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How To Track Responsive Websites

Posted at May 7, 2014 | By : | Categories : Blog,Google Analytics | 2 Comments

My illustrious colleague Charles Farina wrote a great post about the importance of mobile design recently when he asked the question, are you analyzing your mobile traffic correctly? I wanted to follow along and give some pointers on how you can get this done and provide you with some useful resources.

Many companies are turning to responsive website designs to provide users with an optimized experience without duplicating their efforts in maintaining and promoting their websites. A website is said to be responsive when it, quite literaly, has the ability to respond to the users screen size and change the layout to provide a better experience.

Compare these two screenshots of our recent promotional site we created for tracking bocce ball games at OptiCon

Desktop:

Analytics_Pros_-_Bocce_Balls

Mobile:

Analytics_Pros_-_Bocce_Balls

Understanding which experience your visitors are having and how each design influences outcomes on the site will help you to understand and optimize those experiences. Here is a script you can use to inform your Google Analytics of what views are being loaded and when the designs change.

If you are using Google Tag Manager already, just add add this script as a custom html tag to load on All Pages. Now, make your Google Analytics pageview tag run on the ‘tracking-ready’ event. Be sure to add the information about your viewports as custom dimensions or variables and to set up an event to (if you need help with that see this article on Google Tag Manager workflows).

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  • Muhammad Nabeel

    May 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hello Dan,
    Thank you for sharing this valuable script. My question is just naive: How can I implement viewport-tracking.js in a WordPress theme?
    And does this mean that Google didn’t take care of this part of data collection?

  • Chris Grant

    May 8, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I can see that this will allow you to see the array of different views that are happening.

    How would you take it further and use it to understand how the views are corresponding to differences in the visitors’ actions? Would you use the new variables as the basis for segments?

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