Web Analytics & Mobile Devices

Here is a link to an interesting article about the issues of measuring traffic from mobile devices and the short comings of the traditional web analytics products http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=3629590

Of course, this article can't capture everything, but it missed one big point and the one I've been standing up for years on. While the article talks about the short comings of using java script based tracking (like Google Analtyics, Web Trends SDC etc.), it didn't talk about my standard recommended approach.

This approach means setting the user cookie at the server and not on the web page and recording this in the log file. Most mobile devises (to my limited knowledge) do accept first party cookies even if they won't execute most java scripts. So with the cookie controlled by the server and not the web page, you can track unique visits.

What I found most interesting from this article was the percentage of people who do some web browsing from their mobile devices in the use (19%). Here in Canada I don't know of many who except in an emergency would do any browsing (unless their phone supports WiFi). Of course the cost of data plans here is ridiculous hight when compared to the USA.

Regardless if this percentage is high or low, the reality is people are starting to surf from their mobile phones and we better be prepared to measure and analyze this traffic. Anyone who's attended one of my web analytics or WebTrends training classes lately knows I do reference this issue with mobile browsing and its growing impact on the world of web analytics.


SES Toronto 2008

Search Engines Strategies Toronto is back for its 5th year here in Toronto. This year's event will take place June 16 -18th.

For the fourth year in a row, I'll be speaking at this year's event (June 18th at 12:45). My topic for this year's conference address is "Keyword Research". This is the same topic as last year's address, but I promise to update my slides and give out some new information.

Joining me again on this year's panel is Christine Churchill of KeyRelevance. I've gotten to know Christine not only at SES, but at other search conferences throughout North America. She not only brings a big smile and sunny disposition to each presentation, but a wealth of knowledge and insight developed through years of hands on experiences.

SES Toronto, to my great delight is also increasing its focus on web analytics. Anyone who has ever attended one of my talks knows that I firmly believe that you can't do and SEO or SEM without sound analytics in place. That's why I'm thrilled to see June Li (Clickinsight) (June and I have teamed up before in Toronto to speak on the topic of Web Analytics) and Bryan Eisenberg (Future Now Inc.) two of the leading authorities on web analytics speaking at this year's conference.

So if you're only going to attend one search engine conference in Canada this year, make SES Toronto. As reminder to people in the US north east, Toronto isn't that far to travel and it is a very cosmopolitan place (the most multicultural city on the planet) with lots of fun activities and despite the recent increase in value of the Canadian dollar, it still is a relatively affordable place to travel to.