Whiteboard / 02 20, 2018
Using Analytics to Grow Your Mobile App
Are people using your app or not? Are you using the right marketing methods? Are you bringing the right people into your app? All of these questions are easily answered once you are working with analytics.
There is a repeated sad story in the app industry that sometimes goes like this: An excited and highly motivated person wants to build a great app. They hire designers and developers to create an app that behaves exactly how they have it in their mind. Somehow, they succeed.
Eventually, this person will go through the grueling process of getting their app in the respective app stores and begin setting up online advertising to direct people to their page. Everything looks to be going smoothly. The Facebook ads start rolling out, and the users start coming in.
But then problems start to develop that were not accounted for in the development process. The team that created the app cannot figure out the only question that matters: How are people interacting with my app?
Correctly implemented analytics is the answer to this question. And it’s not something that you should just throw into your application. Analytics should be considered from the very beginning so that you can measure how people are interacting with your app. More importantly, analytics allows one to measure how changes you make to the app increase or decrease that interaction.
Several major enterprises use analytics to test if a new feature should continue after the app’s release. When Instagram launched its revolutionary ‘Instagram Stories’ feature, they used analytics within the app to test which features had the best rate of user adoption. With many app companies opting for quick design and development sprints, analytics allows for more educated decision-making when adding and taking away features. Without analytics, figuring out the effective features in your app is filled with a lot of guesswork and headaches. With analytics, user interaction becomes measurable and figuring out user engagement becomes easier.
Here are some common questions that analytics solves:
1. How long are people staying in my app?
2. Which features of my app are people using?
3. Where are users getting lost during onboarding? Is there significant drop off in one area of the onboarding process over the other?
4. Which font is more effective at getting users to engage with a button?
5. Is this new feature that we are implementing keeping users in the app for longer?
6. What is the demographic of people using my app? Should I retarget these people and maybe even rebrand my product around this demographic?
As you can see, the more time you spend with GOOD analytics, the more you can see. And because of this, it’s important to consider analytics at the beginning of developing your product. From personal experience, this will save you a lot of heartache.
Don’t forget about User Actions in your KPIs
Many developers are mostly concerned with app downloads and user retention. Although these are extremely important KPIs, understanding how users are engaging with your app should not be overlooked. Leveraging analytics that use heat mapping tools and user session recording allows you to see where users might be getting frustrated and therefore leaving the app. Having a deeper understanding of these user actions will help you create a better product for each dot release.
A/B Testing like the Pros
A/B Testing turns your analytics strategy into a science experiment. You can test 2 versions of the same page in order to see which one performs better. The variations in the versions do not have to be big. Start a testing strategy by tweaking a headline, button call-to-actions, or color schemes.
Essentially, A/B testing gives you the hard data to back up your design and development decisions using real customer interactions. Many enterprise app development companies are using these techniques constantly and using the data to create better versions of their app. With analytics tools like Localytics, you do not have to be an enterprise company to leverage this technology.
Top platforms for Mobile App Analytics
Mixpanel is a robust mobile app analytics option, with clients ranging from match.com to WordPress. The abilities, to track in-app use are endless. Some of the most popular use cases are for funnel analysis, marketing automation, and cohort analysis. Although it does not come with a live demo, it ranges from a free membership, all the way up to expert levels at $999 per month.
- Compatible with iOS, Android
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is not only for websites! That’s right. Google Analytics has an entire suite of tagging abilities within a mobile app. The reasons that Google Analytics are so popular for websites, are the same for mobile apps, with the ability to tag hundreds of interactions that users are having with your app. Like most of Google’s products, the free version of Google Analytics will allow you to do most everything.
- Compatible with OS, Android, Other
Localtyics boasts the ability track up to 100 thousand monthly active users and 12 million datapoints in a mobile app. It allows you to collect data on user flows, A/B testing and funnels. You can also use heat maps to see where users are interacting with your app the most.
- Compatible with iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, HTML 5
In almost all scenarios, you want your analytics to be measurable, clean, and readable. I emphasize measurable because that is the most important part. To successfully measure an app feature, you need to compare how users are interacting with your app to really give your analytics context.
Analytics gives you a lot more confidence in your app because metrics do not lie. Are people using your app or not? Are you using the right marketing methods? Are you bringing the right people into your app? All of these questions are easily answered once you are working with analytics.
Are you ready to take your mobile app analytics to the next level?
Tell us about your mobile app idea, and our team of experts will guide you through the analytics strategy process. Contact us today for a free quote.
Joe is an iOS Developer at Haneke Design in Tampa, FL