John T O'Farrell's Commentary On The Digital Space and Online Marketing

Phone and Mobile Traffic are Still Not the Same But Google Analytics Just Made It Easier To Segment

Back in May of this year I posted how important it is for marketers to understand the behavioral difference between phone and tablet traffic.  In that post I described how advanced marketers could manipulate Google Analytics within a custom segment to actually isolate out these two kinds of traffic.

This is even more important now with the increasing adoption rates for large screen phone formats; especially if your target audience are financial advisers.

Those steps are no longer needed thanks to the Nov 5, 2014 release notes I found on the Google Developer’s website. 

This update states:

A new DEVICE_CATEGORY filters field has been added and IS_MOBILE and IS_TABLET are now deprecated. Use DEVICE_CATEGORY=mobile and DEVICE_CATEGORY=tablet.

Which in more human terms means:

If you want to segment by phone or tablet within a custom segment all you need to do is, under “Conditions”, select “Device Category”, then select “Exactly Matches” and enter “Mobile” (aka Phone) or “Tablet”. 

Additionally, while the update on the developers’ site does not mention it, you can also isolate for “Desktop” traffic as well.

If you do it the way I described back in May you’ll come across warning messages like these:

“Warning: This dimension has been deprecated” and “At least one of the concepts used in this segment is deprecated. Do you want to proceed?”

In addition to helping you with these metrics I am including the “deprecated” messages since I could not find any exact matches for this phrase using both Google and Bing search engines.  So Google please crawl and index this so the next guy has an easier time find this information.

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