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Mobile browsing is ever on the increase, if you are serious about your web presence these days it is essential that you optimize your website for devices such as phones, tablets, smart TVs and consoles. For a website like WPLift I have seen our mobile visits steadily increasing over the years but the majority of our audience still uses desktops to view the site - that is because we provide help and info that people are likely to need while at work.

If you run a website aimed at different audiences, for example, consumers who will be purchasing from you - a larger portion of your audience are likely to be using mobile devices so you must ensure that your site is optimized for them, it's no longer acceptable to have a mobile offering as an after-thought, some companies are seeing the majority of their income on mobile.

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The problem with traditional stats like Google Analytics is they don't provide a lot of information about mobile devices which you need to improve your site for them, a lot of mobile optimization is guess work at the moment. To fill a need in this market there is a service called Netbiscuits which provides detailed analytics for mobile devices which we will be taking a look at today.

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Visit Netbiscuits »

About The Service

Although other Analytics services do report on mobile data, the information is limited to device name, bounce rate, session length, page views etc. What sets Netbiscuits apart is that it profiles over 8000 mobile devices with 500 device-feature data points which is has been collecting for 14 years. It provides more detailed information about these devices such as bandwidth speed, location and the orientation of the screen - portrait or tablet. They have built an interface that allows you to segment these devices into categories - tablets, smartphones, feature phones, PCs, and Smart TVs.

From their site :

In a recent benchmark study against the leading databases used by competitors, we found they had error rates of between 30% and 90% in reporting of OS version and screen sizes. Poor data can be more harmful than no data. Always challenge your analytics vendor on where they get their mobile data and how they verify its accuracy.

This is something I found very interesting and quite worrying as you could be using the wrong data to optimize your site which could actually harm your conversions.

Netbiscuits is available to try free, you can head over to their site and register your account which will give you 30 days access for 5000 impressions.

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Adding The Code to Your Site

Once you have signed up, you are given a piece of Javascript tracking code :

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You can take this code and paste it into your theme directly in the footer.php file or a better option is to use their free WordPress plugin available from the directory.

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Installing and activating this plugin will add a new option under "Settings" > "NB Analytics" where you can paste your tracking code - doing it this way is better so if you change themes, your code will still be on your site.

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Your Dashboard

Once you have your tracking code installed, you can login to the site and start viewing your stats right away as the service updates in real time. After login you are presented with your main dashboard which gives an overview of your whole account. There is a "tour" feature which will guide you through what each section does, I recommend you view this to become familiar with the sections available as they are a little different to what you may be used to.

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After you have completed the tour you can start to delve into each section and view info about your site visitors. This is what the main dashboard looks like :

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A Look at The Stats

At the top of your dashboard is your main graph which shows page views by default, you can use the links above to switch to sessions, bounce rates or conversions. Hovering over the graph will show a breakdown of visits by device - smartphone, computer, tablet etc.

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Underneath you have widget areas for different stats which give an overview :

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The sections covered here are as follows :

  • Devices - A breakdown of the most popular devices
  • Operating Systems
  • Browsers - Browsing app used
  • Personas
  • Time of Day - time of visit
  • Screen Sizes - Physical screen size
  • Bandwidth - Speed of the users connection
  • Orientation - Portrait or Landscape

You are able to click the top right button in each section which will take you to a detailed page with the full details and stats :

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Down the left hand side you have a filter option so you can dig deeper into stats for specific devices, days of the week, persona and so on.

Personas are in interesting piece of information, they are broken down as follows :

  • Evening Networker
  • Weekday Explorer
  • Lunchtime Power Browser
  • Sofa Surfer
  • Night Owl
  • Caffeine Commuter

Using this information to see which your most popular type of user is, you could tailor your content to specific times of day and use it to schedule post releasing, social media marketing etc.

Conclusion

Netbiscuits is a breeze to setup and use - I like the fact that stats are updated in real-time rather than having to wait a day to get access to them. The interface is clean and clear to use and the tour which you can take at any time explains what each section does. While the trial of the service is free, upgrading to a paid account will cost you from $175 for a million impressions, $349 for 5 million impressions and they also offer custom enterprise-level plans and white label solutions so you could package this and sell on to your clients.

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With this pricing strategy, Netbiscuits is obviously not aimed at small websites which couldn't justify a monthly spend of $175 for mobile analytics, it is aimed at eCommerce and service providers with larger visitor numbers and revenues who will see the benefits of improving their mobile optimization for increased revenue. This is apparent from some of the companies who use Netbiscuits :

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If you need more information about mobile visitors then you should take a look at Netbiscuits, even if you use the month free trial, this should provide you with  more detailed statistics about your visitors and enable you to optimize your site and content timing for them.

Visit Netbiscuits »

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Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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