Launching a mobile app is only the first step to having a successful app! To improve mobile app performance, mining data is essential to ensuring you are doing the most important things to drive results.
Everyone knows that data is important and building meaningful insights from analytics is important. But, in the past, data analytics has been the preserve of the huge app. Now though, there is the mobile marketing technology that allows apps of any size to
fully understand what’s going on at all points of their user journey to make the right decisions when it comes to managing apps like a boss.
However, before you jump into app analytics, you should understand which metrics are critical by reviewing an analytics dashboard and establishing some key performance indicators (KPIs) to make data-driven decisions.
SHINE A LIGHT ON APP PERFORMANCE
Smart app marketers know how powerful data can be! You really need to monitor, and react to app data because despite hours of planning pre-launch, users might not be using an app in the same way as you envisaged. The only way to improve an app is to monitor
usage data and measure user behaviour via app analytics. Constant monitoring will not only help you prioritize where results can be improved to optimize your app, but will prevent you from making any future development mistakes.
So, you know that you need to get the most out of your app analytics but until now, it’s been rare for any analytics platform to display all of the data you actually need without some customization. It’s a cumbersome task involving accessing several platforms
to get a full picture e.g. iTunes, Google Play and Windows app stores not to mention any push notification services and analytics platforms.
So, until now, it’s been hard to get a complete view of how mobile apps are performing.
Being able to see how one set of data relates to another is key to analysing why you might be having difficulty acquiring app users, or, even more worrying, why they are having problems engaging current app users. It's well known that people tend to neglect
their marketing strategy after having put all of their thoughts into the app development itself.
So, this blog will give you a glimpse into how to shine a light on app performance by using data, to monitor the right metrics, meet app goals and improve apps. So, take time to track your app metrics, regular data monitoring will help improve apps through
all stages of the app life-cycle. And, implement strategies that drive app success!
DON’T JUST CONCENTRATE ON DOWNLOADS
Statistics reveal that 21% of downloaded apps are never used more than once. Surely this stat makes you realise that if you were only concerned with downloads, you’d be tracking an empty metric. Does a download matter if the user never opens the app again?
Having said that, you will be interested in the number of downloads broken down by platform e.g. Android, iOS or Windows to compare download growth per platform. What’s more, you should be interested in how many are updating the app when a new version is released,
since regular updates have an impact on how apps are ranked.
THE REAL DATA IS ABOUT ENGAGEMENT!
If you focus on monitoring the metrics which really matter like specific engagement related to an app, you will be able to make data-driven optimization decisions. Engagement data is the type of data that’s really useful and is where the fun comes into mobile
These metrics allow you to track how much users are actually interacting with your app. With engagement data analysis you can create improved in-app marketing campaigns to re-engage dropped users. In order to visualise the typical user interactions in your
app, here’s just a few of the key app engagement metrics you should understand:
- Sessions: the number of times your app has been in the foreground for at least two seconds
- Session duration: how much time your users spend in your app per individual session – measured as the time between app open and close, or, when the app times out. This lets you know how sticky your app is and this metric will help you understand users’
relationship with your app.
- Frequency / session interval: the time between the user’s first session and their next one i.e. their frequency is a good measure of loyalty
- User retention / recency – days between sessions allows you to identify trends in usage e.g. are users returning every weekend to view new offers in the app?
- Time in app: how long a user was in your app over a period of time – a great indicator of how valuable your app is to users
- Screens and screenflow: you should track exits by screen, flow between screens and total visits to screens. Tracking the behaviour flow will show where people drop out of your app and enable you to make data-driven mobile app optimization decisions. For
example, if very few people view one of your screens it might be worth removing it and keeping the focus on popular screens.
TRACK PUSH NOTIFICATIONS!
Push notifications are a great marketing tool so you need to track how many users have first of all registered for push and how many are opening the messages. Effective push notification campaigns can double the retention rate of app users. So, it’s important
to track your push campaigns in order to segment and focus your future campaigns effectively. Check out the impact of your push notifications on screens and screenflow. Did it have the impact you expected? Use your data to plan future push notifications. With
some tools you can setup automated geolocation campaigns triggered by beacons and/or geofences and view campaign results, track delivery, open-rates, unsubscribes and more!
TRACK REVIEWS AND RATINGS
Reviews and ratings have an impact on how you rank in search. I recommend regular push notification campaigns to help generate more ratings. Keeping an eye on app star ratings trend will help your clients spot any trends when it comes to different app versions
or different platforms. By reading the reviews and listening to users, clients will be able to react and improve your app in future updates.
DEPRESSING UNINSTALL ANALYTICS & CRASH STATS!
No-one really wants to track negative metrics like crashes but it’s important to be aware of any issues and ensure you have good mobile app management and support for clients. There is nothing more frustrating to users than slow response times, service interruptions
and app crashes which will ultimately lead to mobile users uninstalling an app! App crashes are costly. A crash management system though gives complete visibility so you know when things go wrong immediately.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone as one of the biggest challenges for app owners is churn. The best thing you can do is access a real-time report with uninstall data to give you a good understanding of what could be driving uninstalls. This will help you to
build a more engaged user base in future and in this sense you could say that uninstalls are a key retention metric giving you evidence into your app’s long-term sustainability. The churn rate is a metric you want to aim to reduce month on month whereas retention
– the percentage of users who return to your app based on the date of their first visit – highlights your most engaged users, or cohorts.
You shouldn’t approach app analytics as a silo – you should be using all marketing metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of an app’s success. Looking at user acquisition is important since acquisition represents the number of users who download and
install your app from a certain location, through organic search, word-of-mouth, paid campaigns, email marketing campaigns, social media or in-app referrals. If you run app promotion campaigns through AdWords or Facebook you need to encourage your clients
to definitely include user acquisition metrics in their marketing report.
IT’S TIME TO IMPROVE YOUR CLIENTS’ APPS!
So now you know that data drives mobile app success, and that you need to measure downloads, engagement metrics, push notifications, reviews, crashes, acquisition and more. The good news is that you no longer need to flip/flop between multiple tools to manage
app success like the big brands!