Smartphones Now Aggregated Separately from Tablets in Mobile Overview Report

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Google Analytics now breaks smartphones out from tablets.

It seems that Google Analytics has directly addressed a concern raised in a previous blog post: that combined metrics for smartphones and tablets were not useful.

The Audience > Mobile > Overview report now breaks out “tablet” and “mobile” (“mobile” indicating smartphone) as separate values for the Device Category dimension.

“Mobile” encompasses a broad range of hand-held phones and even screen resolutions, since some smartphone display a high resolution within the viewport.

This simple but useful change in Google Analytics will enhance our understanding of our users’ technical requirements so we can provide them a satisfactory experience.

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Track Mobile Click-to-Call Actions as Google Analytics Events

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You can track click-to-call actions on mobile Web pages as events in Google Analytics.

A useful new feature in HTML 5 is the tel: prefix that you can add before the href value of a link:

<a href="tel:8002221111"> Click here to call us now at 1-800-222-1111.</a>

Similarly to the mailto: prefix that launches an email client when clicked in a desktop browser, the tel: prefix initiates a phone call when the link in clicked in a smartphone browser.

Using the onlick handler within the link, you can insert event tracking code:

<a href="tel:8002221111" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Mobile', 'Click to Call'])">Click here to call us now at 1-800-222-1111.</a>

This handy convergence of mobile technology, HTML 5, Javascript and Google Analytics allows us to easily track calls that initiate from mobile pages. This is especially useful relative to desktop browsers, from which it remains difficult to track phone calls that your website has prompted.

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“Mobile” Is Too General; Specifically Track Visits from Smartphones

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The Mobile Devices report can help you measure smartphone visits and assess usability issues.

What is the standard screen resolution for an iPad?

1024 pixels wide x 786 pixels high

What is the screen resolution for an iPhone?

iPhone 3 and lower
320 pixels wide x 480 pixels high

iPhone 4
640 pixels wide x 960 pixels high

iPhone 5
640 pixels wide x 1136 pixels high

If the main panel of your website is approximately 1000 pixels wide, as most are, and if you don’t yet have a mobile version of your website:

  • Your website displays in a fully usable way on the iPads (and other tablets with comparable screen sizes and resolutions).
  • Your website is cut off widthwise by more than half on the iPhone 3.
  • With sideways rotation, your website displays basically intact on newer iPhones but may be too small to be usable.

More than the Mobile Overview report, the Mobile Devices report in Google Analytics helps you understand the type and frequency of mobile visits to your website. This is somewhat easier to measure for Apple devices, since iPad and iPhone visits are each consolidated, but the visual popups and links for each device listed in the report can help you gauge visits from Android and other non-iOS mobile devices.

In any case, make sure to avoid “mobile” generalities, especially as the mobile landscape continues to diversify. Drill down deeply enough within the Google Analytics Mobile reports to logically assess usability issues and to provide specific, data-driven guidance as your organization addresses its mobile development priorities.

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