Today, many of my clients have taken the step to invest in a mobile friendly version of their web site. This exciting initiative faces many of the same challenges and questions as you would consider for your traditional web presence. My clients need to understand visitor behavior on these mobile sites in the same way they do on their online site. Additionally, proving the value behind these initiatives is vital as every dollar in the budget must be justified and proved to yield a positive ROI.
In this post, I offer several best practices for tracking the behavior of mobile site users and how to act on such information.
Tracking Mobile Site Behavior:
Best Practice Reports and Analysis:
Once you have begun to capture mobile data, you are free to perform the same breadth of rich analyses available to you when analyzing data gathered from your traditional web presence.
To get started, I recommend setting up a top level category within your Content Reports for the mobile site. This will allow you to easily compare mobile traffic and conversions to your non-mobile intended content. In addition, the Content Categories report will allow you to drill deeper into and the data to explore sub-categories and specific mobile pages. , You will want to closely monitor trends to understand relative mobile content adoption and considering shifting future resources to the topics that best further your business objectives.
Additionally, I recommend setting up pathing and click stream reports for your key mobile processes and funnels. Just as you would with conventional site behavior, you can analyze where key areas of departure occur and quickly identify key problem points on the mobile site. As a result, you will want to optimize the navigational structure and focus on content that leads to undesired behaviors and process fall-out.
Mobile sites must focus on effectively utilizing small areas of real estate. Consequently, you should strongly consider content placement on your mobile site. Do you have an opportunity to re-position content, products, promotions or other to drive your business objectives? I recommend doing some exposure analysis. By placing an exposure metric (e.g. page views or product views) on one axis and a conversion rate metric (e.g. event points/session, orders/session, etc), I can quickly determine if I have high performing content with little visibility. Further, I can determine if I’m wasting key real estate with underperforming content (high exposure, low conversion). With this relative perspective, I have a clear opportunity. I can test the effect of putting my low exposure, high conversion content on high exposure mobile pages and conversely I can remove my underperforming content from those high exposure pages.
Lastly, I recommend doing several layers of comparisons between your traditional site and your mobile site. With the clients I work with today, the ability to compare and contrast mobile behavior from traditional site behavior is increasingly important. Many of my clients are finding that their mobile site speaks to a specific niche or a specific need from a typical visitor. In many cases, the reasons a visitor uses the traditional web site are not the same as the reason a visitor uses the mobile site. Consequently, the conversation that you have with clients in the two mediums should often be different. If you make the same assumptions on your mobile site as you do on your web site, you may quickly determine that you are failing to drive optimal mobile conversions and a relatively weak customer experience. In short, compare the mediums frequently, but don’t rush to assume what works on your web site will also work on your mobile site.
I hope these best practices serve you well. I welcome your thoughts on additional best practices and look forward to learning what your company is considering with respect to mobile.
Special thanks to Brian Tomz for your expertise and contribution.