estate website market share climbs to 22.92 percent. That’s despite network partner Yahoo Homes, which captures 5.5 percent of desktop real estate traffic, dropping off the map in mobile.

Apartment Guide, part of a stable of rental sites owned by Primedia Inc. that supply rental listings to Trulia, gets 1.58 percent fo mobile traffic, giving Trulia a combined presence on 10.45 percent of mobile Web traffic.

Mobile devices, which provide useful, on-the-spot real estate information to consumers, were a hot focus for the industry in 2012 and are expected to be a key focus this year.

"Mobile is huge," wrote Joel Burslem of real estate marketing and design firm 1000watt in a guest post for Inman News. "There is a massive paradigm shift under way as computing moves away from large desktop and notebook PCs to smaller, more portable, and always-on mobile devices."

Zillow, for example, reported in its 2012 annual report, that the majority of page views of listings on the site are served up to mobile devices.

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