What is CRO?
In a nutshell CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is the discipline that focuses on how the ratio between an app store visit to install conversion can be optimized. This optimization is mainly achieved through A/B testing several icons and screen iterations by region. This article will illustrate what impact CRO has on a user’s journey through the app store and why it is a key component of any mobile marketing strategy.
Traffic channels and CRO
Before going into too much detail on Lab Cave’s CRO insights we need to understand the importance of CRO in the several traffic channels available on the app stores. We need to keep in mind that when any given user visits Google Play or the iOS App Store they run into several visual stimuli – app icons, videos, feature graphics and/or screenshots.
An install of an app typically results after a user follows one of the below paths and finds the creative assets appealing:
Browse results page: top charts, navigation tabs, similar apps. This is the most common type of browsing that any user can do within Google Play or the App Store.
Search result page: When the user searches for a specific keyword, several results appear with elements such as the icon, title, a video (if the developers choose to have one) and several screenshots (organized in landscape or portrait format).
Ad result page (Adwords/Search Ads): This is the same as the Search Result Page. The difference however is that the apps that fall under this category are part of an on-going paid campaign and they will rank in the top positions under an ‘ad’ label.
App/web referral: Referrals come either from an app, Facebook or a sponsored article. This traffic comes from advertising (it’s paid) and it leads the user directly to the product’s store page where they can install the app.
The imagery that we generate has a direct impact on the user regardless of the visit install source path. Thus, the work done to test an app or game’s assets directly affects the KPI results, visit rates, number of installs, TTR (Tap Through Rate) and CTR (Click Through Rate).
Unfortunately, within both stores we cannot know the exact path that a user has taken before they install an app. Since we cannot attribute an exact number of installs to an individual channel, we need to give each channel an estimated degree of influence based on the number of installs that we believe that they will bring. This is possibly one of the main obstacles in our industry, where we have to face a last click model that might not be 100% accurate.
At Lab Cave our CRO team works alongside the ASO (App Store Optimization) team, whose main focus is keyword research and metadata improvements (mostly related to the title, subtitle and text description of an app by language). In other words, our ASO team is responsible for bringing strong organic traffic, while our CRO team leads the efforts in turning that traffic into an install. Every step of the optimization process – sharing data, insights and potential next steps – is agreed on by both teams, as our main objective is to provide our clients with a substantial increase in their organic traffic.
The reality is that no matter what channel a user comes from – organic, paid, a review in a blog or word of mouth – the user will always land on the same listing page. If the listing page is not visually appealing, the probability that a user will install your app decreases. It is crucial to set up a coherent CRO strategy that will improve the chances of an app store visit becoming an install when planning a store design.
Carlos Bancalero, CRO manager, Lab Cave