Build a loyal user base with three new Mobile App Analytics reports

Thursday, March 05, 2015 | 10:59 AM

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Successful developers understand that in order to have a popular app, focusing on retaining a loyal user base is just as important as driving new installs. Today at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, we introduced new reports that will help you measure how to do this in two meaningful ways. We’re happy to announce that Mobile App Analytics will now let you understand how users come back to your app day after day, and provide the rich insights you need in order to measure their value over time. Let’s take a look at how these new reports can help make your app a hit.

Active Users
The active user report displays your 1-day, 7-day, 14-day and 30-day trailing active users next to each other in one, easy-to-view dashboard. The new overview gives immediate insights into how users interact with your app over time, along with dropoff rate comparisons. With this report, an app download is only the beginning of a potentially valuable relationship with your new users.

Benchmark active users at 1-7-14-30 days by selecting the segments you want. (Click to enlarge image)
While these metrics help you monitor your active user trends, when put into context they can answer important questions about your user acquisition strategies. For example, if you are investing in different campaigns, you can compare the cost of retaining users acquired via paid traffic versus organic to understand if you are attracting the right type of users. Not only can you measure your cost effectiveness, but you can also continue to monitor whether or not the users you paid for are still coming back after the campaign is over. This is particularly important when trying to keep your loyal user base engaged and happy with your app.

Lior Romano, Founder and CEO of Gentoo Labs (the makers of  Contacts+ for iOS and Android), was one of the first customers to try out this new report during our beta test period. He found the Active Users report especially useful when managing and organizing all their information at-a-glance: “We love the new Google Analytics Active Users feature -- it's a real time-saver! We get a quick overview of the 1/7/14/30-day active user trends side by side in a snap, which helps us to easily track our main metrics.”

Cohort Analysis
After learning how many users have opened your app, the next step in driving engagement is understanding when they come back. Cohort Analysis is a user analysis technique that allows you to analyze and compare your users by looking at their customer journey. Using Cohort Analysis, you can see when users are coming back to your app and their behavior over time after the day of the first session, and lets you further filter the information by day, week or month. We’ve also added the ability to compare different segments of users based on the day of the first install. 

In order to validate your user acquisition strategies, Cohort analysis lets you compare different periods or campaigns. For example, you can compare different weeks or months to measure the retention effectiveness of a single channel to see if you continue to attract valuable users throughout a campaign. The flexibility of the report also allows you to see how much time users are spending in an app as they come back day after day. With these valuable insights, Mobile App Analytics users can tailor their acquisition campaigns or app experience, just as our partner E-Nor did: “Cohort analysis in GA made it easy for E-Nor to gauge the effectiveness of lead nurturing efforts during an app free-trial promotion campaign. The analysis clearly showed that many users responded well to email and in-app reminders, resulting in over 50% retention between the 3rd and 5th day post sign-up as opposed to 30% in the first and 2nd day.

See at a glimpse when users are coming back to your app. (Click to enlarge image)

Lifetime Value
Analyzing retention is a great way to ensure users stick with your app and come back day after day. With Lifetime Value reporting, you’ll get a full picture of these users’ value over time. To get the most out of this report, it’s important to start with a clear definition of what a user’s value means to you based on your business objectives. Once you’ve defined the value, you can access the report to measure certain variables such as revenue per user and number of screen views per user over a period of 90 days. For example, if the goal of your app is to get users to purchase virtual or material goods, you’ll want to use this report to get a clear view of when they make a purchase and how much they are spending in your app over time.

Lifetime Value is a key metric to use to measure the effectiveness of your acquisition campaigns. If your cost to acquire a new user is higher than the average value over time, you might want to optimize your campaigns to meet the lifetime revenue they generate. Lifetime Value is particularly valuable if you offer in-app purchases, but it can be applied to discovering many other useful insights, such as number of times they open your app, total number of screens and goal completions.

Session duration per users compared to goal completion over a 60 day window. (Click to enlarge image)

How to get started
Cohort Analysis report can be found under the ‘Audience’ section in your Google Analytics account, and is now available in beta. Lifetime Value and Active Users reports are coming soon to all Analytics accounts.

To get started login into your Analytics account and look for the new reports under the Audience section. 


Posted by Russell Ketchum, Lead Product Manager, Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

Safe Browsing and Google Analytics: Keeping More Users Safe, Together

Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 10:23 AM

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The following was originally posted on the Google Online Security Blog.

If you run a web site, you may already be familiar with Google Webmaster Tools and how it lets you know if Safe Browsing finds something problematic on your site. For example, we’ll notify you if your site is delivering malware, which is usually a sign that it’s been hacked. We’re extending our Safe Browsing protections to automatically display notifications to all Google Analytics users via familiar Google Analytics Notifications.


Google Safe Browsing has been protecting people across the Internet for over eight years and we're always looking for ways to extend that protection even further. Notifications like these help webmasters like you act quickly to respond to any issues. Fast response helps keep your site—and your visitors—safe.

Posted by: Stephan Somogyi, Product Manager, Security and Privacy

Best Practices: Combine AdWords with Google Analytics for Better Insights, Bidding and Results

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 10:15 AM

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Like sunshine and the beach, or dogs and tennis balls, Google AdWords and Google Analytics are great by themselves but even better together. You'll get high-performance insights into your ads and your website when you link your AdWords and Analytics accounts. Google Analytics does a vital job in this pairing: it shows you what happened after users clicked on your AdWords ads.

We’ve put together a new Best Practices guide, Better Together: AdWords and Google Analytics, to help you get deep insight into your performance. When you analyze performance with the combination of GA and AdWords you can find all sorts of actionable info:
  • Which parts of your account drive actual on-site engagement
  • Which keywords attract new users to your site
  • What messaging and landing pages connect with the different users on your site
  • How your business compares across your entire industry
To whet your appetite, here’s a rundown of ten useful GA reports included in the guide (with links that lead you directly to these reports in your own GA account).  Like what you see here?  Download the full version and the condensed one-page checklist to view our complete coverage of GA + AW goodness.



Love Analytics and AdWords being paired together?  Please take our survey about your past success and what else we can do to improve the experience.


Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

Start Remarketing with Google Analytics Instant Activation

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | 2:10 PM

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For many advertisers, remarketing is an essential tactic. But remarketing can be a difficult journey, even for the savviest digital marketer. We repeatedly see marketers struggle with tagging hurdles and complex implementation challenges, with the result that only 1 in 5 remarketers successfully completes their setup.

To help make it easier for advertisers to reach their most qualified customers, we’ve enabled remarketing with a single toggle. Instead of manually updating all of your site tags, simply use Instant Activation and get started with remarketing in four easy steps.

Identifying quality visitors and maximizing conversions

GlobalTechLED.com is a producer of LED lighting. Thanks to Instant Activation, John Burns, Director of Marketing, was able to start remarketing quickly. Without waiting for IT to re-tag his site, John successfully launched Global Tech LED’s first remarketing campaign and saw fast results by reaching their highest potential customers.

After enabling remarketing, Global Tech LED leveraged Google’s powerful machine-learning technology in two ways for their online campaigns: Smart Lists for remarketing automatically created lists of visitors who were most likely to engage in a subsequent session on GlobalTechLED.com. Then, Conversion Optimizer instantly adjusted the campaigns’ bids get more conversions at a lower cost, eventually freeing up more time and resources for the company.

As a result, GlobalTechLED.com is currently reaching their performance and outreach goals. To date they’ve doubled their display campaigns’ CTRs and have almost five times more clicks on their remarketing campaign compared to their other campaigns. Website traffic increased by over 100% in the first 30 days of the campaign, and international traffic skyrocketed. They’ve also seen a 75% decrease in CPA for their campaigns.

These kind of results were exactly what the company was looking for. According to John, "We’ve been trying to hit these specific numbers in the account for a couple of months, and Google Analytics Remarketing helped us achieve these in only a couple of days." Read the full case study here.

Four easy steps to get started

Ready to get started with remarketing? You can, with just four steps.

1. In your Google Analytics Property’s settings, choose ‘Audiences’ under the ‘Remarketing’ section.


2. Choose the AdWords account where you’d like to share your Audience and click ‘Next Step’.


3. Click “Enable” to create your first audience of All Users.  You can also come back later and create more complex audiences, like ‘visitors who have spent more than six minutes on site’, ‘visitors who visited more than five pages’, or ‘abandoned cart’.

This step automatically activates Advertiser Features if you haven’t done so already, which also enables Audience Demographics and Interests Reporting. You can manage this setting at any time in the Admin tab, under the ‘Advertiser Features’ section in your Property Settings.


4. Click ‘Create Campaign’ and complete the remarketing campaign creation process in AdWords. Congratulations, you are now a Remarketer!


We’re really excited to make Advertiser Features in Google Analytics simpler and enable all Google Analytics users to be more successful across all their marketing channels. Stay tuned for future improvements!

Happy Analyzing!

Posted by Avi Mehta and Rosanne Borja, Google Analytics Team

Introducing Trash Can: Data Recovery in Google Analytics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 7:00 AM

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We all make mistakes, but the damage might seem irrevocable when accidentally deleting crucial reporting information from Google Analytics. Thanks to feedback from our users, we’re pleased to introduce a new feature to provide a safety net each time you delete a view, property or account from your Google Analytics account: the Trash Can.

To get started, navigate to the Administration tab, select an account, and click the Trash Can feature on the left-hand panel. Check off what you want to reclaim, click “Restore,” and voilĂ ! Your view, property or account is now just as it was before you deleted it. Once 35 days pass from the day you originally trashed it, however, you’ll have to say a final goodbye as the data will be removed from the Trash Can and will no longer appear there. 


This feature will be rolling out to all Google Analytics accounts in the coming weeks, but don’t worry–anything you’ve deleted starting today will still show up in the Trash Can once you get the feature update in your account. 

Many people rely on Google Analytics to collect, analyze, and report on data in order to make good business decisions. We hope that the Trash Can is just one more way to ensure that you have all the information you need when you need it. To learn more details about the Trash Can feature, please read this Help Center article.

Posted by Chris Cahill, Michael Masukawa, and Dan Morenus

Retailers: Three Insights to Drive Q1 Results

Monday, January 26, 2015 | 1:36 PM

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Now that we’ve survived the holiday season, it’s time to get the year started with some Q1 insights from Google Analytics!  Over the holiday season, retailers are inundated with data about the best shopping days, when to start their sales, and predictions about which items will be popular.  But what to do once the furor dies down?  How can retailers make the most of Q1?  

Here at Google Analytics, we delved into our Q1 data from 2013 and 2014 in the US to provide some insights to guide you in the first quarter of 2015.  In particular, the weeks around Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl provided some notable trends.  Our analysis encompasses millions of businesses large and small who are using Google Analytics.  See the end of this article for more about our dataset.

The Day of the Big Game:  A Low Point for Online Shopping
We took a look at the first big marketing event of Q1:  Super Bowl Sunday.  The day of the big game, we saw lower numbers across the board.  Sessions were down 11% compared to the average for the quarter.  Similarly, transactions and conversion rates were down on average 16% and 5% respectively.  In both 2013 and 2014, the sessions and transaction numbers for the day of the Super Bowl fall into the bottom quartile for the quarter.

Clearly, on the day of the game, online purchasing is not a priority.  However, as we see later on in this post, this period of time serves as the turning point for transactions and conversion rates in the quarter.  The brand advertising that is such a big part of Super Bowl Sunday may help businesses capitalize on increased consumer buying behavior later in the quarter.

Best Romantic Shopping Day:  The Sunday before Valentine’s Day
We also delved into the second big marketing event of Q1:  Valentine’s Day.  In particular, we evaluated the week preceding the big day to find any pre-holiday patterns.  It turns out that in both 2013 and 2014, the Sunday before Valentine’s Day sees the biggest spike in week-over-week transactions with an average bump of 10%.  The same holds true for conversion rates and sessions, with an average increase of 6% and 4% respectively.  Besides a week-over-week increase, we also see that transactions are 5% higher on that day than for the average Sunday in the quarter.  The bump in transactions could indicate that consumers are using that Sunday to find and purchase their gifts, making it a good opportunity to invest in getting consumers to your site for some Valentine’s Day shopping.  If you plan to invest in advertising for this holiday, one way to prepare for Valentine’s Day is to adjust your bids.

Between the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day:  The Q1 Turning Point
Unless you’re lucky enough to sell items for diet, exercise, or other big new year’s resolutions, retailers often see sales slow in Q1 as consumers reduce gift-buying.  The chart below shows that for most of January, transactions are indeed below the average for the quarter.  

When should retailers spend marketing dollars to bounce back from this holiday hangover?  We see that transactions in both 2013 and 2014 start to ramp up as the key marketing dates approach: Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday.  In particular, the week of February 5th (also known as the week after the Super Bowl and the week before Valentine’s Day) marks the first time that transactions hit the average or above for the quarter.  

The graph below shows that in 2013 the week after the Super Bowl was above the average, whereas in 2014 that week was at the quarterly average.  In both years, this week has the highest week over week growth in transactions and conversions rates for Q1 at 6% for both metrics.  Sessions, however, display only a 0.4% increase week-over-week, not even close to being the highest for the quarter.  Based on this information about sessions, it’s clear that the uptick in buying behavior is not simply a function of consumers spending more time online, it’s an indication of increased intent to purchase during the time they do spend online.  If we look at average conversion rates before that week compared to the average conversion rates for that week and the rest of the quarter, we see a 6% increase.


So, as you plan your budgets, promotions, and campaigns in Q1, keep in mind that consumer activity will tend to increase throughout the quarter.  In particular, transactions tend to get a big bump during the week between Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day.  We know it’s hard to get back in gear after the holidays, but we hope our insights will help you think clearly and creatively about your marketing plans in the first quarter.

About the Data & Charts 
In order to perform this analysis, we looked at billions of sessions from authorized Google Analytics clients who have shared their website data anonymously (read more).



AccuWeather Unlocks Cross-Channel Impact Using Google Analytics Premium

Friday, January 16, 2015 | 9:30 AM

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“The ability to overlay our own data on top of traditional dimensions and metrics has provided valuable insights into the kind of information our consumers are looking for.” 

-- Steve Mummey, Director of Browser Products at AccuWeather

AccuWeather is the world’s largest weather media company with over 1 billion people a day relying on AccuWeather’s suite of products to give them real-time weather information. Today we wanted to highlight AccuWeather’s success with the Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics Premium. The Measurement Protocol is a feature where businesses can send requests to Google Analytics from countless customer touchpoints. 

Measuring the complete customer journey
AccuWeather needed to find a way to increase the impact of digital across all its channels and products. They were determined to find a robust solution that collected data from each customer touchpoint to give a comprehensive analysis to make better business decisions.

The team wanted to sought out accomplish four goals: 1) analyze the effectiveness of weather forecast emails 2) attribute credit to campaigns that drove users to app store pages, 3) better understand their mobile audience, and 4) collect this new data without compromising AccuWeather’s fast and simple user experience.

Google Analytics Premium solves the challenge
Using Google Analytics Premium, plus the Measurement Protocol, allowed AccuWeather to report on a variety of the company’s services simultaneously from one source. AccuWeather was able to have information from emails, mobile devices, and QR codes sent through the Measurement Protocol. This feature provided the AccuWeather team with a complete picture in the Google Analytics reporting interface alongside their other metrics.

Data-driven decisions that drive action
As a result of the sophisticated and comprehensive set of Google Analytics Premium features, AccuWeather has been able to more accurately identify the source of app downloads to track application traffic from QR codes and other offline campaigns to the app stores.

The team’s analysis revealed that 10% of the brand’s mobile traffic came from devices that either did not support JavaScript or had the feature disabled. Without using the Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics Premium, they would never have been able to account for this portion of its audience. The team can now include this audience in its product and monetization decisions.

Pleased with the success of this solution, AccuWeather now plans to apply it to other parts of its business to uncover new insights, new leads, and, of course, new customers. 

You can read AccuWeather’s full story and dive deeper into the results here. To learn more on the Measurement Protocol, check out this video.

Posted by: the Google Analytics Premium team