October 3, 2014

Is it time for a mobile site? Check for yourself in Google Analytics!


Businesses that have not optimized their websites for mobile devices yet, can start counting losses.

We have been witnessing a vast expansion of the mobile network globally. Global mobile traffic increased by 81%1 over the previous year, exceeding 18 times1 the size of the entire global Internet in 2000! It is estimated that by 2015 more users will be accessing the Internet on mobile devices than on desktop computers. According to Cisco, by 2018 smartphones will have already accounted for 66%1 of global mobile traffic. As of now 77%4 of mobile searches take place with the desktop computer being available at hand. All this confirms that users are shifting away from standard solutions towards mobility.

Some business owners still believe their traditional website is entirely sufficient.

Data shows that they underestimate the consumer of the new type. 61%2 of mobile users will simply leave a website that is not optimized for viewing on their device and will move on to competition. What is worse, it seems that you can lose trust of smartphone and tablet owners only once. 48%2 of them treat the lack of a mobile site as neglecting the company’s own business and over a half of them2 lose interest in the company. Taking into account the fact that mobile users share information twice as eagerly as desktop users3, a negative opinion on your company may spread around the Internet faster than you think.

Still not sure whether you should have a mobile site? Check for yourself how many potential customers visit your business’s desktop website on mobile devices.

You will find such information in the web analytics tool that you have been tracking your website with. We will show you how to do this in Google Analytics. It is dead easy. Sign in to your Google Analytics account and select your desktop website on the list of tracked sites. On the next page you will find the “Audience” category in the panel on the left side – expand “Mobile” and select “Overview”.

You will receive a report, which will help you answer three key questions:

• How many users visited your website on mobile devices in a selected period?

• How many percent of all visitors to your website are smartphone and tablet users?

• What is the bounce rate for mobile users?

What is bounce rate and what does it mean to you?

Bounce rate is the number of users who leave your website after seeing only one page. If its value is significantly higher for smartphones (“mobile”) and tablets (“tablet”) than for desktop computers (“desktop”), it does not mean that the problem lies in your website. If desktop users stay on the site longer than mobile users, the problem lies in the fact that your website is not optimized for viewing on smartphones and tablets.
The bounce rate shows you the number of potential customers that you keep losing every day only because your website is not mobile friendly. The reason is too trivial for you to afford losses, isn’t it? If your bounce rate for smartphones and tablets noticeably exceeds the bounce rate for desktop computers, it is time for you to start a mobile version of your website.

How much of your website traffic comes from mobile devices?

The number of sessions recorded on your website is a number of visits during which users were actively using your service. You can check how many out of these visits were made from computers (“desktop”), how many from smartphones (“mobile”) and how many from tablets (“tablet”). You can also check what percentage of the total traffic on your website is mobile traffic. In the image above we can see that the traffic coming from smartphones – 21,21% and tablets – 3,92%, amount to 25,13% of the total website traffic. This means that every fourth potential customer of this company is a consumer of the new type. With mobile traffic above 10% you should no longer wait with starting a mobile version of your website.

Next time we will tell why it is worth to track your mobile website’s traffic separately and how to do it with Google Analytics. If you already have a dedicated mobile version of your business’s website, stay with us!


1 Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2013-2018, February 2014, Cisco
2 What Users Want Most from Mobile Sites Today, September 2012, Google
3 Why Smart Social Marketers Think Mobile First Infographic, UnifiedSocial.com
4 Mobile Search Moments Study, March 2013, Google

Feedback & Support