Checking Your Mobile Traffic and Stats Using Google Analytics
|September 3, 2013||Posted by D. Dixon under Mobile Analytics|
Not too long ago, I decided to test the mobile waters with a plugin called WPTouch. I found out about it through an article a while back and thought that this would be a good way to make sure my site was somewhat mobile-friendly. I was skeptical because I had a lot of problems with plugins and didn’t want another “issue” but I’m the curious type. Now, I have a “dumbphone” so there was no way for me to see how any of my sites looked so this was a huge risk but with mobile being such a force, I had to start somewhere and do something. Good thing I did
It wasn’t until I started using Zemanta to showcase related posts that I saw something interesting. It seems that while my mobile traffic was low, my mobile clickthroughs were stronger than my desktop clickthroughs. That was when I said, YES! So that’s when I started researching mobile. Now, a lot of people think that mobile is just a miniaturized version of the desktop and that’s correct to an extent but for the most part, it’s a whole different arena. Mobile is a lifestyle where people want to consume information on the go. That means that you need to be able to provide them with what they want, when they want it in a way that’s beyond convenient. There are experts in mobile web design that are far more knowledgeable than I am and in doing my research, I realized just how much I didn’t know.
How Google Helps with Mobile Analytics
On your phone, you’re not able to use a proper keyboard like in desktop so the keyword searches may be different in mobile. People have to rely on shorter words, partially spelled words or even acronyms and your site may come up. There’s still a lot to learn about the mobile web but what I’ve started doing is taking another look at my Google Analytics.
To see your mobile stats, you need to activate the specific mobile segments in the traffic sources view. There are four choices and Google will show you the stats from these perspectives no matter which metric you choose.
You can use this to check mobile stats over a period of time as compared to the previous month, week, day, etc
When you go into the traffic sources and see where your mobile traffic is coming from. This can help you plan your mobile strategy for maximum exposure as well as show you where you may have problems.
You can also see a nice pie chart of which mobile device is attracting what type of traffic.
These stats helped me see that my health site has a good amount of organic traffic and I was getting some “tablet love” as well.
Mobile Site Performance
With all of the stats I got from Google Analytics, I still wanted to understand more about how the site was performing. Now, as I mentioned, I’m smartphone-less (for now) so I can’t see what’s going with my own eyes. The challenge is also that because there are different operating systems, different phones, how it’s seen on Android can be different from what’s seen on an iPhone, Samsung, etc. That’s one of the challenges of mobile; there are many differences and it’s hard to cater to them all at the same time.
So what’s a blogger to do?
Check out the Google Page Speed Insights tool. All you do is enter your URL and it will analyze your site on Mobile and Desktop. You’ll get a rating based on a scale of 100 as well as a color coded response with tips; red means bad, green means good, and yellow means OK. When I saw this tool, I loved it because I had never known it existed BUT as with anything designed by coders, you might need a translator or a psychic moment to figure it out. You will probably see that some things need to be improved but the “what” can be a little vague.
What I suggest you do is try to analyze it and see what you can understand. Make one change at a time and then retest to see if that works. It’s a process, especially for regular folks and lapsed computer engineers
Between these two tools, you will have a great way to learn more about how to help your site become more mobile friendly. The time is now. You may not know everything there is to know, but you can learn and little by little, you’ll make strides.
So anybody used these before or have other suggestions? Let’s hear them