Are You Leaving Mobile Users On The Table?

If you’re in SEO, hopefully you have read enough posts and been around long enough to realize that we can’t just care about keyword rankings and we need to care about the business. Our work can guide those business decisions and heavily influence where our companies or clients should invest their resources to grow the business and keep being (or start becoming) successful.

Source: foosball table soccer little men playing game via Shutterstock

Today we’re going to investigate some strategies for finding where you are leaving users, and specifically mobile users, unconverted. This is going to be fun!

A GA Custom Report For You

Everything that I talk about from here on out, both the thought leadership parts and the geeky Analytics parts, stems from a Google Analytics Custom Report that I have built out for clients and the Distilled site. While your goal numbers will be different from mine, you can still take the report and adjust it to your goals, changing the Goal values within the report to reflect your own.

If you already know how to adjust Custom Reports, go ahead and download the report into your own Analytics account (before you click the link you must be logged into Analytics). This link gives you the report configuration only, not any of the numbers -

Download Report Configuration

What you’ll see here is a report that shows which referral sources are driving signups to your defined goals:

And here is the configuration. You will most likely need to change the four labeled sections to your own Goals and their subsequent conversion rates:

And here is a keyword conversion report (from Mike P) that you can use to find keywords that are converting, and where the potential keywords are:

Download Report Configuration

Look For Bright Spots

In Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch, they talk about the notion of the “bright spots”, which are, in the words of The Lean Thinker,-

Rather than focusing on what isn’t working and trying to fix it, go find examples of where things are working and try to understand why – what makes them different.

These bright spots could be the place for you to start, and when we’re talking about conversions, these are the keywords or traffic sources that you identify, usually because of good traffic or an unordinarily or unexpectedly high conversion rate, that are helping your business. The thought is then that you’re able to maximize/optimize these sources.

Please don’t misunderstand me here: You absolutely should do this, as these are obviously already working for you, but you should not ONLY do this.

Now Look For Improvements

If you don’t let the bright spots blind you, you will most likely be able to find other sources or keywords that could convert better if you had a better page, call-to-action, or product. This is where keywords and keyword research guides business decisions.

Specifically, we’re looking for the under-performing referrers and keywords that convert lower than the site average, or significantly lower than their counterparts. One that many marketers overlook is mobile users.

Download this report to see the disparity between mobile and non-mobile users (once again, you will have to adjust the goals and conversion rate settings) -

Download Mobile Users Report Configuration

This is an example of what you will see:

Once you click through on “Yes”, you’ll see something like this, which shows which brands your users are using:

And click through the brand to see the specific products as well:

Now you know where to start optimizing for mobile, as you’re able to see where your conversions are falling short.

Protip: One area that people forget to look is whether mobile referrers are converting well. If you get good traffic from Facebook, I highly recommend looking in your Referrers for “m.facebook.com” and matching this against your conversions, as you may well see that your mobile Facebook referrers convert less than your regular Facebook conversions. You’re leaving users on the table if you see this:

As you can see, in this example Facebook.com converts at about an 8.5% rate. Apps.facebook.com converts at a 7.5% rate (which isn’t terribly lower), but m.facebook.com converts at 4.5%. If this was doubled to convert at the same rate as Facebook.com, they would have gained another 200 users.

Mobile Searchers and Keywords

I’d be remiss as an SEO to not talk about mobile searchers coming into your site and which keywords they enter via, with our goal of converting these users. Here is a custom report for you:

Mobile Keywords Custom Report

Check it out:

That is what you get when you click through on a keyword. As before, you can also continue deeper into Brand/Product to get more granular on your data.

Now, go use the tools below to test how your pages look on the various devices so that you can put together a plan for converting more of these visitors.

Tools For Testing Layouts

A few tools exist to enable you to mimic your site’s responsive design to see how it renders on different devices. This is the best way to easily and quickly see why your conversions from a certain device may be lower than others.

My favorite tool to use is Responsinator, which shows you your site on many different devices all on the same page, such as DistilledU on iPhone:

Or on iPad landscape:

Another good tool is Springfly by Quirktools, which has a slightly better UI in my opinion:

Now you can go and fix your site’s responsiveness, or implement a more mobile-friendly version, to capture these potential users.


I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments, especially if you have other Custom Reports built out where you’d be willing to share the configurations.

I’d also like to leave a few more resources here for you if you need more convincing about the value of matching SEO decisions against business decisions.

If you haven’t been convinced of this yet, start here:

Letting Keyword Research Guide Business Decisions
Impact of Keyword Cannibalization - Beyond The SEO
Jon Colman Hacking SEO and REI For Business Growth

If you have already been convinced of the need for this mindset, let’s keep going. If you’ve just come back from the three above articles, welcome back.

Hopefully you have already tied your Analytics to conversions and have set up Custom Reports that give you this valuable insight into your user flow through your site to the point of conversion or completion of a goal (tied to your company’s KPIs). If not, read the following posts:

(Google Official) Setting Up Goals
(Google Official) Set Up Ecommerce Tracking
(Google Official) Ecommerce Tracking with Google Analytics
(Google Official) Setting Up Multi-Channel Functions

 

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12 Comments

  1. Hey john, this seems quit different and i must look into this BTW great insights.

    reply >
  2. John,

    Besides all the great stats and very practical info - special thank you for mentioning those 2 tools for checking the layout on mobile and tablets. I'm impressed they are not widely spread and mentioned everywhere to check your website on various devices. This is so important today.
    Thank you!

    reply >
  3. @ John Doherty & @Max Minzer, Responsinator & Springfly don't seem to be working 100%. That's my problem with them. They are close, but not completely accurate.

    Test my company's mobile site on your phone and with the tools:


    IDK, maybe I'm wrong?

    David

    reply >
  4. This is great stuff, John. We definitely need to be thinking more about mobile SEO. When I'm not at work, almost all my time on the internet is on mobile and there are some instances where I haven't made a purchase I've wanted to make because the site wasn't optimized for mobile. So thanks for addressing this. I'll definitely be trying some of these things.

    Thanks for another great post!

    reply >
  5. Anthony Haniff

    Thanks for the article John - MITE by Keynote http://mite.keynote.com/ is definitely the daddy for smartphone page rendering. Like web developers toolbar but for smartphones

    reply >
  6. Been struggling to understand how to put custom reports together, it's nice to have some quick to download and customise ones instead. One thing I'm not finding easy is tracking AJAX conversions - e.g. AJAX enquiry forms - how would you recommend measuring those?

    reply >
  7. John, you are going to make me look good in front of my clients. Thanks for sharing those.

    reply >
  8. Hey John,

    Excellent article. you have given awesome tips to optimize websites for mobile users and we should convert our mobile users.

    thank you

    Saif

    reply >

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