Top KPIs for Mobile Apps
Top KPIs for Mobile Apps
These KPIs provide a good basis for choosing what to monitor in your mobile apps to keep track of performance and user experience.
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Mobile apps are a sensible way to reach a wide audience. Mobile devices are, of course, ubiquitous, so your company's app can help you to achieve sales, deliver content, or draw attention where you need it. Your results will only be as good as the end user's experience with your app, so your company should constantly be looking for ways to improve that experience. You will need to choose and track the most relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) for your app to get the most valuable data on where to improve.
This article covers a set of KPIs useful for evaluating your app from multiple angles and discusses why each one might be useful. Which KPIs are most useful to you depend on your company's situation and goals and your app's intended function, but here are some KPIs to consider tracking.
Unexpected app crashes happen, but frequent crashes will cause users to abandon your app without question. You can reduce your crash rate by pinpointing how frequently crashes occur, at what point in your app they are occurring the most, and what circumstances led to the crash (such as a specific function being used or a series of steps that consistently trigger a crash). A lower crash rate is always better, but keeping it between 1 and 2 percent is typical and generally acceptable depending on your app's function and usage.
App Loading Time
When a user launches your app, they expect to start using or navigating it quickly. If they need to wait more than a few seconds, they are more likely to start looking for a competitor's app. The end user's device contributes several factors that can impact your loading time, such as its model, operating system, and age. A fast loading time on one device does not guarantee an acceptable one on others.
One way to keep loading time short is to quickly direct the user to a landing screen they can interact with while the rest of your app loads. In this case, you can also measure the amount of time from the app's launch to when they take their first action. If your user wishes to navigate to a specific screen in your app or search for some content, a load time stopping them is still a nuisance even if it bothers them less than waiting for the app to launch altogether.
The ability to leverage APIs or services outside the app is a powerful feature that keeps apps lightweight and highly functional. Latency refers to the amount of time used for a round-trip call between a request and its response. A general guideline is to keep this under 1 second when possible. Monitoring this latency can help you to find which API calls are working as expected and which are causing slowdown, which allows you to adjust them if they are part of your infrastructure or avoid them if they are outside your control.
If your app is available on more than one platform, tracking which platforms the majority of your users are on can show you which one to put the most focus on. You can also monitor which specific version of the platform's OS is most popular among your users to help with decisions on which version new fixes and features should be built for. Even monitoring whether users are more frequently using smartphones or tablets can help direct new design decisions.
If you have access to your users' geographical location data, you can use this to see where your app is at its most popular. It will show you if your app has been received in the full scope of where you intended it to be adopted or if only a subsection of that area has been actively using it. You can also see if it is used most in the country you are targeting or if it has gained unexpected popularity in another country. Once you know where your app has gained popularity, you can research those areas for reasons why.
If your app has a search feature, the most frequent searches can give you insight into what your users want from your app. If one of the most used search terms leads users to a specific screen in your app they can already navigate to, it suggests finding that screen is too unintuitive for most users. If many users are searching a term that yields no results in your app, it tells you there might be a product or feature your app is missing that your users will appreciate.
Session length measures the time from the user opening the app to when they close it. The ideal amount of time varies depending on what your app is used for, but longer time indicates your users are more engaged with your app.
Session interval is the time between two sessions. A short session interval means the user is making frequent use of the app. If new users have short session intervals, it suggests those users are seeing immediate value from the app after their initial download. It can also be a signal of how any ad revenue your app generates can be expected to perform.
Pages Viewed per Session
Pages viewed in a session indicates how engaged users are during a single session. If, for example, your app presents the user articles to read, a high number of views means users are enjoying the content being presented to them. The number of screens viewed per session is similar depending on what content your screens present, though it can also indicate confusion on how to find the content the user is looking for.
Whether your app uses in-app purchases, a subscription model or ad revenue, tracking your revenue is a very clear sign of how successfully your app is performing. You can approach this by measuring the average revenue earned per user or the lifetime revenue earned per user. If your app allows free users, you may also choose to exclude users who have never paid any revenue from your averages.
Rating User Experience
Odds are your users are rating your app using the distribution platform they downloaded it from. For all the flaws this system has, other potential users do pay attention to the rating. This means the time you spend giving your users the best experience possible is well-spent. You can also host your own surveys in the app to get additional or more detailed feedback from your users.
You can find hidden potential in your app by tracking unresponsive gestures by your users. If users are frequently making a gesture that does nothing, such as a swipe, it indicates an expectation on that screen which hasn't been implemented yet. Addressing this is important because it can be a point of frustration that can cause users to abandon the app or look for competing apps.
Retention and Abandon Rate
Lastly, tracking how well you are retaining users or if they are abandoning the app helps you keep a pulse on your app's well being. You can track how many users are active on a daily or monthly basis and keep track of how many users are not using the app in a 90-day period (which can be considered abandoning the app). As for checking if you have retained a new user, measuring the number of app launches in the first day after downloading, first week and first month will indicate if your user is with you to stay.
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