Get more gamers to your app by acting on analytics

What’s conversion rate, what’s a good conversion rate, and what do you need to do to increase your conversion rate? It’s time to attract the biggest app audience you can, and to start you need to collect useful data. Test and tweak your app store page to increase downloads (and your income).

You've developed a great app or game, come up with a catchy name, written an awesome app or game description, captured screenshots that show your app in its best light, chosen exactly the right keywords, recorded an enticing preview video, and promoted your app launch in style.

You can relax now, right?

Wrong! If you really want to attract the biggest app audience you can, then you need to start collecting useful metrics. It's time to use analytics to work out how well your app landing page in the App Store or the Play Store, is converting browsers into customers. We've got some tips for you to help you boost that conversion rate and maximize your user base (and your income too).

What's a conversion rate?

To work out your conversion rate you have to find out how many people are viewing your app store page, and how many of them are buying or downloading it. Take the number of downloads and divide it by the number of views, then multiply by 100. The resulting figure is a percentage – that's your conversion rate.

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Let's say 30,000 people look at your app page in an average month, but only 300 people actually buy it, then your conversion rate would be 1%.

300/30,000 x 100 = 1

Maybe your app store page was awful. Perhaps you had never engaged in any App Store Optimization. You edit the content, change the screenshots, add a new video, and measure again. You still have 30,000 people looking at your app, but after your improvements, 6,000 of them bite for the sale. Your new conversion rate would be 20%.

6,000/30,000 x 100 = 20

What's a good conversion rate?

The one thing that's not disputed is that free apps will have a much higher conversion rate in terms of downloads than premium ones.

It's natural to want to know what a good conversion rate is, so you have something to aim for, but it's far from an exact science. Opinions vary. Much depends on the type of app you are offering, how new it is, what category it's in, how well-known it is, what the competition is like, and a range of other factors that can be difficult to quantify.

The one thing that's not disputed is that free apps will have a much higher conversion rate in terms of downloads than premium ones.

To give an example, the game "Fastlane Street Racing" has a conversion rate of 36% for the free version and 0.5% for the premium version.

What about freemium?

Many apps fall into the freemium category nowadays, and so they'll be focused on the in-app purchase conversion rate. Anecdotally, this is typically between 1% and 10%, but there are a lot of factors involved, so it may not be very useful to generalize.

Apple's App Analytics also allows you to drill down deeper to uncover some real insights

Conversion rates for IAP are beyond the scope of this blog, and more dependent on the user experience within the app. We're going to focus on the relationship between your app store page and your downloads. But it's worth remembering that your IAP conversion rate is still going to be 0% if you can't get people to download your app.

Use Apple's App Analytics

"Using iTunes Connect Analytics to optimize the App Store page conversion rate is the lowest hanging fruit out there for app developers"
- Eric Seufert, vice-president of user acquisition at Rovio.

App Analytics is completely free to use and it's available for all iOS developers with an iTunes Connect account. It works with iOS 8 apps and above. It can tell you how many people are finding your app, installing it, purchasing goods inside it, and returning to it. It's an easy way to gain insights and identify missed opportunities.

For example, you might find that you have really high page views in a specific country, but a very low conversion rate. This would indicate a prime opportunity to localize your App Store page and boost those downloads.

The App Analytics are intended to cover the entire customer lifecycle and they're divided into various Measures:

  • App Store Views – How many people looked at your App Store page?

  • App Units – How many units have you sold?

  • Sales – Your app price multiplied by the number of units you have sold (this also includes your in-app purchases).

  • In-App Purchases – The total number of in-app purchases that have been made.

  • Installations – This is different from App Units because the same app might be installed on multiple devices.

  • Sessions – Every time the app is used it counts as a session.

  • Active Devices – The total number of devices running your app now.

  • Active Devices Last 30 Days – The total number of devices running your app, but over the last 30 days.

  • Crashes – Shows the stability of your app.

  • Paying Users – How many users have purchased within your app on a given day or within a date range.

It's worth mentioning that, because Apple takes customer privacy seriously, users can opt out of App Analytics. The data you do see as a developer is aggregated and anonymized, but for sessions, active devices, and crashes it only includes customers who agreed to help app developers when prompted to share their app analytics. You can see what percentage of users agreed to share their data by tapping About App Analytics Data at the top right of your app page in App Analytics.

Apple's App Analytics also allows you to drill down deeper to uncover some real insights. You can filter all of your Measures using another set of self-explanatory metrics that Apple calls Dimensions:

  • App Purchase Date

  • App Version

  • Campaign

  • iOS Version

  • Platform

  • Region

  • Website

If you filter your Measures by Region then you can see where your app is popular and identify good localization candidates.

Sources – How are customers finding your app?

You'll find some interesting things under the Sources tab in App Analytics. This allows you to examine where the traffic on your App Store page is coming from, and how different sources compare in terms of conversion rate.

Websites are the online destinations that led users to your App Store page. Being able to filter by websites enables you to see the conversion rate for the traffic from a particular website.

With Campaigns you can create identifiable campaigns using a provider token and a campaign token. This can be added to your App Store URL, Smart app banners, or via Store Kit. It allows you to identify incoming customers from a specific campaign you might have run across various sources like email, social media, and websites. If you look under Top Campaigns in the Sources tab there's an option to Generate a Campaign Link.

Metrics – Reviewing your conversion rate

To work out your conversion rate in the App Store you want to divide App Units by App Store Views and multiply by 100. That's your product page conversion rate. If you go to the Metrics tab for your app in App Analytics you can select App Units and then select App Store Views under Compare to, on the left, to see the two together. By default it will be a line graph, but if you tap where it says Dual Axis at the top right, you can select Ratio. This gives you a single line representing your conversion rate, so you can see how it changes over time. To work out your conversion rate in the App Store you want to divide App Units by App Store Views and multiply by 100. That's your product page conversion rate. If you go to the Metrics tab for your app in App Analytics you can select App Units and then select App Store Views under Compare to, on the left, to see the two together. By default it will be a line graph, but if you tap where it says Dual Axis at the top right, you can select Ratio. This gives you a single line representing your conversion rate, so you can see how it changes over time.

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How do you make use of this?

It's a lot easier to make changes to your App Store page than it is to make changes to your app. What this data allows you to do, is to make tweaks to your app description, or change your screenshots, and then test the results. Use LocalizeDirect to hone your new App Store page look and then, when you're happy with it, upload it and test it for a specific period of time.

You'll probably want to give it at least two weeks to gather meaningful data. Check out the conversion rate in App Analytics and see if your changes have had a positive impact.

Use A/B Testing

A/B testing or split testing is a very popular technique in web design. The idea is that you create two (or sometimes more) different versions of a web page and you show 50% of visitors one version and 50% of visitors the other version. The one that gets the best results in terms of conversions is the one you stick with.

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Unfortunately, there's no easy way to do this in the App store, but you can always alternate versions to gather results. Use LocalizeDirect to create two candidate App store pages. Save each one as a project with a different name. Publish the first of the candidates and measure the conversion rate over a period of time – say two weeks. Then publish the second version and measure the conversion rate over the same period of time. Compare the results and publish the presentation page with the highest conversion rate.

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Analytics and A/B Testing in Google's Play Store

If you also have an Android version of your app, then you'll be delighted to know that you can perform the same sort of analysis in Google's Play Store. The terminology is slightly different – in the Android Developer Console you'll be dividing Installers by Store Listing Visitors – but the principle is exactly the same.

Google also offers the chance to conduct A/B testing on your Play Store app page. You can set up experiments with a total of three variants (including your original page). You can change the text and graphics and show the different versions to visitors as an equal split to find out which has the best conversion rate. Kongregate reportedly used the feature in a private pilot program and saw a 30% increase in conversion rate.

What to test

Changes to every element of your app store page can have an impact. Testing saves you from internal arguments about the best icon or phrasing in the description. Here's a list of things you should think about testing out:

  • App Icon – You could tweak the icon itself, the border, and the colors.

  • App Title – If you're thinking about adding extra words to the title or changing it, analytics can reveal the most effective title.

  • Screenshots – What screenshots get the best results and what order should they come in?

  • Preview video – Maybe you have two videos and there's no agreement internally about which is best – put it to the test.

  • App Description – This should be fine-tuned over time as you look to sell your app to interested parties and pack all the vital information into an enticing package.

It's so cheap to make changes to your app store page that it makes a great deal of sense to devote some time and effort here. If you can boost your conversion rate with some clever changes, you can also boost income. Another way to look at it is that if more of your app store page visitors are downloading your app, you can reduce the advertising designed to draw them there and spend less for your acquisitions.

Grab that low hanging fruit

Any activity that might yield a major upturn in downloads without you having to expend a great deal of effort is obviously worthwhile. Too many developers are not analyzing their conversion rates and experimenting with their app store pages, and that means their apps are not realizing their full potential. It's very difficult to measure the effectiveness of a lot of marketing activities or app updates. The beauty of this approach to analytics and conversion rates is that it produces crystal clear results. Don't miss the opportunity, grab that fruit today!

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Conclusion

It’s not easy to stand out from the crowd in the app store, which is why it’s so important to take advantage of every method and technique at your disposal. It’s relatively cheap and easy to put the right kind of research and effort into choosing a good name and relevant keywords. A preview video and some carefully chosen screenshots can illustrate exactly what your app or game is all about. A well-crafted app description will persuade that casual browser to download.

Once you have an awesome app store page, you have to make sure that as many people as possible see it. Successful marketing and promotion requires methodical planning. If you don’t have the budget to outsource it, then make sure you set some time aside to do it yourself. It may be frustrating to find out that app quality is not enough, but make no mistake, promotion and marketing can be just as important to an app’s success.

Just as the most successful and popular apps and games continue to grow and be updated for a long time after release, you should continue to review and update your app store page and wider marketing efforts. It’s important to measure the effectiveness of what you’re doing and continually look at ways to improve.

Don’t wait - try LocalizeDirect today to see how you can improve your App Store, Amazon or Google Play page.