Exploring mobile app analytics vs. website analytics

Exploring mobile app analytics vs. website analytics

25 July 2023

In the first post of our “Analytics beyond Dashboards” article series, we made the announcement that we would embark on an exciting journey to uncover the true power of advanced analytics. After exploring essential aspects of KPI definition to reach business goals, we delve into the world of website analytics vs. mobile application analytics by examining key concepts for each platform.

App analytics usually refers to product analytics used for tracking the user behavior of mobile applications. Web analytics is tracking the behavior of web site visitors and more general traffic on the web.

Although the goal of both is drawing data-driven insights based on user behavior, there are some differences between the two concepts that we would like to drive you through. First, the platforms of tracking are different. Web analytics is used to track and analyze the performance of a website, while app analytics is for mobile apps. There is also a difference between user behavior in the web and app.

Tracking units are also distinct for web and app analytics. For app analytics, events are tracked on user level. However, in web analytics, websites traffic and page views are more important.

For product analytics, user level metrics provides more information. For example, active users, retention rate feature usage/ engagement metrics. For web analytics, lead generation, conversion rate, landing page view, traffic among other metrics is tracked. Web sites could be visited for one-time purposes, but for mobile apps the goal is to gain sustainable/retained users.

Web analytics metrics and concepts

These are measurements that evaluate a website’s effectiveness and capacity to achieve business goals. Common web analytics metrics:

  • Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed on a website.
  • Unique visitors: The number of distinct individuals who have visited a website.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave the website after viewing only one page.
  • Time on site: The amount of time a visitor spends on a website.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

Key web analytics concepts:

  • Traffic sources: The breakdown of how visitors are finding a website, such as through search engines, direct traffic, or referral links.
  • Exit pages: The last pages viewed by visitors before they leave the website.
  • Landing pages: The first pages viewed by visitors when they enter the website.

These are just some examples of web analytics KPIs, depending on the website’s goals, objectives and target audience, there may be more specific KPIs that are relevant. It’s important to track and analyze the right KPIs to understand how the website is performing and where to focus improvements.

App (product) analytics metrics and concepts

Product analytics give an idea of how the users interact with the product and how the product could be improved further.

These metrics are derived from measurements and frequently include a numerical component representing time, ratio, rate, etc. by various dimensions. Activation rate, for instance, gauges how well the efforts are boosting the number of new active users. The ability to track feature usage enables product teams to determine which aspects of the product are most valuable to users or represent key steps in their journey. Additionally, keeping track of how frequently users return to the product may help determine whether the business is expanding sustainably.

Product metrics can assist product teams learn how to make it better. It is possible to determine if any improvement or new feature were successful by monitoring product metrics as part of a controlled experiment before and after the improvement or a new feature. Thus, product teams progressively iterate it using this approach of measuring, experimenting, and evaluating.

Product analytics key metrics can be organized into four categories: acquisition, engagement, retention, and monetization.

  • Customer Acquisition/Activation metrics (CAC, new users, onboarded users, activated users, conversion rate): The number of new downloads, the number of successful onboarded users or the number of qualified leads are metrics that indicate when a user first begins utilizing your product or service. By selecting one of the core features that makes the product unique, activated users can be monitored. It is helpful to show how well users move from acquisition through where they discover why your product is valuable to them. Metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC) are excellent for figuring out which marketing channels are most effective for the business.
  • Engagement (MAU, DAU, Stickiness, Feature Usage, Net promoter score): These metrics show how the users are interacting with the product. Which features are used most, in which features users spend time most or how many times they share they shared a content in the product, or how many times they start charging their vehicle from the app (a concrete example from one of our projects).
  • Retention (retention rate, churn rate, feature retention, CLV): Retention metrics help understand how many users return to the product over a certain period of time. Depending on the product itself, it could be measured in a daily, weekly or yearly (much rare) manner. Metrics like churn rate or conversion rate over a funnel make easier to understand at which steps users give up and are not willing to keep using or interacting with the product.
  • Monetization (ARPU, ARPPU, MRR): These metrics basically reflect how engagement turns into revenue and how business grows financially along with the acquisition and engagement.

The difference between website analytics and mobile application analytics, in conclusion, emphasizes the differences in tracking methodologies, user behavior, and performance measures. While mobile application analytics stresses activation rate, feature usage, retention rate, and monetization, website analytics concentrates on measures such as page views, unique visitors, bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rate. By tracking these metrics, businesses gain valuable insights to optimize their digital presence, improve user experiences, and drive sustainable growth across both platforms. Integrating website and mobile application analytics enables businesses to make data-driven decisions and unlock the full potential of their assets.

Exploring mobile app analytics vs. website analytics
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