Archive for March, 2012

The mobile web has become mainstream, not all websites have kept pace with the eager throngs of mobile shoppers. After all, mobile traffic is projected to surpass desktop traffic by 2015 — the stakes couldn’t be higher for optimizing your site for mobile.

When a mobile user reaches your site, what is his or her experience? Is it as smooth as it should be? Are there images that won’t load? Text that’s too small or too big? Do users have to scroll right, then down, left and back up to find everything?

Never assume your traditional website renders well on mobile displays. A missed opportunity can cause brands to lose out on key opportunities and relationships.

As with any marketing effort, gathering metrics is the best way to determine what needs work when it comes mobile site performance.

Understanding the ABCs of Mobile Metrics

Before you can gather metrics, you need to know what to measure. Let’s start with the most popular analytics tracking software: Google Analytics.

Google’s digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik organizes metrics into three groups (acquisition, behavior and conversion), which reflect the high-level purchase or conversion process of a web visitor.

By tracking each set of metrics for both mobile and desktop, overall traffic patterns emerge. You’ll begin to understand mobile performance in comparison to desktop performance.

1. Acquisition: The following three metrics track user acquisition from various sources. These represent the top end of the conversion funnel. Check all metrics across both mobile and desktop use.

Visits: How many people visit your website from either mobile or desktop?
Unique visitors: How many different people visited your website?
Pageviews: How many times was a page on your website viewed?
When comparing mobile and desktop performance, it’s important to realize that desktop is still the most prominent way to view websites. Therefore, people visiting on a desktop will view slightly more pages.

The most interesting tracking you can do is to observe how acquisition metrics change over time. Is mobile traffic growing on your site? Is overall traffic growing on your site? How is the ratio of mobile to desktop traffic changing?

2. Behavior: The next three metrics track user behavior, providing insight into whether a site moves users toward the outcomes it was built to achieve.

Pages per visit: How many pages are viewed during a single visit ob mobile vs. desktop?

Time on site: How much time does each visitor spend on your mobile website? On your desktop site?

Bounce rate: How quickly do mobile/desktop users turn away when they hit the site?

When we compare behavior metrics on the desktop site vs. mobile site, we see that visitors on desktop tend to delve slightly deeper than visitors on mobile and, consequently, stay longer on the site. Additionally, visitors on mobile are slightly more likely to bounce off the site (a “bouncer” is a visitor that visits only one page and then leaves).

Google explains how to understand user modes on mobile. The company classifies mobile users into three categories of interaction.

Repetitive now: These people track time-sensitive information on an ongoing basis, like stock quotes or sports scores.
Bored now: These people seek distraction or entertainment while waiting in line at the bank or on public transit, for example.
Urgent now: These people need location-sensitive information about a specific situation, such as the nearest pizza restaurant or the next available movie showtimes.

Understanding your mobile visitor’s “user mode” sheds more light on your behavior metrics over time. For example, a “bored now” visitor wants to be entertained; therefore, longer time on site indicates a satisfaction of that need. By contrast, a “repetitive now” visitor can have a high bounce rate, short time on site and low number of pages per visit, but it’s still a successful interaction.

3. Conversion: The last two metrics – conversion rate and average order size – track user conversions and the value of each of those conversions. These numbers show how visitors on both desktop and mobile contribute to an ecommerce site’s bottom line.

Conversion rate: How many visitors take the next step, whether to purchase, register or request more information?
Average order size: For ecommerce conversions, what’s the average dollar amount per order?

Most sites typically find that visitors on the desktop convert at a higher rate than mobile visitors. This is to be expected, as mobile web purchasing is relatively new and habits take time to establish.

Of course, mobile can still play a large role in the purchase process even if the transaction isn’t actually made on mobile. A recent Google study found that 79% of shoppers use their mobile device to shop, and 70% of them use mobile in-store.

Additionally, the velocity of purchases is significantly faster when a consumer is aided by a mobile device. Microsoft research found that shoppers who research products on their mobile devices are ready to buy; 70% take action within an hour, but 70% of people on desktop PCs take action within a week.

Impact of the Tablet

Any analysis of mobile performance has to factor in the tablet, which has quickly emerged as the third digital screen in consumers’ lives, in between desktops and smartphones. While smartphones are used on the go, at work and throughout the day and evening, the tablet is a lean back device frequently used at night.

What does this mean for your metrics? For starters, don’t consider all mobile devices equal. A shopper or searcher on a smartphone has markedly different needs and motivations than their counterpart who uses a tablet.

When you break your mobile metrics down between smartphone and tablet usage, you may notice trends. Perhaps tablet users visit more pages, spend more time on each page, and convert at a higher rate than smartphone users.

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Here is another Infographic this week

Are you addicted to Twitter? Are you addicted to other social networks? Let us know in the comments. Twitter is awesome. But is a little too awesome? Celebrities have tried to kick the habit, yet failed. College students have copped to social media addiction. Research has shown that people may have a harder time resisting Twitter than alcohol, sleep and sex.

Half of Twitter users log in to the network every day, and they tweet a ton. That ubiquity and utility has caused dependence in many, though. The infographic below provides a nice summary. Are you addicted to Twitter? Are you addicted to other social networks? Let us know in the comments.

Addicted to Twitter

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has released this infographic, charting the biggest consumer scams of 2011. Their rankings are based on the volume and spikes in complaints, the economic climate and major events exploited by scammers, information collected by its Scam Source, and alerts issued through local BBBs during 2011. The number one scam of the year is attributed to someone pretending to be the Better Business Bureau itself — an email sent mostly to small business owners, which downloaded information-stealing malware.

If these scams seem like tricks you’ve seen, don’t fear (too much). To fall victim to a scam, you generally need to actively follow instructions to give away your personal data. Did you see any of these scams yourself this year? Let me know in the comments section of this post

Top 10 Scams of 2011

Top 10 Scams of 2011

(Click on the Image to Enlarge]

YouTube EDUcation Channels

Posted: March 4, 2012 in All Categories
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With a bevy of new channels on YouTube popping up everyday, “Get your learn on at YouTube EDU,” says an erudite young student in a video promoting YouTube’s latest channels. Launched in 2009, YouTube EDU is a collection of more than 500,000 free videos from organizations and institutions such as PBS, Khan Academy and Harvard University.

Video questions come from educators at recently added channels: Deep Sky Video (astronomy), TED-Ed (a channel from the organizers of TED talks), Crash Course (an educational channel from The Vlog Brothers), the Sci Show and The Spangler Effect (famed science teacher). Each click will take you to a new screen.

Are you a brainiac? Join Professor Koval and his star pupil Olivia on a five question journey to see if you have what it takes to be a YouTube EDU star.

At the end of this video you’ll be asked the first question, which you should answer using the annotations embedded in the video. This will automatically take you on to the answer, and to the next question. Each of the five questions comes from a different YouTube EDU partner. At the end of the quiz you’ll receive your score (every score has its own reveal video, so play multiple times!).

Completing the quiz is a worthwhile effort — there are different endings depending on how well you do. What do you think ?