Google Analytics: Restaurant Mobile Website Trends

In our original blog titled “Google Analytics: Analyzing Mobile Website Performance”, we reviewed a number of reporting metrics provided by Google and possible interpretations of the data. In addition, we discussed best practices for setting up a Google Analytics account for your main and mobile websites. In this most recent blog, we will take a look back at mobile website traffic patterns for a number of restaurant mobile websites we’ve been tracking through Google Analytics.

We analyzed mobi and main website traffic for four restaurants (2 white tablecloths, 1 chain & 1 family style) and here’s what we discovered.

  • Mobile Traffic patterns are higher on Saturdays and Sundays for mobi vs. main website, which peaked on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This is expected as potential customers are out & about on weekends with mobile phone in-hand.
  • When comparing mobi to main website traffic, 36% of the total visits came from visits to the restaurants mobile website. This isn’t surprising when you consider mobi traffic increased 14.5 percent on Black Friday 20011 compared with 5.6 percent in 2010 as reported by IBM.

  •  Mobile device traffic for 2011 was up 51 percent over 2010 for the restaurants we followed. In a recent IBM article titled “Record Online Thanksgiving Day Shopping Paves Way for Strong Black ...”, the iPhone was the mobile shopper of choice followed by the iPad and Android. In our study, the iPad was the device of choice in 2011, followed by the iPhone and Android.

  • Google Analytics reports on bounce rate, which they define as the percentage of single-page views in which the visitor left your site from the entrance/landing page. Initially, one might look at the following chart and think the mobi website has an issue with content or layout due to higher bounce rate; however, in most cases, visitors come to your main mobi site page to use the “Click to Call” feature, or get your address. Point being…you need to consider that mobile websites have different characteristics that may not map exactly to current Google Analytics definitions.

  • In this next chart, we examined mobile traffic over a two year period for a white tablecloth restaurant located in a seashore community. The summer of 2011 saw an enormous spike up in mobile traffic. It’ll be interesting to watch mobi traffic trends over the summer 2012.


Predictions for 2012 are that Smartphones will leave featured phones in the dust as mobile payment systems, location- based marketing and multi-media features make the Smartphone an essential device. Remember, you can use Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of your mobile website traffic against your main website to look for trends that can help you plan your next promotion or event. Think of Google Analytics as your friend.


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