While you can use the app store and the Google Play Console to tell how many people have downloaded your app, Google Analytics gives you a much clearer picture of how many users are actually accessing it and reading your content.
In Google Analytics Audience Overview screen, you’ll be able to tell how many people have accessed the app over a given date range, how often each person is using it on average, and how long they are spending in the app.
In Google Analytics, click on Audience > Overview, and you’ll get the following report:
Note: Don’t forget to set the date range at the top right!
Lets go through each part of the report.
The graph provides a visual representation of access to the app over the selected date range. If you see a particular spike in the graph – a day or week when a higher than average number of people used the app – ask yourself why. Was there a particularly popular piece of content, or was a new feature added? If you see a spike, think about how to capitalise on that information!
The graph above is fairly typical for an employee app – you can clearly see much lower levels of use at the weekends!
Users & Sessions
The users number tells you the amount of individual users who have accessed your app during the selected date range. This includes the mobile app and the desktop webapp together.
The sessions is telling you – of all of your users, how many times they have accessed the app.
So if we have 308,787 sessions initiated by 26,273 users, that tells us that on average, those users have accessed the app 12 times during the selected date range. Of course, this is just an average – some will have accessed it much more often while others much less.
Screens / Session & Average Session Duration
The screens / session figure is telling you the average number of screens visited by a user each time they access the app. In this example, an average user is looking at 4-5 screens on each visit.
While the average session duration shows how long on average your users are spending in the app. An average session duration of 2-3 minutes is fairly average for a staff app. If you have just released your app, expect that your screens / session and average session duration will be high, and will gradually reduce and level out as your users become accustomed to the type of content that’s available in the app.
Returning vs New Users
This shows the percentage of returning users vs new users in your app, during the selected date range. In the weeks from your app launch, most of your users will be new users – accessing the app for the first time. Over time, you’ll want to see the overwhelming majority of users as returning users.
If your app has been released for six months, and the majority are new users (and you can see that your average sessions per user is low), it would tell you that people are willing to download and try the app, but aren’t finding anything to keep them coming back. So, you would need to think about your content strategy.
If however, your returning users is high, and you have a high average sessions per user, but lower than expected total user numbers – it might suggest that app marketing is the issue, rather than content – you’ll need to get out there and let people know that your app is available!