Advertising and attribution

[GA4] Introduction to SKAdNetwork for iOS App campaign measurement

This article gives an overview of SKAdNetwork, Apple’s app attribution solution, and how it can be implemented in your Google Analytics 4 property.

SKAdNetwork is Apple’s app attribution solution and helps app advertisers measure their ad activity, such as impressions, clicks, and app installs on an aggregated level. It has become increasingly important to app advertisers in assessing their iOS campaign performance. Apple provides SKAdNetwork postbacks to advertising platforms directly and also allows advertisers to receive a copy of their postbacks for measurement and attribution purposes. Review Apple’s documentation.

For advertisers wishing to measure in-app event performance, and more effectively optimize their campaigns for post-install actions or a target return on ad spend, we recommend they set up their SKAdNetwork key event value schema. The key events value schema is a way to designate which in-app events matter most to your business.

Advertisers can now set up their SKAdNetwork schemas in Google Analytics and send postbacks using Measurement Protocol for install attribution reporting.

With Google Analytics you can:

  • Integrate with SKAdNetwork for better iOS App campaign measurement and attribution. The latest version of the Google Analytics for Firebase SDK supports the SKAdNetwork key event value setting.
  • Integrate SKAdNetwork postbacks into Google Analytics for cross-channel attribution.
  • Google Analytics also supports iOS parameters from Google Ads for measurement and optimization purposes. Learn more.

Why integrate SKAdNetwork in Google Analytics?

SKAdNetwork can supplement data collected by the Google Analytics for Firebase SDK and provide a more complete measurement picture by filling some gaps, including web-to-app measurement. This can help you make more informed bidding and budgeting decisions with your iOS App campaigns.

SKAdNetwork postbacks from Apple use cross-network, last-touch attribution. Attribution in Google Analytics helps you understand the paths people take to complete a key event. It awards credit for key events to different ads, clicks, and other factors along the way using data-driven attribution; letting you focus your investments on the media that has the biggest impact on results.

Google Analytics will integrate SKAdNetwork postbacks for first_open key events within your user's paths using conversion modeling. In the future, Google Analytics plans to add support for additional post-install conversion modeling.

Configuration steps

  • Implement the Google Analytics for Firebase SDK. Learn more.
  • Set up your SKAdNetwork key event value schema in Google Analytics. Learn more.
  • Use Measurement Protocol to send your SKAdNetwork postbacks to Google Analytics. Learn more.
  • Continue to leverage auto-tagging or manual tagging of your advertising campaign URLs across all your campaigns.

Related Google Ads Resources

For more information, refer to the following articles in the Google Ads Help Center:

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