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All we’ve heard in the past few years is how quickly the mobile market is growing and statistics of smartphone usage are constantly thrown at us left and right. One of the most fascinating parts of having a smartphone is the ability for users to select what applications they want and rearrange it in a manner that makes sense for them. YES, we all love a bit of personalisation!

As advertisers, having an app is a great plus, but tracking the performance of it, that’s where it can get a little tricky. For the most part, app tracking can be separated into two different parts – tracking the performance within the app stores itself, or the more interesting part for us: tracking the source of the install (e.g. installs as driven by Google ads).


Tracking installs through Google Analytics is similar to tracking a normal acquisition campaign, but instead on setting up a ‘website view’, we need to set up an ‘app view’. In doing so, it gives app-specific information like the number of screens viewed (as opposed to page views, for example). However, the only downside is because it is a Google product, there is visibility of source data on Android apps, but not for iOS. This means AdWords data can be tracked on the GA app view, but again only for Android apps. This is because all tracking (for example UTM codes) are stripped out once you hit the app store, which is different to what we see on website clicks.


Tracking iOS apps is a little trickier as Apple don’t provide any data on source of install. So what this means is we usually need to turn to third party tech like Adjust, Upsight or Ad-X Tracking.  have so you have to use a 3rd party usually. These tools make use of unique device IDs to connect the ad click with the app install. Because install source tracking is still rather new, there is also a fair bit of data sampling though.

Once we’re through with tracking the source of installs, of course it is also interesting to track the performance of the app itself. If you install Google tag manager into apps, this can help track conversions; which then allows us to look at GA data – particularly E-commerce. For iOS apps, iTunes Connect is the go-to for finding performance data, time on app, install/ uninstall rates and more.


Do you have a fantastic app that goes hand-in-hand with your products/ services and you want to promote it through paid advertising? We can make this happen for you – give us a shout at