SEO Video – Tracking Mobile Websites In Google Analytics
Hello and welcome to this week’s video blog, I’m Nick Rinylo and today I’m joined by Joel from the SEO department. Today we’re going to be looking at two ways we’ve found to configure Google analytics for your mobile sub-domain.
With the increasing popularity and technological capability of smartphones, mobile sites are set to become a bigger and bigger part of your online marketing campaign, and you need to be able to monitor the traffic your mobile site receives.
The advice online for achieving this is generally quite vague and unclear, but we’ve found two ways which work. The first method involves using the same profile with cross segmentation.
This method involves configuring a new code for your site so that it doesn’t count visits from your mobile sub domain as a referral. This new code basically tells Google analytics to include all of your visits for both domains within the one Google analytics profile.
Before you do this, it might be worth creating a duplicate of your existing profile, so that you can still see the date from your regular site in the event of something going wrong.
Ok so to generate the new code, log in to the new style analytics, click the domain in question and then click the cog icon in the top right hand corner of the screen.
This brings you to the settings screen.
From here, click the ‘Tracking Code’ tab and then check the radio box saying ‘One Domain with multiple sub – domains’. This automatically generates the code stating that any sub – domains should be treated as visits, not as referrals.
Once you’ve generated the code, embed this in both your top level site and your sub domain in the usual way. The data that comes through will now be a combination of visits from both sites.
The final step is to use cross segmentation in Google analytics to generate a report showing only visitors using a certain operating system – in our case a mobile phone operating system.
You need to decide what kind of traffic is important to you, for example you could cross segment all traffic to the site, or you could just focus on referrals or organic search. For people like us in the SEO industry, organic traffic is obviously the most important.
So to create you segement, navigate to the traffic sources tab on the main report, click sources and then click search and organic. At the top of the list of keywords, click to select a secondary dimension and type in Operating system.
This presents you with a long list of search visits divided by which operating system was used. You should see examples such as iphone in the list. What we have to do now is create a custom filter to see only those visits to the site from a phone based operating system.
To do this, click advanced at the top of the list, set the filter to include and operating system, and set to exactly matching. Then enter the mobile operating systems you saw in the list, taking care to spell them correctly. Click apply and repeat for all operating systems in the list. When you’ve finished, click ‘add to dashboard’ at the top of the page to pin your report to the main dashboard for easy reference in future.
With this method, remember to keep checking back to the full list in future to ensure you’re including in the report all operating systems being used to view the site.
OK so the second method might seem much simpler but be aware that this one involves creating a new profile for your mobile sub domain. Which method you choose all depends on whether you want all of your date within the same profile or not.
To set up a new profile, navigate to the main domain and click the cog icon again, then click the ‘add new profile’ button on the right hand side.
Fill out the relevant profile information and click ‘create profile’. Then, navigate to the tracking code again but this time click the advanced tab. This adds a radio button which generates the option to create a code designed specifically for a mobile site.
Select the correct server side language and following Google’s instructions for embedding the code and verifying the site. This will allow you to track data from your mobile site only, without any interference from the main site or need for cross segmentation.
So there are just two ways to track your mobile sub domain, we know there are more and if you have anything to add or query, please don’t hesitate to do so in the comments below.
Thanks for watching and Merry Christmas.