Two of my favorite aspects of the web world today are analytics (if you hadn’t guessed) and mobile. So what better thing to do than talk about them both together! If you aren’t thinking about mobile for your company or your clients, it’s time to start thinking about it. If you need some compelling data, you can check out my latest mobile marketing presentation on SlideShare.
The first question I get is “Do I need a mobile website?” And of course as a good analytics guy, my answer is “Let’s look at the data.” There are several ways to look at the amount of mobile visitors you get on your website. The easiest is way to see your mobile traffic is to look at the web browsers and/or operating systems used to access your website. Almost all analytics packages will show you this basic data about your visitors.
Using the raw browser usage data isn’t super accurate, since 1) it doesn’t easily group all mobile browsers and 2) it includes all visitors, including repeat visitors. Here’s how I get around this in Google Analytics.
1. Setup a segment in to look for all mobile devices. I find looking at any device that has a screen smaller than 640 pixels wide is a good measure.
Setup: Screen Resolution less thank 640
Update: Now that GA updated their segment management, this URL will let you grab my mobile segment – Mobile (Small Screen)
2. Look at the mobile segment as a percentage of new visits, rather than total visits. Since you don’t have a mobile-friendly site yet, I always assume that people don’t come back as returning visits from their mobile device. The new visitor data is under Visitors, then New vs. Returning. With All Visitors and the Mobile segment active, you’ll see the mobile new visitors number as a percentage of total website visits.
The real question here is what is a high percentage of mobile visitors? From my experience mobile, new visitors range from 0.30% up to 2.0% for my clients. Now that doesn’t compare at all to something like ESPN where they have said that on some weekends they get up to 50% of their traffic from mobile, but let’s face it, we aren’t ESPN.
If over 1% of your new visitor traffic is from mobile, you might want to start considering that audience.