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Preparing for Mobile Analytics and Tracking


For mobile analytics tracking, here the key things should we take into consideration when measuring mobile platforms and the user behaviors.

Not all companies may have a mobile optimized site or so called However, if you get a pretty decent amount of traffic, you should check how fast the mobile segment is growing.

Even if your traffic size may be small, but I bet you anything, most of the case the growth may be surprising if you haven’t checked it for a long time.

So, this is where my brain is at and learned from some of the mobile initiatives I came across.

1) Browser based mobile site or Mobile App?

The tagging technology is quite different from mobile website (browser base) Vs. mobile apps for iOS or Android. The metrics and available dimension you want to measure could be different as well.

Typically the objectives and goals for mobile apps differ from the mobile site, and the consumer experience in these two different properties are different as well. While mobile apps tagging may occur by using some type of SDK (software development kit) library in building the app, the mobile browser site is likely to be the traditional javascript tags.

Make sure to involve your engineer and give it a lot of planning.

2) You need to go create the mobile analytics profile for mobile.

Digital analytics experts should already be thinking about creating a profile to measure the mobile space, and the first easy thing you could do is create a segment of analytics data around mobile browsers or your mobile site (

If you already got Google Analytics on your site, you can create a view with a filter so you’re specifically tracking visitors from mobile devices.

3) Identify outcome and key events

Analytics tools are useless without measuring the site’s contribution to the outcome or key events.

The important thing we’ve learned in website analytics on measuring what worked or not worked against outcomes need to scale to mobile analytics practice as well.

Events could be tied to some unique mobile interaction events. Could be, but not limited to…

  • video views
  • check-ins
  • sharing content
  • click-to-call
  • screen swipe
  • promo/coupon redemption at the point of sales
  • push notifications

4) Prepare for segmentation

As mentioned in my previous post “Measuring ROI using Segmentation” segmentation is the key to getting to an insight and performance analysis.

Mobile Analytics is no different went it comes to segmentation.

The outcomes you defined could the segmentation point. For example, people who signed up for a newsletter on mobile site Vs. people who didn’t register on the mobile, how are they behaving differently.

Another random example: People who check-in to a store with the app, how is that different behavior different from people who don’t check-in and completed an event X. Was the average order size different?

Generate a list of business questions that are unique to mobile.

What else to consider?!

If your site is optimized differently for mobile phone and tablets, then it could be worth looking into separating those two segments out as well.

What are the ways to identify mobile segments?
You can look at the OS or Platform or Screen Size reports and see what makes sense for you to segment the mobile data into the profile in your analytics solution.

If you have a mobile Apps, then it is definitely worth creating a profile for iOS by itself and Android in another profile if you are supporting two different platforms. Make sure you involve the app engineer, because the web analytics vendor may have unique event tags catered to mobile apps.

Make sure you involve the app engineer, because the web analytics vendor may have unique event tags catered to mobile apps.

From reporting standpoint…

Even if your objectives and goals mobile/tablets may be the same to your traditional website, there should be unique custom reports catered to mobile/tablets segment.

Remember that there are many unique aspects in mobile that traditional website may not offer. (i.e. check-in, screen swipe, barcode scan, sharing, using coupons/tickets, etc.)

If you recall the term “SoLoMo”, a term coined by KPCB’s John Doerr. Consumer behavior in the emerging media is revolving around Social, Location, and Mobile.

Eric Schmidt from Google has mentioned…

“They will change the world. What I’m most excited about is what the next generation of entrepreneurs can do on top of these Cloud platforms. What I do know is that the next generation of these leaders will be something involving mobile, local, social. ” — Eric Schmidt @ 2011 Dreamforce Event

From an analytics standpoint, we should really pay attention to capturing data and connect the data to build insights around:

  • Social: How is mobile platform attributing to social activity that is impacting the business
  • Location: Leverage location data to learn and bring insights to build a better business strategy around physical location like a store, people, services, unique interaction thru mobile, etc.
  • Mobile: Champion data around measures that are unique to mobility or mobile platform

Hopefully, that gave you some good sense of what to think to get started with mobile analytics. Here some links to popular web analytics vendors providing mobile analytics capabilities.

Google Analytics for Mobile – Developer’s Guide

Webtrends Mobile Solution

Adobe Omniture Mobile Solution

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Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.