Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop: Is Mobile Worth It?

“Should I run mobile ads for [CLIENT NAME]?”

This is a question we address internally from time to time.

How do we answer this question?

By diving into Google Analytics and taking a look at Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop data.

There are six metrics we take a look at when it comes to deciding whether to run mobile ads for clients.

Comparing Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop AdWords Traffic

1. Go to Audience in Google Analytics.
2. Go to Mobile > Overview
3. Go to Acquisition under Secondary Dimension.
4. Go to Source / Medium
5. Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop traffic for AdWords traffic

google analytics mobile vs tablet vs desktop

In this screenshot, we can see that mobile traffic and desktop traffic sessions are almost equal at 48% and 46% of all traffic (with tablets accounting for almost 6%). There’s a variety of other stats in here that are useful for analysis as well – bounce rate, session duration, pages per session, revenue – we’ll dive into those stats in this post as well.

Comparing Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Revenue

1. Go to Audience in Google Analytics.
2. Go to Mobile > Overview
3. Click on Percentage Chart Icon
4. Select “Revenue” from Contribution to total dropdown
5. Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop vs Tablet revenue

google analytics desktop vs mobile vs tablet

Wow. Even though desktop and mobile have almost equal sessions, desktop traffic accounts for 81.43% of revenues…while mobile traffic accounts for just 13% of revenue.

Comparing Google AdWords Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Conversions

1. Sign in to Google AdWords.
2. Select a Campaign.
3. Click Settings.
4. Click Devices.
5. Analyze Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Conversions

Google AdWords mobile vs tablet vs desktop conversions

In this screenshot, we can see that mobile traffic has a much higher cost per conversion ($14.76) than desktop ($7.72) or tablet ($8.69) with a much lower conversion rate (2.20%) than desktop (10.70%) or tablet (7.03%) – which is why mobile devices with full browsers are 100% excluded from our paid ad campaign.

Comparing Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Goal Completions

1. Go to Audience in Google Analytics.
2. Go to Mobile > Overview
3. Click on Percentage Chart Icon
4. Select “Goal Completions” from Contribution to total dropdown
5. Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop vs Tablet goal completions.

google analytics tablet vs desktop vs mobile

Sometimes “revenue” is not the best determinant for success – especially with B2B companies. In their case, “Leads” – measured by Goal Completions – is an accurate measure for success. In the screenshot above, you can see that desktop accounts for 57% of all goals completed, while mobile accounts for 36%.

Comparing Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Conversion Rate

1. Go to Audience in Google Analytics.
2. Go to Mobile > Overview
3. Click on the Comparison Icon
4. Select “Ecommerce Conversion Rate” from [compared to site average] to total dropdown
5. Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop vs Tablet ecommerce conversion rates

google analytics traffic comparsion

Compared to the site’s average ecommerce conversion rate, mobile is 22.20% worse than the site average. Meanwhile, desktop is 19.69% better than the site average. These percentages mean that desktop traffic is more likely to convert, and therefore, more valuable.

Comparing Google Analytics Mobile vs Tablet vs Desktop Average Session Duration

1. Go to Audience in Google Analytics.
2. Go to Mobile > Overview
3. Click on the Comparison Icon
4. Select “Avg Session Duration” from [compared to site average] to total dropdown
5. Analyze Mobile vs. Desktop vs Tablet average session duration.

average session duration google analytics

This graph helps tell the story. The average time spent on the site is 1:42. Mobile traffic is 45% less than the site average, while desktop is the polar opposite at 43% more than the site average. Tablet traffic is fairly consistent with the site average.

So, is mobile worth it?

What we found through these six data sets is that desktop and tablet traffic are decidedly more valuable than mobile traffic. Advertising to mobile users is only worth it if you completely have exhausted desktop advertising options and have more room in your monthly budget.

Otherwise, stick to desktop, move on to tablets, and expand into mobile when other options have been maxed out.

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