PHOTO: Derick Anies
While marketing analysts are still reviewing GA4 features to determine what works and what doesn’t for their strategy, one report is still a staunch helper in planning effective app launches: the Google Analytics Tech Report. The tech report provides a clear view of the devices website visitors are using to visit a website. However, with some strategy, you can use this report to better plan the launch of an app or software.
A brief technical report from Google Analytics
The tech report is a legacy report from the introduction of Google Analytics in 2009. Over the years, Google has kept the report largely intact, unlike the complete overhaul of other reports. The appearance of the report has been adapted to other GA4 reports. One metric, the bounce rate, has been replaced with active sessions in all reports. Bounce rate is an indicator of a potentially bad experience or performance if someone comes to a website and immediately leaves. The Activated Sessions metric is a similar metric, but puts more emphasis on app or website activity like the report filters and settings in GA4. Active sessions record website or app session activity that is longer than 10 seconds, with two or more page views, and when an event is triggered. The focus on meetings reflects the expanded role these reports have – from a diagnostic tool to a strategic indicator.
To appreciate the value of this data, keep this in mind when a startup releases an app or software. It is common to focus resources on one type of device to reduce costs and manage technical debt. Clubhouse is a well-known current example of this strategy. Clubhouse first launched its app for iPhones and later an Android version after fixing bugs and refining the app experience for its audience. The Analytics Tech Report can help with those decisions and provides insights into the best platform to use resources for the greatest impact.
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Which functions appear in the tech reports
The tech segments appear in the menu under the user segment. When you access it, you will see two segments of the report: a technical overview and a technical details page.
The tech overview shows users by platform in two visualizations: as a pie chart and as a bar chart with real-time data based on the visitors for the last 30 minutes. There are also visual maps that users display segmented according to different device arrangements. The standard display shows users by operating system, platform, browser, app version, and device model.
The Technical Details report shows user volume over time as a time series chart. There is also a bubble chart showing the user and browser type.
The table below the bubble chart shows various metrics: users, new users, active sessions, engagement rate, active sessions per user, number of events, conversions and revenue. Each of these metrics can be studied to classify what to focus your development resources on based on the technology your audience is generally using to access your website or app.
Related article: How to Use Cohort Analysis in GA4
How to analyze the data in a GA4 Tech Report
For example, suppose your summary report organizes visits by browser session. The results show that Chrome has the largest number of users among the browser types. They also indicate that a specific audience generates the most revenue, such as revenue from an in-app purchase or a purchase associated with a browser plugin. That means that you should design your app or browser plugin strategy with people in mind who use Chrome regularly in order to reach the largest audience. This decision can be helpful when planning an A / B test.
Another useful comparison is to determine the percentage of users who will access your corporate website from mobile or desktop. Research into search behavior has shown that people search for terms differently on smartphones, typically using a transaction or location-based approach to a keyword, such as: B. “Window repair service near me”. Understanding the percent difference in device usage can make decisions about how best to map keyword usage to customer behavior. This can improve content selection for a website redesign or lead qualification strategy for digital advertising campaigns.
The downside to using the Tech Reports is that you only see activities that reflect an audience outcome. For example, you would expect to receive Android-related traffic after launching an Android app. To understand why they are using this particular device, you need to interview your customers. The results displayed can only confirm what your digital media is producing and are not a predictive element.
However, combining Tech Report data with a customer survey can help you plan a clever strategy to improve connections with your customers. A device is part of the customer journey, so each consistent usage report provides marketers with an entry point into the rest of that journey.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a digital analytics consultancy for small businesses. He reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions and then gives recommendations and web development actions that improve marketing strategy and business profitability.