Since the invention of the smartphone, apps have become irreplaceable in today’s fast-paced life, helping us stay connected to each other, organize our work, chores, calendars, hobbies, as well as providing various kinds of entertainment like music, podcasts, and videos.
Thanks to such an important role in our society, mobile apps are now a lucrative business for developers, publishers, advertisers on one side and platforms that assist them every step of the monetization way.
It is no wonder then, that such an environment is brutally competitive and that you truly need to be on top of your game at all times if you want to stand out and generate solid income off your app. To this end, we bring you a list of seven things to check in your app and ways to improve them:
1. Is there enough ad diversity?
Since most apps have dropped their price tags and can now be downloaded for free, ads have become the go-to method for app monetization. The audience accepts them and they’re easy to implement, especially with ad networks that act as mediators between advertisers and app publishers.
However, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking everyone is going to like every single ad you serve them, and many users will eventually become annoyed with being shown the same old ad all over again. On top of that, not all users respond the same to different types of ads.
A solution to the problem is to study your users and adjust the ad experience to their preferences and demographics. Such data can be acquired through detailed analysis and segmentation provided by monetization platforms.
2. Are ads positioned properly?
Sometimes the user satisfaction can be negatively impacted by poor ad positioning and timing. For instance, an ad can jump out of nowhere in the middle of a session, ruining the experience and frustrating the user. A poorly positioned banner can affect the app’s usefulness and annoy the users if they click on it accidentally.
Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Would you like it if the ads were popping out when you’re trying to call a taxi, if you kept clicking on that annoying banner by accident, or it was hiding a part of the app’s layout? Do your best to avoid such problems by carefully planning and always A/B test your app after any changes that were made in the positioning or timing of an ad.
Also, make sure to check out your app’s reviews to see if there are any complaints about ads (and other things of course) so you could resolve them. You could even go the extra mile and respond to the person complaining, telling them you’ve fixed the problem. This will definitely get you points in many people’s books.
3. Do ads slow down or even crash the app?
Poor positioning and lack of diversity are far from being the only possible issues. If you scan the app reviews in stores for a bit, you’ll notice that a lot of complaints refer to the quantity of ads and their effect on the app’s speed.
The solutions to this problem are similar to the previous one – A/B testing and user reviews. Reading reviews can help you learn if there is a problem with the app speed and stability, while through A/B testing you can find out how much ads are to blame for this.
4. Are you showing ads to paying users?
Just because your users have paid to download your app or are purchasing in-app items doesn’t mean they’d respond negatively to being shown ads now and then. This is particularly true for rewarded videos, which are the favorite ad type among users.
In fact, here’s an idea. Let’s say a user has just spent money on something in your app, like in-game currency. Why not give them a chance to earn some more if they watch a video? This is a non-invasive yet efficient way to increase the chances of getting more ad impressions.
5. Are rewarded videos introduced early enough?
Speaking of rewarded ads, make sure you bring them into your app early enough to payout. This is important because about 80% of users uninstall an app during the first week after they’ve installed it. Thus, if you want to make any use out of those users, ensure the rewarded ads are introduced before they’ve churned.
6. Are the incentives balanced?
When you’re rewarding your users for watching ads, subscribing to emails, or doing something else to earn stuff in the game, there is a delicate balance to be respected. This means providing enough rewards for the player to continue playing but not too much to spoil the experience and make the game too easy.
What you can do is start analyzing opt-in ratio on a cohort basis to see if the players are losing interest in the rewards offered. If the interest is faltering, it could mean that the users’ don’t find your rewards enticing. They could also churn if they find it too hard to earn the rewards necessary to continue playing.
7. Do you have the right monetization insights?
There’s nothing that can’t be done with a good monetization partner by your side. Such a platform can give you access to valuable information about your app’s use, popularity, and audience, especially who your most valuable users are.
These users are commonly referred to as ‘ad whales’ as they are elusive creatures that spend significantly more money in your app and watch more ads than any other user group.
Releasing an app out into the world and managing it successfully can be a difficult, grueling process, but the rewards are immense, both in terms of income and user loyalty. If your app ticks all the right boxes I outlined above – congratulations! You have the perfect product and should be happy about it.
If, however, there are still areas for improvement, don’t worry – you can do it, especially if you have a team of industry experts at hand. These will help you out and position your app exactly where you want it to be – on top of the app stores’ charts.