Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mobile Analytics

Website traffic from smartphones and tablets grew 2.6 times from 2009 to 2010 and is expected to grow 26 times by 2015. Businesses and organizations need to be able to use analytical tools to analyze mobile traffic on their website just as they currently do when someone accesses their website through a desktop. Mobile traffic cannot be analyzed in the same ways that desktop access is analyzed due to mobile site design, network speeds and many other factors which can make the data misleading. Not only does the proper technology need to be used to capture mobile data, but knowing how to analyze that data is key.
If data such as bounce rate, click-depth, and visit length from mobile access were analyzed in the same way that desktop access is analyzed, then this data can be misleading. Bounce rate for example which represents the percentage of visitors that simply enter the site and then “bounce” off rather than continuing further into the website.  Bounce rate for mobile users is typically a lot higher when compared to desktop users. Mobile services are typically optimized to use less bandwidth and to enhance the user’s experience. This can be seen on most mobile websites where the most useful and important information can be seen on the first page making it unnecessary to explore the website further. A high bounce rate percent for desktop users may mean a poor user experience, but may not be the case for mobile.
Click-depth has the same limitations as bounce rate when it comes to mobile user engagement. Mobile usage is fairly fast paced when compared to desktop usage. With limited display space and also a limited interface, services are organized in a more user friendly manner on the front page. A low click depth from desktop users is cause for concern but not necessarily for mobile users.
Visit length can also be misleading, for instance someone using a Samsung Galaxy S3 may spend less time on a site then someone using a Nokia for example. One might assume that the Nokia user may have had a better user experience on their website by spending more time when in reality it may have took more time for the Nokia to load the information due to the older technology, network speeds, and mobile browser.
With proper analytic tools and websites tailored to capture mobile data, organizations can use the captured data to optimize the user experience when accessed from a mobile device. When it comes to mobile devices and networks there are many choices and depending on the location around the world, network speeds and devices may vary greatly. Proper mobile analytic technology and knowledge enables an organization to give mobile users the best experience possible.