Quick guide: How to use Google Analytics to differentiate mobile traffic from desktop traffic on your website
Google Analytics is the number one choice in web analytics tools with more than 28,000,000 installs* world wide. This quick guide will show you one of the core use cases of the tool which is the ability to compare mobile traffic to desktop and tablet traffic.
Despite its popularity, Google has announced the end of life for Universal Analytics and essentially mandated the use of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in the next 13 months. So right up until July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to use these steps in Google Analytics to measure mobile traffic to your website and generate powerful mobile vs desktop web traffic insights!
Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account
You can get to your Google Analytics account here if you don’t have it book marked.
Step 2: Select Audience > Mobile from the left side menu
Selecting Audience will expand the menu. Scroll down to Mobile, click it, then select Overview. The Overview will give you device category (Mobile, Desktop, etc.) plus it allows you to add a Secondary Dimension to give you Device by Medium or Source.
Selecting Devices from the menu tells you what kind of device was used to access your site, like iPhone.
This type of information is useful but I’d classify this as top level data. It’s a point of interest, not something you can do a ton of analysis with which takes us to…
Deeper Mobile Traffic Analysis
When you really need to know something about how mobile traffic uses your site, you’ll want to leverage the Segment functionality (shown below) to split out or compare Mobile Traffic against other subsets of traffic.
Google Analytics Reminders
- Segments will stay in effect until you make a change. If you’re navigating through a series of reports double check that you are seeing the segments you need to.
- Mind the date range. Even Google Analytics pros can overlook the ever present date range selector in the top right of the window.
That’s all there is to it! Now you know how to use Google Analytics to measure mobile traffic on your website so that you can optimize your mobile experience and generate additional revenue!