Google Analytics Dashboard to monitor mobile organic traffic evolution

2015 is an important year for mobile SEO. After “mobile-friendly” labels appeared in the SERPs in November 2014, an important mobile update has been announced for 21 April 2015. To help you easily keep track of the evolution of your organic mobile traffic, you can download our Google Analytics Dashboard for free :

Add this dashboard to your Analytics account

How to use the dashboard?

These 7 graphs from our dashboard will help you understand how your website is affected by the Google mobile update. When importing this dashboard, it is important that you don’t use any segmentation settings that already filters out your mobile, desktop or table traffic. Try to limit your time selection to a maximum of 9 weeks, as some weekly graphs will only show 9 bars. In the ideal situation you would have the week of April 21 in the middle, showing 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after the update.

What is a mobile session?

The new rankings are based on the device on which the search is done and could thus be wildly different for the same search on desktop, tablets or smartphones. In our dashboard we are mainly focusing on traffic from smartphones versus desktops, with less attention to tablets. For sites that are not considered mobile-friendly, you should see the changes most clearly in the graphs showing only mobile traffic.

Join us now as we explore several graphs that can help you understand the impact of this update:

Mobile sessions from organic search

This shows how many times someone with a mobile device used a search engine to find and visit your site. If the update doesn’t result in more mobile traffic to your site, then you might see this graph going down. However if your site is mobile-proof and some of your competitors aren’t, you might even see a rise in this kind of traffic. Keep in mind that the update is also on a per-page basis, so one part of your site might qualify as mobile-friendly and get higher rankings, while another part of your site might not.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: Mobile sessions from organic search

Mobile sessions per week and traffic type

Here you can compare the different sources of your mobile traffic. If your site is affected by the update then only the bars from organic search will show a drop. Comparing the traffic types is important to see if there are other reasons beside the Google update that might cause a drop in mobile traffic, like for example technical problems or the end of an advertising campaign.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: Mobile sessions per week and traffic type

New mobile users vs returning per week.

Another graph to compare your mobile traffic in a relative way. The bars with the new users will show a steep drop if your site doesn’t show up in mobile search anymore. The bar for returning users might stay more stable, but even that might drop as some people use search engines to find their way back to sites they have visited before but didn’t bookmark. So over time you might also slowly lose some of your returning visitors if they don’t see your site in mobile search anymore.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: New mobile users vs returning per week

% of new sessions from mobile users and % of new sessions from desktop users

These two graphs are made to use together. By understanding how many new mobile sessions you have compared to the new desktop sessions, you can find out if your results in mobile search have been affected. The Google update might give you a drop in new mobile sessions while the new desktop sessions stay stable. Again, there might be other reasons for changes in traffic, but most of them will influence the graphs for new mobile and desktop sessions in a rather similar way.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: % of new sessions from mobile users
Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: % of new sessions from desktop users

% New sessions from organic search by device

This compares users with mobile, desktop and tablet devices that initiated new sessions after finding your site through search engine results. As with the other comparative graphs, the bar for mobile and tablet should not see a negative change if your site is not affected by the update. Comparing it to any changes in desktop devices allows you to rule out external causes for changes in traffic.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: % new sessions from organic search by device

New users by device

This pie chart gives you a quick overview of the different types of devices of your new users. This is based on whatever settings you have set for your time selection. In itself this chart will not show you any evolutions. Consequently changing your time settings to different periods of several weeks before, during or after the update will tell you more though.

Google mobile update - dashboard follow-up: new users by device

Of course there will be constant evolutions to the mobile algorithm of Google, and we will keep updating this dashboard to improve it over time. Drop a line below if you have questions or suggestions for improvement, or if you simply want to be informed when we update the dashboard.