Metrics: How to Track and Optimize the Main App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs

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This week we are going to talk about the key performance indicators (KPIs) for mobile businesses in general, and related to App Store Optimization (ASO) in particular. Are you running a mobile app or game business? You should know all ASO metrics. Keep on reading!

The main goals of Mobile Apps and Games

The success of a mobile app is never built overnight – it takes a lot of time and work, and it’s all about deep understanding of the processes, measurement of the results and analysing the effectiveness of the certain marketing actions we perform. But which KPIs are the most critical for an app’s success on App Store or Google Play? Which are the metrics we have to track in order to success?

Mobile apps and games pursue different goals depending on their product stages. It can be organic growth or the increase of conversion rate, getting more installs and reducing user acquisition costs, increase in revenues or improvement in retention, achieving certain engagement levels or improving the volume of Daily or Monthly Active Users (DAU and MAU).

Product Stages and Goals of Mobile Apps

Main goals and KPIs of App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store SEO is equally important at any stage of the product growth cycle.

In the beginning, it is aimed to improve the visibility and discoverability of the app on the app stores, with a main goal to drive organic installs and reduce the costs of user acquisition and paid marketing actions. On the later product stages, ASO strategy aims to sustain the app’s growth and keep the top positions in charts and in search, benchmarking the performance with competition, improving conversion, retention and user feedback.

Read more: What Does an ASO Optimized App Look Like?

The ASO strategy is a long-term process that should be implemented and measured in order to achieve and maintain a steady organic growth of an app. Let’s take a closer look at the main goals within app marketing strategies, identify the corresponding KPIs or metrics and see how to measure and optimize them. Because what is not measured, can’t be optimized!

App Store Search Visibility

Goal 1: Visibility in the app stores

The main goal of App Store Optimization is to improve the visibility of mobile apps and games on the stores, in order to improve the discoverability in Search, Top Charts and Featured, and get more organic installs.

The KPIs involved in this stage can be measured with any ASO tool:

  • Keywords rankings – position in search results on your target keywords and keyword combinations
  • Top Charts rankings – positions in the Top Charts (Free, Paid or Grossing)
  • Category rankings – positions of an app or game in its category (e.g. arcade, or music)
  • Featured – whether your app gets featured on the stores’ main page. This KPI can be tracked, for example, with App Annie.

The above metrics are essential to understand and measure the visibility and discoverability of the app on the app stores. Tracking their evolution daily and monthly, in all countries and benchmarking these rankings with competitor’s products are forming a basis of App Store Optimization strategy.

Read more: How to Boost App Downloads with Keywords Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization

Goal 2: Conversion Rate of the product page

Improving the conversion rate to install of an app store listing is the second important goal after visibility. When the user discovers the app, it is vital to create a great first impression about it – here is where the role of the conversion rate becomes preliminary.

Conversion rate is affected by various ASO factors:

  • On-metadata: App Name (Title), Description, Icon, Screenshots, Feature Graphic and Video Previews.
  • Off-metadata: Downloads, User Ratings and Reviews.

In the App Store Optimization process and in the conversion funnel that the user goes through, here are 2 types of KPIs for conversion to keep in mind:

  • Click-through rate (CTR), or Tap-through Rate (TTR): a percentage of users that come across your app’s snippet on the store (in Search, Top Charts and Featured), and tap to view its product page. This is mainly affected by your App Name and Icon.
  • Conversion rate to install (CR): the percentage of visitors of your app’s product page that have downloaded your app.

Both TTR and CR are crucial parts of the conversion funnel of your app listing on the store: by optimizing them, you ensure that out of all the users that somehow find your app on the store, the maximum percentage will get interested, engaged by the product page, and end up downloading your app.

In order to correctly analyze and improve the conversion metrics, you need to keep track of them and conduct experiments with your listing elements with A/B testing instruments, for example, Splitmetrics, TestNest or Google Experiments available for Android developers in their Google Play Console.

During an A/B testing, a certain hypothesis is built and 2 versions of an app store listing are compared with each other in order to identify the best-performing one (usually it required a bit of paid user acquisition in order to drive traffic to both versions).

It is important to change various hypothesis separately and analyze the impact of change in only one of the product page elements – to be able to identify clearly what has caused an improvement in conversion.

Read more: 5 Reasons why App Developers fail in their A/B testing strategy

Mobile App Growth

Goal 3: Mobile Growth

There are different ways to measure mobile growth. The main growth trigger for ASO would be the number and velocity of the installs, but in the whole set of App Marketing strategy, the growth is more than that.

One of the main goals of App Store Optimization is organic growth, so the number of installs plays a great part here. App Installs is the basic KPI that can be tracked inside developer console on App Store and Google Play. However, in case you are doing paid marketing, you would like to separate your organic traffic from non-organic one. The tools that help in doing that are Mobile Attribution trackers, like AppsFlyer or Adjust.

Having a deep understanding of organic and non-organic sources of installs for the app, we can measure another important KPI for mobile apps: organic uplift, or organic multiplier.
This effect is related to a natural boost in organic traffic caused by paid marketing actions. Purchased installs will lift up the app in the search and in top charts – which, in turn, will give it more visibility and attract more organic users.

Organic Uplift is measured as a percentage of organic installs divided by non-organic installs, and a higher organic uplift leads to the lower eCPI of user acquisition.

Case study: The effect of Organic Uplift in organic installs and eCPI

Measuring Organic Uplift

Another important metric to analyze the growth is the number of active users of the app. The main KPIs to measure in this case are Monthly Active Users (MAU) and Daily Active Users (DAU). In order to measure those, developers can use the tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel, as well as other advanced mobile analytics tools.

User Ratings and Reviews

Goal 4: User feedback

User ratings and reviews are extremely important indicators of a stable and “healthy” app. In App Store Optimization, they play two main roles: first, they are taken into account by the app stores algorithms for ranking apps in Search and Top Charts, and second, they have a great influence on users’ decisions to download an app, and thus, matter for Conversion Rate.

The more ratings and reviews you have and the better is the overall user sentiment, the greater impact they’ll have on the rankings and overall visibility of an app. In turn, a lot of negative reviews and low average score can significantly decrease the conversion of the product page and lead to less organic installs.

Fortunately, both Apple App Store and Google Play Store are now providing an opportunity for developers to reply to user reviews – and that can even help them change their rating. Never leave your users unattended – try to solve the problems they experience, and always reply to negative reviews.

There are few tools designed to track and monitor user feedback – for example, Appbot.

Read more: 10 Proven Ways to Improve User Ratings

Mobile App Monetization

Goal 5: Monetization

The last, but not the least important goal for mobile developers is the successful monetization of their apps or games. To measure the revenue several KPIs are used:

  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) – total revenue divided by the number of users.
  • Lifetime Value (LTV) – a prediction of the net future profit for a particular user.
  • Revenue – total amount of income generated by an app or game.

For an effective monetization of mobile app, the quality of the users matters more than the quantity of installs. The user who pays more and longer becomes more valuable than the one who just tries and leaves. At this point, the above goal of user feedback goes in line with optimizing the monetization strategy – listening to the users and meeting their needs is key to a stable revenue stream.

Some app intelligence and analytics tools that help calculating and tracking ARPU and LTV are: AppsFlyer, Game Analytics or Kochava, among others.

Read more: The Basics of Mobile Monetization

Final thoughts about ASO KPIs:

There is no single indicator that can measure the overall success of an app. All of them are equally important, not only on a certain product stage, but also as an integral part of the greater App Store Optimization and App Marketing strategy. Only by studying all these metrics, and combining them together, we can get a complete picture of the app performance.

Leverage the power of data in your advantage, study the metrics with developer console, attribution trackers, app intelligence and ASO tools – and your App Marketing strategy will be unbeatable!

Are you tracking these KPIs already? Know some other important ASO metrics to track? Share with us in the comments!

Metrics: How to Track and Optimize the Main App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs
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Katerina Zolotareva

Katerina Zolotareva

Katerina is Marketing and Customer Success Manager at TheTool. She loves writing about App Marketing and Mobile Growth and helping app developers promote their apps! :) Follow her on Twitter or contact via LinkedIn

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