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06 December 2014

Understanding Multi-Screen Tracking Behavior with Google Analytics

Understanding Multi-Screen Tracking Behavior with Google Analytics
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By Joydeep Bhattacharya

Understanding-Multi-Screen-Tracking-Behavior-with-Google-Analytics

The trend that has forced almost all businesses to adopt the responsive or adaptive website design is none other than the multi-screen user experience that have completely changed the perception of internet usage in past few years. Gone are the days when people were merely stuck with using their desktops and laptops for accessing internet, but the evolution of Smartphones and tablets have entirely changed the scenario. To your surprise, the mobile internet users making final purchases from online shops have grown to 23% in 2014 from 20% in 2013 and it is predicted that more than 90% mobile device users will use their internet for online shopping by 2017.

Hence, businesses have to adapt with the responsive design to give their users an interactive and friendly multi-screen user interface. But the question, which still remains popping in your mind, is that why there is need for understanding the multi-screen tracking behavior of website with the help of Google Analytics (GA)?

Google Analytics Needs Improvement with Multi-Screen, Why?

While your website might have been developed using the responsive technique, but the analytics implementations often overlook the important information related with the use of websites via different devices. It is possible that if your website has different navigational layout for different devices, then it might offer different user flows depending on the type of layout preferred by your users.

Hence, if you completely understand the importance of Multi-screen tracking feature of Google Analytics and choose to upgrade your GA with this feature, you will be able to recognize and optimize the under-performing navigation layouts of your website to improve its performance on diverse devices.

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These are not only the benefits that you will get while upgrading your GA with the multi-screen tracking feature, but if you choose to do, then you can efficiently learn how to overcome the common challenges faced by most of the businesses with responsive web design in terms of implementing the analytics techniques successfully.

Insights of Users by Screen Inches

Increasing demand of Smartphones and tablets have already brought immense revolution in the world of internet and here are some interesting stats that I am going to put down here to let you know how multi-screen has been widely adopted in our current techno savvy generation. The given chart shows the percentage of users based on the screen sizes of the devices used by them in one month time period.

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You can see that the percentage of users having 4- inches devices has maximum percentage, while the users of 10-inches devices claims for 21% than the 17% of 5-inches devices. X`

Before understanding multi-screen tracking behavior of Google Analytics, it’s important to outline the common challenges faced by the businesses that have adopted responsive web design.

Common Challenges That Necessitate Multi-Screen Tracking with GA

1.Different Screen Sizes

Most commonly, Google Analytics classifies the devices in three categories namely Mobile, tablet, and desktop.

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However, this categorization misses the important information on the physical sizes of these devices, which is necessary for the website designers. Let me cite an example here to make this point clear to you

Suppose, your website performs well in a 4-inch device and it also show a key message at the bottom of its website in these devices that contributes in increasing conversions to your website, but the same website does not show that key message in a 3-inches device appropriately without being scrolled at the bottom as the designer might not know that this key message plays a significant in the success of this page. Hence, device-oriented preferences make this challenge more troublesome and the analytics tools help in offering the correct insights required for adequate enhancement and understanding.

2. Navigational Layout

Layout is often measured in terms of device orientation and pixels, but having proper knowledge about the layout being used in evaluating website activity is important for the overall design enhancement. You cannot put a single advert layout for all type of devices because persistence always causes annoyance. Hence, for a professional website owner, it is necessary to understand how various adverts perform on different layout and screen sizes for recognizing the under-performing adverts and increasing their overall advertising revenue.

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Understanding the result of this variance in viewing probability and position can help you in experimenting with diverse positioning for Smartphones. Moreover, information related with the active layout of your web pages can help in improving your understanding about the benefits of upgrading the Google Analytics.

3.Performance Evaluation

Modern responsive websites perform differently on different devices and their performance evaluation is necessary for getting better results. Being an owner of a responsive website, you must be able to interpret how your website is performing on different devices and this can be achieved successfully by enabling multi-screen tracking feature of Google Analytics.

Multi-Screen Tracking –How It Helps In Coping with These Challenges

To help the website owners in understanding this diverse digital landscape, Google Analytics has come up with a solution to enable you see the app data and web data in the similar reporting view regardless of the collection method that you have used for bringing both data sets.

As the website owner, you must know how users are using different devices for generating sales to your website and Google Analytics does it by using its new userid feature that let your assign a unique ID to all the visits on your website. It will help in tracking all the important actions of users starting from tracking a visitor’s research for a product, checking reviews and taking final decisions for making a purchase through your website.

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This unique ID will have no personally identifiable information (PII) like SSN/Email/Phone number and this also help you in tracking 90 days of user activities. Due to the assignment of unique ID, whenever a visitor will visit your website with three different devices, he or she will be treated as three different visitors. Now, you can easily connect all these touch points with the assigned unique ID by Google Analytics. Thus, the new userID feature of GA will help you in tracking the activities of same users through different devices.

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Apart from tracking the multi-screen behavior of your users with this improved Google Analytics, you can also perform a lot of useful activities required for keeping a check on the performance of your website.

Custom Orientation

Apart from this, you can also add information to the Google Analytics through the “Custom Dimensions” that are labeled under the “Property” menu on the “Administration” screen. You can easily add up to 20 dimensions to a property in Google Analytics’ free version.

custom dimension

You can add the information related with the page request to Google Analytics by building a custom dimension and putting its value from the JavaScript. During a session, the device’s orientation could be changed, hence, the new custom dimension is fixed with a scope of “Hit”.

device orientation

Device Orientation

With the improved Google Analytics, you can conveniently determine the required width and height of the window. It helps you in understanding, which devices prefer landscape orientation and which devices prefer portrait orientation. This is important for proper implementation of strategies needed for enhancing your website’s performance.

However, patience is always required for validating adequate results. The given chart will show you the percentage of Landscape and Portrait orientation’s usage in a one-month period

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Overall, it depends on your whether you want to take advantage of this multi-screen tracking feature of this improved Google Analytics. As a business owner, you should know the factors that are leading great sales to your website and a little of configuration can definitely give effective results for you. You can use these results for ensuring better user experience to all your visitors.

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