How To Setup Mobile App Google Analytics?

Gordon Choi
Gordon Choi


The scope of Google mobile app analytics is to track data for mobile apps that are installed on mobile and tablet devices, mainly including those that are running on iOS and Android operating system.

The differences between web analytics and mobile app analytics have been explained. Basically, the former is analytics for website, and the latter is analytics for mobile apps.

The main objective of mobile app analytics tool is track the behavior of users who use a specific mobile app. Through mobile app analytics, you get to understand the behavior of users who have used your mobile app, whether the app is an Android app or an iOS app.

Google Analytics Property Setup

You should setup your Google Analytics account for your mobile apps in the following way.

App Reporting Setup

For iOS or Android mobile apps, you can setup the app reporting through Google Analytics Services SDK.

  • Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  • Click “Admin”, and select “Create new property” from the dropdown menu under the Property column.
  • Select “Website”, and provide a “Website Name”. Note, the website name should be the name of your mobile app.
  • Enter a “Website URL” – Actually you can enter your company URL or your app’s site URL (if there is any).
  • Click “Get Tracking ID”.
  • Select “Create new view” from the dropdown menu under the view column.
  • Select “Mobile app”, and provide a “Reporting View Name”.
  • Click “Create View”.

One Property per App

For example, if you have a pets app and a travel journals app, then each app must be setup on a separate Google Analytics property.

One Property per Operating System

For example, you have a pets app, but in 2 versions. One version is for iOS and the second version is for Android. Setup one Google Analytics property for the iOS app, and a second property for the Android app.

One Property per App Version

For example, you app has been upgraded from version 1.0 to version 2.0. There are obvious and significant differences between the old and the new versions of your app. You will also be expecting almost totally different user behavior on the old version and the new version. It will make sense to setup the apps on two separate Google Analytics properties.

Google Analytics SDKs

Google Analytics tracks your apps through SDKs which are operating system specific (i.e. iOS & Android):

What Data to track in the Mobile App?

The reasons for setting up Google Analytics for your mobile apps often because you are asked some of the following questions:

  • How many users have downloaded your mobile app?
  • How many active users does your mobile app have per day (or per week, or per month)?
  • Through which traffic sources or channels did the users download your mobile app?
  • How do the users interact (or engage) with your mobile app?
  • What are the mostly used features in your mobile app?
  • What features in your mobile app your users don’t actually use (and ignore)?
  • Did your users experience technical problems with your mobile app, for example, how often your app crashed (if ever)?

Screen Views – Screen Tracking

In mobile apps, users “move” from one screen to another screen. This results in mobile app analytics having to count “screen views” (or use screen views as an analytics metric).

Screen tracking in analytics records:

  • Which screens are most popular for your users.
  • How long your users stay on each screen.
  • How users move from one screen to the next screen (or the previous screen).
  • How often conversions (or purchases) are made from each screen (i.e. which product page).

Screen view is the most basic metric in mobile app analytics.

Event Actions – Event Tracking

Users’ interaction (or engagement) which happen on each screen in your mobile app can be tracked through Google Analytics event tracking. The actions which can be tracked include:

  • Menu clicks
  • Button clicks
  • Screen swipes
  • Transactions (or purchases) – If your app allows users to buy products.
  • Video plays – If videos are embedded in your app.
  • Ad clicks – If your app displays ads.

Additional Information Tracking

After implementing the SDKs onto your apps, you will also be able to get the following metric data in your Google Analytics reports:

  • The number of users
  • The number of sessions
  • The number of screen views
  • Transactions (through Enhance Ecommerce Tracking)

The dimension data which will be available in your Google Analytics reports include:

  • Operating systems
  • Device related information
  • Geographical information

Previous Chapters

Next Chapters

Content on Gordon Choi’s Analytics Book is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International license.

Gordon Choi’s Other Books:
The China Mobile SEO Book
Mobile Website Book

How To Install Google Analytics on WordPress?

Setup Guide for WordPress websites: Set up Google Analytics on WordPress website to track/measure user behavior data. Optimize your website & traffic/marketing strategies based on GA reports.

How To Install Google Analytics on Shopify?

Setup Guide of Google Analytics on Shopify websites and/or online stores: Track the behavior of your Shopify website visitors. Improve your digital marketing campaigns based on the measured data.

Google Ads (AdWords) Setup & Optimization Checklist

Setup Guide of Google Ads (AdWords): After installing analytics, get people to visit your website through Google Ads. Optimize Google Ads in 2 phases: One-time setup & ongoing optimization. Build ad campaigns that can always return highest sales with lowest cost.

Copyright 2016-2020