Application performance monitoring is essential for ensuring that everything is moving forward as it should and that users are having an optimal experience. By having monitoring in place, problems can be corrected quickly, if not prevented entirely.
However, it’s important not just to have monitoring in place, but to define key performance metrics to get a better picture of the app’s performance overall. Here are the crucial metrics to include in your application development strategy.
In addition to monitoring the app through the use of app performance monitoring software, it’s also important to take a deeper dive and look at the server itself. By having a cohesive approach to both APM and infrastructure monitoring, you remove the barriers between the different datasets and streamline your processes overall
Assessing the server speed can help you determine if your app requires more bandwidth to operate at a functional level or identifies any issues that could arise with your app. Many developers use these metrics to determine whether they need to find a new server provider or upgrade their current usage.
Total Users vs. Active Users
It’s important not only to look at how many users are downloading your app but also how many are actively using the app. As many developers and smartphone users know, just because an app is on your phone, doesn’t mean it isn’t proverbially collecting dust on a shelf.
Knowing how many active users are using the app gives key performance indicators surrounding retention and engagement. If engagement starts to fall, it’s important for developers to start investigating ways they can improve the app to get their users online again.
Overall Retention and Lifespan
Looking at overall user retention and how long they stay with the app could provide information about potential problems with the app. For example, if users are downloading the app then deleting it within 24 hours, then there’s likely something deterring them right away. As a developer, it’s important to determine the cause and find a solution if you want the app to achieve long-term success and growth.
Even for those who don’t experience the deletion of an app immediately after it’s downloaded, knowing the lifespan of the user can help drive key business decisions pertaining to future development and maintenance of the application. This number can be cross-referenced with the active users to give further insight into the app lifecycle.
In addition to looking at retention and the user lifespan, it’s essential to calculate the lifetime value of a user. The lifetime value (or LTV) is one of the most important metrics to include when developing apps. The LTV of a user can be found by multiplying the average sale value by the number of transactions by the average retention period.
For example, let’s use the social media planning app, Buffer. If the average customer uses the basic subscription package, paying $15 monthly and lasting for about two years, the calculation for LTV is:
($15 monthly x 12 months) x 2 years = $360 LTV
If you offer a free app, you can calculate your audience reach via shares or views in lieu of revenue, and add valuation based on your business model (paid advertising, etc.).
Ratings may seem like a novelty, but they can be key indicators to underlying issues with your app. For example, when you launch update and miss a bug, it could ultimately be a decrease in your ratings that indicate the problem. High ratings also make it more likely that your app will be featured by other sites or recommended to users. Remember, a new user is more likely to download an app that has a four-star rating than one that only has two.
By setting a threshold for your ratings, you set a standard for your business and provide direction as to what areas should be addressed in improving your app performance and user experience.
Session Count and Length
It’s important to know how often someone is logging in each day and how long they’re spending in the app at a given time. The target numbers will depend on the app– the goal with a meditation app may be to have users logging in twice a day for twenty minutes each time. The goal for a game app with time-bound lives may be five times a day for ten minutes at a time. Knowing this data will give insight into the user experience.
By collecting data and setting performance metrics for your app, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions and lengthen the development lifecycle.