[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


If your visitors are mobile, why isn’t your website?

Tablet and smartphone devices are growing in number, which means people are doing more online while mobile. Recent research by Adobe shows 7.8 per cent of all web content viewed in Australia was accessed on a smartphone, with a further 7.7 per cent accessed on a tablet.

These numbers are only going to get bigger, so it’s important to understand how much of your audience is mobile now, and how your site displays to different devices.

The first step is to duck into Google Analytics and determine how many people are visiting your site from a mobile device. To find this, use the left-hand menu to navigate to Audience → Mobile → Overview.

You’ll see a simple breakdown of mobile or non-mobile (desktop or laptop computers), together with some engagement metrics. Watch out for any large differences here: if people on mobile devices are spending very short times on your site, it could be because it’s not displaying for them correctly.

You might want to measure how much this has increased year on year; it’s not uncommon to see jumps in mobile traffic of 60-70 per cent since mid 2012. The acceleration of mobile’s increased use has taken us all a little by surprise, so don’t just look at the metric on today’s report. Always look for the context and the trend. 

After you’ve got an understanding of how your audience uses mobile devices, it’s time to find out how it displays. Responsive.is does just that.

It’s a free service that shows you how your site displays on desktop, smartphones and tablets and even lets you see how the orientation of a phone or tablet affects how the site is displayed.

If you find your site doesn’t display as well as it should, you might want to talk to your designer. Responsive.is is all about Responsive Design, which is a web development term where the page dynamically formats itself to fit the size of the screen that’s viewing it. Some great examples of this are The Boston Globe and the site of Melbourne communications company Weave Web Communications.

Your web developer will be able to advise you on how to incorporate responsive design on your website. Many content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal can be skinned with responsive themes, so it doesn’t have to cost the earth and is an easy way to boost mobile engagement.

About the author
Damion Brown is Principal Consultant at Data Runs Deep, a web analytics consulting firm based in Melbourne. He works with organisations to help them find the right mix of digital analytics platforms, then trains internal resources in how to work with and interpret the data. To find out more visit datarunsdeep.com.au.

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