Google Analytics vs. Google Firebase
If you are a paying Google Analytics customer, please follow the guide below. If you are a free customer, please refer to our Google Firebase data integration as Google Analytics is now deprecated for free customers.
With a push of a button you can send your Branch data to your Google Analytics dashboard, helping you understand the power of Branch as an acquisition pathway. If you're interested in the segment of users coming into your apps through Branch and want to measure their events against your other cohorts, this guide can help.
How does it work?¶
Once the Branch SDK is integrated into an app, Branch can detect which links are leading to installs, re-opens, and users' actions. Enabling this integration and providing your Google Analytics Tracking Id will result in Branch automatically forwarding referred events to Google Analytics, in the exact format Google Analytics expects. This includes automatically setting various UTM tags that can be used to determine the source of new users.
What events does Branch send?¶
Branch will send referred installs and opens, as well as any custom events you track with Branch. Non-referred events, clicks, web session starts, and pageviews will be excluded. Branch also sends over analytics data that is attached to the link, whether it's UTM tags or fields set on the Branch Dashboard (e.g. Campaign, Channel, Feature). This will allow you to analyze which campaigns, channels, etc. are helping you acquire and engage users. You can see the list of fields that we send to Google Analytics here.
What does it look like?¶
Branch events will appear alongside your other tracked events in Google Analytics. Here is an example of the Sources screen with test information set.
To view referred installs and opens, as well as any custom events you track with Branch as they are occur, navigate to Real-Time > Events. The event category for all referred Branch events is BranchEvent.
- This guide requires you to have already integrated the Branch mobile SDKs and the Google Analytics SDK into your app.
Enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID¶
For the basic, codeless integration: find your Google Analytics Tracking ID (tid) and enter it into the Branch Dashboard.
- To locate your Google Analytics Tracking ID, navigate to https://analytics.google.com and log in.
- Click on Home in the navigation bar at the top of the page. You should see your app(s), with accompanying Tracking ID.
- Copy the Tracking ID of whichever app you’re going to use with Branch. This is also known as the Property ID, and it is of the form UA-XXXXXX-YY (e.g. UA-000000-01). Here’s an example:
Configure the Branch Dashboard¶
- On the Branch Dashboard (dashboard.branch.io), navigate to the Integrations page.
- Locate Google Analytics and choose Enable.
- If you have not yet entered billing information, please do so now.
- Enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID and hit Save
Please test your integration!
Branch is not responsible for inaccurate API keys.
Mandatory: pass Client ID to Branch¶
Required for integration
If you don't include the below code snippet, events will be sent to Google but Google Analytics will not ingest them and they will not be visible on the Google Analytics dashboard.
$google_analytics_client_id. We will pass that to Google (as cid) so Google can match the events we send them to a specific user.
Please add the following before initializing the Branch session:
let branch = Branch.getInstance(); let val = gai.tracker(withTrackingId: "key") branch.setRequestMetadataKey("$google_analytics_client_id", value:val?.get("&cid"))
Please call the following line right after you instantiate Branch in your Application’s #onCreate or Activity’s #onCreate (and before you call initSession):
mTracker = sAnalytics.newTracker("UA-XXXXXXXX-1"); String client_id = mTracker.get("&cid"); Branch.getInstance().setRequestMetadata("$google_analytics_client_id",client_id);
Optional Parameter - User ID¶
If you specify
$google_analytics_user_id, we can pass that to Google (as
You can add the following before initializing the Branch session:
[[Branch getInstance] setRequestMetadataKey:@"$google_analytics_user_id" value:@"USER-ID-HERE"];
You can call the following line right after you instantiate Branch in your Application’s #onCreate or Activity’s #onCreate (and before you call initSession):
What Branch Sends to Google Analytics¶
|Property Name||Value||Sourced from||Example||Req|
|tid||Tracking ID||Branch Dashboard||UA-XXXXXX-Y||Y|
|ds||Source (mobile SDK)||[fixed]||app||Y|
|cid||Client ID||(discussed above, includes $google_analytics_client_id)||AEBE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239||Y|
|uid||User Id||$google_analytics_user_id||User A||N|
|cn||Campaign Name||utm_campaign -or- Branch campaign||"Beaches and breezes"||N|
|cs||Campaign Source||utm_source -or- Branch channel||"Twitter"||N|
|cm||Campaign Medium||utm_medium -or- Branch feature||"480banner"||N|
|ck||Campaign Keywords||utm_term -or- Branch $keywords||["Keyword1", "keyword3"]||N|
|cc||Campaign Content||utm_content -or- Branch tags||"Some content"||N|
|ea||Event Action (Name)||event name||install||Y|
|uip||User’s IP Address||collected by Branch SDK||126.96.36.199||N|
|z||Cache buster||[unix time + random number]||1461878903666||N|
Anonymous Client ID
If for some reason Branch does not receive an advertising identifier or hardware identifier, and you do not explicitly specify a
$google_analytics_client_id, then Branch will send
anonymous as the Client ID (
cid). This is a required field by Google Analytics.
Very short or nonexistent session lengths¶
Google Analytics will automatically start a session when Branch sends over installs and opens. Because of this, you should remove any code that creates a new session when your application starts up. For example, on iOS, you may be firing an event with the following:
[builder set:@"start" forKey:kGAISessionControl];
You should remove this so that your app does not start a new session. Otherwise you may see zero second sessions and your average session length drop.
Data not appearing in Google Analytics¶
- Check your property ID in the Branch dashboard matches the property ID in Google Analytics
- Ensure you are looking at the right part of the Google Analytics dashboard. The data should appear in
Acquisition > Sources > All
- Check that your Google Analytics Views don't have any filters on them. For example, if your View filters out users in the United Kingdom, and your Branch opens are from users in the United Kingdom, you won't see this Branch data in your View.