Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you need a Mobile version of your site?

This is a question that would have been answered with a resounding 'Yes!' some time ago. But now it's not so clear cut. The fact is, your typical smartphone is growing in capabilities by leaps and bounds, and nowadays the screens people use to browse your website from their phone are showing off your current site in all its glory.

If we look at a typical snapshot of traffic, you'll see that the sophisticated devices rule the roost. And these devices tend to have the larger screens. My Android sports a 3.7" screen, making viewing most websites A Good Experience.

What you do need is to know how your site performs on a mobile device. View your site and try navigating around it. Do those pretty menus work on a smartphone? What about that fancy Flash? Then delve into your analytics. Are your bounce rates worse for mobile devices? In short, experience your site from the POV of a mobile user of your site.

Analytics insights: Bounce Rate

This year we're going to be focusing on providing some detailed insights into the world of website analytics. We've spoken before about the critical importance of analytics, so lets look at some of the key measurements of your site's performance. First off: Bounce Rate.

A bounce is not, as I've heard suggested, when someone scrolls up and down your webpage a few times. A bounce is simple - it's defined as a single page visit to your website. In other words, it's when someone goes to your site, and views no more than one page before leaving.

So your bounce rate indicates how 'interesting' your page (and site in general) is to a visitor. A high bounce rate suggests you have nothing to offer the visitor. But what's high, especially within the tourism market? I'd say you should be looking for a bounce rate under 50%.

And the next question you should be asking is: how can I improve my bounce rate? That we will explore in depth at a later date!

It's worth mentioning there is a related measurement - % Exits from a page. This is the percentage of visitors who left your site after viewing a particular page. Note the difference between % Exit and Bounce Rate - a bounce is a one page visit to the site. while an exit is simply leaving the site (and as such, not necessarily A Bad Thing).