App Marketing

Four Key Metrics to Track in your App

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To create an amazing app you need feedback. But sometimes getting that feedback, especially data-driven, non-subjective feedback is almost impossible if you entirely rely on your users. In fact, gaining these insights can be easily done if you’re tracking these metrics in your app. Feedback from customers is invaluable in creating an experience your users want – but sometimes you need to go beyond this, and gaining insights can be done if you’re tracking metrics in your app.  Here are our recommended key metrics you need to track in your app.

Vanity Metrics

Many people prioritise vanity metrics as a key indicator for the success of their app. This includes things such as number of downloads and monthly users. These are great for benchmarking the success of your app month on month, especially if you’re being paid per download – but this is rarely the case. Yes, you absolutely want to see your app being downloaded and people coming back month after month (which is likely when you’ll be pulling your analytics reports together) but these are known as vanity metrics for a reason. These metrics make your app look good on the surface but it doesn’t give much depth of insight into the way that your users are behaving, and provides little to no learnings about the way your app could be improved.


Monetisation of apps depends on retention – seeing users come back into your app again and again. Not just monthly, but daily and weekly. Retention is usually expressed as percentage: the number of total users or new users that then return for at least a session. This can be adjusted based on your goals. To assess retention you need to be tracking the number of sessions – a session is counted each time someone opens your app. This could be adjusted to the number of times your app was opened and then an additional interaction made, so you’re not counting any accidental opens. Retention can also be measured using Stickiness Rate, the number of daily active users divided by the monthly active users.


You’ll want to ensure your app is set up with tracking based on interactions. You decide what an interaction is: a tap on a menu, a click to shop, a purchase, playing a game, etc.  Tracking interactions will allow you to build up a picture of the users’ navigation through your app and from there you can see what is and isn’t popular – this could be a game, feature, or maybe your store – and work out a plan to optimise your app to improve interaction with a certain feature or to do away with something altogether.

Time in-app

This is a tricky one as measuring this isn’t always important. If you have an app that requires someone to check it once a day then, as you’d expect, time in app will be lower, but for other apps like social media and games, you want this to be higher. If the aim of your app is to keep people hooked then great! But for some apps, even games, you might naturally see the time spent in your app drop as users leave the app during a cooldown period.

Whatever your app, it’s advisable to record this data from the get go, as retroactively adding tracking won’t always be possible. Some tracking doesn’t keep historical data which you’ll want to use for benchmarking and tracking on launch. That doesn’t mean you should focus on absolutely every data point – as we’ve shown not all metrics are important depending on the relevance to your app. The metrics you choose should provide insights to optimise the experience in your app.

If this all sounds rather confusing then don’t worry, we have an app marketing package put together by our app marketing experts to take the weight of this decision making off your shoulders. Instead, enjoy intentional insights, learnings, and recommendations you need to create a fantastic, long-lasting app. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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