Want to improve your mobile audience targeting? Before you change your content or technology, start by understanding the current makeup and behavior of your mobile visitors.
At a most basic level, this means figuring out what percentage of your visits are arriving from desktops vs. cell phones vs. tablets. Beyond that, though, it means really diving in to see how mobile behavior differs from section to section, and page to page, so that you can tweak your offerings accordingly.
So how do you do this? A free, easy, and powerful option is to use Google Analytics.
You can start with the pre-set options to find your traffic breakdown under Audience -> Mobile -> Overview. Here you’ll be able to see exactly how much traffic is coming from each source.
Right underneath is Audience -> Mobile -> Devices, which will show you traffic by device type. If you click the camera button next to any device name, you’ll even get a handy photo of each handset/tablet.
These overviews are useful to get a broad sense of your audience, but to truly understand your visitors’ mobile behavior you’ll need to use “Advance Segments.”
Despite their somewhat daunting name, Advance Segments can actually be pretty simple (they can also be very complex, but we’ll skip that for now).
To start, just click the down arrow in Audience -> Overview.
From here you’ll see a list of rectangles at the bottom with various traffic types (mobile, tablet, etc.). Just select one, two, or three of these pre-existing segments and drag them up to the area next to “All Visits.”
Once you hit “Apply” you’ll see that all your reports are now broken out by platform type.
What makes Advance Segments so powerful? Essentially, in this context they allow you to examine in minute detail how visitors using various platforms behave.
For example, if you head to Audience -> Visitor Flow, and select one of the segments you can see exactly where mobile or tablet visitors are entering and leaving your site.
What you do from there depends on your particular site structure and goals. Once you get the hang of Audience Segments, you’ll be able to see how everything from conversion rates to page depth varies by device type. Ultimately, with some time invested, you should be able to get a robust picture of where you’re succeeding (and yes, perhaps even failing) with your phone and tablet visitors.