Browsing the web from smartphones is becoming more and more popular. And of all the smartphones out there, none is more popular for that experience than Apple’s iPhone. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that Google has added a specific way to see iPhone traffic and data coming into your sites from Google Analytics.
Using the Advanced Segmentation beta feature of Google Analytics, there is a new option to filter your data for “Visits from iPhones.” Why would you need this? Well, it’s interesting to see just how quickly browsing on the iPhone is rising in popularity. But more importantly, if you’re getting a significant amount of traffic to your site from the device, it may be worth it to you to tailor your page for the iPhone, as many big websites do.
This feature also works in conjunction with AdWords, so you can better target ads to audiences you know are using the iPhone. Tailoring ads for smartphones is something Google started to emphasize in December. While of course part of the emphasis was on Google’s own Android platform, Google singled out the iPhone as well, just as it’s doing here.
As I alluded to, the traffic we’re seeing coming into VentureBeat from the iPhone has been rising quickly ever since data for that segment started coming in back in October of 2007. By the time the iPhone 3G launched in July of 2008 traffic from the iPhone had really started to rise, reaching a peak during the holiday season of 2008 (undoubtedly helped by all the new iPhone and iPod touch owners testing browsing the web).
Not surprisingly, the most popular stories people visit on VentureBeat from the iPhone are about the iPhone. But that trend seems to be changing recently, as data from 2009 indicates that the traffic patterns from the iPhone are similar to what they are for everyone browsing the site. So perhaps people are starting to use it more for everyday browsing — or just less iPhone searches.