Social Media Metrics: Tracking Mobile-Device Activity on Regular Websites - dummies

Social Media Metrics: Tracking Mobile-Device Activity on Regular Websites

By Leslie Poston

To keep up with the mobile part of social media metrics, you can do some mobile tracking in Google Analytics. Because of this, there is no time like the present to start laying plans for a mobile version of your site if you don’t already have one. Talk to your web designer about the best way to make that happen.

One of the ways you can track mobile activity using Google Analytics is on a regular website being accessed by mobile devices. To access the data for activity from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) on your regular website using Google Analytics:

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account.

  2. Select the website you want to track mobile metrics for.

  3. Click the Standard Reporting tab.

  4. In the left column, click Audience.

  5. Click Mobile.

  6. Select Overview or Devices to see metrics for the past month.


    Looking at your Mobile metrics overview in analytics tells you basic information about your visitors and breaks them out into web visitors and mobile visitors. Just looking at the overview tells you only how much of your traffic comes from folks using smartphones and tablets; it doesn’t tell you which smartphones and tablets they are.

    Knowing your target market for your site and for your social media efforts, this big-picture number tells you whether you’re falling short or reaching any goals to reach people on mobile devices. If you aren’t planning this type of mobile site yet, you should. This will help keep you ahead of the game as the web moves to a more mobile user base.

    To get a better picture of how your site reaches people in their pockets, so to speak, look at the Devices metric instead of Overview. This breaks the visitors out into the type of device folks are using to view your site. This information gives you an idea of which mobile browsers to design for.

  7. (Optional) Drill the metrics down even further in this screen.

    For example, you can choose different dimensions and secondary dimensions to sort by. You can simultaneously sort by device, site usage, location, and ecommerce use, for example. Or you can search by certain devices and exclude others.

  8. Adjust the date to see metrics for specific time periods.

The ecommerce figure is especially interesting for mobile shopping if you have a web-based store or sales process of any kind. This number gives you a look at how your site is converting for traffic from the mobile markets and on tablets. It lets you see, for example, that Android users turn into leads or sales less often than iPad users. You can then drill down on the site itself to see what may be happening in the Android browser to draw people away from taking action.


If you’re designing an app for your brand, don’t leave metrics out. If you can make it Google Analytics-compatible, it will appeal to more people. If you can’t, people still want to know how the app is performing for them, so make sure to give them a way to find out.

Google remains the best free option, but a variety of freemium, premium, and enterprise-level applications are out there to help you keep up with your mobile metrics. However, if you’re on a budget, Google Analytics and AdWords are still your best bets.