How Attribution Helps Your Mobile App

November 17th, 2018

How Attribution Helps Your Mobile App
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Where do your app’s downloads come from? While it is known that the vast majority of downloads come from searches, that can be broken down into even more specifics and categories. Are you showing up in searches? What about the charts and featured placement? Attribution is essential to forming an App Store Optimization strategy, as it helps inform and shape your ASO decisions.

How Attribution Works

App Store attribution is the breakdown of where your app’s downloads come from. This includes:

  • Browsing the App Store, including Featured Apps, Categories and Top Charts
  • Search and the specific search terms used
  • Referrals from another app, including advertisements
  • Websites, such as landing pages or Facebook pages

With this information, you can determine what your best sources of traffic are and where your users are finding you. Last year, Apple added app attribution data for organic search shortly after the global release of Search Ads. Similarly, Google Play users can use Google Attribution to pull data from Google Ads. With the attribution data, developers can get a full understanding of how users are finding their apps.

How Attribution Helps ASO

Attribution provides a great look into your organic traffic, which serves several purposes for App Store Optimization. Being able to break down where your traffic comes from lets you determine how well your ASO strategy is working and in what areas. If you’re testing a new ASO strategy, attribution can give you an overview of how well it’s working by showing how many downloads are coming from search. Since attribution covers more sources than just app stores, it can also provide information as to the success of campaigns outside of the store. If you’ve set up a landing page or launched a Facebook campaign, you’ll be able to tell how many downloads you’ve gained as a result of that campaign. If you have ads appearing on another app, you can see if it’s reaching enough users or if it’s not connecting with their audience. Similarly, it can inform developers if their app is seeing success from being featured in the App Store or on a top category chart. On the other hand, if the app is seeing a smaller increase in downloads than anticipated, it could mean that the creative set or description used for the Featured Apps section is not appealing to users and should be fixed. Attribution not only lets you know how well your App Store Optimization is working, it can also help empower it with actionable insights. If a certain keyword is underperforming, attribution tools can identify where the problem lies. From there you can adjust your ASO strategy to focus on keywords and metadata that perform better to increase reach and visibility. If a Facebook campaign is not providing new traffic to the app, attribution can inform developers, so they can reexamine and adjust it accordingly. Keep in mind, though, that the attribution tools Apple and Google offer do not cover all of an app’s keywords. While Google does show the top keywords, it leaves out several smaller ones that could be analyzed and improved upon. Apple, meanwhile, only provides Search traffic without looking at individual keywords. For a full, in-depth analyses of how keywords are performing, you’ll need a platform like Datacube, which fully analyzes the performances of each of an app’s keywords. Datacube shows you which keywords are performing well, so you can tell where your traffic is coming from and find the best keywords for your app. Attribution provides insights, and insight empowers developers to improve their App Store Optimization. If you don’t understand what your traffic is attributed to, your adjustments will lack the data and information necessary to fully optimize your app.

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