Measure and improve acquisition with App Analytics
Learn how App Analytics can help you better understand user acquisition, so you can make data‑informed decisions. Explore ways to find out where your users are coming from and review definitions of key metrics. We'll also discuss how peer group benchmarks and other features can help improve your acquisition strategy.
Hi, everybody, and thank you for joining us. Today we'll talk about how you can measure and improve your acquisition efforts with App Analytics. My name is Nick and I'm the product manager for App Analytics and I'm excited to share more about all the value that App Analytics can bring to your user acquisition strategy. In this video, we'll start with an overview of the data and tools available to you in App Store Connect. Then we'll walk through the key metrics that are important to monitor and understand. We'll then talk about how evaluating different acquisition sources can give you clues about what's driving performance and we'll talk about how to use peer group benchmarks to put your performance into context so you can understand what you should focus on next. Finally, we'll talk about taking action, where we'll show you how you can improve your results using tools in App Store Connect. Let's get started.
The App Store makes it easy to distribute your apps and games across the world. You can reach customers in 175 territories on more than 1.5 billion devices and in over 40 languages and this gives you a huge opportunity to attract new users, engage your current users and encourage monetization within your app.
In order to help you measure how well your app is doing, App Store Connect includes three different tools; App Analytics, Sales and Trends, and Payments and Financial Reports.
Today we'll focus on App Analytics and show you how you can use data to improve your user acquisition strategy.
App Analytics provides you with insightful data about your downloads, redownloads, proceeds and more and this data enables you to use many of the different features that the App Store offers including product page optimization, custom product pages, and in-app events, and allows you to find out which ones work the best for you.
App Analytics also provides you with helpful data while respecting user privacy. Data is aggregated across a minimum number of users in order to provide you with insights about your performance in a privacy friendly way. To begin learning about how to use App Analytics, let's start by walking you through key metrics related to user acquisition.
When you first log into App Analytics you'll be taken to an overview page with a number of different metrics, and the four metrics along the top are the primary user acquisition metrics and these are the metrics that we'll talk about most today. First, let's walk through what impressions and product page views are so we can understand how to use them.
An impression represents anytime someone sees your app icon on the App Store. This includes when they see your app icon on your product page, on the today games or apps tabs or in search results.
A product page view represents the number of times someone views your product page. Keep in mind that because your product page also includes your app icon, any product page views are also counted as impressions.
In App Analytics you can view how many impressions you've received each day and view the data over time to see how you're performing.
To see your product page views instead, open the metrics drop down and select that metric.
App Analytics also has two variations of the impressions and product page views metrics, unique impressions and unique product page views. To give you a better idea of what these metrics are, we can use an example. Let's say someone sees your app in the search results and taps into your product page, that would be two impressions because your app icon was viewed twice, one product page view and just one unique impression because both impressions were made by the same user that day.
Now that we understand unique impressions and product page views, let's talk about conversion rate.
We define conversion rate as the percentage of people who download your app after seeing it on the App Store, and this is calculated by dividing your total downloads by your unique impressions.
If you click on conversion rate from the overview page you can view your data over time.
Conversion rate is one of the main areas that you can improve using the tools in App Store Connect and so we'll talk about how you can improve it throughout the presentation. Next, let's take a look at total downloads.
Total downloads include both first-time downloads and redownloads. On the App Store, first time downloads represent the number of times people tap the get or buy button, and redownloads are the number of times people redownload the app after deleting it by tapping the cloud icon. Please note that if a user's settings are set to automatically download apps across their devices, these auto downloads are not counted. The redownloads number in App Analytics only includes redownloads made directly on the App Store itself.
If you click on total downloads from the overview page, you can see how many people have downloaded your app over time.
And if you want to break down your results by first-time downloads versus redownloads, you can select first-time downloads or downloadable from the metric dropdown.
To recap this section, by closely monitoring these four metrics you can understand how many users you're acquiring and how effectively you're acquiring them.
Next, let's dig a little deeper to understand where your users are coming from.
App Analytics enables you to learn about how people discover your app including insights by territory, source type and page type.
Let's first look at how you can use territory information to understand what parts of the world your users are coming from.
On the overview page, you can scroll down to view a list of which territories are driving the most downloads for your app.
To view the full list, you can click see all and see how many downloads we're getting across the world.
To view a different metric by territory, you can open the metrics dropdown.
Let's look at conversion rate.
Here you can identify territories where you may be able to improve your conversion efficiency.
If we scroll down to the bottom of this list, we can see how this app has a low conversion rate in China, Japan, and Korea. To address this, the developer of this app might review their product page to make sure it's properly localized for these territories and that people are able to understand the value of the app in their respective language.
You can view territory performance in App Analytics across many metrics, enabling you to get a full understanding of how well you're acquiring and engaging people around the world.
Next, let's talk about source type.
You can view source data in app analytics to get more detail about how people discovered your app. The four most common ways are through App Store browse, App Store search, app refer and web refer.
App Store browse refers to when someone finds your app when browsing the App Store on the today apps and games tabs. So if you get featured or appear in the top charts then you'll likely see a lot of people coming from browse.
Search refers to when someone finds and downloads your app after performing a search on the App Store. App refer is counted when someone discovers your app inside another app on the App Store, for example through an in-app advertisement.
And lastly, a web refer occurs when people tap on a link on a website in Safari and download your app from there, such as through a web advertisement. Keep in mind that if your app is discovered through a browser other than Safari, it will show up as an app refer for that browser rather than a web refer.
And just like with territories you can evaluate different metrics by source type by clicking see all.
You can then look at how each source type is performing over time for different metrics and use this information to refine and customize your user acquisition strategy to fit your app's specific needs.
Next, let's talk about page type.
Page type refers to the kinds of pages from which your users view and download your app. The three most common page types are the App Store product page; the store sheet, which looks similar to your product page but exists outside the App Store and pops up from the bottom of the screen from an external source, and this sheet is also known as SKStoreProductViewController. And lastly, no page. When you see no page in the dashboard, it's referring to when people download your app directly from the today games or apps tabs or from the search tab without tapping into your product page.
As we'll see, by combining page type with source type you can get valuable insights about how people discover and download your app.
To dig into this, let's go to the metrics page and look at your conversion rate. By selecting page type from the dimension dropdown, you can see what your conversion rate is across these different page types. With this app, you can see that the product page is converting people best.
You can also filter this data for even more information. For example, you can filter by app refer to see which type of page converts people who are coming from a different app. And the reason why this is important is because when you're running an ad campaign you have a choice about whether you send your users to the App Store product page or to the store sheet using SKStoreProductViewController, and the choice you make may meaningfully impact your conversion, so feel free to look at this data to decide which method is best for your app.
You can also look at page type data filtered by App Store search.
This lets you see what your conversion rate is for people who downloaded your app directly from the search tab compared to people who viewed your product page and then downloaded your app.
In this case, people are more likely to convert after they viewed your product page. By monitoring this data, you can see how effective you are at converting people from search and whether any changes you make lead to improvements in performance.
Overall, viewing your data by page type can be a valuable way to get more clarity on user conversion on the App Store and help you measure your acquisition efforts more effectively.
Now that we understand how to analyze our metrics and sources, let's take a look at peer group benchmarks.
Peer group benchmarks help you put your app's performance into context by comparing your data to that of similar apps on the App Store.
To help you get an accurate comparison, Apple places your app in a peer group based on your App Store business model like Free, Freemium or Paid; your App Store category; and the amount of App Store download volume you receive which enables you to get specific comparisons for your app.
Let's look at how the Forest Explorer app compares to other travel apps with the same business model and similar levels of download volume.
To access your benchmark results you can click the benchmarks tab at the top of the App Analytics dashboard. From this page, you can see how your app is performing compared to its peers. You can see information about your peer group at the top, including which category and business model your app is being compared to. Since Forest Explorer is a travel app with a Freemium business model, the peer group benchmarks include data from other apps with these characteristics. You can view how your app's performance compares to its peer group across metrics including for App Store conversion rate, proceeds per paying user, crash rate, and retention metrics.
Within each metric, you can see detail about the group's 25th, 50th and 75th percentile values as well as how your app compares to each percentile.
To add a little more context on what a percentile is, a percentile represents what percentage of apps in the peer group are performing below a certain level.
For example, 25% of apps in this peer group have a day one retention rate below 13.4%, 50% of apps in this peer group have a retention rate below 21.3%, and 75% of apps have a retention rate below 27.4%. You can see that this app's day one retention is between the 50th and 75th percentiles which means it's performing better than 50% of similar apps but not as good as some of the most successful apps in its peer group.
If you scan across metrics you can see that this app is underperforming on conversion rate and day seven retention. Let's uncover more detail by clicking view trends.
In the trends view, you can see how your app is performing against its peer group over time. For this app, you can see that even though you're performing below the 25th percentile, your app's performance has been improving compared to the benchmark. If you wanna evaluate how your app is doing against a different peer group, you can customize which group you compare your app to by clicking the dropdowns.
For example, you can select peer groups with different levels of download volumes and see which download volume group your app belongs to. As a best practice, consider selecting a more specific download volume grouping if it's available to you but please know that it may not be available in all cases in order to maintain privacy.
If your app belongs to both a primary and secondary App Store category, you can also compare your performance to either one or against apps from all categories combined.
You can use the compare to dropdown to change which percentile you compare yourself against and you can also adjust to the date range to view shorter or longer periods of time.
Consider exploring the different options to determine which comparison might make the most sense for your app.
Next, let's see how you can use data to take action on everything we've learned so far to help improve your performance. The App Store offers many tools to help you improve, and today we'll focus on product page optimization, custom product pages and in-app events. Let's start with product page optimization. With product page optimization, you can test up to three alternative product pages against your original product page assets to see which one performs best.
Test setup is done in App Store Connect and once your product page optimization test begins, you can view your results by going to the acquisition tab in App Analytics and selecting your individual test.
On this page, you can view details about how each treatment is performing compared to your original product page. At the start of your test, you'll see indicators that let you know the test is collecting data and once enough data has been collected the indicators will let you know which treatments are performing better or worse than the original product page.
You can scroll down the page to get more detail about each treatment's performance, including the number of impressions, conversion rate, percent improvement, and the level of confidence in the results.
We recommend waiting until you see at least 90% confidence before making any decisions about the test or applying any changes so you can be sure that the changes you see are real instead of just due to random chance.
Next, let's talk about custom product pages.
Custom product pages enable you to create additional versions of your App Store product page and drive specific audiences to each page using a unique URL based on what you think might appeal to them.
This customization gives you an opportunity to drive a significantly higher conversion rate than what you'd get by using the same product page for everyone. You can easily view the performance of your custom product pages on the acquisition tab as well. By clicking on one of your product pages, you can view a variety of metrics including product page views, total downloads and conversion rate. You can also scroll down to view additional metrics including average retention and sessions to help you understand user engagement.
For even deeper insights, you can go to the metrics tab and view the performance of all of your product page views together in a single view.
You can choose different metrics and see how each page is performing so you can find out which pages are working the best and you can also add additional filters like territory or source type to drill down into the results.
Lastly, let's talk about in-app events. In-app events are a great way to help drive more acquisition and engagement with your app. You can use in-app events to promote app experiences happening within your app or game such as a game competition or new movie premiere, and this can draw new and existing users into your app.
Once you run your first in-app event, you'll start seeing event metrics including event impressions, app opens, reminders and page views.
You'll also see an in-app event section appear on the acquisition tab.
By clicking on one of these events, you'll be able to see key metrics including event impressions, total downloads, notification taps, and app opens, which allows you to get a better understanding of what types of actions people take when they engage with your event.
You can click on these metrics, for example, event impressions, which will bring you to the metrics tab and enable you to view even more data about your event performance. When analyzing your in-app events, make sure to look at the in-app events section of the metrics dropdown so you can take advantage of all of the available data for this feature.
Before we end, let's take a moment to recap what we've learned so far. App Analytics provides you with exclusive and insightful data about key metrics like downloads and redownloads, about the territories, sources and page types your users came from, and about the performance of App Store features like product page optimization, custom product pages, and in-app events which are all designed to help you make the most out of your opportunity on the App Store.
If you'd like to export the data you see in the dashboard into your own analytics systems look for the export button available in the dashboard and app analytics. And if you want even more information on use cases, definitions, and additional features please visit our App Store Connect Help guide on the Apple Developer website.
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