Main Metrics. Installs

All about the Installs (Installations) metric: what it is, how to analyze it, how to increase the number of paid and organic installs of your product, why the quality of traffic plays a crucial role
Main Metrics. Installs

The number of your product installs is rising but your revenue is stuck and you are working harder than ever? It means that your installs are “trash” - they are not backed by real users.

In this article we will elaborate on how to boost installs so that the traffic numbers become an eye candy for your investors. And also, how to tell apart a “trash” and “sensible” install so that you see not only a rise in installations, but also in income.

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What Are the Main Sources of Installs?

The first factor that influences the number of installs is your app or game ranking in search results and in stores. Here you can see a peculiar interdependency - the more people download your product, the higher it ranks in search results, and the higher it ranks in search results - the more people download the product. How to get the circle started? Read about it below in the “how to increase the number of installs” section.

The second source of new installs is virality. If a user likes your game or app, they can recommend it to their friends or family and they will also install it. More information about how it works, how to calculate this metric, you can find in the article about k-factor.

As a rule of thumb, the more users the app already has and the better/more engaging it is, the more often people will recommend it.

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

Note that we can’t apply the first rule of show business to apps therefore bad PR is still bad and it will ruin your business. You need to accumulate reviews that are, if not five-star, but at least moderately good or neutral (Ansvery can help you with this), you need to make both paying minority and non-paying majority like your app and talk about it.

The third source of installs is easy and crystal clear - paid acquisition. You simply buy traffic from different sources, evaluate its traits, assess its characteristics and keep only the most profitable sources. When you buy traffic, you also trigger the two other sources described above.

Read more: How to Create a Mobile App Push Notification

How to Increase the Number of Installs?

We can conveniently divide installation sources into two groups - paid and organic (however, we can’t say that the latter are absolutely “free” because both virality and search ranking are influenced by paid installations). The amount of effort that you need to apply to acquire users from the two sources also differs.

To drive organic search traffic from the stores, you need to focus on ASO. After implementing some changes, you will improve the overall impression your landing page creates, make navigation through it easier, and make it more accessible and clear. You can, for example, change the app’s icon to a more clickable one, use screenshots of the most exciting (or useful) moments, implement the necessary keywords, localise your product.

Online reviews that users post on your app’s product page play a significant role in ASO. They influence decisions about whether to install the app or pass it for something else. Users read the reviews, pay attention to the prevalence of good or bad ones, how the creator deals with them, how they resolve conflict situations, etc.

If you involve your full time designers, copywriters and other staff then your app store optimization will cost you nothing.

Read more: SQL for Beginners: Basic Metrics of Several Apps

The paid traffic acquisition for increasing the number of installs may seem like an easy option, but it, in fact, involves an in-depth analysis (devtodev analytics can help you with this). You can set up a PPC (pay per click) or PPM (pay per impression) or even a PPI (pay per install) ad campaign, but the main factor that defines its success is still the quality of traffic that you acquire. Are they the same as the designed user portraits? Do they like your product? If your traffic is of good quality then it will activate the free channels already during the ad campaign and you will start getting 5- and 4-star reviews.

You need to keep track of traffic quality right from the get go because from the economic point of view there is no sense in running a campaign and wasting ad budget on low-quality traffic channels.

Read more: Main Metrics. North Star

Metrics and Other Analytics

The following metrics you can use to assess the quality of traffic from the first days of your ad campaign:
Conversion to registration or purchase;
- Completion of other meaningful actions (shop opening, tutorial completion, etc.);
- Number of sessions per user;
- Time to completing the first transaction;
- Other metrics. 

Later on, when you accumulate more data on acquired users, you can assess more metrics:
Cumulative ARPU;

These metrics values allow you to make certain conclusions about the channel’s performance and even plan the traffic’s recoup time.

How to Analyse?

Use cohort analysis to get precise results from comparing different channels and campaigns launched at different times and/or are of different length.

The easiest and basic way to analyse your installations is to split them into free and paid.

Installs paid organic

If the number or your free users is more than the churn, your audience will grow organically.

If the number of paid installs is significantly more than the number of free installs, you need to be extra careful about the quality of the traffic sources. The paid installs should make you enough profit to recoup themselves, otherwise the user acquisition will pose serious risks for the viability of the project.

You can split installations not only by the traffic source, but by other parameters too, e.g. by the country, device, sex, age, etc. The segmentation helps you get a better grasp of what traffic is the most profitable in your case, because users from different segments behave differently.

ARPU by countries

If you want to improve the quality of your product and boost the number of installs, you just can’t neglect analytics. This is a simple metric that you can analyse really deeply and the results of the analysis will lay the foundation for further improvements.

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