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Essential Guide: Measure What Matters – Key Metrics to Track Your Mobile App’s Success

Published datePublished: Mar 4, 2024 ViewsViews: 687
Shanal Aggarwal

Shanal Aggarwal

Chief Commercial & Customer Success Officer
Shanal is a passionate advocate for crafting innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and consistently deliver outstanding results for TechAhead's clients. As a strategic and creative leader, he specializes in driving revenue expansion, developing client-focused solutions, pioneering product innovations, and ensuring seamless program management.
Essential Guide: Measure What Matters – Key Metrics to Track Your Mobile App’s Success

When it comes to monitoring your mobile app’s success, knowing which metrics to track is crucial. Users diving into the analytics often ask themselves – what are the key metrics that really matter? In this guide, we’ll focus on essential metrics that give you the most significant insights into your app’s performance.

From understanding user engagement to financial viability, we’ll unpack the measure of what matters key metrics to track your mobile app’s success, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your app’s future.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile app metrics are essential for understanding user behavior, app performance, and financial stability, with a focus on meaningful metrics over vanity metrics for accurate insights.
  • Engagement and retention metrics, such as session duration, time spent in-app, screen flow analysis, churn rate, and cohort analysis, are crucial for improving user interaction, loyalty, and app stickiness.
  • Revenue and marketing metrics, which include ARPU, CLV, CPA, and organic vs. paid conversion rates, along with app store optimization (ASO) metrics, are vital for assessing an app’s profitability, user acquisition success, and visibility in app stores.

Understanding Mobile App Metrics

Mobile app metrics displayed on a digital dashboard

Mobile app metrics are quantifiable data points that developers use to measure mobile app performance and progress toward business goals.

These mobile app analytics metrics provide meaningful insights into the technical performance of an app and highlight key areas that need improvement. Analyzing potential metrics early, even before the app is built or marketing campaigns are launched, is a wise move.

However, not all metrics deserve equal attention. Vanity metrics, such as the average screens per visit or app downloads, can give a false sense of success.

In contrast, meaningful metrics that impact the bottom line are crucial to monitor closely. Hence, prioritizing key app metrics will enhance our comprehension of the app’s performance and success measurement.

Types of Mobile App Metrics

There are several types of mobile app metrics, each providing unique insights into user interaction and app performance. Some of these metrics include:

  1. Engagement metrics, such as active users and session length, offer crucial insights into how users interact with a mobile app.
  2. The stickiness ratio, indicated by how often users return to an app, is a key indicator of user engagement.
  3. App load speed is another important metric that can affect user experience and app performance.

By tracking and analyzing these metrics, app developers can gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to improve their app’s performance and user engagement for mobile app users.

Time spent in-app is another important engagement metric, helping to understand which features or content capture user interest.

Yet, it’s crucial not to rely heavily on vanity metrics like total registered users or app downloads, as they may not always portray the accurate picture of user engagement or app success.

Importance of Tracking Metrics

Access to user behavior data is critical for enhancing product-market fit and user experience, which can drive organic growth.

Benchmarking the time spent in-app against industry standards and historical trends is crucial to understanding if an app is meeting user expectations. However, beyond user experience, tracking metrics also play a significant role in the financial stability of an app.

Revenue-focused Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for understanding how an app generates income. Additionally, assessing the demographics of the actual customer base plays a substantial role in gauging the effectiveness of app marketing strategies.

Hence, monitoring pertinent mobile app metrics is indispensable for enhancing user experience and guaranteeing a return on investment.

User Engagement Metrics

User engagement metrics chart

User engagement metrics, such as how many users are:

  • Daily Active Users (DAU)
  • Monthly Active Users (MAU)
  • Average session length
  • Frequency

showcase how often and deeply users interact with the app. These metrics provide insights into user behavior and satisfaction, which are crucial for long-term user retention and app success.

In the subsequent subsections, we will explore in detail session duration, time spent in-app, and screen flow analysis – three pivotal metrics for gauging user interaction and spotting areas that require enhancement.

Session Duration

Session duration is a key metric that indicates the time spent by a user in a single session within a mobile app, serving as a measure of their engagement.

Longer session durations usually imply that the app’s content is engaging and pertinent to the user, contributing to their continued interest and loyalty. Therefore, analyzing session duration helps app developers and marketers determine the appeal of their content and the quality of the user experience.

Monitoring session length against app objectives, industry benchmarks, and historical data is vital for assessing an app’s effectiveness in captivating users.

Time Spent In-App

The metric ‘Time in App’ encompasses all active sessions a user experiences throughout a day. Tracking this metric offers a comprehensive perspective of user engagement over time.

More importantly, the longer time users spend within the app, the greater the customer retention and the more repeat business. Therefore, comprehending and enhancing the time spent in-app is a key element in propelling user engagement and the app’s success.

Screen Flow Analysis

Screen flow analysis involves:

  • Tracking the sequence of screens a user visits within an app
  • Tracking the time spent on each screen
  • Identifying popular paths and potential friction points
  • Analyzing conversion funnels
  • Tracking key flows within the app

By conducting screen flow analysis, you can pinpoint areas for optimization and enhance user engagement and growth.

Image Source

In addition, cohort analysis can be used to identify friction points within the user journey by mapping user data and visualizing uninstall trends, which aids in reducing the churn rate.

Retention Metrics

Retention metrics analysis

While user engagement metrics provide insights into how users interact with an app, retention metrics measure how well the app retains its users over time.

Key retention metrics such as churn rate, retention rate, and cohort analysis provide valuable information on user loyalty and app stickiness.

These metrics play a significant role in determining an app’s success by helping pinpoint areas of user experience that need improvements to diminish churn and boost user loyalty.

Churn Rate

Churn rate is a crucial metric that quantifies the percentage of users who stop using the app within a specified period.

It’s worth noting that an average app loses 77% of its daily active users within the first three days after install, providing a practical perspective on typical app user churn over a short period.

A high churn rate can significantly impede an app’s profitability and limit its growth, demonstrating the adverse impact on business outcomes.

However, an annual churn rate between 4% and 7% is generally considered manageable, though this can vary between industries.

Monitoring metrics such as uninstalls and churn rate is critical in identifying user dissatisfaction and tackling issues that might lead to app improvement.

Benchmarking churn rates against different app verticals and user’s geographic regions aids in understanding what constitutes a high churn rate and informs strategies for reduction.

Retention Rate

Retention rate is a primary Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for app success, indicating the percentage of users who continue using an app.

App developers track retention rates at multiple intervals, such as 7, 14, and 30 days, providing insights into user retention trends and moments of disengagement.

Benchmarking against industry standards, a 10% retention after one month is above average, with rates in fintech and e-commerce industries showing significant differences in early retention.

Therefore, a healthy retention rate indicates app growth through sustained user engagement, correlating positively with consistent revenue and profitability.

Cohort Analysis

Cohort analysis is a method of dividing users into related groups for comparative assessment over time, helping determine root causes of churn and factors that encourage user retention by analyzing user actions, acquisition channels, and user completion timeframes.

This analysis significantly contributes to user retention by providing insights into moments when users are most likely to engage or churn.

By pinpointing the reasons for user churn, cohort analysis enables the implementation of focused interventions to improve user engagement and support overall app growth.

Revenue Metrics

Revenue metrics performance

While user engagement and retention metrics provide insights into user behaviors and app usability, revenue metrics assess an app’s financial performance and inform strategic decisions for growth.

Crucial revenue metrics such as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), in-app purchases, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) help track an app’s financial success and provide insights into revenue generation strategies

.Customer Lifetime Value for App Development Metrics

In the upcoming subsections, we will explore these essential revenue metrics that play a significant role in effectively monetizing your app.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is a key indicator of the success of an app’s monetization strategy, and it influences how businesses assess the value contributed by each user.

Investors often use ARPU to gauge the growth potential and value of an app, which underscores its importance for businesses seeking investment.

To calculate ARPU, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the total revenue earned within a specific period.
  2. Calculate the average number of users during that period.
  3. Divide the total revenue by the average number of users.

This will give you the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for your app.

Analyzing ARPU by different user groups or acquisition channels is beneficial to pinpoint which segments are more profitable or might need further development.

Thus, understanding and optimizing ARPU is essential for app monetization success and contributes significantly to the overall business valuation.

In-App Purchases

Tracking in-app purchases is critical for measuring direct revenue and understanding user purchase behavior, making it a fundamental aspect of a mobile app’s success.

Analyzing in-app purchase data enables the identification of popular and profitable products or features, which informs product development, while A/B testing with pricing can be utilized to increase revenue.

Moreover, monitoring the frequency and volume of in-app purchases gives insights into user engagement, and personalizing user experiences based on purchase data can increase conversion rates and enhance user satisfaction.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) represents the total revenue generated by a customer throughout their entire relationship with a specific application, indicating the long-term profitability of the user base. CLV is calculated by considering factors like:

  • Average revenue per user
  • Customer lifespan
  • Retention rate
  • Cost of customer acquisition and retention.

Comprehending and enhancing CLV is crucial for:

  • ROI evaluation
  • Customer loyalty assessment
  • Decision-making improvement regarding investments
  • Showcasing the app’s potential to draw in investors.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Metrics

App store optimization metrics

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a key aspect of mobile app marketing. ASO metrics significantly impact app store visibility, user perception, and download rates, making them essential for the marketing and promotion of a mobile app.

Key ASO metrics include keywords, keyword rankings, and app store ratings and reviews, which directly affect an app’s discoverability in app stores.

Furthermore, in-app purchase metrics can influence an app’s ranking and visibility in app store’s algorithms, thereby playing a role in ASO strategies.

Hence, comprehending and enhancing ASO metrics is vital for boosting an app’s visibility, escalating downloads, and ultimately, achieving the app’s success.

Keyword Rankings

App Store Optimization (ASO) enhances an app’s visibility in app store search results, and keyword monitoring plays a critical role in this process.

The algorithms of app stores like Apple App Store and Google Play Store use keywords from app listings to rank apps, making regular monitoring of these keywords vital.

Incorporating relevant search terms into the app’s name, subtitle, and description is key for keyword optimization, while considering each app store’s character limits and algorithm peculiarities.

Hence, a comprehensive keyword optimization strategy along with steady performance tracking are vital for enhancing app visibility in searches and escalating downloads.

App Store Ratings and Reviews

App reviews and ratings are pivotal for app store optimization as they influence the app’s visibility by affecting its ranking in app store search algorithms.

Positive ratings and reviews shape user perception as users typically consult these anecdotes before deciding to download an application, indicating the app’s credibility and value.

High app ratings and positive reviews can lead to an increase in app download rates as they reflect user satisfaction and endorse the app’s features to potential new users.

Hence, keeping track and responding to user reviews and ratings is advantageous for building a better app reputation, enhancing user experience, and boosting app downloads.

Mobile App Marketing Metrics

Mobile app marketing metrics, also known as mobile app marketing KPIs, are key indicators that help track the number of new users who download a mobile app and understand which marketing channels are most effective in driving these downloads.

Key marketing metrics such as Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), organic vs. paid conversion rates, and reachability metrics provide valuable insights into user acquisition and conversion methods.

These metrics are essential for enhancing marketing efforts, propelling user acquisition, and finally, achieving the app’s success.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is a critical metric that calculates the total amount spent on acquisition divided by the number of acquisitions.

This metric provides an accurate measure of the profitability of marketing and acquisition strategies, and it’s vital for managing acquisition activity and success across user acquisition channels.

CPA is influenced by factors such as:

  • location
  • operating system
  • app vertical
  • choice of user acquisition channels

Monitoring related metrics like CAC-to-Conversion can lead to improved ROI and more strategic marketing decisions.

However, CPA optimization isn’t simple. It’s not just about reducing advertising spend while maintaining or increasing the number of acquisitions.

It may also involve tracking specific user actions within the app, which is especially important for freemium models that rely on in-app upselling. Hence, comprehending CPA and its influencing factors is vital for efficient budget planning and strategic marketing decisions.

Organic vs. Paid Conversion Rates

Organic conversion rates occur without direct advertising expenses and are derived from visibility, such as search engine results or referrals. On the other hand, paid conversion rates are tied to paid advertising campaigns and their corresponding investments.

A successful user acquisition strategy requires an understanding of the balance between organic and paid conversion rates.

Paid conversion rates need continuous optimization and testing to achieve a positive return on investment and measure the rate of conversion effectively via paid advertising.

Meanwhile, while organic user acquisition is generally more cost-effective than paid acquisition, it often takes more time to achieve the same scale of user base growth.

Analytical Tools for Tracking Mobile App Metrics

In the realm of mobile apps, understanding and interpreting app metrics can be a complex task. Thankfully, various mobile app analytics tools can provide valuable insights into user behavior, app performance, and revenue generation. Popular analytical tools include:

Apple App Analytics
  • Apple App Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Glassbox
  • Heap
  • UXCam

These tools provide developers with diverse metrics ranging from usage to sales data.

Certain tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude, Countly, and Firebase are notable for their user interaction tracking, custom reports, and A/B testing features, which are compatible across major mobile and web platforms.

Other considerations when choosing between free and paid options include features like Flurry’s upcoming discontinuation in March 2024, Amplitude’s pricing model, and Localytics’ uninstall tracking feature.

Thus, the selection of the appropriate analytical tool is based on the specific requirements and budget of your app project.


In conclusion, mobile app metrics provide a wealth of information that can significantly improve the success of your mobile app. They give insights into user engagement, retention, revenue generation, and the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Analyzing these metrics properly using the right analytical tools can provide a comprehensive view of your app’s performance and inform strategic decisions for growth. Therefore, understanding and tracking these essential metrics is crucial for measuring what truly matters – the success of your mobile app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which metric should be used to measure success?

The most common metrics used to measure success include revenue growth, customer retention rates, profit margin, and customer satisfaction. These metrics can offer a comprehensive view of a company’s performance in various areas.

How do you measure app performance metrics?

You can measure app performance metrics by tracking user growth rate, mobile downloads, app retention rate, crashes, session length and depth, DAU & MAU, churn rate, and ARPU. These metrics provide valuable insights into the performance of your mobile app.

What are mobile app metrics?

Mobile app metrics are quantifiable data points used to measure app performance and progress toward business goals. These metrics help businesses understand how their app is performing and where it can be improved.

What is the importance of tracking mobile app metrics?

Tracking mobile app metrics is essential for improving user experience, driving organic growth, and understanding app revenue generation. It allows you to make informed decisions to optimize your app’s performance.

What is the difference between organic and paid conversion rates?

The key difference between organic and paid conversion rates is that organic conversion occurs without direct advertising expenses, whereas paid conversion rates are tied to paid advertising campaigns and their corresponding investments. Therefore, the main contrast lies in the origin of the conversion.

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