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How To Use Analytics to Drive Business Decisions Part 1: Mobile

by: SilverTech

Website analytics tools like Google Analytics are one of the most powerful tools that digital marketers have at their disposal. It can tell you something as simple as how many people visited your site in a day, or something as complex as what the most popular page 18-25 year olds in Canada are landing on from Twitter and how long they stay on it. While not all of us need to get that granular with our analytics reporting, you get the idea. With website analytics, the possibilities of slicing and dicing data is almost endless, but how much of this data turns into actual actionable information? Our goal with this blog series is to give marketers tips on how they can decipher their analytics in a meaningful way and then use that information to drive change and get real business results. The first part will deal with everyone’s favorite hot topic in digital marketing at the moment: mobile.

What Mobile Solution is Right For You

As a responsible and knowledgeable digital marketer, let’s assume you already know all about Google’s “Mobilegeddon” update that penalizes websites that have a poor mobile experience. You are most likely aware that a mobile-friendly website is something you need to have. But, here is where you can peel back the onion with analytics and tell what type of mobile site you need.

Log into your account and under the Audience tab, click into the Mobile section and choose Overview. You will get a neat summary of all your traffic by desktop, smartphone, and tablet visitors. Depending on how your traffic breaks down, it will dictate what your mobile strategy should be. For example, let’s say 64% of your traffic is coming from smartphones, with tablets and desktop traffic making up the rest. You would want to design a mobile-first website that is specifically optimized for the smartphone audience and has a user experience that supports these visitors.

What happens if you have a majority of desktop visitors, though? Does this mean mobile isn’t that important for your particular site? Not necessarily. You may be getting lower mobile traffic numbers because of your poor mobile experience and mobile-related SEO troubles. Visitors might be leaving quickly or not even bothering to go to your site from their phones because the experience is so poor. To find out if this is the case, we need to look at how our users are interacting with your mobile content.

Mobile Engagement Metrics

One of the easiest indicators of needing a mobile overhaul is looking at engagement metrics like bounce rate, average time on page, pages visited per session, and average session duration. This will give a pretty accurate picture of how your visitors are interacting with your website from a content and experience perspective. For example, if you have an overall bounce rate in the 30% range for your general traffic, you are probably feeling pretty good about your content and experience. However, if you add a segment to view just mobile traffic, you see it jumps to over 60%! The same can be done by looking at any of the other engagement metrics listed above. If you notice they are taking a turn for the worse after segmenting your mobile traffic, it is a pretty good indication you need to step up your mobile experience.

Does Your Mobile Site Convert?

Okay, so let’s say you have already updated to a mobile-friendly site and your engagement metrics are looking decent, how can you tell if it is providing a positive return on your investment? Or better yet, you haven’t updated yet. How do you convince your boss that spending the money on a new mobile site will be worth it in the long run?

If you run an e-commerce website and have e-commerce tracking installed, this is very easy to demonstrate. Just go to the Conversions section of your analytics account and click into Overview. Here, you will get a list of some great metrics like conversion rate, total transactions, and revenue; among others. Segment this data by mobile visitors and you will start to get a clear picture of how your site converts from a mobile standpoint. If your site looks anything like the example below that has poor mobile e-commerce numbers, you will want to look into updating your experience.

Don’t have e-commerce tracking installed, or you run a different type of website? No problem. If you have goals or event tracking installed on your site, you can easily track any conversion you want. If you are looking to track a form submission, set up a goal on the thank you page or an event on the form submit button. From there, you also have the ability to set up a funnel using those same goals and events to determine exactly where your visitors may have abandoned their session. As mentioned above, there are a lot of ways to get down into the nitty gritty detail of how users are interacting with your site. With the right tracking in place, you can determine the exact moment a visitor decided to not convert and optimize from there. Having this information is incredibly powerful when trying to allocate dollars to improving your website experience.

If you are looking for a more in depth look into what your analytics might be saying, let us know and we can help you out! Also, stay tuned for the next part in our analytics series that will discuss how you can figure out who your audience is and how you can more effectively target them in part 2.