The Metrics That Matter for Your App

If you’re an app developer or business owner, you know metrics matter. They’re how you succeed, how you make an impact, and how you learn from your customers. However, are you wasting time on the wrong metrics?

Some metrics are actually what’s known as vanity metrics. They are exactly how they sound. They look great, but they don’t really mean anything. Essentially, these vanity metrics don’t translate into real-world sales. In this world of competitive app development, you can’t afford to spend time and money focusing on the wrong metrics. In this guide, we’ll break down the more important metrics you need to measure.

1. App Downloads

First, and most obviously, you need to track your application downloads. This is the number of times your app has been installed. It’s your first way of seeing if your application is actually something your users are interested in. If you’re seeing limited or no downloads, this is a big red flag.
Poor download metrics are a sign that something is going wrong in your marketing campaign. You might need to be more effective with your app store listing or you might need to invest more in promotion efforts.

2. Active Users

Your active users push beyond the vanity metric of simply users. A user can mean someone who’s downloaded your app and never used it again. An active user is something who is actually using your app regularly. Basically, these are the people you can profit from.

From your active users, you can determine the stickiness ratio of your app. These are the users who stick with your app regularly. To calculate this, you’ll divide your daily active users from your monthly active users. You always want to turn those monthly active users into daily active users.

3. App Retention

Beyond stickiness, you also need to pay close attention to your app retention rate. This is how many users are returning to your app after their first visit. On average, only 43% of app users return to the app within a month after downloading it. That’s a startlingly low statistic, so app retention is a tough code to crack.

If you look at the number of users who use an app the next day after downloading, the numbers are even slimmer. You need to keep a close eye on your app retention to identify any possible losses or gains. Usually, they’ll be related to marketing efforts, new deployments, and any technical errors.

4. Cost per Acquisition

Though this term is more commonly thought of in marketing terms, it’s equally as important to developers as well. Your cost per acquisition is how much it costs to get an active, paying user to your app. This includes money spent on advertising, technology costs, infrastructure costs, customer support, and more.

To calculate your cost per acquisition, you’ll divide the total cost of your campaign by the number of acquisitions. This cost might need to be adjusted depending on how many revenue-generating opportunities your app has.

5. App Crashes

Finally, you need to be aware of when your app closes abruptly while a user is using it. We’ve all experienced this for ourselves, and it’s undoubtedly frustrating. Using a strong development and support process is the best way to prevent this from happening in the first place. Choosing a .NET Core vs. .NET Framework could affect your application results as well.

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If possible, set a threshold that prioritizes the most frequent and catastrophic crashes so you can tackle the most important issues first. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by smaller problems. A solid app monitoring plan is a must.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to measure your app’s success? Don’t be lured into the impressiveness of vanity metrics. These metrics above measure your app’s actual success so you can focus on the important things.

In this day and age, you can’t afford to neglect your app’s metrics. Things change quickly. Just because your app was successful in the past doesn’t mean this success will continue tomorrow. It’s time to take matters into your own hands.