Setting Up Google Analytics for Mobile Apps: 2 Easy Methods

By: Published: August 5, 2021

Setting up google analytics for mobile apps

With a plethora of growing eCommerce businesses, Website owners definitely need Digital Analytics Software like Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, to analyse in-depth information about their App Users. Access to such information allows you to gauge your business performance, craft better strategies and create more Customer Conversions. 

This guide presents a step-by-step guide on how you can set up Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, covering both Android and iOS platforms. By using Firebase Software Development Kit (SDK), or Google Analytics Service’ Software Development Kit (SDK), you will be able to seamlessly integrate and access your Google Analytics Dashboard. This way you can get analysis-ready statistics on the go, on your mobile devices and save loads of time.

Prerequisites

To deploy and use Google Analytics for Mobile Apps on your mobile devices, you will require:

  • An account on Google Analytics.
  • An account on AdMob.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps: Google Analytics Dashboard
Image Source- Googblogs

Google Analytics is one of the most popular Web Analytics tools offered by Google. It lets you track visitors’ interaction, be it on the Web, Mobile App, or other Internet-Connected Systems. Google Analytics for Mobile Apps enables App developers to view information on how App Users explore, engage, and navigate on their App. This information is useful for Product and Marketing optimization.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps tracks and measures metrics like Crash Data, Notification Effectiveness, Deep-Link Performance, In-app Purchase Data, and many more. These metrics let you gain insights into users’ behaviour. Google Analytics’ Reporting tools empower you to represent these insights as Charts and Tables to better understand and visualise these trends. In Google Analytics, you can pick one of the many reports offered by Google or create your own customised report using the drag and drop interface.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps can also be readily linked with AdMob, using Firebase. When you connect your AdMob app to Firebase, your Analytics reports include Ad Metrics and AdMob Income, providing you with a more complete picture of your Users’ Lifetime Value and the effectiveness of your In-App Advertising strategy. Firebase also offers integrations with Google Marketing Platform, Jira, Slack, Data Studio and PagerDuty. 

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps already comes with a Dashboard that lets you view answers for common questions, but if you need more specialised analysis, you can export all your data to Google BigQuey and run super-fast SQL queries to explore more.

Benefits of Using Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

  • Free Tool: Google Analytics for Mobile Apps is free. It provides you with important information on key metrics and statistics that you need to maximize your Website’s or App’s performance. It also has a paid version, called Google Analytics 360. You can check the difference between the two here- Google Analytics vs Google Analytics 360. Google Analytics 360 allows you to export your data to Google BigQuery for thorough analysis.
  • Ease of Use: Google Analytics for Mobile Apps once set up is extremely easy to use and allows visualisation of User Navigation Paths and setting Custom User Properties for a more personalized user experience.
  • Widespread Application: Google Analytics is a top/unrivalled Web Analytics tool (according to the W3Techs statistics). Many businesses prefer Google Analytics for their Campaign or App Optimisation. Therefore, there are tons of guides and tutorials you can turn to when you need to. For more information on Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, you can visit Google’s own website to get started.
  • Understanding User Behaviour: Google Analytics for Mobile Apps helps in tracking user interactions with your Website or App. This is particularly useful for eCommerce businesses that want to understand their customers’ buying process and how they can improve it.
  • User Segmentation: User Segmentation helps you to learn a lot about your customers and target them efficiently. You may categorise your visitors using Google Analytics for Mobile Apps based on new or recurrent, geographical information, or referrals. This enables you to offer additional value and personalisation to your Google Ad Campaigns online.

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Methods to Set Up Mobile App Tracking with Google Analytics

With Mobile App Tracking, you can track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like Number of App Installs, Retention Rate, Daily Active Users, Average Revenue per User, Session Length, etc on your mobile devices on the go.

For setting up Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, you can refer to the following two methods:

Recently, Mobile App Reporting in Google Analytics has been natively integrated with Firebase. There is still a standalone, the non-Firebase Google Analytics API that can be used for Legacy applications, but Google is pushing all new Application Development over to Firebase’ Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Mobile App Reporting with Firebase SDK enables you to record a variety of Events and User Attributes that measure data critical to your company. The information gathered is often available on both the Google Analytics Dashboard and the Firebase Console.

Measuring App Metrics with Google Analytics provides certain benefits like:

  • It can easily integrate with other Firebase features. It can log events that correspond to your Firebase notifications automatically.
  • It provides Cross-network Attribution. You can review the performance of your Campaigns across all Marketing Channels to understand and segregate the most performing ones.
  • It also allows you to do a thorough analysis of your data by linking it to Google BigQuery. You can then visualise the data with templates available on Data Studio.

App reporting with Google Analytics also allows integration with other services – BigQuery, Firebase Crash Reporting, Firebase Notifications, Firebase Remote Config, and Google Tag Manager.

Method 1: Using the Firebase Software Development Kit (SDK)

Here are some steps which you can follow to set up Google Analytics for Mobile Apps using Firebase SDK:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account. 

Step 2: Navigate to your Google Analytics Dashboard.

Step 3: To connect Firebase Analytics with the Google Analytics Dashboard, go to the “Admin” tab.

Step 4: In the “Property” column, select “Create new property” from the dropdown menu.

Step 5: Select “Mobile App” and select “Firebase Analytics”.

Step 6: Under “Connect to Firebase”, select the Firebase App you want to connect. If the App does not appear in the dropdown, ensure that you have first built it in Firebase and that you are signed in to the right Google account. Select “Connect App” to finish the process.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps: Using Firebase SDK
Image Source- Medium

For more information on adding Firebase SDK, you can check firebase docs here. Data collection begins automatically when you connect your Google Analytics Dashboard to Firebase Analytics.

Once Firebase Analytics is integrated with Google Analytics, you can log Custom Data that matter to your application, create audiences to gain deeper insights and target them accordingly.

Note: This process is the same for both android and iOS.

Method 2: Using Google Analytics Services’ Software Development Kit (SDK)

Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account. 

Step 2: Navigate to your Google Analytics Dashboard.

Step 3: Go to the “Admin” tab.

Step 4: In the “Property” column, select “Create new property” from the dropdown menu.

Step 5: Select “Mobile App” from the pane. Fill in the details accordingly to generate a Tracking ID.

Step 6: Click “Get Tracking ID”. This tracking ID would be useful for connecting your Android or iOS device.

Depending upon your mobile platform, you can choose either of the following steps to link Android or iOS Device with Google Analytics for Mobile Apps:

A. Setting Up Using Android SDK

Step 1: Download the Android SDK.
Requirements: 4GB RAM(recommended), 400MB hard disk space with 1GB+ for Android SDK, Emulator System Images and Java Development Kit (JDK) 7.

Step 2: Download Google Play Services. This is required to access Google Play Services such as their API and Google Analytics Dashboard.

Step 3: Link your Google Analytics account to AdMob (If you don’t have one yet, go ahead and create one).

Step 4: Set up your Tracking ID by creating a new one or linking to an existing one.

If you have created a New App property and generated a Tracking ID earlier, link your Google Analytics App to it. Google Analytics would start measuring analytics within 24 hours.

B. Setting Up Using iOS SDK

Step 1: Download Xcode(7.3 or higher is recommended).

Step 2: Download the Google Analytics SDK.

Step 3: Link your AdMob account to analytics. You are all set!

It is recommended by Google to use the Firebase SDK rather than the Google Analytics Service SDK. Regardless, with Google Analytics Service SDK you are still offered the same privileges on the Google Analytics Dashboard as with the Firebase SDK.

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a powerful tool when it comes to improving the decision-making of business owners. From Web to Mobile Apps, it can measure and track the different levels of metrics and provide other methods for further analyzing your data.

While most businesses today utilise numerous Digital Marketing channels to market their products and services, integrating and replicating data from heterogeneous sources can be a difficult task. The data must be imported manually or integrated via the product’s API. This is quite a troublesome job with a high likelihood of errors. Businesses can instead utilise Automated Data Integration solutions such as Hevo.

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Let us know your experience of understanding Google Analytics for Mobile Apps in the comments section below.

Teniola Fatunmbi
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Teniola Fatunmbi excels in freelance writing within the data industry, skillfully delivering informative and engaging content related to data science by integrating problem-solving ability.

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