Main Metrics. Downloads

Let's discuss what types of installs apps may have, how to increase their number and what traffic parameters we should pay attention to after purchasing them
Main Metrics. Downloads

What are downloads for an app or a game project? Why the number of downloads is important?  Is the product revenue also increasing? Are all your installs equally valuable and successful?We are going to discuss all these questions in the article below.

Obviously, the more users download the app, the better. Above all, it is financially efficient, since the more users there are in the app, the greater the number of payers and the revenue will be.

What is more, the downloads growth can also lead to new downloads, thus forming a cycle. Let’s see how it works.

First of all, the number of downloads affects the app's position in the search results and in the tops of mobile app stores. So, the more downloads we have, the higher the position is, and the more users see it and download it.

Then goes the virality cycle, when users tell their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances about this product. Therefore, the more users there are in the product, the more people will hear about the app. Virality is most often mentioned on a positive note, as in fact, it is product publicity. But we don’t know what exactly users tell their friends about it. After all, we always hope for a positive word-of-mouth.

Read more: How to Switch to Another Analytics System (and Keep the Peace at Work)

Therefore, it is worth making sure that the app creates a good impression on users. Even if they do not pay or quit playing, this information should be more favorable. All this can be estimated and analyzed by using k-factor and NPS, for example. 

There is one more cycle of use acquisition. When you buy traffic,  this results in influx of users and it kick-starts the cycles described above. These users begin to purchase things, thus creating a budget for further traffic purchasing.

How to increase the number of installs?

Answering this question requires mentioning of two types of installs. The first one is organic — when users find and download the app directly from the store. And the second one is paid — when a developer pays for user acquisition. Hence, measures of improving any given installs can vary.

The cycles, discussed above, mostly influence the organic installs as they allow users to easily find and download the app from a store.

In addition to them, a set of measures called ASO (app store optimization) also influences organic downloads. It is responsible for the attractivness of the app page in the store and how quickly users can find it. ASO measures include the following:

  • selection of a proper icon and screenshots
  • a concise and informative description, correct keywords and names
  • localization for different countries

If these elements are well-thought, they can provide a good “findability” of the app by relevant requests and increase the number of installs.

When working on app store optimization, we should also keep in mind the reviews left by product users. They are also accessible in the app stores and may affect a user's decision to install it (you can improve them by using services such as Edvice).

Oorganic installs have a great advantage for a developer — they don't cost anyting (except for the cost of ASO measures).

Read more: How to Create a Mobile App Push Notification

Paid acquisition works differently. In this case developers need to pay in order to get new users. There are several types of campaigns for traffic purchasing based on the number of impressions, clicks, installs. All of them have their strong and weak points, as well as one thing that unites them. It is the fact that any user acquisition channel must be carefully analyzed to avoid paying for inefficient sources.

Not every app download is good for the revenue. It is extremely important to understand what kind of users installed the app, especially when we speak about paid traffic.

That’s why, when we deal with a user acquisition campaign, the following metrics should be analyzed:

You can start tracking these metrics in the first days after the user installed the app. A bit later, you can calculate such indicators as:

This is necessary for making sure that the acquisition channel is effective enough and for estimating the fact and timing of its pay back.

It is worth mentioning, that it is better to use cohort analysis when comparing different acquisition channels. This method allows you to compare campaigns launched at random periods of time that have various timeframes.

By the way, the percentage composition of the incoming traffic should also be calculated. It shows percentage ratings of both organic and paid installs.

Paid organic traffic

If the first group makes up a small percentage, and the audience increases mainly due to paid users, you should make sure that the paid traffic has high quality, brings more money and pays back quickly. Otherwise, this situation is quite risky for the product since it completely depends on the paid acquisition, and won’t be able to grow and generate revenue without assistance.

In addition to the source of installs, some other segmentation options can be used when analyzing downloads. It is possible to evaluate user metrics by country, device, gender, age, and so on. Typically, users from various segments behave inside the product differently, and their financial metrics may also vary.

ARPU by countries

Though the download index may seem quite simple, it can be examined in depth. You need to apply segmentation by separating these installs sources and observing the following behavior of the users interacting with the product. Such detailed analysis allows you to monitor and improve the traffic quality and affect the app revenue directly.

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