Google Analytics NEW Mobile Application Tracking

Available this summer will be a new set of Google Analytics reports with more detailed and specific metrics for mobile application tracking. This was announced at the Google I/O 2012 conference on Friday.

“Application developers and marketers need to have a profound understanding of their mobile applications’ usage” said Google product manager JiaJing Wang.

He later added “You have to know what users are doing before you can make meaningful improvements to your mobile applications”

The new data will be of immense value to businesses now racing to take advantage of the current tidal wave of smartphone use. According to a recent report by Chetan Sharma Consulting “digital businesses which won’t become mobile “will be irrelevant”.

Many are predicting, for obvious reasons, that traffic from the mobile Web is set to overtake fixed-line Internet usage in the next two years. In India it is set to take over by the end of the year.

We have been using in-depth analytics for our websites for a long time (see our Google Analytics Courses) – now mobile developers want the same.

Even if you believe that most of your business will be generated from computer traffic, a better understanding of your mobile traffic should inform your decision on where to spend your on-line development budget. You may need to design your site to accommodate both mobile and computer traffic using responsive web design.

The traffic from mobile uses may indicate the necessity to build a separate mobile site, or develop native apps to run on different mobile operating systems.

Even if you get more traffic from computer users than mobile users, you may want to look at differences in conversion rates. This is the type of information you will need to look at when deciding if you need a site devoted exclusively to mobile platforms, or if you want to redesign and fine-tune an existing one.

Bear in mind that if you develop a mobile experience that makes it easy for your user, simpler and more streamlined, than this will also have a huge impact on the number of conversions you can attract from mobile users.

The sooner businesses can analyse mobile user behaviour, the sharper and more effective they can make their mobile campaigns. Developers need real time information on their app’s performance and what parts of the app people are using, in order to improve application design.

With the new reports you will be able to measure:

  • New and active application users
  • The different versions in use
  • The devices the application is installed on

The reports will also provide information on how people are finding your app at the Google Play store. I’m sure there will be lots of room for testing for SEO here.

There will also be new reports on engagement. You’ll be able to tell how long people spend using your application and how frequently. It will even give you insight into bugs and crashes.

Google has also made it easy for developers to link their applications with the Google Analytics engine, providing a native software development kit for both iOS and Android. A main focus of Google at the moment seems to be strengthening their position as an information provider for mobile developers. Whilst there are many reasons for this, encouraging developers to develop more for Android, must be one of them.

Here are more details about what the new reports will look like from Google.

Incidentally, Google have just made available a Google Analytics App For Android which makes viewing the analytics Data much easier on Mobile, which is available now.

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Heather Buckley

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