Do you know how well your mobile app is actually performing? If you’re not accurately measuring your own data, how do you know how to improve? There are more users now than there ever were before. In fact, by 2020, there are expected to be over 6 million mobile users. That’s almost the entire Earth population.
What are these users looking for? They have higher expectations than ever before. They want apps to work perfectly every time they use them, and they have little to no tolerance for ongoing problems. This is especially true for mobile apps that cost money or that have in-app purchasing options.
What exactly do you need to be measuring in order to understand your success and where to improve? You need to dive deep into your application metrics to uncover what really matters. It’s easy to get lost in vanity metrics like the number of downloads, but at the end of the day, this doesn’t directly translate to customer conversion. Here are the most important metrics that matter for your app.
1. Downloads and Uninstalls
Yes, we just listed this as a vanity metric but it is useful for understanding additional information about your app. You always need to know how many people have downloaded your app as well as how many have uninstalled it. This doesn’t necessarily pertain to the performance of your app, but it will be a valuable indicator of the success of your marketing campaigns.
What do we mean by that? Well, if you’re driving traffic to your app, you need to know how many users are actually downloading it. This will help you create stronger marketing campaigns using the right target audience and platforms. While you shouldn’t rely on downloads and uninstalls to determine the success of your app, it will lay the foundation for your other metrics.
2. Active Users
A more valuable way to measure the success of your app, instead of using downloads, is paying attention to your active users. Active users are people who regularly open and engage with your app within a set period of time.
Is your app actually engaging to the right users? Your active users metric will tell you just that. How you define your active users will depend on your particular app goals. For Google Analytics, for instance, this is usually defined in a 30 day period. You can also segment your active users into two different lists:
- Daily App Users (DAU) – Your daily app users counts the number of users who interact with your app at least one time a day.
- Monthly App Users (MAU) – As expected, MAU counts how many users have a session with your app at least once a month.
3. Session Length
Next, you’ll want to consider just how long users are actually interacting with your app. If they quickly close out, for instance, this is a sign that something might not be working properly or that your app isn’t engaging. Your average session length will let you know how much time a typical user spends with your app in a single session.
4. Retention Rate
How many people are using your app and returning to your app for another session? We’ve all downloaded an app at one time or another only to never open it again. With so much competition out there and new apps hitting the marketplace every day, it’s easy to jump from one app to the next without a second thought.
Your retention rate measures how many users you’re actually retaining. Once again, you’ll need to establish a period of time to measure. You might count how many users you retain over the course of a month or any other length of time. Retaining users is one of the most challenging aspects of having a successful app, so you’ll need to key an eye on whether your new features are attracting users.
5. Revenue Per User
Also known as ARPU, your average revenue per user is one way to monitor the financial success of your app. How much money is being generated by an average user? In this day and age, there are a number of ways apps make money. You can earn a profit through advertisements, paid downloads, in-app purchases, and even subscriptions.
How much revenue is each user bringing you, on average? You can calculate this number by dividing the number of users for a given time by your total app revenue for the same period of time. If your app isn’t profitable, it’s time to reconsider what’s causing a disruption in your sales funnel.
Finally, you need to monitor your application errors. No matter how much preparation you do, errors happen. Unfortunately, app crashes lead to 71% of all uninstalls. You’ve probably experienced this frustration yourself when you try to use an app only to have it load incorrectly or fail to load altogether.
6. App Errors
The best way to prevent app errors and track them successfully is through application performance monitoring software. This way, you’ll get custom alerts if a problem is in the works. In addition, you’ll have an easy way to track these problems to solve them quickly while preventing them from happening again in the future. Simply put, you can’t afford to ignore your application performance by monitoring errors and bugs.
Take the Proactive Approach
While many app developers are choosing to be reactive to problems, it’s always best to be proactive. The more you can keep an eye on your metrics, the better you’ll understand your app success. It’s not always possible to know what your users are thinking, but your metrics give you a glimpse into how they’re actually interacting with your app in real-time.
In this age of competition, you can’t turn a blind eye to your metrics. In addition, you need to understand that some of the flashiest metrics are nothing but vanity numbers. They don’t translate to revenue or success. These metrics above are worth their weight in gold, so use them wisely.