Google Play Console VS. Google Analytics Part 1

“There is an enormous difference between the analysis possibilities offered by Google Analytics compared with the Google Play Console.”

If you have used Google Analytics in the past and have compared its features with what is available in the Google Play Console, you have probably came to a similar conclusion.

In this article, we review the main differences between Google Analytics and Google Play and what we believe would be nice to have in the Play Store in terms of metrics and reporting.


Metrics and Reports

Google Play Console allows you to create customised reports including metrics like installs (users & device), ratings, quality, pre-registration, and revenue and split them by dimensions such as Android Version, Device, Country, Language, App Version, or Carrier.

Unlike Google Analytics, we don’t have the option to add a second dimension to the reports. For instance, it’s impossible for us to view a report by Installs, country and Device Name. In other words, we are forced to remain in the first segmentation level.

In addition, there is a lack of details regarding our audience, for example:

  • User Demographics and Interests: In order to be able to know more about who is installing our app.
  • User Behavior: So we can differentiate new installers vs. recurrent installers.
  • Engagement: In order for us to work out the average duration of a session on our product page.

User acquisition

Even with the latest version of the console, that separates organic traffic by Search and Explore and provides a wider perspective in order for us to understand the behavior of our users in the store, there are still some shortages.

Google Analytics reports regarding UA (User Acquisition) are far more advanced. In order for us to obtain more conclusive reports in the Google Play Console it would be good to have, at least, the following:

  • Acquisition: New users & recurrent users. Breaking it down according to user typology
  • Bounce App Rate: Users who get to the product’s page but then leave
  • Product Pages/session: Average App Store visits per user
  • Avg. Session Duration: What is the average time a user spends in the Play Store?
  • Events: Measurement of the users’ behavior browsing the App Store page
    • Does the user scroll the sheet?
    • How many screens does the user scroll/select before installing?
    • Does the user tap the ‘Read more’ button to read the description in full?
    • Does the user tap the button to see ‘more reviews’?


Additionally the following improvements would be nice to have: 

  • Conversion Rate Benchmark by acquisition channel (as of now, this is only available with organic traffic).
  • Country report by external channels (Google Ads Campaigns, UTM & Third Party). It would be very useful to know how all the channels work at country level.
  • Reports per language. At the moment, Google only provides the Google Acquisition information by country, not language.


Enhanced Apps

In Google Analytics, we can implement “Enhanced Ecommerce” in order to have a better understanding on the shopping funnel for our products. The path comprises: product view – add to basket – checkout – transactions, and additionally we can also add custom steps to our funnel.

By contrast, in Google Play we cannot view the displays of our game/app by acquisition channels. In fact, a few weeks ago we covered more details on each acquisition channel and optimization strategies in our post “Improving organic traffic in the Google Play Store: Strategy analysis” 

It would be ideal to know how many impressions we have in our app per channel: Search, Explore, AdWords and Third-Party Referrers. This way, we would be able to calculate our Tap Through Rate (TTR), and work further on the visit display optimization.

We are also missing how many users leave the product page without installing our app nor their user journey: 

  • Does the user find a similar app? 
  • Does the user leave the Store?
  • Does the user download another app offered by the same developer?

Just being able to have further insights on the above bullet points would be of tremendous help to ASO practitioners and App developers in general. 

The ideal case scenario would be for us to have an “Enhanced App” (similar to what Enhanced ecommerce” is), disclosing all the funnel steps and allowing us to carry out a better and more efficient optimization strategy.


To Conclude

We do require more powerful and better tools in order for us to optimize our product accordingly and make it more relevant to our prospect user base.  

The truth is that similar to what happened in the past with Google Analytics, Google Play Console is still undergoing an improvement process. Just a year ago we couldn’t even differentiate the number of installs by each organic channel. In fact, at Google I/O 2019 several improvements have been announced along the lines of the ideas mentioned in this article. At Lab Cave we look forward to see these improvements happening soon. 

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