Here we learn how to set up Google Analytics for an application. We also learn best practices for application analytics installation. As we all know, applications are here to stay! If you are going to make an app, you need to know how to track it. So let’s learn how to track applications with Google Analytics.
How to Get Google Analytics Application Tracking ID
- Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
- Click Admin in the top menu bar.
- From the Account column, use the dropdown menu to select the account you want to add the new app property to. If you have a lot of accounts, use the search bar to help you find the right account. You can also create a new account. A new property is automatically created through the process of creating a new account.
- Under the Property column, click the dropdown menu and select Create new property.
- Select App as the type of property you want to track.
- Type in an Name.
If you plan on tracking more than one app in your account, use a very specific and descriptive name.
- Select an Industry Category.
- Select your Reporting Time Zone.
This only affects the time that appears in your reports.
- Enter an Account Name.
This option only appears when creating a property on new accounts. You can have multiple accounts in Google Analytics, and multiple properties per account. Use a descriptive and accurate name for each account to help you remember what you’re tracking.
- Choose your data sharing options.
This option only appears when creating a property on new accounts.
- Click Get Tracking ID.
- Downloadone of the Google Analytics SDKs. If you want to do this later, you can also download an SDK from the Google Developers site. You can also optionally download an SDK integrated with AdMob. Remember to include your Google Analytics tracking ID in your set up, regardless of which SDK you use.
This should be completed by the app developer. If you are not the developer, give your tracking ID to the developer, and ask them to download the appropriate SDK.
You will always be able to go back and get the tracking ID again. If you want to find the page in the future, go to Admin and then click the tracking info tab.
After you have set up the tracking, you need to learn about views.
Views for Google Analytics Application Tracking
Views are different in application analytics and web analytics. According to Google, “When you create a view, you can choose between an app view and a web view. These two view types give you a slightly different analysis experience, but are otherwise the same. For example, app views give you some reports that aren’t available in web views, like Crashes and Exceptions and the Google Play reports and web views give you Site Content reports.”
Google recommends creating an app view for applications and web view for websites.
How to Create a View in Google Analytics for an Application
If you are going to create a view for an existing property in your account, you need edit permission to use this feature.
In case you don’t know, a view is just the level in a Google Analytics Account where you can access information like reports and analysis tools.
So How do you Create a view?
- Sign in to your Google Analytics Account. Click Admin in the menu bar at the top of any page.
- From the Account and Property columns, use the dropdown menus to select the account and property you want to add the reporting view to.
- In the View column, click the dropdown menu. Click Create new view.
- Select either Web Site or App. See what the difference is.
- Enter a Name.
Use a specific and descriptive name, so you can easily tell what data is in this view when you see the name in a list.
- Select the Reporting Time Zone.
If your Analytics account is linked to a Google AdWords account, the time zone is automatically set to your AdWords preference, and you won’t see this option.
- (For User ID enabled Properties only) Click the toggle ON to create a User ID view. For a standard reporting view, leave the toggle set to OFF.
- Click Create View.
You can always edit a view later by going back to the admin page to edit the view settings.
If you spent time linking your Analytics account with AdWords then all your AdWords data will be imported.
Best Practices for Application Analytics
When it comes to mobile application analytics there are some best practices. Here are some guidelines to be aware of.
One App Per Property
This one is pretty basic, but Google always recommends tracking each app in its own property to stay organized and avoid account limits.
Track Different App Platforms in the Same Property
If you made an app for Andriod and iOS, those should be tracked in the same property. According to Google, “You can then set up new views to organize and compare the performances in your Google Analytics reports.” While this is true, Google does state that if your apps have vastly different performance that is a time when it makes sense to create separate properties.
App Editions Can be Tracked in the Same or Different
If you have different editions of apps, like a special edition, deciding on whether to track those in the same property should be based on how similar they are. If they have significantly different features, they should be tracked separately.
App Versions Can be Tracked in the Same Property
Google Analytics knows when you have a new app version, so you don’t need to create a new property each time you release a new version. Google provides an example below.
For example, track MyApp: The Original v1 and MyApp: The Original v1.5 in the same property. Then use the App Version report to compare earlier versions of your app to the latest version in your reports.
The App Version report helps report on the difference.
So that is what you need to know about Google Analytics for an application!