8 Critical KPIs For Your App and How to Track Them

Written by Lesley Wasserman on July 12 2018 in App Marketing

Your app is your baby. You’ve coddled it, you’ve cherished it, you’re a first-class helicopter parent. Before its inception, you poured over the numbers, the logistics, the practicals, before making (what you assumed at the time) the best decisions for the app’s livelihood and ultimate prosperity – decisions that would positively affect your life and the life your app.

After the dawn of your app’s release, you realized that although you prepared like the ever-adoring parent that you are, you ultimately never could have fully prepared for what you and your app’s future held. So many new questions and matters arose, issues that only surfaced as you hit obstacles or were challenged by the app’s conduct.

Surely you have some analytics tools in your toolbox, but perhaps they’re just not cutting it. Definitely you planned to track certain metrics, but maybe others have come up along the way. What to do? Lucky for you, we’ve got answers.

Knowing which KPIs to track, and how, is critical for your app’s success. Tracking metrics is your strategy. Taking those metrics and using mobile analytics tools is the “follow through”. As Peter Drucker so wisely said:

“What gets measured [the right way] gets managed.”

  1. Essential KPIs: The “Strategy”
  2. Crucial Analytics Tools: The “Follow Through”
  3. Further Reading

Essential KPIs: The “Strategy”

Crashed Sessions Crashed Sessions: Understanding when and why crashes are occurring in your app is key for retention and improving your bottom lines. This KPI can be tracked in a variety of ways: what are the events leading up to the crash? How frequently is your app crashing? How many times per day? Where in the app is a session crashing? How many users have been affected by the app’s crash?
User Sign-Ups User Sign-Ups: Users who do complete the sign-up process will be more likely to return because they’ve shown interest and have already done the hard part: entering their details. If your sign-up numbers are not where you want them to be, you should begin to analyze “why”. Are users struggling with syncing their social media account? Is the form too lengthy?
Unresponsive Gestures Unresponsive Gestures: Unresponsive gestures are a critical part of your app’s usability. They occur when a user makes a gesture on a certain screen element, expecting a reaction from the app, yet the app does not respond. If unresponsive gestures are occurring on certain screens, this can indicate a design flaw within your app. It will also be a major source of frustration or confusion for users and will likely result in a drop in users’ trust in your app.
Pro tip: By using Touch Heatmaps to track unresponsive gestures, you can understand where, when, and why these gestures are occuring.
Killed Sessions Killed Sessions: Users will force kill an app for many reasons. Contrary to popular belief, users will not just kill apps due to habit or preservation of battery life. Users will also kill apps due to performance issues or frustration. Perhaps a specific screen isn’t responding or they are confused by a form and users kill the session. By tracking this KPI closely on both an aggregate and single user level, you can understand where/when users are killing the app, and most importantly, why?
App Not Responding App Not Responding: If your users are trying to complete a purchase, or they’re in a hurry, and suddenly the app doesn’t respond, this can harm your app’s retention. Keep a good track of how often are users experiencing App Not Responding (ANR) sessions. Moreover, are certain screens experiencing ANR sessions more than others? What actions led up to the app not responding?
Daily Active Users Daily Active Users: This KPI simply monitors the number of users who engage with your app on a daily basis. Are there certain hours of the day that are more active than others? Or perhaps certain days of the week are more popular? DAU shows the level of interest that your app is receiving according to the number of people who interact with your app each day.
Monthly Active Users Monthly Active Users: Similar to DAU, this KPI measures the number of users who interact with your app on a monthly basis. Tracking MAU allows you to see consistency of app users engaging in your app over a greater period of time.
Retention Rate Retention Rate: This measures how frequently users are returning to your app–be it on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis. For those who don’t return, the key question to ask here is why?
Pro tip: By using user session recordings for first time sessions, you can see exactly why users are churning.

Crucial Analytics Tools: The “Follow Through”

Each of these tools provide unique and innovative ways to measure your KPIs. Each tool is incredibly valuable and has its own unique USP. They all support Android, iOS, and hybrid operating systems.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel

A quantitative event tracking tool, Mixpanel is a great choice for mobile professionals in regards to crunching a range of data points and understanding the overall user journey on desktop, mobile web, and mobile apps. It is one of the market leaders when it comes to extensive event tracking and is utilized by top brands such as Ticketmaster, Intel, and Viber.

Features:

  • A/B Testing
  • Conversion Funnels
  • Retention Cohorts
  • Push Notifications
  • Automatic Insights

Platforms supported: Android, iOS, web, mobile web
Pricing: Free/Paid (depending on size of company)

Appsee

Appsee

Appsee is the market’s choice qualitative analytics tool. It is most renowned for its User Recordings and Touch Heatmaps. User Recordings provide real-time recordings of each user’s in-app experience, automatically tagging all users’ events and screens. Touch Heatmaps provide a visual “map” based on screen gesture concentration. This visualization allows you to see exactly where your users are tapping, swiping, and pinching on every screen, and understand where users are encountering navigation/usability difficulties. Top mobile app companies like eBay, Samsung, and Tripsta turn to Appsee for insights on their user experience.

Features:

  • Conversion Funnels
  • Action Cohorts
  • Crash Symbolication
  • User Recordings
  • Touch Heatmaps

Platforms supported: Android/iOS
Pricing: 14-day free trial/Paid

Crashlytics

Crashlytics

Best known for its highly detailed crash reports, Crashlytics considers a wide range of factors such as: device, battery status, charge in progress, proximity sensor, and wifi connection. An added bonus is that Crashlytics sends a friendly alert to its clients if any crash goes unresolved after a certain period of time.

Features:

  • Comprehensive crash reports
  • Real-time processing
  • Real-time alerts
  • Smart charts on crash trends and insights

Platforms supported: Android/iOS
Pricing: Free

Google Firebase

Google Firebase Analytics

Firebase, Google’s app suite for mobile developers, gives you one dashboard that you can view user behavior and cross-network campaign performance. Additionally, Firebase supplies you with an assortment of tools to develop your app on the Firebase platform. Plus, you can export all of your raw data to BigQuery for custom querying.

Features:

  • Crash Reporting
  • Deep linking performance
  • In-app purchase data
  • Attribution
  • Segments

Platforms supported: Android/iOS
Pricing: Free/Paid (depending on size of app)

Keen.io

Keen.io

Another high quality event tracking tool, Keen.io is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to stream, compute, and access all events through a single API. With Keen.io, developers can remain flexible with customized infrastructure while giving users the best user experience possible.

Features:

  • Event tracking
  • Real-time analytics
  • Attribution
  • Full resolution queries
  • Smart charts

Platforms supported: Android, iOS, web, mobile apps, backend servers, smart devices (anything IoT)
Pricing: Free/Paid (depending on amount of data/other add-ons)

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Wrap It All Up

We created this list to get the wheels turning, so you can seek answers to the most crucial questions within your app. Of course there are plenty of other KPIs that you can monitor, but we chose the eight above for the influence and results that they deliver.

You and your app have experienced a long journey together already, but the excitement only continues. Your app deserves all the attention possible–after all, it is your baby!

Now that you have the toolbox, it’s up to you to implement these KPIs and analytics tools as you see fit. Happy Tracking!

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

Lesley Wasserman

Lesley is an Inbound Marketing Manager at Appsee. She is an avid UX and tech trend-seeker and loves finding innovative ways to make life better! Lesley prefers vegetarian options, although occasionally has a hankering for a steak, and she's constantly on the lookout for new ways to decorate her home. You can follow her on Twitter @wassles.

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