Look At Mobile Use of Your Site Using Google Analytics

Most of our clients are, or should be, in the “regularly monitor” mode of their web site’s Analytics regarding mobile usage of their site. Mobile usage is growing, but we’re heading to a point where we need to see mobile usage in terms of “larger device” and “smaller device” terms – not all mobile usage is the same for purposes of your web site.

If we take a look at the Kessler Freedman web site mobile accesses for the past year, the growth has been very moderate. This is primarily because our web site does not provide content that is mobile necessary, meaning that the need for what we provide on site can wait until someone gets back to a computer to more comfortably view the web. We do not provide much in the way of immediate news, or data that would fit into a mobile user’s immediate needs.

When we look at the KFI mobile usage data for the past year, there are 104 different kinds of mobile devices measured as visiting the site. This isn’t perfect – apparently the Amazon Kindle Fire still wasn’t showing up on the mobile report until recently – but 104 still shows that there’s a wide variety of devices visiting the site. But – number one by a large margin is the iPad. For anyone that has used an iPad and a phone to access a web site without an app, you know the experience is quite different. The iPad is much more like viewing the site on a computer monitor, without the crunching that goes on with the mobile phone browser window. It’s easier to use as a browser on both hands and eyes. It may represent a mobile user but it is not the same experience or represent the same design issues as does most of the remaining 103 devices that accessed our site over the past year.

Looking at our analytics, it looks like approximately 40-45% of our “mobile” traffic comes from the iPad and other such tablets. This drops the “phone” use to about 6% of our visits over the past year. Most of the phone access for us surprisingly still comes from Google searches. We thought it might be from social media, but it’s Google Search.

At this point, the most important thing we want our phone mobile version to provide to that 6% is our contact information, although obviously we do want our content to be readable through the phone browser as well. But as far as our priorities – contact info. That’s the one thing I can see a mobile user wanting from our web site immediately that they couldn’t wait to get to a bigger browser to review.

It’s kind of interesting to see what phones are most active in visiting the site. Top three at this point:

Apple iPhone
Sony Ericsson Lt15i Mobile Phone Sony Xperia Arc

There’s a lot of info to glean out of Analytics on the Mobile side, such as

Service Provider
Mobile Input Selector (touchscreen, clickwheel, other)
Operating System
Screen Resolution

plus all the other data you can find via Google Analytics, such as bounce rate, average pages per visit, etc.

What we see pretty regularly as a mobile percentage of use is around the 8 -18 % of visits coming from all mobile. Anything significantly greater than that requires some heavy Analytics digging. You may already know the reason and interest for mobile use into your site which can help you out in your review. Online polls, daily or weekly blog posts, use of email to drive visitors to your site, and heavy social media usage can drive a higher level of mobile visits to a web site. But sometimes it’s a key core of the web site’s content, and at that point there needs to be consideration of how best to serve that mobile user marketplace.