Showing Traffic by Device
After adding this widget to your report, you’ll see a pie chart showing the percentage of Sessions by tablet, desktop, and mobile for the past 13 weeks. This initial chart is helpful for showing an overall breakdown of how people are accessing the site over the past few months. Of course, you can further customize this widget to show various types of charts, metrics, or dimensions.
For example, you may want to show data by User (not Sessions) to provide a more accurate picture of how individuals are accessing your site. Sessions can include the same people coming back multiple times to the site, and so counting Users connects more closely to counting people.
Within the widget options, which you can access by clicking the gear symbol in the upper left, click the Metric dropdown to change to another metric. Note that you can choose between New Users (people who were not previously tracked as visiting your site) or Returning Users (people who have been tracked in the past as visiting your site).
Of course, both metrics are valuable, depending on what you want to communicate to your client about website performance. Next, let’s look at showing engagement metrics in this widget.
In addition to showing counts of Sessions or Users, you should also understand how people from different devices are engaging with your site. For instance, those on mobile devices likely are spending less time on your site, but how significant is the difference vs. desktop? Mobile users may also arrive on your site with a different intent and after different content compared to a desktop user. Comparing engagement among devices helps you to better plan for presenting content differently to users based on how they access the site, and what their intention is likely to be.
Avg. Session Duration provides a prime indicator of how well people engage with content, showing you how much time they spent on your site before leaving. Within the widget options, we’ll once again use the Metric dropdown to select Avg. Session Duration.
To clarify this metric to the client, we can rename how it’s labeled in the report. To do so, click the down arrow to the right of the “Axis” box. Next, click the text in the “Y axis label” box to enter your own copy. In this case, we’ll change the label to read “Average Time on Site” to help the client better understand the data we’re presenting.
Finally, we’ll change the chart type to a bar graph, selecting from the icons at the top of the widget options. This type of chart allows us to clearly compare how various visit durations stack up against each other. Note that you can choose whether or not to show metric values (in this case, the amount of time correlating to the Avg. Session Duration) via the “Display Values on Bars” checkbox.
Now, we can see the final widget, with a bar chart showing average time on site by device. We can now show the client that desktop clearly ranks as the platform with the highest time on site, with tablet close behind and mobile far behind.
Showing Trends Over Time
All of these stats are great to show clients, but how will they know whether the engagement statistics are good or bad? By using date comparisons, we can show if metrics have gone up or down over time by device.
Select the arrow by the date range above the chart. Next, choose the timeframe you’d like to review and select “Compare to” to choose a previous timeframe for comparison.
Once you’ve applied this change to the report, you’ll see the chart reflect metrics for both timeframes, using color coding for each. In this case, we can see that desktop and mobile engagement dropped very slightly, while tablet dropped more significantly (a difference of 20 seconds from the previous period). Based on this data, we’d likely want to investigate if any recent website changes caused the site to render improperly on a tablet screen.
Showing Different Dimensions
Perhaps instead of showing performance by device, you’d like to break down more specifically to the brand of device (Apple vs. Samsung), model (iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 6+), or browser (Chrome vs. Internet Explorer). For example, say that your web developer requests a breakdown of site performance by browser to reference in a redesign of your site. She wants to see how many people are coming to the site from each browser and also compare engagement. This data will help inform the redesign process to prioritize testing in specific browsers that people are likely to use, as well as flagging potential problems that may be cropping up in certain browsers.
To effectively show several stats in one widget, we’ll choose the Table Graph view. This will allow us to present the list of browsers by row, with columns denoting various metrics. Next, we’ll use the Dimension dropdown to select Browser.
Finally, we’ll update the columns in the report, deciding which metrics seem most helpful to show our developer. Use the columns dropdown to select your desired metrics; in this case, we’re using Sessions, Users, Avg. Session Duration, Pages/Session, and Bounce Rate. After applying to the report, we can see our final table breaking down metrics by browser.
In presenting this data, you can add a Notes widget to call out specific observations. For example, you may want to note that Microsoft Edge (default browser for Windows 10) is starting to show increased user activity and should be included in future browser testing. In addition, you might also note that Safari In-App traffic shows extremely poor engagement, indicating possible issues with mobile experience on the site in that context.
Whether you want to show a top-level breakdown of device traffic or a specific report of browser performance, Megalytic’s Traffic by Platform/Device widget helps you report on users’ technology. Use this widget’s data to emphasize the importance of mobile functionality, call out site performance issues on certain devices, and guide browser/device testing during a website development process. Ultimately, you’ll be able to present a better understanding of how people are accessing your site and help your client make better decisions to reach that audience.