Is Your App Any Good? Find Out With App Analytics

Welcome to the second in our series of Fliplet Insights videos. We often get asked questions by our customers about how to build great apps and so we thought it would be useful if we recorded the answers as a series of videos just in case anyone else is wondering the same.

This week we’re focussing on app analytics. So you’ve built an awesome app, launched it and now you need to work how good it is – is it fulfillling your goals? Delivering ROI? And most importantly, do your users like it? Well using app analytics software is the answer! Watch on to find out more…

Video transcript

Hi My name’s Ian and welcome to another edition of Fliplet Insights. Today we’re going to be covering off another question from a customer which is “how do I know how effective my app is being?” And there’s really two easy ways to confirm how effective your app is and that is to track downloads and to track what people do inside your app.

And there are two key systems that we recommend people use: one is the app stores such as Google Play and iTunes Connect as they record downloads. But then there’s also Google Analytics which is what Fliplet uses as an example. The reason why we use Google Analytics – you might be thinking “isn’t that a web tracking tool?” – well a couple of years ago Google extended Google Analytics to include the ability to track apps and therefore we enabled to use it to give much deeper insight using a very familiar tool.

So anyway without further ado let’s get cracking. How good is your app? Now as I mentioned one of the easiest ways to tell is by tracking downloads. The key question is, how do you track downloads? So as I’ve already mentioned the app stores are tracking downloads.

So if you use the Apple App Store to distribute your apps then you need to log in to a system called iTunes Connect and if you use Google you need to log in to the Google Play store and in there you’ll find access to download information. You’ll also find information about which countries downloaded it and which device they are using generally.

But of course that information really isn’t that useful because yes you know you’re getting downloads but you don’t know if you’re getting downloads because of, say, some marketing you’re doing or if you’re getting downloads because other people are promoting your app. It doesn’t really give you enough information to tell if people are actually effectively using your app.

So in that case you need to start looking at key statistics that are occurring inside your application and that’s where Google Analytics really comes into play. So the key statistics that Google Analytics covers are things like Users. Users are the number of people who open and use your application.

Now that’s a unique person – let me explain how that works. When I first download and install an app and then open it, Google Analytics records a tracking ID which it knows is me. And it doesn’t record another tracking ID – so if I open the app a second time I’m not marked as a second user, I’m still the same user. And so ‘users’ is the unique users of your application and they are not counted multiple times.

Although it is worth noting if I use the app on an iPhone and then I use the app on an iPad I will be counted as two separate users because Google Analytics doesn’t know if I’m the same user or a different user on each of those devices. I hope you’re still with me!

Google app analytics software

Google’s app analytics tool can give you some great statistics including number of users, number of active users, location of users and top device types.

The second thing to track which is kind of related to users, is Sessions. Sessions records how many times somebody has been active in your app. So let me give you an example of a session. If I open an app the first time I would be a user and that would be my first session. If I then close the app and the next day I load the app again I would be the same user but that would be my second session.

And so basically sessions expire after a period of inactivity and then when activity starts again on that app, it’s considered a second session. So sessions are also a great way to understand how engaging people are finding your app because it tells you how frequently they are coming back.

OK the next statistic, and I think this one is probably the easiest one for most people to get their head around, is Screens. And Google Analytics counts screen views. Using screen views and sessions you can determine how engaged people are each time they are using your app; if they are using lots of screens you would assume they are highly engaged as in they are spending a lot of time going through different screens in your app. And if they are using a lot of sessions you can tell they keep coming back. Those two statistics really give you an idea of how people are finding your app and what they are using it for.

The other really interesting thing about screens is that you can drill into screens and you can actually find out which screens are being used. So this can actually tell you which parts of your app are getting the highest level of usage and which parts of the app are not. That could be very useful so let’s say you’ve got three sections to your app and two sections are quite popular and one hardly gets any traffic you can always, using the data from Google Analytics, kinda take a step back, maybe look at your app with fresh eyes and maybe determine why would people not be going to that third section, is there something wrong. Asking yourself those kinds of questions is what all this analysis and reporting data is really helpful for.

So as I mentioned at the beginning we use Google Analytics, iTunes Connect and also the Google Play store. There’s one other tool I just want to mention that we use internally at Fliplet to track the apps that we produce such as Fliplet Viewer and that’s an app called AppAnnie. Well actually it’s not an app ironically, it’s a web tool like Google Analytics. What you do is you go to AppAnnie, I think it’s appannie.com, you sign up and then you connect the various app store accounts you have to it and then it tracks the downloads for you and it is a much better interface than using iTunes Connect or using Google Play and it gives you much richer data set. It can also automatically e-mail you download reports on a daily basis and so it means you don’t have to go and log in to the tool, you get them in your inbox.

So I hope that session has been useful, that covers off a quick quick overview about how effectively your app is being used. And if you’d like to find out more information about Fliplet, you can visit fliplet.com. If you would like to follow us on social media, we’re on Twitter @flipletapp or you can find our Facebook page by just searching for Fliplet on Facebook. We hope you enjoyed the video and we look forward to seeing you next time. I’m Ian from Fliplet, I hope you have a great day.