Can Google Mobile Analytics Save Your Business?

Google Mobile Analytics

Google Mobile Analytics

Many businesses today spend increasing time and money optimizing their company websites and blogs.

Yet, as I mention in a MobileBeyond article, most marketers are not measuring mobile traffic using a tool like Google Mobile Analytics.

As more phone users gain access to the mobile Web, traffic to company websites and blogs is increasingly coming from wireless devices, primarily feature phones, smartphones and tablet computers.

Andy Bovington, VP of Product Marketing at Bango, a major mobile analytics firm, said in our audio interview that 83% of brands don’t use mobile-specific analytic tools, leading to inaccurate marketing campaign performance. 17% use some sort of measurement and 27%–nearly a third–don’t measure at all.

Clearly, marketers and business owners need to analyze their mobile vs. non-mobile traffic to prepare for the growing onslaught of phone users with mobile browsers. Google analytics for mobile gives you the information you need to foster great customer relations and attract new business.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Before reading the rest of this article, you may want to read my MD post on how to create mobile-friendly websites and blogs.

I’ve mobilized MobileBeyond using both the WP-Touch WordPress plugin for Apple, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. The plugin delivers a very attractive, readable mobile experience for phones with larger screens.

For feature phone users, I use Instant Mobilizer from dotMobi on domains MobileBeyond.mobi and IM-Mobile.mobi, my mobile, marketing and advertising blogs. MobileDiscoveries Radio uses WP-Touch only.

Both the WordPress plugin and Instant Mobilizer are free except for the cost of the domains. And the search engine results are spectacular. Google’s dotmobi index for MobileBeyond is 1,240 and IM-Mobile 130.

To find your mobile and non-mobile indexed listings on either site, type: “site:example.com” without the quotes.

Combining these two solutions is the easiest way to mobilize your blog or simple website. They’re other more costly methods if you require more features, logo designs or plan to sell things on the mobile Internet (m-commerce). As my earlier post points out, keep your mobilized sites simple to read and navigate.

Google Analytics Mobile Data Examples

Most marketers and other company managers haven’t used Google’s comprehensive mobile stats service. But once you have, you’ll jump to the mobile section quickly every time you analyze website and blog trafic.

  • Load Google Analytics, select your site’s name, click on “visitors”  and then “mobile.” You’ll see “mobile devices” and “mobile carriers” in the menu. As you drill down, you’ll find critical information about mobile phone users who visit your sites.
  • Mobile devices and operating systems (eleven for MB) dwarf personal computer OS’, limited to Windows, Mac OS and Linux. This is one of the major challenges for mobile marketers and advertisers who  want to ensure maximum impact on a cell phone screen.
  • View month-over-month data first. Above these stats, you’ll find a month-over-month comparison. You can easily change the date range to view different time periods and drill down for more specific information. For now, let’s analyze the past month only. (MB’s results are in parentheses next to each measurement.)
  • Basic Stats. Click on “mobile devices” or “mobile carriers” to view total visits (605), pages per visit (1.41), average time on site (57 seconds), new visits (86.5%) and bounce rate (78.2%). (A high bounce rate, say above 85%, means visitors stayed less than 30 seconds).
  • Comparisons to non-mobile traffic also show. Overall, MB mobile visitors read fewer pages, stay half as long but have slightly lower bounce rates. Keep in mind, however, these are total averages; as we drill down some startling differences appear.
  • MB’s mobile traffic (605) has risen to 8.9% from 6% of total traffic in only 4-5 months. For comparison, 60%-70% of all Facebook traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • The Three Tabs. Note they’re three tabs with drop-down menus, letting you compare virtually any combination of demographics, phone types, countries, time on site, etc.
  • Traffic sources. Click the tab under “site usage,” then “traffic sources.” To the right, choose referring source. You may also want to view by percentage found under “views” (Around 79% of MB’s visits are due to Google search, 17% direct with the remainder from other search engines and websites.)
  • Organic vs. paid traffic. All traffic to MobileBeyond is organic, but if you were running mobile marketing campaigns, you can easily see the results under “traffic sources/campaign.”
  • Keywords revealed. If you change campaign to “keyword,” the top keywords show. While many aren’t captured (“not set”) some of the keyword phrases drawing phone users to MB in the past month are “used Verizon iPhone,” “mobile streaming video” and “fast mobile browser.”

As you analyze your mobile traffic, you discover how Google Mobile Analytics can identify your visitors’ device types, operating systems, countries and regions, landing pages, keywords and much, much more.  This information helps you how develop targeted marketing campaigns.

As smartphone penetration in the U.S. approaches 50% in 2011–and Web-enabled phone users worldwide access the Web– marketers can’t ignore this growing population in their budgets. Mobile is–and will remain–the dominant communications channel of this century.