Rather than include how I crunched the numbers in every mobile trend post, I thought I’d break it out as a small separate article.
The metric I chose to represent mobile usage was as a percentage of all users of a website. So if a website analyzed had 300 mobile visitors and 700 non-mobile visitors in a month, mobile users represent a 30% share of all the users of that website.
Why relative numbers instead of absolute? I chose relative percentages of total users rather than the absolute number of mobile users because some of the websites analyzed had other effects that would have clouded analysis of mobile usage. Say a website is slower in summer, how do we account for the drop in mobile users? Is that good or bad? What if all the traffic, mobile and non, was growing for a given website? Does that mean that mobile was growing, or that the industry was seeing more online usage in general? Using the percentage of mobile users compared to total users lets us see past other website variables and gives us a trend that means something.
Using percentage of total users also gives our customer data an extra level of anonymity so that even if one of their competitors figured out which particular company we were referring to in an industry, they’re likely seeing the exact same data on their site and wouldn’t be able to discern any valuable competitive intelligence.
By using the relative percentage that mobile users represent for a given website, we’re able to see how the trend of adoption is growing and can accurately forecast usage for the upcoming year. It becomes crystal clear whether or not an industry absolutely should create a mobile friendly version of their website or whether they can put it off for a little while longer.
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