Introduction to Google Analytics Apps and Web Property

Google Analytics now allow you to integrate mobile app and website usage data into a single GA Property.

This new property is called ‘Apps and Web’ and it is available in your GA account when you create a new property:

This new property type is currently in beta and is not available in the Google Analytics app for mobile.

 

The reporting interface of the Google Analytics Apps  + Web view looks similar to that of Google Analytics for firebase. 

If you have got both mobile app and a website and you want to measure the purchase journey and/or engagement of your users across your mobile app and website then you should start using the ‘Apps and Web’ GA property.

Note: You can use and take advantage of the new APP+ web GA property even if you don’t have any mobile app. You can just use it to measure your website performance. However it won’t become a replacement to your standard GA web property. Not anytime soon.

Up to now, if you want to measure your website usage data then you need to use the GA property meant for tracking website data. 

If you want to measure your mobile app usage data then you need to use Google Analytics for Firebase or Google Analytics APP view (created via seperate GA property).

Up to now, there was no easy way to combine mobile app and website usage data for unified reporting and analysis. However this has all changed with the advent of ‘Apps and Web’ GA property.

Advantage of using the ‘Apps and Web’ GA property

Through ‘Apps and Web’ GA property not only you can combine website and mobile app usage data into one property but you can also measure customer purchase journey across your website and mobile apps. 

Such cross platform insight can help you: 

#1 In improving your understanding of customer purchase journey across platforms and providing better user experience as a result. 

#2 Fixing cross device attribution issues.  For example, you can determine the number of users who started their purchase journey on your mobile app before visiting your website to complete the purchase. 

#3 Understanding the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across devices/platforms. For example, you can determine the marketing channel(s) responsible for acquiring the most customers across your different platforms.

 

Following are some other advantages of using the ‘Apps and Web’ GA property:

#1 The reporting view in the ‘Apps and Web’ GA property report on total unique users across platforms. You can’t get this insight through any other GA property type.

#2 The reporting view of the  ‘Apps and Web’ GA property comes with new set of reports called ‘Analysis’ which let you do advanced analysis. Previously these reports were available only to GA 360 users:

 

The new Google Analytics Account Structure

With the advent of ‘Apps and Web’ GA property, the Google Analytics account structure has changed a bit. Now we have got data stream(s) under the new GA property.

In the context of Google ecosystem, an organization represents a company which own one or more Google products (like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Optimize, Google data studio etc).

You access your organizations at https://marketingplatform.google.com/home 

You can link one or more GA accounts to your organization. 

Each GA account is made up of one or more property (called the GA property).

Earlier a GA property used to represent either website or mobile app. Now a GA property can also represent both website and mobile apps.  

The property that collect data from your website is called the ‘web’ property.

The property that collect data from your mobile apps is called the ‘Apps’ property.

The property that collect data from both your mobile apps and website is called the ‘Apps and Web’ property:

The ‘Apps and Web’ GA property currently provides only one reporting view. This view can contain data from one or more data streams.

Introduction to Data Streams

A data stream is a data source. 

When the data source is a website, it is called a web data stream.

When the data source is a mobile app, it is called a mobile app data stream.

When the data source is an IOS mobile app, it is called a IOS app data stream.

When the data source is an Android mobile app, it is called an Android app data stream.

Thus there are two types of mobile app data stream:

  1. IOS app data stream
  2. Android app data stream

You can add one or more data streams to your ‘Apps and Web’ GA property.

Note: While you can connect multiple mobile data streams to your ‘Apps and Web’ GA property, you can connect only one web data stream to your ‘Apps and Web’ GA property.

You can view all of the data from multiple streams in your GA reports or you can filter reports to include data from only specific stream(s).

It is important to remember that the reporting view in the ‘Apps and Web’ GA property can not collect data retroactively. It collects data only from the date you first connected your data stream(s) to the property.

When you connect a new data stream to your ‘Apps and Web’ GA property, it can take up to 24 hours for new data to appear in your reports.

A web data stream has got : Stream URL, Stream name, Measurement ID and Stream ID

The new ‘Event + Parameter’ measurement model

The ‘Apps and Web’ GA property  use ‘Event + Parameter’ measurement model (which is user centric) instead of the traditional session centric measurement model. 

The new event model is more flexible than the traditional event model in terms of its ability to track wider range of users interactions from: pageviews, app open, outbound clicks, scrolls to video engagement, File downloads etc. 

Google has to make these changes in order to make it possible, to see integrated reporting across mobile apps and website in a single GA property and in order to be able to use a single set of metrics and dimensions across mobile apps and website.

This ‘event + parameter’ based data model allow you to measure any custom event and can automate certain type of event tracking (like scroll tracking, video tracking, exit tracking, site search tracking etc) without additional coding/tagging. 

This new feature of automatically measuring certain users’ interactions and content on your sites in addition to standard page view measurement is called ‘Enhanced measurement‘:

Some caveats

#1 Google Analytics Apps + Web property does not provide robust roll up reporting between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics for firebase yet. This roll up reporting is still in its infancy. So don’t get your hopes so high. 

#2 The Google Analytics Apps + Web is not ready for commercial consumption. 

This is not some next version of Universal Analytics, not even close. There are many reports missing in the reporting view of Apps + Web property.

So do not even think of replacing your universal analytics property with Apps + Web property. I would suggest that you create and use the Apps + Web property in parallel to your standard GA property.

#3 You can not collect e-commerce data in the reporting view of your Apps + Web property yet. This is one of its biggest drawbacks and why it is not fit for commercial consumption. 

 

Next Read: How to set up Apps and Web Property in Google Analytics

 

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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.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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