Why Your App Needs a Mobile Tracker

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In this article, we will tell you what mobile trackers are, why they are better than classic web analytics and why not all app owners use them.

Any digital marketer knows how to track the actions of visitors to a website – just connect to Google Analytics. The analytics system marks each user with a cookie and shows where he came from and what he was doing there.

But in the case of a mobile app, once it has been downloaded, the connection between the source of traffic and user behaviour is lost, because cookies remain in the browser. Traditional analytics systems were originally created for the web and, despite the constant improvement, are not yet able to fully analyze app traffic.

For example, with Google Analytics it is possible to track the behaviour of the audience in the app, but it is difficult to understand which source leads users to perform targeted actions.

The task can be solved by mobile trackers created specifically for app analytics. The mechanics of their work consists in integration with traffic sources (advertising platforms) and further tracking of user actions within an application with the help of the built-in library. As a result, a link is created between the sources of traffic and the behaviour of the audience.

The devil is in the details

Mobile trackers, just like traditional analytics systems, are able to track the number of user actions in the app, but they differ in that they provide significantly more information. For example, Google Analytics cannot tell you which advertising channels, campaigns and ads your customers came from maybe it was a request “help me write my paper“, or maybe the user clicked on the advertising link. Whereas mobile trackers capture a lot of indicators, based on which it is possible to assess the quality of the source and traffic in more depth. Trackers generate statistics of the “tree” type, in which the following indicators are tracked, starting from the channel and ending with a specific ad:

  • Ad clicks;
  • App installs;
  • Reattributions – installations of the app by users who clicked on the ad but didn’t immediately install the app;
  • App launches;
  • Daily, weekly and monthly audiences;
  • Number of views of products or other sections;
  • Number of first purchases;
  • Total number of purchases;
  • Total revenue;
  • Other targeted actions tagged in the App.

Thus, the tracker enables detailed analysis of traffic quality down to a specific banner or ad. 

The tracking system stores all the data about each action, so there is an opportunity to study them in detail and determine the unique offer that attracts quality traffic. For example, during the analysis, it may turn out that with the same text and advertising message, the positioning of the product in the picture plays a decisive role.

Which tracker to choose

The choice of mobile trackers on the market is small, and their functionality overlaps in many ways. For example, all services allow you to generate links to track the actions of users who come from various advertising networks. Most trackers have a function for managing the privacy settings of different accounts.

If third-party agencies are involved in promoting the app, the advertiser can connect several contractors to the mobile tracking system. Each of them will only see their own statistics, while the client himself will see both total statistics and statistics for each agency separately.

At the same time, each service meets the specific needs of advertisers.

  • AppsFlyer. The largest and most famous mobile tracker. It is suitable for small and medium projects but is also used by large players. The system uses the installation fee model – 5-10 cents per install. Only non-organic (paid) installations are taken into account.
  • Adjust. The second-largest, but no less convenient and of high quality. It is mainly used for large projects. The tariff grid is built with large-scale advertising campaigns, for example, $1 thousand for 1 million installs. Thus, Adjust is worth connecting if the advertiser plans to attract a lot of traffic.

Arguments Against

The benefits of using mobile tracking are obvious, but most customers refuse to connect quality services for three reasons:

  1. Confidence that Google Analytics functionality is sufficient for app analytics. Given that the service does a good job of analyzing sites and claims to be able to assess the quality of app traffic, many advertisers prefer it to specialized mobile trackers. Over time, however, clients realize that Google Analytics provides superficial information about traffic sources, which is insufficient for in-depth analysis. In addition, the service tracks iOS app statistics poorly.
  2. Unwillingness to invest in app analytics. Advertisers understand its necessity, but they are used to free web services Google Analytics and don’t understand why they have to pay in case of mobile apps. Customers install free AppMetrica but eventually realize that its functionality isn’t enough for a large-scale evaluation of traffic quality and eventually connect one of the paid tools.
  3. Lack of knowledge about trackers at the development stage. The problem occurs with customers whose applications didn’t have trackers built-in from the beginning. After receiving a finished product from a third-party developer, after some time advertisers turn to agencies to promote it. And when it turns out that the app does not have trackers built-in, customers are morally unprepared to go back to the question of improvement. At the same time, not all advertisers know that the problem can also be solved with the help of agencies engaged in the promotion of mobile applications. Some of them have development competence and solve the problem by implementing the tracker in the application code themselves. All that is needed is to provide the source code.

In conclusion, we should note that promoting an application without trackers is equivalent to contextual website advertising without analyzing visitor behaviour and traffic conversion into sales. In this case, the application, in the development and promotion of which a lot of time and money has been invested, will not achieve the main business goal: profit.