Get your multi device strategy off the ground

As tech-savvy consumers, we’ve all contributed to the growth in online traffic coming from mobile and tablet platforms, and as publishers you've likely heard the importance of adapting a multi-device approach to cater for this growing trend. But exactly how important is it? How do you develop a multi-device strategy? And how does all of this equate to increased revenues for you? 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll run a series of posts that aim to answer exactly that. We’ll explore building mobile solution options to suit you, and also explain how you can use AdSense to monetize your mobile sites or AdMob.

Where are your users coming from?
We're living in a multi-screen world where users expect to have access to information, people, and computing power from any screen. Here are just a few findings from a recent survey*:
  • 81% of consumers use their smartphones while also watching TV
  • 66% use their smartphone at the same time as their laptop
  • 83% of mobile users said that they wouldn’t leave home without their smartphone
  • 63% of users said that while they may not make their final purchase through a mobile, they would definitely use their phone to gather info and help them with their purchasing decision. 
To see how these shifts in consumer behavior are relevant to your site, check the Platforms report in your AdSense account. It’s a good idea to pull a comparison report and track the growth in your percentage of mobile and tablet users over the past quarter or year. Chances are, you’re going to see a shift away from desktop with more of your online content being reached via tablet and mobile. If your site isn’t designed to cater for this growing market then now is the time to start building your multi-device strategy. And we’re here to make you aware of some of the options open to you! Join us next week when we’ll be covering a range of mobile solutions to help you discover the right one for your business.

If you’d like to learn more about what we’ve discussed today, you can also check out a recording of our recent Hangout, “Mobile - The Time is Now”.

*Study completed by Google in collaboration with Sterling Brands and Ipsos, on a sample of 1,600 users, (2012).

Posted by Federico Gomez Kodela - Mobile Specialist
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See the Full Picture of Your Users in Google Play with Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

We recently re-imagined in-app analytics from the ground up, speaking the language that matters to app developers and marketers. Since launch, the insights provided by Google Analytics for Mobile Apps are already helping hundreds of thousands of app developers and marketers create more successful Android and iOS apps and experiences by measuring metrics at all stages: acquisition, behavior and conversions. 

As a follow-up from this week’s Summit, today we’re excited to announce that the integration between Google Analytics and Google Play, previewed at I/O 2013, is now available to all users! This is especially exciting for app developers and marketers because it’s the first time - and only way - to get a holistic view of the Play acquisition funnel in one easy to understand report.

The data sources you’ll be able to see include:

Google Play traffic sources: discover how marketing campaigns and search are driving installs and new users. The Google Play Referral Flow will help you refine your app marketing mix in order to focus on those campaigns and programs which are working to bring the highest quality traffic. 

Views on Google Play: understand how your app is being viewed on Google Play as the result of campaigns and search. Your description, screenshots and other content are what’s going to drive new users to install.

Installs: installs shows the number of users for each referral who actually clicked the install link for your app on Google Play. Comparing installs to views for each referral shows you if your app description and screenshots are leading to conversions. Highlight through each source further up the funnel and determine which are successful at driving downloads. 

New users: beyond installs, new users shows you how many active users actually launch your application after it’s installed. This is a key metric to see even beyond installs, reported from the Google Analytics Services SDK. Tracing the path up the funnel shows you clearly which sources don’t just account for those installing your app, but which lead to passionate users who spend time with your app leading to in-app conversions

As these reports are using flow visualization, you can also select any path you wish to analyze further which will highlight that path and present useful data points along the funnel such as drop off rate. 

To start using the Google Play Referral Flow Report, you need to simply link your Google Analytics Property to your Android app in Google Play. Linking to your app takes only seconds. 

The collaboration between Google Analytics and Google Play doesn’t end there! By linking your Analytics property to your Android app, key Google Analytics engagement metrics from your default profile will now appear inside the Google Play Developer Console. This two-way integration gives you instant access to the in-store and in-app metrics of record in whichever Google product you use. Read more on the Android Developers Blog.

These powerful new features from Google Analytics and Google Play take mobile app analytics to the next level.   

Happy Analyzing!

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

Data at your fingertips: A new version of the Google Analytics App for Android

At Google, we want to build tools that help you stay connected no matter where you are. Whether you’re in the boardroom, at a live event, or even during a day at the beach: having access to Analytics at your fingertips is important. That’s why we previously launched an Android app for Google Analytics that we’re excited has been downloaded more than 700,000 times to date.

We’ve been listening to your feedback and hear you loud and clear: the Google Analytics Android app should do more. So today we are pleased to announce the launch the latest version of the Google Analytics App for Android devices.

Visit Google Play to download and install the app to keep up with your data anytime, anywhere. Like what you see in the new version? Review it in Google Play!

We’ve added more reporting tools and enhanced the functionality of this version, so you have a first-class Google Analytics experience on every device. What’s new, specifically?
  • A completely redesigned look and feel, ideal for tablets and phones
  • New visualizations that automatically resize to fit your screen size and orientation 
  • Side navigation that mirrors Google Analytics on the web for quick access to reports
  • Specialized reporting for web and app views (profiles)
  • An Overview screen summarizing key metrics from each report 
  • Deeper analysis via dimension-based drill down in most reports
  • Better Real-Time reporting
  • Advanced Segments to further analyze your data
See an overview of your important metrics on one screen

Bringing the robust features of GA on the web to your fingertips

With the Google Analytics App, you can access all of your data - for both web and app reporting views (profiles) - so you can keep track of all of your important data with reports that are optimized for whatever device you’re using, ensuring a beautiful and intuitive experience. 

We’re also introducing new visualizations designed with tablets and phones in mind. Rather than getting overwhelmed with too much information on a small screen, you now see just the most relevant metrics on cards, so you decide when you want to drill-down for details or just get a quick update on your performance. 

We built our app using Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps. As a result, it’s highly configurable and we can add new reports, change navigation, update visualizations all without having to update the app.  We’ve made several improvements to the app based on your feedback and have more planned, so please keep it coming. Learn more about how you can make your own apps highly configurable with GTM.

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

Introducing Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps & New Google Analytics Services SDK

Mobile Apps pose a unique set of challenges for marketers and developers. On the web, you can iterate on content and features in near-real-time and deploy conversion tracking, Remarketing, analytics and other tags to measure the effects on your users. Apps, on the other hand, are effectively frozen at the point of user install. Making even the slightest change means waiting until your next update makes its way through the various app stores and even then, you can’t be sure that all of your users will update quickly, if at all.

The surprisingly static nature of Mobile Apps creates significant problems. Forget to add an event to a key button press? Tough! Need to add conversion tracking for a last minute campaign? Too bad! Realize you need to change an important configuration setting? Sorry, not possible... that is, until now! Previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, today we're launching Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps.

With Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps, you instrument your app once and from then on, you can change configurations and add analytics, remarketing and conversion tracking later – without updating your app. 

Just like on the web, Google Tag Manager continues to be a free product, streamlining the process of adding “tags” to your native iOS and Android apps, making it both easy and accountable. Measuring key events is now as simple as 1-2-3:
  1. Include the new Google Analytics Services SDK (Android, iOS) in your app. This new unified SDK includes both Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics functionality while sharing a common framework.
  2. Push interesting and important events to the Data Layer. Once events are registered on the data layer, they can be used to trigger Google Tag Manager Tags and Macros. 
  3. Use Google Tag Manager’s web-based interface to write Rules and determine when various Tags should fire.

If you’re already a Google Tag Manager user, then there’s really nothing new for you to learn. The same style Tag Templates, Rules and Macros that you already know are now available for the new Mobile App Container Type. New users can get up to speed quickly, thanks to the easy-to-use web-based interface.  

Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps natively supports AdWords Conversion Tracking, AdWords Remarketing and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps (Universal Analytics) tags. It also supports custom and 3rd party tracking events using the custom tag. For Mobile Apps, Google Tag Manager also takes things one step further using the Value Collection Macro. As we previewed at I/O 2013, developers can now create server-side configurations and use them to build highly configurable Apps. Collectively, these new features make Google Tag Manager a powerful tool for marketers and App Developers alike.  

Sign-up for your free Google Tag Manager account now and learn more about Mobile App tagging.  

Posted by Russell Ketchum, Product Manager, Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager

The Mobile Buyer and Seller Relationship

The mobile advertising industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace - as new technologies have created new ways for publishers to grow and engage with their audience, new ways for advertisers to reach their customers have also emerged. With new opportunities aplenty for both buyers and sellers, how have they engaged with each other to shape the mobile ads ecosystem?

Based on aggregate data from across our network, we took a look at the economics behind the mobile ads ecosystem in a study: The Mobile Buyer & Seller Relationship. The study looks at mobile advertising from both a buyer and seller perspective, focusing on the types of content that are driving the most mobile web and app traffic, where advertisers are focusing their budgets, and the intersection of the two.

Here are a few highlights from the research:
  • Mobile application inventory is highly concentrated: On mobile applications, ad impressions and spend are highly concentrated around games, which account for 46% of total ad spend.
  • Advertisers are embracing mobile applications: We're seeing all types of advertisers embrace advertising on mobile applications, with Media & Entertainment and Technology advertisers leading the way. These types of advertisers account for nearly half of all impressions and spend on mobile applications.
  • Advertiser spending on mobile web is closely tied to relevant content: Unlike mobile applications, on mobile web, advertisers are predominantly focusing their spend on ad inventory that closely relates to their products or services.
  • Spending on mobile web is evenly distributed amongst advertisers: The top five spending advertiser categories on mobile web accounted for 12-16% of total web impressions each.
Check out all of the findings by downloading the full report here.

Posted by Stephen Kliff - Product Marketing Manager
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How NRI Netcom uses Analytics to measure user engagement of responsive web design

The following was originally posted to the Analytics Japan blog.

Google recommends responsive web design as a way of optimizing for smartphones and tablets. Responsive web design is a method of identifying the device based on the screen size and adjusting the design using CSS, while sharing one block of HTML across all devices. The concept has also been discussed on the Webmaster Central Blog so head over there for more details.

This post will look at an example of using Google Analytics on a site enabled for responsive web design.

The case involves a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), NRI Netcom, working on an overseas payment service website for their customer, Seven Bank. NRI Netcom installed Google Analytics for post-optimization data analysis to support Seven Bank's web publishing and marketing. The implementation enabled pages to be served to desktop PCs, smartphones and tablets using responsive web design, all from a single URL.

They used page-level custom variables in Google Analytics to enable NRI Netcom to access reports on each type of page sent out.

For example, page-level custom variables can be set up as follows to identify which CSS version is being displayed: PC, smartphone or tablet.

PC = 960 px or more  
_gaq.push(['_setCustomVar', 1, 'PageVariation', 'fullsize', 3]);

Smartphone = 520 px or less
_gaq.push(['_setCustomVar', 1, 'PageVariation', 'mobile', 3]);

Tablet = 520 px to 960 px 
_gaq.push(['_setCustomVar', 1, 'PageVariation', 'tablet', 3]);

This enables metrics for each screen type to be compared at a glance, as shown below, using Google Analytics Reporting. (The figures on the report are not the actual figures.)

The actual setup was a little more complex. The three screen types (smartphone, tablet and PC) were added, and the display height and width selected for each user tracked. Then, Seven Bank deployed its website in ten languages, as this was to be an overseas payment service.

It was configured to handle three different types of devices, different screen heights and widths, and different languages, as well as to provide instant verification on the Google Analytics Reporting screen.

Several pieces of useful information began to emerge from the Google Analytics data. Firstly, as a result of optimizing for smartphones, there was a clear improvement in engagement and conversions amongst mobile users. Differences between tablet and smartphones were also observed. Engagement metrics such as average time on page and average page views differed widely. Metrics were also found to be clearly different depending on whether the same smartphone/tablet was held horizontally or vertically.

A number of other effects were seen which weren't particularly relevant to conversions. A clearer picture of referral paths for mobiles and their effect on conversions aided understanding of the efficacy of incoming traffic. Whereas organic search won out on pure referral numbers, the number of conversions from users clicking the Seven Bank inquiries link on smartphones to make a call (measured using event tracking) was clearly better at referrals routed through AdWords.

Interesting results were also seen for different languages. It was obvious, for example, that conversions on mobiles were much higher for specific languages.

All of this is actionable data which will continue to help Seven Bank develop marketing strategies and further optimize their mobile site  — read the full case study here (in Japanese).

Posted by Noriyuki Ouchi, Google Analytics Solution Consultant

Changes in rankings of smartphone results

As the number of smartphone users continues to surge globally, many of you are responding quickly with mobile-friendly sites. Regardless of the device a user views your site on, their experience should be rich and consistent. With this in mind, the Google Webmaster Team is making some changes to the way they rank search results on smartphones. In particular, these changes will address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users. Read the original post and learn more about common configuration mistakes as well as recommendations from the Webmaster Team on building your mobile-optimized website.

Posted by Suzanne Headon - Inside AdSense team
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Webinar on Wed, 6/12: Metrics for the Mobile App Ecosystem

As users discover, download, and use your apps, understanding your customers and what they're doing is incredibly important and has a direct impact on monetization. Leveraging smart analytics and analyzing key metrics can drive future monetization and new app discovery efforts, empowering you to become a smarter and more effective app developer or marketer. In short, your ability to drive maximum value from your app only starts after the download. 

Sign up for our upcoming Webinar and join Google Analytics team members Andrew Wales and Adam Singer as they explore the key metrics to measure for the mobile app ecosystem, as well as learn about the benefits of using Google Analytics for mobile app measurement, such as:

A more powerful mobile SDK
We are providing a new mobile app analytics solution, solving the problem that there is currently no single repository to understand end-to-end value of mobile app users. This is supported by a more powerful mobile SDK (v2.0) that is easy to implement.

“One stop shop” for app measurement
Understanding app performance holistically through acquisition, engagement and outcome is critical to improve mobile app results, optimize user engagement and increase revenue generated. Our new reports show the entire lifecycle and in our Webinar, we’ll explore each section.

Improve ROI and engagement
App developers and brands can make better, more comprehensive data-driven decisions for mobile investments with better reports. For example, marketers can optimize their mobile programs to improve ROI and app developers can improve in-app engagement.

Webinar information:
Title: Metrics for the Mobile App Ecosystem
Date: Wednesday, 6/12/2013 @ 1:00pm EST / 10am PST
Level: 101 - Beginner
Duration: 1 hour
Sign up link: Register here.

Posted by the Google Analytics team

The Future of Measurement Starts at I/O: What’s New and on the Horizon for Analytics

Last year at I/O we launched Mobile App Analytics, a re-imagining of app analytics from the ground up, speaking the language that matters to app developers and marketers. Since launch, the insights provided are already helping hundreds of thousands of app developers and marketers create more successful Android and iOS apps and experiences by measuring metrics at all stages: acquisition, engagement and outcomes like in-app purchases. 

This year at I/O, our team continues to improve mobile analysis with two announcements: Mobile App Analytics Play Integration and Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps. These updates, to be available for all users shortly (with links below to help you get on early whitelists) will let you better measure a mobile world and use your data in more ways to improve the customer experience. 

Better understand the total picture of your app users with Google Play Integration

We’re excited to announce a long-anticipated integration of Mobile App Analytics more deeply with Google Play. It’s especially exciting for app developers and marketers because it’s the first time we’re presenting a complete view of the Play acquisition funnel in one clear, easy to understand report.

The data sources you’ll be able to see include:

Google Play traffic sources: understand which traffic sources and Google search keywords account for most new users. Campaign sources will help you refine your app marketing mix in order to focus on those campaigns and programs that bring the highest quality traffic. 

Google Play views: at the very top of the app funnel, you’ll want to understand clearly how many views your app is receiving in Google Play from each campaign or source. 

Installs: installs simply shows the number of users who actually installed your application from Google Play. It’s useful here to determine which sources are successful at driving installation. 

New users: beyond installs, new users shows you how many users actually launch your application. This is a key metric to see even beyond installations and tracing the path up the funnel.

As this report is using flow visualization, you can also select any path you wish to analyze further which will highlight that path and present useful data points along the funnel such as drop off rate.

Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps

Ever want to make a small tweak to your mobile application but your users have already downloaded your app? Ever forget to add analytics to a key event until it’s too late? Shipping your app usually means you have one chance to get it right, and that’s not the best way to build a business.

With Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps launching in beta, you can dynamically configure your mobile applications on Android and iOS server-side. You can hone your app for various audiences, and you’ll never get caught by old versions or forgetfulness again.

Google Tag Manager for Mobile Apps uses Google Tag Manager’s sophisticated rule-based serving engine  and easy-to-use management interface to make it a snap for developers to make changes to their applications, even after an app has been downloaded by users. Now changing the configuration of your application or rolling out a new feature is as easy as going to the Google Tag Manager web interface, changing a couple of values, and then pressing a Publish button. Changes go live in seconds.

You can configure virtually anything in your application: from ad values such as frequency and duration and UI settings like colors and layout, to time-based events such as in-app promotions and special events. Sign up for the whitelist to be among the first to try out GTM for Mobile (you’ll need to first visit the Google Tag Manager site and create an account if you haven’t already).

We’re excited to continue to push the envelope with what analytics can do across devices and platforms and cater to developers with tools they want.

Posted by the Google Analytics Team  

5 Things You Should Be Doing With Google Mobile App Analytics Crash & Exception Measurement

When an app crashes, it disrupts the user experience, may cause data loss, and worst of all, might even cause users to uninstall the app altogether. As developers, we do our best to minimize crashes, but no app is ever perfectly stable.

A crash can actually represent a great opportunity to improve an app and one of the best things we can do as developers is to measure our crashes and exceptions.

The crashes and exceptions report in Google Mobile App Analytics.
Measuring crashes in your app can help you make better a product, make more money (if that’s your thing), and use your development resources more efficiently (especially if you are the only developer).

Google Mobile App Analytics offers easy-to-implement automated crash and exception measurement for Android and iOS as part of the V2 SDKs, as well as a host of reporting options to slice the data in context with all of the user engagement, goal completion, and in-app payments data you already know and love.

To help new developers get started, and to give existing developers some pointers, here are four things app developers should be doing today with Google Analytics crash and exception measurement:

1. Automate your crash measurement.
Want to measure app crashes but don’t want to deal with a complicated implementation? Fully automated crash measurement with Google Mobile App Analytics takes just one line of code to implement for Android or iOS:

<!-- Enable automatic crash measurement (Android) -->
<bool name=”ga_reportUncaughtExceptions”>true</bool>

// Enable automatic crash measurement (iOS).
[GAI sharedInstance].trackUncaughtExceptions = YES;

Implement automated crash measurement with just one line of code on Android or iOS.

Now each time your app crashes, the crash will be measured and sent to Google Analytics automatically. Try automated crash measurement now for Android or iOS.

2. Find out how stability is trending.
Are new releases increasing or reducing app crashes? Monitor the stability of your app from version to version by looking at crashes and exceptions by app version in the Crashes & Exceptions report.

If you are measuring the same app on two different platforms, like Android or iOS, you can break this view down further by selecting Platform as the secondary dimension.
View crashes and exceptions by app version number in the Crashes & Exceptions report. In this example, version 1.1.7 has crashed 7,285 times, while the latest version 2.0.0 has only crashed 91 times in the same period. Nice work dev team!
To graph crashes for two or more versions over time, you can create advanced segments for each version number, and apply them both to the Crashes and Exceptions report.

See crashes by app version over time using advanced segments and the crash and exception report  In this example, a bug fix pushed around January 24 caused significant reduction in crashes across both versions, but crashes persist for v1.1.7 that might warrant some additional investigation.
3.  Find out what crashes are costing you.
Do you know what app crashes are costing you? Find out what crashes cost in terms of both user engagement and dollars by using a custom segment.

By using a particular crash or exception as a custom segment, you can see how user engagement and in-app revenue may be impacted by a particular issue or set of issues.
Use custom segments to segment user experience and outcome data by crashes. This gives you some idea of what they might be costing you in users and in dollars.
To set this up, you’ll want to create two custom segments: one that contains all the sessions in which the exception(s) occurred, and another baseline segment that contains all other sessions unaffected by the exception(s).

Once created, try applying both segments to your Goals or Ecommerce Overview reports to get a sense of how the exception(s) might affect user outcomes. Or, apply the segments to your Engagement overview report to see how the exception(s) might impact user engagement metrics.

4.  Gain visibility into crashes at the device model level.
Do you know which device models are the most and least stable for your app? Developers can’t always test their app on all devices before launch. However, by using Custom Reports in Google Mobile App Analytics, you can monitor crashes and exception per device to find out where additional testing and bug fixes may be needed.

To see crashes and exceptions by device, create a custom report and use a dimension like Mobile Device Marketing Name, with Crashes and Exceptions as the metric.

See crashes by device by using a custom report. To get even more detail, add the Exception Description dimension as a secondary dimension. In this example, the high level view shows the Galaxy Note and Desire HD as device that might need additional testing before the next launch.
5.  (Advanced) What about caught exceptions? You should measure those too.
While caught exceptions won’t crash your app, they still may be valuable events to measure, especially when they might have an impact on user experience and outcomes.

For instance, if your app normally catches a server timeout exception when requesting user data, it might be useful to measure that caught exception to know how often a user’s request is not being fulfilled.

A caught exception is measured in Google Analytics using a custom description. In this example, a number of failed connections may indicate a backend problem and could be causing a poor user experience. Reducing the number of these caught exceptions could be a goal for the dev team in the next release.

As always, please keep in mind that you should never send personally identifiable data (PII) to Google Analytics. Raw exception descriptions may contain PII and we don’t recommend sending them to Google Analytics for that reason. 

Also note that there’s a 100 character limit on exception descriptions, so if you send your own descriptions, be sure to keep them concise.

Lastly, here are some links to resources you might find helpful when implementing crash and exception measurement in your app:

And for brand new users:

Posted by Andrew Wales, Google Analytics Developer Relations