How to set up Apps and Web Property in Google Analytics

This article is in conjunction with the article Introduction to Google Analytics Apps and Web Property where I introduced the concept of ‘APPs and Web Property’.

If you use mobile app(s) in addition to your website and you are tracking mobile app usage data via Firebase then you should consider setting up ‘Apps and Web Property’ in your Google Analytics account.

If you do not use mobile app(s) for your business then setting up ‘Apps and Web Property’ in your Google Analytics account is optional. However there is no harm in setting it up and let it run in parallel with your standard Google Analytics Property.

There are four ways you can set up the  ‘Apps and Web Property’ in your Google Analytics account.

#1 Upgrade your existing Firebase GA property to ‘Apps and Web’ property.

#2 Link your existing Firebase project to your Google Analytics account.

#3 Create a new project in Firebase and link it to your Google Analytics account.

#4 Create a new ‘Apps and Web’ property from within your Google Analytics account. 

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#1 Upgrade your existing Firebase GA property to ‘Apps and Web’ property.

Step-1: Login to your Google Analytics account .

Step-2: Make sure you have got ‘edit’ permission at the GA account level and ‘Owner’ permission for your project in Firebase. Otherwise you will not able to perform the upgrade. 

Step-3: Navigate to your existing Firebase property.You should see a blue notification at the top of your screen asking you to upgrade your property to ‘App + Web property:

Step-4: Follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade your existing Firebase property to ‘Apps + Web’ property.

#2 Link your existing Firebase project to your Google Analytics account.

Step-1: Navigate to https://console.firebase.google.com/ and then click on your existing Firebase project:

Step-2: Navigate to the ‘Project Settings’ link and then click on it:

Step-3: Click on the ‘Integrations’ tab:

Step-4: Click on the ‘Enable’ button on the Google Analytics card:

Step-5: Select your Google Analytics account from the drop down menu and then click on the ‘Enable Google Analytics’ button:

As soon as you click on the ‘Enable Google Analytics’ button, a new ‘Apps and Web’ property will automatically be created in your GA account. Your Firebase project ID will be the default name of your new ‘Apps and Web’ property. You can later on change this name, if you wish.

Step-6: Click on the name of your Google Analytics account from within your Firebase console as shown below:

You will now be automatically redirected to your new ‘Apps and Web’ property in Google Analytics:

Note: If later you unliked your Firebase project with Google Analytics, it will not automatically delete the corresponding ‘Apps and Web’ property in Google Analytics. You would then need to delete it manually.

#3 Create a new project in Firebase and link it to your Google Analytics account

Step-1: Navigate to https://console.firebase.google.com/ and then click on the ‘Add Project’ button:

If you are brand new to firebase then you would see the ‘Create a project’ button. Click on it:

Step-2: Give your new firebase project a name and then click on the ‘continue’ button:

Step-3: Make sure the “Set up Google Analytics for my project” option is checked, and then click on ‘continue’:

Step-4: Select your existing Google Analytics account from the drop down menu (in case you have access to more than one account):

Step-5: Click on the ‘Create Project’ button.

Upon project creation, two things will happen:

#1 Your new Firebase project will automatically be linked with your Google Analytics Account.

#2 A new ‘Apps and Web’ property will automatically be created in your GA account. Your Firebase project ID will be the default name of your new ‘Apps and Web’ property. You can later on change this name, if you wish.

 

Step-6: Click on the ‘continue’ button:

Once you click on the ‘continue’ button, you will see your Firebase console view:

This console view just confirm that you have created a new Firebase project.

Step-7: Navigate to your Google Analytics Account Admin and then search for the new ‘Apps and Web’ property in the ‘Property’ drop down menu:

Note: The ‘Apps and Web’ property in GA comes with only one reporting view and there are no ‘view settings’ in the admin area. So do not be alarmed if you don’t see any ‘view’ section:

#4 Create a new ‘Apps and Web’ property from within your Google Analytics account.

Step-1:  Navigate to your Google Analytics Account Admin and then click on the ‘+ Create Property’ button:

Step-2: Select ‘Apps + Web’ option and then click on the continue button:

Step-3: Name your new property, select your industry category, reporting time zone and currency:

Step-4: Click on the ‘create’ button.

Note: Use this method for new ‘Apps and Web’ property creation only if you don’t own any mobile app and/or you don’t have any plans to track your mobile app usage data via Firebase. You just want to track your website usage data in the reporting view of the ‘Apps and Web’ property.

Configuring your new ‘Apps and Web’ property

Once you have set up your new ‘Apps and Web’ property by anyone of the four aforementioned methods, now is the time to configure it.

Follow the steps below:

Step-1:  Navigate to your new ‘Apps and Web’ property in GA and then click on the ‘Property Settings’ link:

Step-2: Re-name your new property (if you wish), select your industry category, reporting time zone and currency:

Step-3: Click on the ‘Save’ button.

Step-4: Click on the ‘User Management’ link:

And then assign one or more of the following permissions at the property level to existing GA users:

  1. ‘Edit’ permission
  2. ‘Collaborate’ permission
  3. ‘Read & Analyze’ permission
  4. ‘Manage Users’ permission

If you want to add a new user to your ‘Apps and Web’ property then now is the time. 

Step-5: Click on the ‘Data Streams’ (a data stream is a data source for your property) link under the ‘Property’ column:

Step-6: Select the data stream you want to set and then add to your ‘Apps and Web’ property by choosing one of the platforms (IOS App, Android App or Web):

Let’s set up web data stream.

To do that click on the ‘web’ platform.

Note(1): You can and you should set up and add all the three data streams to your ‘Apps and Web’ property.

Note(2): You can add only one web data stream to your ‘Apps and Web’ property.

Step-7: Enter your website URL and give your web stream a descriptive name:

 

Step-8: Click the cogwheel button to change the ‘enhanced measurement’ settings:

By default all events under enhanced measurement are tracked in the reporting view of Apps + Web GA property. You can turn off one or more event tracking, you don’t want.

Step-9: Click on the ‘create stream’ button:

You should now see the details of your new web data stream like: stream URL, stream name, measurement id, stream id and status:

It is important to note that, at this point no data is flowing in the reporting view of the ‘Apps and Web’ property. You have only set up the property and web data stream so far.

Step-10: Click on the ‘Mobile App’ tab:

Step-11: Click on the ‘+Add App’ button:

Step-12: Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your mobile app data stream(s):

Step-13: Click on the ‘Data Settings’ link in the ‘Property’ column and then click on ‘Data Retention’:

Step-14: Set your data retention settings according to your privacy / GDPR policy and then click on the ‘Save’ button:

Event data retention

Through ‘Event data retention’ feature, you can set the amount of time for which Google Analytics retains event data for an inactive website user, before automatically deleting it.

You can set the amount of time setting to either 2 months or 14 months.

These are the only two options.

There is no option for ‘Do not automatically expire‘.

So you can’t stop GA for automatically deleting event data for inactive users.

Reset on new activity

Turn this setting to ‘on’, if you want the retention period of your website users’ data to be renewed (i.e extended) with each new event from that user.

For example, if you set the ‘Event data retention’ to ‘14 months’ and turn the ‘Reset on new activity’ to ‘ON’ then every time a user’s visit your website, the data retention period associated with the user, will be extended for another 14 months and thus never reaches the 14 months expiration date.

The period of time, for which Google Analytics retains event data for inactive website users is called the ‘Retention Period’.

Turn off the ‘Reset on new activity’, if you do not want the retention period of your website users’ data to be renewed (i.e extended) with each new event from that user.

Step-15: Click on the ‘Default Reporting Identity’ link:

Keep the default setting of ‘By User-ID and Device’:

Reporting identity is used to identify your users for ‘Apps and Web’ property reporting.

Google provides two methods to identify such users:

#1 By User-ID and device

If you are using user id then use this method to identify a user and unify all related events in reporting.

If no User-ID is collected, then Analytics uses a device ID, either the analytics cookie for websites or the App-Instance ID for apps, to identify a user.

#2 By device only

Use this method if you want GA to ignore user id to identify a user and rely on either the analytics cookie for websites or the App-Instance ID for apps, to identify a user.

Note: According to Google help documentation, the method that you choose to identify users, does not affect data collection or processing. You can switch between the two methods at any time without making any permanent impact on data.

 

Step-16: If you manage Google ads then click on the ‘Google ads linking’ under the ‘Property’ column:

Follow the on-screen instructions to link your Google ads account to your ‘Apps and Web’ property.

That’s how you can set up and configure your  ‘Apps and Web’ property in Google Analytics.

Next Read: Setting up tracking for apps and web property via Google Tag Manager (GTM)

 

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Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

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