In-Page Analytics: Changing Mobile Best Practice Perceptions

Today I spent a good deal of time analyzing onsite behaviors of one of our clients through the use of in-page analytics. It had been a while since I really dug my heels in and explored the insights that this tool can provide. Let me tell you, I was quickly reminded of what I had been missing. This tool is awesome and allows you to do some quick and dirty analysis that should lead to decisions on conversion rate optimization.

To use the tool, simply log into your analytics account, expand the content topic section, and then select in-page analytics, which will be your last option. Once you select it, a browser-like window within analytics will appear, that shows your home page. A top line report for your selected date range will appear above this window, which will show you the data set that is being analyzed and some key stats like pageviews, bounce rate, exit %, etc. A cool trick you can use is to open a new tab within the browser and load your website. Do this and wait a few seconds for the data to load and you’ll have full screen action with your click percentages included, pretty awesome. Unfortunately, using a full browser does, at times, limit your functionality by only showing you top-level traffic and not giving you the option for advanced segments, which you’ll need to do the analysis I’m going to walk through. If for some reason that segmentation option doesn’t show up, just jump back into analytics. The image below is a screen grab of my full browser view (minus the client data for confidentiality reason), which after a few refreshes did populate the segments I loaded in analytics.

In-Page Analytics View From Unique Browser

Now that you’re ready to go, what I wanted to understand is how mobile visitors navigate the site as compared to desktop users. In order to do this, I selected mobile traffic and compared it to all visits. To get more accuracy, you could setup a segment that includes all visits minus mobile but for a quick evaluation, comparing all traffic versus mobile should do the trick. Once I had my segments setup, I selected Mobile Traffic from the drop down box and first looked at clicks. As an FYI, this particular client is a SaaS platform and their site is mobile optimized but not mobile specific. Two things that were immediately apparent to me:

  1. 69% of mobile users who hit the home page immediately clicked through to the login page. What I can draw from this is that there are a large amount of users who are actually using the platform via their mobile device. My immediate thought is that they should be taking a hard look at adapting their software into a mobile app for android and iphone. This will help in their campaigns on a couple fronts. First, it’s a huge selling point for users. “Buy our service, get our app for free and use it anywhere.” Second, it will help with direct conversions via mobile PPC searches. Click to download app extensions are made for this. Streamline the process and give folks an option to get right into the software.
  2. Out of the mobile folks who didn’t click the login button, roughly 30% of them clicked through to the pricing page. This makes sense to me as that’s typically my plan of attack when sourcing SaaS. For this particular client, it’s also the page with the strongest call to action and easiest path to a conversion. This also led me to think about and compare these statistics to their overall traffic (which if you have that as a segment option will automatically populate when you hover over a percentage box) and also dig a little deeper into the benefits of sending traffic to the pricing page.

Here’s what I found on the additional dig. For all traffic, a smaller percentage of people click through to the pricing page and the clicks to other sections of the website are more equal rather than skewed heavily to that particular page. What I really wanted to know was, where are the people who actually convert going? Well, this is where things get interesting. After selecting completed purchases as my metric, rather than clicks, it was clear that the behaviors of mobile and search are very different. The two most popular pages are “how it works” and “pricing.” My intuition told me that mobile wouldn’t convert on a more content heavy page like “how it works,” especially knowing that a user needs to click through to the pricing page to actually convert. This was exactly the opposite. Mobile users who clicked through the how it works page converted nearly 4x more frequently than going direct to the pricing page. Unbelievable! Adding a heavy content driven page and step to the conversion funnel actually improves conversion rates on this mobile page.

The desktop statistics were drastically the opposite. Those that clicked through the pricing model converted 6x more frequently than those going first to the how it works page. This got me thinking about what I thought I knew about mobile users. Best practices told me less information, more streamlined, easy conversion funnel. However statistics are telling me that I need to deliver the information before I ask for the sale.

The conclusion I drew from this, is that for this particular client, where over 20% of their traffic is currently coming from mobile, is that they need a customized mobile experience. They need to control the experience their mobile users participate in, give them fewer options to click, and make the path succinct while also providing relevant information up front. While this does go against a more tradition approach of “less is more,” the data is telling me that in this case, more is actually more.