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 then.
Main Metrics. Downloads

Of course, it is nice to see how an app's install chart is actively growing upwards. But does this mean that the product revenue will also increase? Are all your installs equally valuable and successful? Let's try to figure it out.

Evidently, 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, this downloads growth can also lead to new downloads, thus forming a cycle. Let’s see how it works.

First of all, the downloads level affects the app position in the search results and in the tops of mobile app stores. So, the more downloads we have, the higher the position is at the top, 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, this information should be positive.

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 acquiring—when buying in-app traffic results in users’ inflow (it starts the cycles described above). These users begin to pay, thus creating a budget for further traffic purchasing.

How to increase the install number?

Answering this question requires to mention two types of installs. The first one is organic - when users find and download an 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 early on, mostly influence the organic installs. As they lead to the fact that users easily find and download an app in the store.

In addition to them, a set of measures called ASO (App Store Optimization) also influences organic downloads. It is responsible for the attractive effect of an app page in the store and how quickly users can find it. ASO measures include the following: the selection of a proper icon and screenshots, a concise and informative description, correct keywords and names, as well as 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.

We should remember about the reviews left by product users when working over an app optimization in the App Store. They are also accessible in the app stores and may affect a user's decision to install it.

The organic installs have a great advantage for a developer in their free-of-charge basis, except for the ASO measures.

Paid acquisition works differently. In that 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 highly important to understand what kind of a user has 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 notable 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 timelines.

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


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 off 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 installs source, 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 differently inside the product, and their financial metrics may also vary.

devtodev downloads

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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