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How to Track Mobile Traffic in Google Analytics

As the web goes more mobile, understanding the behavior of mobile visitors to your site becomes increasingly important.  And as the search engines differentiate mobile and desktop algorithms, having good mobile search data can be the key to acquiring more customers.  Thankfully, Google Analytics makes it fairly straightforward to gather this data.

I recommend creating mobile analytics dashboards to easily track, analyze and share your mobile data.  Typically, I start with two dashboards - Mobile Traffic and Mobile v. Desktop. v. Tablet.

The Mobile Traffic dashboard is designed to help you answer questions like:

  • How many people are coming to our site via mobile?
  • What keywords do mobile users use to find us?
  • Do mobile users stick around?
  • How does my mobile site convert mobile traffic?

The Mobile v. Desktop v. Tablet is designed to help you see the differences in behavior between these different devices.

Step 1:

Create the following custom segments in Google Analytics: Mobile, Tablet & Desktop

To do this, in the Custom Segments section, click “+Create New Segment” and call it “Mobile”. Click “Technology” and in the Device Category section, select “exactly matches” and enter “mobile” like below and save the segment:

mobile traffic tracking

Create another segment called “Tablet” and do the same but this time enter “exactly matches tablet”.  

For the “Desktop” segment, change “exactly matches” to “does not match regex” and enter “mobile|tablet”. This filters out all mobile and tablet data.

google analytics for mobile

Step 2:
Create your own mobile dashboards or use the custom dashboards I have created below using the custom segment filters you just created.

Mobile Traffic Dashboard (Get it here)
Make sure to set the custom segment to “Mobile”
Data tracked:

  • Mobile visits
  • Mobile pageviews
  • Mobile pages/visit
  • Average mobile visit duration
  • Average mobile page load time
  • Mobile bounce rate
  • Mobile traffic by source
  • Mobile organic keywords
  • Mobile organic landing pages
  • Visits by type of mobile device
  • Mobile visitor screen resolutions
  • Mobile visitor operating systems

Mobile Traffic v. Desktop & Tablet (Get it here)

Set the custom segments to Mobile, Desktop & Tablet.
Data tracked:

  • Visits
  • Bounce rate
  • Average visit duration
  • Pages per visit
  • Pageviews
  • Visits by region
  • Visits by traffic source 

There are obviously an endless number of different ways to configure these reports.  For example, I didn’t include any advertising, social or conversion metrics in these.  I also didn’t include app tracking where you might want to track app-specific metrics like how often the app crashes.   

Here’s some more info on how to set up app tracking.

So decide what are the right metrics for you to track and start tracking!


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