New User Interface, New Stats

v4UI

Hi All,

We’ll shortly be going live with our new v4 User Interface. This is a major update which paves the way for a number of significant features that we’ll be releasing over the next few months.

The most significant change under the hood is that the analytics system has been completely re-written. The analytics system is now over 100 times faster, which which means we can produce a range of insights that were simply impossible with our previous architecture.

Personally, for me, the exciting bit is yet to come. To this point its mainly been rework and redesign, so from here on in its all win  !

If you would like to give the new system a beta workout then drop an email to hello@handsetdetection.com and we’ll tweak your account to make the new interface accessible.

I hope you enjoy the new UI.

Happy Detecting,

Richard

 

 

SEO Friendly Mobile Redirection

Heads up, mobile developers! In a recent blog post, Google announced that they were going to start penalizing sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users (in mobile search)

Problems, Problems

Mobile Search Misconfiguration Errors

Is this where you want to send your Smartphone traffic?

Fortunately, they didn’t leave us hanging, and detailed the two most common smartphone configuration errors, the first of which was the always-frustrating faulty redirect.

This happens when someone clicks a link to your site from search but doesn’t end up on the equivalent page on your site.

Ex: They click http://www.handsetdetection.com/blog because they want to check out your awesome new blog post about variable substitution….

But they end up at http://m.handsetdetection.com instead.

You had a faulty redirect. This creates more work for the user, who now has to search around your home page. If they were already dealing with a slow mobile network to begin with, you’ve already frustrated your potential customer. Not to mention Google’s algorithm. Uh oh.

The Solution

Handset Detection has you covered on faulty redirects with our Variable Substitution feature.

When redirecting to your mobile site from search, Handset Detection can be configured to preserve URL query perimeters. So if someone clicks your “About” page on a search listing, you can send them directly to the mobile version of your About page. No more accidentally routing them to your nice mobile homepage.

To make a long story short, while logged into Handset Detection:

1) Create a website profile
2) Add a redirection rule (such as ismobile is true)
3) In the ‘Redirect to this URL’ field place your url with the substitution eg m.domain.com$path$

This will redirect from www.domain.com/about-us to m.domain.com/about-us and
from www.domain.com/a/b/page.html to m.domain.com/a/b/page.html (It takes the path and substitutes that into the redirected url).

Click here for all the vital details on redirection using variable substitution. Google will smile upon you if you do.

What is A/B Testing and How Can it Help Your Business?

This guest post is brought to you by WePay – the easiest way to accept credit cards online.

two optionsHave you heard of analysis paralysis? It’s a situation when you’re faced with so many options your brain literally starts to freeze. There are just too many variables to take into account so you shut down and just end up grabbing a random jar of peanut butter or picking a name out of a hat to decide on a vacation spot or whatever.

But this occurs when you’re faced with a ton of options and no conceivable way of choosing. What about when there are just two or three great options and you need to choose between them? While it can be a little easier (this peanut butter is creamy, I like that better), it’s often just as difficult. When it comes to a business decision, it can be flat out impossible.

We face these tough decisions all the time. Do you need a reliable test to help you choose? Why not let the public help you decide with A/B testing?

A/B What Now?

Let’s say you need to decide which email is better for your email marketing campaign. They both look fine to you but you have no way to figure out which one will bring real results. You’d rather not waste a ton of money and resources on the wrong email.

Instead of flipping a coin, you opt to try A/B testing. You simply send out a certain number of the first email (A) and the same amount of the other email (B). Eventually you’ll notice which email brings in more business, sign-ups, or whatever it is you’re trying to improve. In this case, it ends up being A, so you go with that option. Simple as that.

This way the public tells YOU the better option instead of the other way around. There’s no guess work, just pure feedback. This is the beauty of A/B testing – you don’t even have to actually make a decision, just look at data.

Tips on Making it Work

While it seems simple, A/B testing is actually a little complicated. You have to make sure you’re doing it correctly or you won’t get the results that will help you. If you perform the experiment correctly, it can help improve your business, website, and life in general.

1. Make the Differences Big

Don’t go small. If you’re changing up your slogan, don’t make one option “The power is yours!” and the other “The power is in your hands!” They are way too similar and many potential customers won’t even notice the difference. As a result, your results won’t have any sort of significance. For best results, make one of the options “Wield the might!” to see which way people go.

2. Give it Time

You want results quickly, we know how it is. Like many things in business, though, you have to have patience. If you try to speed the process up you just won’t get the results you’re looking for. Depending on what it is you’re testing at least a few weeks should be enough time, but it might be more helpful to go longer.

3. Go With the Results You Get

There’s a natural bias that arises when one result is winning over another. If you generally root for the underdog, you may be more likely to suddenly “like” the other option that’s losing. Try to ignore this! Try to remember that you’re looking to find what your customers want. The losing option might be outstanding but you can’t let that influence your final decision. Go with the results you get, not with what the results you want. It helps to set criteria for the winning version before you look at the results, so you don’t bias yourself.

Head over to sites like AdWords or FiveSecondTest.com to get started A/B testing on your own.

A lot of readers at HandsetDetection.com are already prolific A/B testers. What other advice do you have for newbies looking to make a splash?

IP Address change on US Servers

We’ve just been notified by our US hosting provider that we need to urgently remap some of our US IP addresses as they’re releasing a block to ARIN on Friday !!! Needless to say we’re very unhappy with the super sort notice, however its out of our hands.

If you’re using the api-corpfw.handsetdetection.com alias for connecting to the Cloud service then please add 162.212.59.58 & 162.212.59.66 to your firewall rules, and remove 209.105.242.26 & 209.105.232.42.

To ensure a smooth transition we’ll drop the api-corpfw.handsetdetection.com alias back to just our EU cluster (5.9.141.146) until we’ve heard from folks on the operations mailing list. Once again, apologies for the very short notice.

 

Express Detection gets ‘Manual Override’ !

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 2.31.34 PM

Sometimes you just need to pop the clutch and take control yourself ! So, without further ado let me introduce Manual Override. Manual Override lets you disable Express Device Detection manually. Its super easy to use, you’ll be hip to the jive in seconds. Here’s how it works: 1) Check the Manual Override box on your Site Profile. 2) Add &expressredirect=false to your URL and presto like magic no redirection will take place :) .

This is super handy when you’re integrating a website link into a mobile app or when you want finer grained control over the redirection process.

There’s a mini write-up on the Express Device Detection – Advanced Uses page.

Happy Detecting

Mobile How To: Deploying Your Handset Detection Stats for Bigger and Better Things

Use Handset Detection to Make More Mobile SalesBy now you’ve used Handset Detection to find out just which handheld devices are accessing your website or online store. It’s undoubtedly been a treasure trove of interesting statistics, numbers, and tidbits.

However, there’s a big difference between knowing this cool stuff and putting it to good use. And if you don’t have any solid ideas on how to use the information you gather from us, what’s the point?

That’s why we’re here to help! Check out the following ideas for ways to implement your info into Handset Detection. Also, let us know below how you’ve used Handset Detection by taking our survey!

Rock Your Site’s Mobile Functionality

Online sales are the big story in commerce everywhere you look. They were a big winner during the holidays in 2012 and they will continue to thrive in 2013 throughout the year. If your website or store isn’t taking advantage of the shoppers you could attract, you’re going to miss out on many opportunities (i.e. sales, fans and loyal customers).

The amount of phones and tablets out there at the moment is honestly a little intense. Granted many of them are knock-offs of bigger brands, but still – there are a ton of options for consumers. That also means you no doubt see some unexpected results when you use Handset Detection.

Unless you’ve somehow managed to get 100% iPhone or Android visiting your site, you’re going to have a mixture of devices to deal with. By no means will you be able to deal with them all. As a result, you have to focus on where you think the most money or exposure will come from. For example, if iPhone users are your biggest customers, focus on making their experience the best possible. If Android users are your main visitors, find out how you can improve their experience on your store. Better yet, focus on both, as you’ll undoubtedly find yourself with a mix of both. But if for some reason Blackberry users, or users of other devices visit you the most, you’ll know about it if you’re keeping an eye on your Handset Detection stats.

Know They Customer, Know Thyself 

You may be able to revamp your product, service, or website entirely just by knowing who visits your site using what device. Up until now you may have struggled trying to figure out what niche your business falls into, but with Handset Detection that becomes much easier.

For example, Apple users tend to skew a little younger demographically. As a result, you may want to rethink your big idea of selling Metamucil online. On the other hand, if you have mostly off-brand users visiting your site, your high-end products might not sell so well. Try to lower costs or shift focus entirely to a cheaper product.

Finding your niche this way can also help you market your store or website. If you’re enjoying lots of attention from Blackberry 10 users, give them some love with a Blackberry 10 specific coupon. Alternatively, if your #2 user base is Windows tablets, give THEM the coupon so you can build them up closer to your Blackberry 10 users.

Have your Handset Detection stats helped you improve your online store or website?

Device Operating System Consistency Updates

We’ll be performing a few database consistency updates shortly on the general_platform field (which is the device operating system).

PalmOS and Palm OS will become Palm.

Blackberry OS, RIM OS and RIM will become BlackBerry.

Symbian OS will become Symbian.

This makes our data more consistent across the board.

Happy Detecting,

Richard

How Knowing Too Much About Your Customers Could Tank Your Business

We’ve all gotten that goofy email from a company that emphatically tells you “Happy Birthday!” or “Congrats on your wedding!” when your birthday is four months away and you don’t even have a significant other. Businesses like to use your data for marketing purposes but sometimes they just flat out get it wrong!

Another example of companies mishandling your information is by spamming you to the moon and back. How many times have you bought something from an online store and gotten a million follow-up emails? A few is nice, especially if there is a coupon or incentive involved – anything more than that is just abuse.

Naturally this is a huge topic with us as we’re the #1 way to collect data on what handset devices are accessing your mobile website and store. How do you use the data you collect through Handset Detection or other analysis programs effectively?

Take the Time

Honestly it seems like some companies grab whatever info they can and immediately think “I win!” Otherwise why would they think that spamming your email inbox constantly is a good thing? They look at how many people signed up for the email list but don’t take a second look at how many are bailing out after they get 10,000 emails in one hour.

Properly analyzing data is very important, and it’s something that takes time. Raw numbers are one thing but proper context is another. When you don’t take everything into account, you run into issues.

Let’s say you look at which handset devices have been accessing your website over the last month. You notice that iPhone users are your biggest visitors with Blackberry trailing second. It’s strange, you think, I thought the Android users loved my stuff.

Well, it turns out there was a glitch (just bear with us here – this is an example) that mean no Android users could access your website that month. If you don’t remember this detail, you’ll assume you need to readjust your website for iPhone users.  Using context, you can safely resume your Android-centric mobile website.

Don’t Abuse the Power

There’s a lot of power with all the data you can collect these days. Just look at all the trouble Facebook has had with complaints of invasion of privacy and ads popping up with friends and family’s photos on them. Is that really the best way to use the trust of your customers?

To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, “Advertisers were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should!” 

If that opportunity comes up to overuse the ability to manipulate your customers into buying your product, try to rethink your plan. It rarely works out for the offending company in question and this practice gives you a nasty reputation that’s tough to shake.

Instead, figure out new and innovative ways to use the data you collect on your users and customers. If there’s one common thread among Internet users, they love when companies expand out into the unknown and blow them away with amazing experiences!

Handset Detection Newly Supported Devices, September 17, 2012

New Devices Supported

Week ending 9/14/2012

Newsmy P72-c
ZTE N760
G-Plus GN100
Wexler Book T7006
Wexler Book T7008
Samsung SCH-i889
Doov D3
Doov iEva D710
Generic WR761
Kocaso RK2906
Fly IQ240
Texet TM-5200
China H003+
Oppo X907
Kocaso M1050s
Schaub Lorenz PA810G
Lenovo A560e
ZTE V821
Lava S12
Chuwi V8hd
i-mobile I697i
Elocity A7 TA7-040
Samsung SGH-T330g
Sunkey M91
Softbank 102P
Samsung SCH-W999
Philips W626
Easypix Smart Pad EP750
Lenovo A780
Maylong M-270
Alcatel OT-T60
Eken M009f
BQ Edison
Sharp SH-04d Q-pot Bitter Choco
DoCoMo L-06d Optimus Vu
Digma iDx7
Mediacom MP917i
Lenovo A790e
Chang Jiang G22
Eken M005
Motorola Atrix TV
Hedy H701
Ployer Momo8 Bird
Texet TM-7025
Star B68m
Samsung GT-I9100P
NEC Medias Tab N-06d
Ordro P801w
Alcatel One Touch 997
Motorola RAZR HD XT925
BQ Voltaire
MID mid-001
BQ DaVinci
Generic T05a
Motorola XT885
Cross A1
DoCoMo Panasonic P-07C
Android A607
Visual Land ME107
Alcatel OT T10
Generic HW-T18
Cat StarGate
Mediacom MP711i
Lenco Tab 711
DoCoMo Sharp sh-02d
Zoho E1103
Aoson M19
Lenovo IdeaTab A2109a
Evodroid 7.2
Tegatech Tega v2
DoCoMo p-05d
Star G510
DoCoMo NEC N-01D Medias PP Phone
FlyTouch BC1003
AVA T03A MMA7660
Newsmy NewPad T3
DoCoMo L-07C
Huawei U8825d
Panasonic ELUGA dl1
Lenovo 3gw101
iVIEW 756tpc
BQ Darwin
Dell 101DL
DoPo T708 Tablet
Fly IQ275
Skytex SX-SP715a
Glanzi GL-7TA
Samsung SCH-I200
Lenovo S680
Zediel ZM971-RT
MTS Mtag 3.1
Q-Mobile S11
Mediacom MP910i
Sharp Aquos Phone Zeta SH-09D
Ematic eGlide Steal
NGM Wemove Quasar
Fly IQ285
MID M711
Push M711
BQ Verne Plus
Cross AD350
NEC 101N
Drois HDC A9100
Memup 704c
Panasonic 101P
Dell XCD28
AGPtek TP10a
Hipstreet Flare
Oppo X905
Star B63M
NEC Medias ES N-05D
Polaroid MIDC700PR001
Xpad X6D
ZTE Atlas W
Cyrus TVPad Plus 3G WiFi
Cyrus TVPad 3G Wifi
Cyrus TVPad Slim 3G WiFi
Cyrus AtomPad Lite WiFi
iView 760TPC
SFR StarText 2
Samsung SHW-M220l
China Tablet N721
OliveSmart V-S300
MID E1107
ONDA TT101
Cyrus TVPad WiFi
Cyrus AtomPad
Fly IQ280
MID WM8650
Generic E1108 V73 MTK6573
China Tablet RK701
B-Mobile AX515
Simvalley SP-40 EDGE
Cube K8GT
Sharp Aquos Phone SH-10D
NEC N-O7d
MID M8002
Woxter Tablet PC 100cx
Vodafone 547
Vodafone 555
LG T565
SMiT Mid560
Onda Andy Tab

How to Report New, Missing, or Non Detecting Devices

Think Handset Detection works like magic? Well, so do we, but unlike David Copperfield, we’re able to break down our tricks for you. We simply use HTTP headers to work out which device you’re using when you access a website. Pretty simple, right?

Well, it usually is. But then we sometimes run into situations where that just won’t work. There are several ways this could happen. For instance:

-        Transcoders, proxy servers, fake/imitation devices, new devices, odd Chinese technology that doesn’t gel with our technology.

-        Firefox mobile for whatever reason doesn’t identify any device in their http headers. If your customers are using this browser there could be issues.

-        iPhones have a special problem as Apple doesn’t put hardware information in their http headers. As a result many iPhones will read as the same device, skewing results!

When you encounter one of these issues, don’t just take it lying down. We’re here to help you out and give you the results you need to keep on detecting which handsets are accessing your site, no matter what!

First, go to our Device Examination page. Next, fill out the form and be as thorough as possible. Last, sit back and relax as we’re working on fixing your issue as quickly as we can!

This process also helps us bring better service in the future. The more we learn and discover workarounds to odd little errors like the above, the better our entire system works. So make sure you report those problems so we can bring you the best service possible!