Best practice tips: mastering the key performance metrics of ASO.

In the competitive world of the app stores, you can’t rely on paid media alone to get your app noticed. App store optimisation (ASO) strategies and techniques play a key role in improving your app's organic visibility and conversion rates, but to many, ASO is a dark art, which is why they seek the services of an agency like Redbox. So to help you to navigate this complex landscape, we've deep-dived into the key metrics and key performance indicators of ASO, explaining how to improve them, to propel your app to new heights.

The three important pillars of ASO

Diagram of the three pillars of ASO: Visibility, Conversion and Retention
  • Visibility: These metrics focus on how easily your app can be discovered when users search for relevant keywords or browse specific app categories. The major metrics include app store organic ranking for target keywords, keyword search volume, and organic vs. paid traffic.
  • Conversion: These evaluate how effectively your app's product page convinces users to install it. Metrics include click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate (CR: downloads/installations), and user reviews and ratings.
  • Retention: These metrics assess how well your app retains users after they install it and include user engagement, session duration, retention rate, and churn rate.

The top ten essential ASO KPIs you should be monitoring and benchmarking

Diagram listing Keyword Ranking, Category Ranking, Keyword Visibility, Review and Ratings, and Click through rate
  1. Keyword Rankings: Organic Keyword rankings determine your app's visibility in search results and top charts. Higher rankings lead to better organic visibility and more downloads. Success here is maintained by managing keyword performance. Keyword rankings enable you to assess how well your app compares to competitors. By tracking your app's rankings alongside your competitors' rankings for the same keywords, you can identify opportunities to outperform them or adjust your strategy to stay competitive.
  2. Category Ranking: Choosing the right category for your app is a crucial aspect of ASO. Monitoring category rankings can help you determine whether your app is in the correct category or if a different one may offer better visibility and competition. Category rankings provide insights into how our app fares against competitors within the same category. You can monitor the rankings of both our app and it’s competitors to identify opportunities for improvement and track the competitive position.
  3. Keyword Visibility: Keywords are the foundation of ASO. Tracking keyword performance helps you understand how well your app ranks for relevant search terms. Monitor your individual keyword rank, search volume, and that of your competition. Regularly update your keyword list based on performance and changes in trends or competitor activity. Assess how apps perform in terms of visibility using the chosen keyword list and track their performance. The visibility score is calculated by considering both the average rank and keyword volume. When an app ranks well for keywords with high search volumes, its visibility score increases.
  4. Reviews and Ratings: User reviews and ratings impact your app's credibility and discoverability; simply put, positive reviews and high ratings attract more users. It’s important for your credibility that you regularly check and respond to user reviews; make sure to address negative feedback and work on improving your app based on user suggestions.
  5. Click-Through Rate (CTR): To calculate your CTR, simply divide the number of clicks on your app listing by the number of impressions (times your app is shown to a user). A higher CTR indicates that the user deems your app to be a relevant result for the search term they used and this, in turn, improves your overall organic app visibility in the results lists. For an improved CTR ensure your app's title, icon, and screenshots are all optimised towards user relevancy. The click-through rate (CTR) can be influenced by various elements, including the app icon, title, screenshots, videos, and keywords. The app stores, such as Apple App Store and Google Play Store, often use engagement metrics like CTR as a factor in determining an app's ranking in search results. Apps with higher CTR are typically considered more relevant and are more likely to appear higher in search rankings, increasing their visibility to users.
Diagram showing five more KPIs: Conversion Rate, User Engagement, Retention Rate, Revenue and repeat
  1. Conversion Rate (CR): Your app’s CR is the percentage of users who download your app after visiting its product page. Don’t confuse this with download rate; the key metric here is to measure those who become active users of your app - therefore it’s vital that your app's product page is compelling enough to convert visitors into active users. To optimise your CR, experiment with different visuals, copy, and screenshots to improve results. These metrics reflect user interest and willingness to try your app. High download rates indicate successful user engagement strategies. Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store consider engagement metrics like CR when determining keyword rankings. Apps with higher conversion rates are often perceived as more relevant and valuable to users. Consequently, they tend to receive better visibility in search results and category rankings, leading to increased organic traffic and downloads.
  2. User Engagement: Users who are engaged with using your app are more likely to be retained and to convert as loyal users. Tracking user engagement helps you understand the long-term value of the users you're acquiring. Key metrics to measure here are session duration, screen views, interactions per session, and in-app feature usage. Analyse user trends to identify areas for popularity or improvement.
  3. Retention Rate: Retaining users is essential for long-term commercial success. A high retention rate indicates user satisfaction and enduring app relevancy and will result in higher long-term user-value. Benchmark your retention rate by calculating the percentage of users who continue using your app beyond specific time milestones, (e.g., 7 days, 30 days). Explore user behaviour in-app to see if specific content or functions are affecting retention.
  4. In-App Purchases and Revenue: For revenue-generating apps, tracking in-app purchases or ad monetisation is crucial to determining commercial success. ASO can influence the in-app user behaviour that drives monetisation; to monitor this, track your revenues against any metadata or creative ASO changes you make, so that you establish a direct relationship between ASO and revenue growth.
  5. Rinse and Repeat! Remember, ASO is an ongoing process of iterative improvement! For long-term and sustained success, you must continuously monitor these KPIs and adapt your strategies accordingly.

Too busy to do the ASO heavy lifting yourself, or maybe you simply need a thorough ASO audit to get started? Reach out to Redbox; our expert ASO team have the solutions you need.

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