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A soup to nuts guide to mobile app analytics, by Taptica

A soup to nuts guide to mobile app analytics, by Taptica
Matt Tubergen is VP and GM of Taptica, a performance-based mobile advertising network. Matt has over 10 years experience in the mobile app and content industry, bringing large brands and gaming properties to market.

Matt's previous positions includes senior management roles at THQ and W3i along with supporting multiple successful start ups as founder and co-founder.


Utilising data in business today is critical to success and the mobile games industry is certainly no exception.

This soup to nuts series on mobile analytics explores all aspects of data and how to utilise analytics in order to help us make better and more informed decisions.

In our last post, we talked about the key questions to ask before determining your analytics solution. In this post, we will explore app store SEO and analytics basics along with a few techniques and tools for you to try.

Key insight

It's important to note that Apple and Google Deck Rankings are calculated differently. Understanding this will help you in understanding your trends in app store placement, search results and more.

Below is what we know from our own experience about what impacts the app store ranks.

Apple category rankings are impacted by:

Number of installs in last 4 days

Number of installs in last 4 hours

Star rating

Sales

Google category ranks by:

Install rate

Uninstall rate

Web click-through rate to Google Play

User reviews

Google search

Sales

Both Google and Apple search rankings are impacted by:

Title

Keywords

Description

App store analytics can be tough. Apple, Google and other app stores do little in the way of providing valuable data beyond simple install numbers and revenue by territory. Seldom do they provide information in terms of 'actionable data'.

Sure, Google does provide some versioning information that can be used to better target devices to support, but nothing that would help us answer the truly hard questions.

Typically, the key to success for app publishers is to become the #1 app in both the category list and in the relative search results. Let's dive in to both category listing and SEO.

Analytics for deck placement

Deck placement has been the most sought after goal for publishers since day one. Why? Because organic install rates are exponentially higher when you are placed high in a category vs having no visibility at all.

I'm sure we've all heard of app publishers receiving a 500 percent increase in organic installs just by bumping up a few spots on the charts.

So keeping a close eye on your deck rankings is critical to understanding what impacts those rankings. Luckily there are some great tools to help you keep track.

App Figures and App Annie both provide great services for monitoring deck placement compared to install volumes. Most of these types of services also allow you to include manual events to track the impact on deck placement, such as a PR campaign or a promotion period.

It's important to track these events and keep a close watch on impacts. And as always, do more of what works, do less of what doesn't!

App store SEO

Wouldn't it be great to know which keywords are the best to use? What about your icon? Do your screenshots capture the user instantly? How would you know without being able to have insights about what is performing and what's not?

Unfortunately, it's very challenging to secure actionable information from Google and Apple on which keywords are working for your application. But you are in luck. Here are few tricks to help you analyze and improve your app store SEO.

1. Use an ad network to test icons and creatives for your app store. Many ad networks use icons in their marketing messages. Test a few different icons out and watch conversion. If there is one icon that is performing better on click through it's probably safe to use as the main app store icon.

2. Systematically keeping track of your keywords will help you determine what is trending and what is not. Doing this is very simple. Select a keyword (or multiple keywords) and do a search in iTunes and Google play. Track your deck placement on a daily basis.

When you change your icon, selected keywords and or description, watch to see your deck placement. And once again, do more of what is working, less of what's not!

3. Alternatively, use software to monitor your keyword performance. Tracking keyword search returns on a daily basis can take a considerable amount of time, after all, so I'd highly recommend a solution such as Appnique, which does the work for you. It can also suggest alternate keywords to try based on your competition.

Next time

So you have good traction with your keywords, your description is smooth and your screenshots draw your users in. You know your deck placement and are constantly monitoring your keyword performance. What's next?

Next up we will talk about marketing analytics and what you can do to track performance of your marketing activities from paid search to cross promotion. Stay tuned!
To find out more about Taptica and the services it offers, take a look at the company's website.

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