Mobile app analytics: Are users doing things your way?

Your dev team painstakingly maps user journeys through your app. What you expect users to do. Where you expect them to go. What you want them to tap or swipe on each screen. But are they actually following the path you carefully laid out or blazing their own trails? Look to your mobile analytics to find out.

What is “conversion”?

In the marketing world we talk about measuring “conversion” to determine if users are completing a desired action. For mobile app developers, desired actions include installs, feature usage, task completion, in-app purchases and ad clicks. How many users successfully get from Point A to Point B, and how they get there, is your “conversion funnel” and it’s important. If you know how users discover your app and move through it, you can iterate and optimize based on actual user behavior.

Track conversion events

Here are some interesting conversion events you may want to track.

  • Where users enter the funnel. How are users discovering your app? How much of the traffic comes from organic search? Specific keywords? Social networks? A referral from a popular blog? Ad campaigns?
  • Previous steps in the user experience.  What are users doing immediately before they convert? For an in-app purchase, you might look at what various game levels. When are users buying? How many tasks do they typically complete before purchasing additional functionality?
  • Where the funnel narrows. As you’d expect from something shaped like a funnel, there’s a lot of activity at the top and numbers slowly taper off. Knowing where users are abandoning the app experience helps you spot and fix choke points. Do users take steps one, two and three and then fail to convert? That’s where you can start to improve the process.
  • Overall conversion rate.  If 200 people look at your app store description and six install your app, you have 3% conversion. With some simple A/B testing, you can compare relative conversion rates of different approaches (for example, compare download rates for two different descriptions). It’s a great way to figure out where to focus your efforts.

Overall, you’re looking for patterns that can guide your marketing strategy and help boost user retention.

Get better results

Realistically, you’re probably too close to your app to see its flaws. Analytics take the emotion out of iterating by revealing how users really travel to and through your app. You want to make the experience as smooth as possible. For example, do users stop playing your game long before you offer them a shortcut? Take a look to see if gameplay is too challenging. You may want to refine the user experience or provide an in-app purchase sooner to move more users through your funnel.

Track changes

When you make a change designed to move the dial on conversion rates, be sure to track it. Knowledge is a powerful tool for attracting users and investors, and monetizing your app. For implementation tips, check out our In-App Analytics video to see how you can use metrics to improve app store success.

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