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Webinar Recap: Measuring Your Mobile Users

The Digital Analytics Program (DAP) offers no cost, hosted web analytics to federal agencies. In November 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Memorandum M-17-06, “Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services,” which requires federal websites to incorporate the DAP’s JavaScript code for website analytics.

The DAP Learning Series: Measuring Your Mobile Users webinar, co-sponsored by the MobileGov Community of Practice, focused on measuring mobile users with DAP’s analytics tools, which are essentially a pre-configured version of Google Analytics.

3-D mobile smart phones and pie chart

Why Mobile Analytics?

We reached the mobile tipping point long ago—globally, there are more internet users accessing the internet via smartphone than via desktop. Additionally, mobile traffic is increasing in share against desktop traffic and tablet traffic. Government websites have begun to respond by designing websites to be “mobile-first,” and in particular, are moving away from stand-alone apps to designing for the responsive web (websites that adjust automatically based on the user’s device).

But how do you build better websites for mobile users? The first step is to understand your mobile traffic, and that’s where DAP can help.

DAP Mobile Analytics Capabilities

DAP can help website teams understand friction points and UX/navigation issues on mobile sites; mobile site speed; and mobile traffic sources, such as organic or paid search. The analytics capabilities offered include all of the out-of-the box Google Analytics reports, such as traffic sources, URLs, and Referring Domains; as well as mobile specific reports including device type and category. For now, DAP mobile analytics do not track standalone mobile apps, but may do so in the future.

Questions to Guide Your Mobile Reporting

The webinar reviewed some important questions to ask as you’re considering what kind of mobile analytics reports you need in order to drive the kinds of improvements and optimizations to make your mobile users happy. They included:

  • What traffic sources drive mobile users to our site?
  • How does our site perform on different types of devices?
  • Where do people browse on the site?
  • What are the most popular site search terms for mobile users?
  • What is the mobile site speed?
  • Where do mobile users leave my site?

Best Practices for Mobile Reporting

DAP believes that the best way to think about mobile reporting is through a three-screen view of desktop, smartphone, and tablet traffic. The webinar featured a demo using the mobile analytics data of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that went through mobile segments in basic and custom reports.

Screen capture from webinar of a slide titled, Demo: how to apply segments in basic reports.

How to get help and sign up for DAP (free!)

Federal website administrators can email the DAP Support team to sign up and get access to their digital and mobile analytics.

For additional information regarding federal websites and digital products, visit our Resources section, and review the Checklist of Requirements for Federal Websites and Digital Services. Read some of our recent blog posts on what other agencies are doing in mobile and metrics, and if you have a .gov or .mil email account, consider joining some of our various Communities of Practice.

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