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Anna Lewis

Can Your Visitors View Your Website?

7th Jun 2011 Analytics, Analytics, Usability 3 minutes to read


Have you ever thought about whether or not the visitors to your website can view your content in the best way? Most businesses ensure that their website is tested on different browsers to ensure it is accessible and the usability is not compromised if a user does not have the latest software, but following initial testing, have you ever analysed the actual capabilities of your users browsers? Finding out the percentage of your users that are on Internet Explorer compared to Firefox, or how many of your users have Java enabled functionality can be very handy when making decisions about the coding of your website.

Luckily, Google Analytics can give you all sorts of statistics to really help you understand what your users are browsing with and how they may see your website. So here’s how:

In Google Analytics, navigate to the Visitors panel on the left-hand side and from there click Browser Capabilities. This leads you to a whole host of browser statistics that you may never have known you could see before. Including:

Browsers – Compare the percentage of users on each browser, including niche and mobile browsers

Operating Systems – Are your users Mac or PC? iPhone or Android? You can also breakdown the data to see how many users are on which version of each browser, clever huh?

Browsers and OS – Here Google Analytics does a comparison of the above combinations for you, how many Firefox users are on Windows compared to Mac, and which are the most popular combinations?

Screen Colours – Are your users seeing the site with 32-bit or 24-bit resolution?

Screen Resolutions – There are now a wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions so it’s beneficial to test your website on as many as possible. Have you considered that 5% of visitors may be using 1920×1080 but 10% are using 320×480 – will your site display well enough on both of these?

Flash Versions – If you’re using Flash on your website it would be good to know which versions will need supporting, are you safe to only enable the content to those with the latest few versions or are there a number of visitors using out of date versions?

Java Support – Get a simple statistic showing whether users browsers support Java or not. How well does your site work for those who do not have Java support?

Within each of these areas you can dig deeper in to the data and see the bounce rate of each options, the new visits, the pages per visit and the time on site. You can also see the percentage of visits that fall within this category, for example, 25% of all visits may be carried out through Firefox on a Windows PC.

Comparing the browsers alongside user interaction is a very good way to see if you need to make updates to improve the usability for a particular browser. It could be that in your testing everything has worked fine, but in reality users on mobiles struggle to wait for the site to load and may bounce straight off after only a short amount of time.

Furthermore, do you know how many visitors you get through iPhones? It could be that these statistics highlight how profitable it may be to create a dedicated iPhone App to optimise conversions and usability specifically for these users.

If you’d like to get deeper in to the data for each browser, operating system or other dimension you may want to consider creating advanced segments like this to see this data more clearly. Any questions, just leave a comment!

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Anna Lewis
About the author

Anna Lewis

Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

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