About key events

This same functionality is also available in Google Analytics 4 properties. Learn more

A key event is an event that measures an action that's particularly important to the success of your business. When someone triggers the event by performing the action, the key event is recorded in Google Analytics and surfaced in your Google Analytics reports.

In this article:

Key Events tab

In Analytics, your most important events are called key events, five of which are predefined:

Mark events as key events

To measure a key event, you must create or identify an event that measures the important user interaction and then mark the event as a key event. Learn how to Mark events as key events

Create key events

Click an event in the table to see how many key events are attributed to each source.

If you have renamed a Google Ads campaign or ad group:

  • If you use a date range that includes only data from December 31, 2018 or earlier, then Analytics displays the campaign/ad-group name(s) in use during that time period.
  • If you use a date range that includes only data from January 1, 2019 and later, then Analytics displays the latest campaign/ad-group name.
  • If you use a date range that includes data from before and after December 31, 2018, then you see:
    • A row for each campaign/ad-group name in use up through December 31, 2018
    • A single row with the latest campaign/ad-group name for all data from January 1, 2019 and later

In rare cases where Analytics doesn't have the Campaign ID or Ad Group ID necessary to join data, then reports that include data from before and after January 1, 2019 may display multiple rows/ names for the same campaign or ad group.

To see Google Ads-attributed Conversion Events in your Google Ads attribution reports, link your Firebase project to Google Ads, and then import the Analytics Conversion Events to Google Ads (Tools > Conversions > Firebase).

To help you better understand your key events, Google Analytics for Firebase features view-through attribution: If there is no click event associated with an app install, Google Analytics for Firebase examines whether an app-install ad was viewed within a given time range, and attributes the key event to the app-install ad viewed most recently before the installation.

The attribution window for first_open is 30 days. The attribution window for any web or subsequent in-app key events is 90 days. You cannot adjust these attribution windows.

iOS installation metrics and in-app event-attribution data for Google Ads iOS Search App Install campaigns have the source direct in Analytics Key events, and do not appear in the Google Ads console.

Add a network

You can send key events and measure performance on advertising networks. Learn more about ad networks

Postbacks

A Postback sends your key-event data back to an ad network. Postbacks are optional. You may send first_open data in addition to other in-app key events. If you decide to set up a Postback, you also choose whether to send the network all key events, or just the key events that Analytics attributes to that particular network. Learn more about postbacks

Custom campaigns for Google Play apps

When you use a custom campaign for an app you're distributing via Google Play, use the Google Play URL Builder to generate your custom URLs.

How different key events are attributed

Dynamic links

When you add Dynamic Links to your app, the following events are recorded when users click those links:

  • dynamic_link_first_open
  • dynamic_link_app_open
  • dynamic_link_app_update

You can view Analytics data for these events in the Events report.

If you mark these events as key events, you can see attribution data in the Key events report.

Learn more about Dynamic Links

Universal links

You can configure Universal Links to include utm parameters (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign), and see the related data in your Key events report.

Universal Link example:

http://my.app.link?utm_campaign=myappcampaign&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc

When a user clicks the link, Analytics logs a firebase_campaign event with those parameters, and you see the following data for campaign-related events:

  • Campaign: myappcampaign
  • Source: google
  • Medium: cpc

Android-app links

You can configure Android App Links to include utm parameters (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign), and see the related data in your Key events report.

Android App Link example:

http://example.com/gizmos?utm_campaign=myappcampaign&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc

When a user clicks the link, Analytics logs a firebase_campaign event with those parameters, and you see the following data for campaign-related events:

  • Campaign: myappcampaign
  • Source: google
  • Medium: cpc

Play Store install referrals

Install referrals from Google Play Store appear as follows:

  • Source = google-play: indicates one of two things:
    • The user was deep linked to Play Store listing via a link that specified a referrer (e.g., play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.foo.bar&referrer=R)
    • The user searched Play Store and discovered the app organically
  • Source = (direct): indicates:
    • The user was deep linked to Play Store via a link that didn't specify a referrer

Attribution windows

The attribution window for first_open key events is 30 days.

Once a first_open key event is attributed to a campaign, then all other key events for that same combination of user and app are attributed to that same campaign until the attribution window expires in 1 year. The attribution window is renewed for 1 year with each subsequent key event that occurs before expiration.

The attribution window for a re-engagement campaign is 90 days.

Re-engagement campaigns

A conversion from a re-engagement campaign gets attributed twice:

  • To the campaign that got credit for the first_open event. LTV accrues with that campaign. (Events other than first_open add to LTV if they include revenue details, e.g., the in_app_purchase event or any of the events for online sales.)
  • To the re-engagement campaign. No LTV accrues with that campaign.

Campaign and re-engagement-campaign conversions are attributed as follows:

  • Click-through: the conversion is attributed to the last campaign ad that was clicked, irrespective of how many different campaigns are running.
  • View-through: the conversion is attributed to the last campaign ad that was viewed if there was no click between viewing the ad and converting, irrespective of how many different campaigns are running.

Apple Search Ads

If an app is installed as the result of a click on an Apple Search Ad, then Analytics logs a firebase_campaign event with those parameters, and you see the following data for campaign-related events:

  • Source = Apple
  • Medium = search
  • Campaign = <iad campaign name>

You must add the iAd framework to the Xcode project file for your app in order to track Apple Search Ads.

(not set)

The dimension value (not set) appears when there is missing information for either source, medium, campaign, ad-network type, or creative.

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