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Why you need to optimize for game installs

September 8, 2015 by Lori Smith

With Apple’s recent rollout of vastly improved App Analytics tools, developers now have access to a lot more information about the behavior of customers interacting with their products in the App Store.  Perhaps most exciting is the ability to see the number of visits to your product page compared to the number of installs.  As anyone familiar with funnel marketing knows, getting users to your conversion page is only half the battle: you need them to complete the process. In this case, that means optimizing your product page to maximize for game installs.

Mada Seghete from Branch Metrics recently published results from their click-to-install conversion study. Surveying over 12 million clicks, they found that visitors to product pages only convert to installs 11.9% of the time on iOS, and 13.5% on Android.

While some traffic sources (Facebook, SMS) provided higher conversion rates, the bigger takeaway is that you are probably throwing away more than 85% of your traffic. And if any of that is paid (on anything other than a cost-per-installation basis) those low conversion rates are costing you money. In other words, once you are driving good traffic to your app store page, there’s almost always much more value in optimizing installs (what is known as “conversion rate optimization”) than in trying to double traffic.

So if you weren’t already testing all the copy, icons, screenshots, and videos on your product pages, now you have even more reason to do so. With the traffic and install metrics from the App Store, you can run these tests yourselves, but be aware that a controlled set of tests in this manner may seem painfully slow. Another option are third-party services, such as StoreMaven or TestNet, that provide rapid iteration and multivariate testing. These  can be excellent options if you have a little bit of money to spare.

If you want to test quickly and on the cheap, however, consider using your ads as test fodder — particularly on Facebook. Test different icon and headline treatments as ad creative to see what seems to resonate with users. This can give you quick, cheap feedback on some design elements so you can limit the test grid for your actual product page experiments.