Understanding how mobile your users are: what you need to measure

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To create an effective mobile strategy you need to obviously do the basics as we have outlined already here

How to design for mobile

5 reasons to consider a mobile first e-commerce website

Why your website needs to be fast for mobile users

How to mobilise your existing content

Revamp your website for the touchable world

But you also need to understand what they are then doing on your mobile properties – both apps and mobile web – so that you can improve your site design, your marketing and pretty much everything else you need to do to keep your marketing moving.

There are many tools that can help you analyse what is happening on your mobile website and apps – of which we outline the best of here – but what is it that you need to know?

Here are some of the key things that you need to be thinking of understanding and measuring to track your customers. As you get more into the analytics you will see that you can learn so much more… but that’s for another chapter.

So what should you be looking at?


The most basic thing to measure is the traffic hitting your website or app. The obvious first step is to measure the amount of traffic, but it is also well worth looking at the peaks and troughs of that traffic as a very basic way of understanding when people are hitting your site or app and what they are doing. Traffic is the basic measure of everything you do so everything comes back to traffic and to… conversion.


Aside from traffic – which gives a great idea of how popular you are as a site – what is really interesting is how many of them actually go on to buy anything: what is known as a conversion. This is what you are trying to achieve and matching this to traffic (and then to everything else below) is key to measuring how you are doing.

Where they come from

Aside from traffic and sales, you need to also understand where your shoppers are coming from. It is key to understanding everything from your SEO right through to your marketing strategy to know what pushed them to your site. When looking to analyse your traffic and conversions you need to look at what marketing material drove them to your site, what other sites they may have come from and, if they came from a search, what search terms they used. This will help you shape your whole marketing strategy as we shall see.


It is also vital to know what customers do on your site when they get there: how long do they linger, what do they click on, what do they search for, how long do their sessions last? These are all vital questions to ask your self. You also need to understand why they leave or where they appear to give up. You can learn a lot by why and where people leave your site as it can help everything from marketing to site design to understanding how tricky using your site it.

The journey across your site also needs to look at where people leave and if they ever come back and what they do. This is trickier to measure, but you can log users coming in and when the go and when they come back. This will give you a much better idea of how people use you in their overall shopping process.


The other thing that analytics – especially live ones – can help you with is to know when something has gone wrong with your site, server or anything else technical and act to resolve it as quickly as possible.


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