With all the talk of mobile lately and the importance of a mobile presence, many small businesses have started developing apps and getting involved in the app market. Having an app for your company is a great way to help your customers/clients use your services while on the go, and it helps give you another outlet to connect with them and gather data.
With a few app optimization techniques and a great developer, it’s easy to create something with a lot of value. However, the biggest problem is actually not attracting and earning more downloads, it’s establishing a loyal user base.
With this in mind, Google Analytics created three new Google analytics reports that help to tell you how users come back to your app consistently so that you can measure their value over time: The Active Users report, the Cohort Analysis report, and Lifetime Value reporting.
How the New Google Analytics Reports Work
The Active User Report
This report will show your Active Users based on a 1, 7, 14, or 30 day basis. This helps show you how users are interacting with your app over time so you can see if there was ever a drop-off or an increase in users quickly and easily. A few other benefits this report can offer and why they matter include:
- Monitor your active user trends. This can help you answer questions about your user acquisition strategies. For example, compare the cost of retaining users acquired via paid traffic versus organic so you know if you’re attracting the right types of users. In other words, this also can help you measure cost effectiveness.
- Monitor users after a paid campaign is over. This will help you see if the users you paid for are coming back, which can be important when focusing on keeping your loyal user base engaged with your app.
- Organize information at a glance. If you want a quick overview of the trends regarding your app, it’s nice to have side-by-side comparison available thanks to this report.
Below is a screenshot Google Analytics released that shows how it works:
Cohort Analysis Report
This report will help you actually analyze the users opening your app so that you can better optimize your app and drive engagement. With this report, you can see when users are coming back to your app, their behavior over time, filter information by day, week, or month, and compare different segments of users based on the day of the first install. A little bit more information to expand on those points:
- Compare different campaigns. For example, you can compare different weeks or months to measure how effective one specific channel is at attracting valuable users throughout your campaign.
- See how much time users are spending in the app. If you’re able to see the time spent, you can see if they use it a lot at first and then drop off or vice versa.
Below is a screenshot of the report:
Lifetime Value Reporting
This report is said to help you get a full picture of users’ value over time. You should first understand what a user’s value means to you based on your goals and then measure certain variables to see what’s working. For example, you may want to track revenue per user and number of screen views per user over a period of 90 days. The announcement also added, “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.”
Below is a screenshot of the report:
The announcement of the new Google analytics reports also added that this is an important report to help you measure the effectiveness of your acquisition campaigns. If your cost to acquire a new users is higher than the value over time, then you will need to focus on optimizing campaigns.
Getting Started with App Development and the New Google Analytics Reports
To get started with the new Google analytics reports, visit the Audience section of your Google Analytics account. All of the reports are still in Beta, but they are said to be coming soon. You can check out the full announcement here. If you’re interested in learning more about developing an app for your business and whether it’s the right move for you, I recommend checking out this article we wrote last year when apps were just starting to get popular for small businesses.
If you’re a small business owner or developer, give the new Google analytics reports a try and let us know what you think.