With the growing usage of smartphones and tablets, and the move away from the desktop or laptop computer, understanding how mobile users are interacting online is becoming more and more important for website owners. The Mobile tab in Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how mobile users are interacting with your website.
The tool measures mobile websites, mobile apps and visits from web-enabled mobile devices (this includes tablets like the iPad). Below we'll take a look at some of the features you can use to understand your visitors.
Why Measure Mobile
According to a recent report by the Australian Media and Communication Authority, one in every two Australian adults now own a smartphone. Between June 2011 and May 2012, this grew 104 per cent!
This huge growth is transforming how we use the internet. The study also said that in the six months to May 2012, about 9.2 million Australians went online using a mobile phone and 4.4 million used a tablet.
The Mobile Overview report provides a breakdown of visitors by whether or not they visit using mobile devices.
See where mobile traffic comes from
Viewing statistics by location map overlay lets you understand the current origins of mobile traffic, as well as make predictions about where traffic will increase. You can view a single date range or a comparative date range. By comparing the outputs of the date range features you can contrast and compare the number of visits from specific areas and discover trends which will guide a shift emphasis to those new or emerging markets as your mobile optimisation takes effect.
Types of Mobile Device
You can also create reports or segments for different mobile devices, you can compare, for example, visits and revenue from Android and iPhone devices, or Galaxies and iPads. If your business revolves around products aimed at mobile users, you can see which operating devices are most prevalent in your traffic.
You can also create reports or segments or different operating systems. If your business revolves around products like mobile applications, you can see which operating systems are most prevalent in your traffic, and design to that market.
As with desktop Analytics, you can view statistics such as about how long mobile users stayed on your website, the percentage of new visitors and the bounce rate. These can be layered across the types of device they are using, the operating system and so on - to give you an understand of how different combinations are affecting your site performance. Large variations between statistics can identify problems and opportunities for you.
Smartphone sales continue to grow and as Australia pushes toward the National Broadband Network, mobile traffic is only going to increase further. It's important for website owners to understand how mobile users are interacting with their website and the ensure they are catering for them.