13 Ways to Increase In-App Conversion Rate


Securing maximum traffic for an app is of no use if most of those users bounce. What matters is getting the users to hit a conversion goal (install, register, buy, subscribe, or another similar action.) There are many ways to improve in-app conversion rates for mobile applications. I am listing thirteen of them that almost always work. Not all of these might apply to mobile games, but perhaps some of the tips could also be tested by gaming providers. But, before we go there, we need to address the challenge that baffles most mobile app owners.

Why is my in-app conversion rate so low?

Why are leads not converting? The answer depends on your chosen conversion events, but the reason often falls in one of the following brackets.

1. Poor first impressions

Any issues with navigation, usability, search filters, search results, visuals, and loading speed can annoy first-time visitors enough to prevent them from coming back. Make sure you pay attention to UX and UI trends and best practices.

2. Lousy app store optimization

Poorly crafted app name, title, description, keywords that do not match the target intent, inefficient metadata, or a below-average app rating can keep your app from appearing in the search results.

3. Unclear call-to-action

If the content and placement of CTAs do not point a user to the desired action, then you will face minimal conversion regardless of your traffic figures.

4. Unreliable brand image

The way people perceive your brand depends on the extent of your brand’s social presence, brand awareness in your target niche, and how you have used engagement markers to drive people from other sources to your app listing or landing page. If any of these strategies are lacking, your conversion rates suffer.

5. Mismatched user targeting

Choosing broad target audience groups, using wrong intent matching, and creating poor user journeys result in minimal lead accumulation or leads getting stuck in the sales pipeline.

What is a good in-app conversion rate?

The popular belief is that a good in-app conversion rate falls between 1-2%. However, that isn’t a valid standard at present because the contemporary definition of conversion has evolved to mean more than one thing. Mobile app conversion is defined as the completion of a desired action by the user.

We can interpret that in several manners, like downloading or installing an app organically, registering as a user, purchasing, subscribing, filling a lead form, long-term retention figures, or using the app for a certain number of hours. For example, the number of downloads will likely be higher than 30-day user retention. In this case, an app calculating conversion by downloads will show a better rate than an app that uses retention for the same purpose.

How do you calculate the mobile app conversion rate?

  • In-App Conversion Rate = Actionable Users/Total Users
  • Actionable Users = Total Number Of Visitors Who Have Taken The Desired Action (Clicked A Button, Filled A Form, Made A Purchase, etc.)
  • Total Users = Total Number Of Visitors Who Landed On The App (Through Search Results, Landing Page, Or Other Organic Sources)

13 ways to increase mobile app conversion rate

Conversion and ROI are closely connected. That is why app conversion optimization matters so much in a real-time environment. However, we must keep reminding ourselves that there is no in-app conversion rate formula set in stone. It varies by app type, niche, audience, and industry. However, you can use these thirteen tips to modulate a strategy for your particular mobile solution and secure a good conversion rate for apps.

1. Identify top-performing traffic channels

While there are many ways to improve in-app conversion rates, this technique works better for immediate effect and impact. We usually use Google Analytics to analyze app performance and main traffic sources. Once you discover the channels bringing most of the traffic to your mobile application, you can redirect your marketing strategy accordingly.

For example, if your top-performing traffic source is ‘social,’ you should focus on creating optimized posts and invest in ads for different social media platforms. Identifying such traffic channels will also help you better assess where your money should be invested for better conversion returns.

2. Work on first impressions

Attempts for retention should be present in every step of the user journey (landing page, app store listing, etc.), but especially after app installation. The first look of your app must be optimized to create a sense of connection, solve the user’s problem, and impart immediate value. Utilize the first few seconds to impress the user. You can do that by demonstrating app utility on the first screen. Also, keep directional cues simple and visible (Eg. a straightforward menu with the more important functions at the top).

Give them room to explore before demanding a sign-up. Instead of prompting them to make an account right after the app finishes loading, allow them to go through the app and request sign-up when they want to take action. And, of course, pay very close attention to the look and feel. A first impression will be poor if the app doesn’t load properly, the visuals are glitchy, or the app behavior malfunctions.

3. Optimize app store listing

High app store visibility can lead to a good conversion rate for apps. However, getting there requires a listing that can rank higher in search results and impress viewers enough to make them click the ‘install’ button. But, driving engagement through listings comes second. First, you must make sure that your app appears among the first few results against a related query.

This will require optimization of the application’s name, subtitle, description, and images. You need to choose the right category, target short- and long-form niche keywords and formulate a listing page that can answer most customer queries. Additionally, you can increase listing engagement on different app stores through creative screenshots and videos.

4. Make your CTAs more prominent

A Call-to-Action is directly connected to conversion rates. You will lose eager prospects if they can not find a way to complete the transaction. However, you need more than well-written CTAs; you need appropriate positioning, highlighted impact, and a relevant connection between the CTA and the page on which it is displayed.

5. Experiment extensively with A/B testing

When testing the application, experiment with all available variables to determine the combination that inflicts maximum impact on the user. Test on real devices (as opposed to virtual ones) for clearer insights. Consider this an experience-based optimization strategy. You can figure out if your app performs better with a busy home page or a simpler design.

Is a direct CTA (Buy Paid Version) more effective than a creative one (Grow Your Business With Us)? Is one push notification a day more preferable by your users or more? Through extensive A/B testing, you can create new engagement paths and gather a good conversion rate for apps.

6. Inspect and redo page designs

The idea behind analyzing current page design and revamping it stems from the fact that users have dynamic preferences, behavior, and expectations. You should optimize your app while keeping the latest design trends and their performance in mind. Simultaneously, split test every change in the application’s look & feel to gauge user reactions. Additionally, you can ask the mobile app developer working on your app design to improve loading speed, remove distractions, and restructure elements to direct the user’s attention where you want it.

Average consumer spend on mobile apps per smartphone as of 1st quarter 2022
Average consumer spend on mobile apps per smartphone as of 1st quarter 2022, Image: Statista)
7. Personalize user experiences

Personalization is one of the most effective app conversion optimization techniques. When you create messages that appeal to a user’s specific interests, you are (in a way) telling the user that you know them, respect their needs, and have the ability to solve the particular problem at hand. In a nutshell, personalization enables you to create a tailored sales pipeline. For example, Amazon uses buying patterns to show relevant items to its users. Netflix uses streaming history to recommend shows to its users.

They are exploiting a possibility by using existing behavior as a baseline. You can do the same for your mobile application to improve the in-app conversion rate. App personalization can also be improved by using geolocation, geofencing, recommendation engines, buyer persona creation, and other such techniques. You can also use other situation-specific tricks, like localizing your brand name for a global market.

8. Segment and target audience groups by pain points

Identify customer pain points, divide them into clusters based on similarity, and target each with a personalized, customized, and enhanced approach to improve the in-app conversion rate. Pain point-based audience segmentation is an approach to personalization, but it also intersects with account profiling and app quality improvement. Additionally, it can help you refine ad targeting and enhance client relationships, thus improving mobile app conversion rates in more ways than one.

9. Use in-app notifications judiciously

On Android, the opt-in rate for push notifications falls between 49% to 95%; 29% to 73% on iOS (Airship report, 2021). That broad range suggests that there is a fine line between intrusive and useful in the case of push notifications. While these in-app messages are wonderful to keep your app relevant in the mind of the user and gain direct access to them, they can easily turn into an annoying issue for the user and may lead to an uninstall. To prevent that circumstance, craft your messages and determine their frequency carefully.

10. Create separate optimization strategies for different app stores

Apple App Store and Google Play Store are different in so many ways. Both are critical app markets with behavioral differences. For example, Google Play Store allows six-second long videos in its listings that only play automatically on wifi. Apple Store allows default auto-preview for listing videos. Apple Store showcases the app screenshot gallery in the first fold, while Google Play Store does so below the fold. Ideally, it would help if you created different optimization and promotion strategies for both app stores. That will allow you to take advantage of the particular store’s unique assets to increase the conversion rate for your app.

11. Use an easy onboarding process

Every extra step in user onboarding increases the risk of a bounce. So, try to keep the installation, demo, registration, and subscription processes simple. Emphasize your USP and core features quickly. Create minimalistic forms that won’t overwhelm the user. Here’s a good example of effortless onboarding- Uber shows a four-step trial to every user who installs the app for the first time.

Then, it allows them to explore the app and only requires sign-up when the user tries to book a ride. Here’s a bad example- SoundCloud requires the user to sign up or log in on the very first page. You can’t even see what the app looks like without creating an account. This might dissuade first-time downloaders from going any further.

12. Create an in-app sales funnel

What does the journey of a user look like once they have installed your mobile app? Where does it end? How many touch points does it cover? How long, how varied, how many dimensions? The answer to these questions will help you answer the question at hand, i.e., how to increase in-app conversion rates? Creating an in-app sales funnel means knowing all the actions that a user can take once they open your app and crafting possible user paths accordingly to lead them to conversion.

13. Identify and revise conversion events through performance

Conversion events vary by the nature of a mobile application. A gaming app can consider in-app purchases, crossed levels, or achievements as conversion markers. A traveling app can use bookings and check-in. A media or streaming app will likely go for views and subscriptions. However, while classic conversion ‘asks’ do not change, many other dynamic ones do.

For instance, a content distribution app may consider downloads as conversions in the initial phases of its launch and switch to downloaded ebooks as conversions after it gains an established audience. It is a good strategy to assess conversion events and analyze their performance in relation to other ROI markers at frequent intervals. This way, you will be able to create better conversion ‘actions’ and capture the results more accurately.

The best app conversion optimization formula: Optimize. Analyze. Repeat.

Now that you know which factors affect the conversion rate of your app or game, you are more equipped to improve your mobile application’s performance. While most of these tips can be implemented by using accurate analytics and some brainstorming, certain technical elements (like page loading speed optimization) might need support from dedicated mobile app developers or perhaps a marketing team with experience in this field. Certainly, you can first assess the existing expertise within your organization before you consider outsourcing but both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. Assemble your team and get started right away.

YouTube: Proven Hacks to Boost In-app Conversion & Retention Rates

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Andrew Lozovyi. The infographic has been done by Statista.

This guest article has been submitted by Ella Wilson. While we appreciate guest contributions, it's important to note that the views expressed by the author are not necessarily reflective of those held by TechAcute.

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