Campaign attribution for mobile app deep linking

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This document provides an overview of how to measure campaigns and traffic sources when deep linking to a mobile app.

Introduction

Measuring campaigns in Google Analytics enables the attribution of campaigns and traffic sources to user activity within your application. For example, you may want to set up re-engagement campaigns to bring back users that installed your app but haven’t used it in a while. Alternatively, you may want to bring users to a specific place within your app.

This guide explains how to attribute app usage to campaigns in Google Analytics for mobile app deep linking.

Before you begin

Before working through this guide, it’s recommended that you review the resources below to learn how to setup Google Analytics for Mobile Apps:

Overview

To attribute app usage to campaigns in Google Analytics for mobile app deep linking requires the following steps:

  1. Tag your campaign URLs
  2. Configure your app for deep links
  3. Send campaign data to Google Analytics
  4. Reporting and analysis
  5. (Bonus) Configure goals

1. Tag your campaign URLs

Tag your re-engagement campaign destination URLs with Google Analytics campaign tracking parameters. These URLs will trigger your app to open at a specific screen and can be included in campaign activities such as push notifications, emails, social posts, etc.

For example, if you have a promotion screen/section that you want to link to for a re-engagement campaign then the tagged URL might look like the following weblink:

https://examplepetstore.com/promo?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=promotion

or the following deep link:

examplepetstore://promo?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=promotion

Once you have tagged your campaign URLs you need to configure your app to handle these as deep links. This is to ensure that when a user follows a re-engagement campaign URL your app will open and they’ll be taken to the intended screen/section.

You will also need to configure your application to capture the Google Analytics campaign tracking parameter values so that they can be sent to Google Analytics.

To configure deep linking and learn how to correctly retrieve the campaign parameters for your app see the following dev guides depending on the platform you're targeting:

3. Send campaign data to Google Analytics

Once the user follows a tagged re-engagement URL and your app is launched you will have the campaign tracking parameters available to your app. These values can then be sent to Google Analytics using standard campaign tracking. To learn how to send campaign data to Google Analytics see:

4. Reporting and analysis

Once a user follows a re-engagement campaign URL and campaign data has been sent, then user activity within your app will be attributed to that campaign and available for reporting and analysis in Google Analytics.

You can analyze the performance of the campaign as part of a Acquisition->Sources report or create a Custom Report. For example, you could create up a Custom Report with Source / Medium as a dimension and Users as a metric.

5. (Bonus) Configure goals

You can configure goals to track specific actions that a user took after being directed to your app from a re-engagement campaign. You can then create Custom Reports that show you how users completed these goals on a per-campaign basis. Additionally, if you link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account, it is possible to export your Google Analytics goals into Google Ads for further analysis.