As developers in the mobile gaming industry become increasingly sophisticated in user engagement, it’s critical to keep an eye on users' in-app ad experience: the impact of the ad flow, or ad journey, on the users’ perception of your app.
To boost performance and create an optimal ad experience, developers should be measuring how their ad flow affects performance and then make data-driven decisions to improve it. But how?
Data is obviously the answer, but not all metrics were born equal. We've gathered the metrics that are key to the overall ad experience, so that you can visualize what users experience as they move through your app, and see how the ad flow impacts your revenue and user experience. Let’s get started.
Measuring the ad experience
When it comes to measuring the ad experience, there are quite a few metrics to cover. They fall into three main categories: clicks, ad duration, and churn.
Clicks are a key indicator of the ad experience - but it’s not just about the number of clicks an ad gets, but the quality of those clicks. Every type of click, positive and negative, provides key insights. Here are some things to keep an eye on:
Let’s say a user wants to finish watching an ad early, so they go to the top right corner of the ad to click on the “X,” but they accidentally clicked next to the X. Those “mis” clicks are called proximity clicks. Also, pay close attention here to how quickly the user leaves the app - if a user is attempting to make any click within a second after the creative starts, it’s called an early click.
"It’s not just about the number of clicks an ad gets, but the quality of those clicks"
Another common clicking issue is when a user doesn’t click on anything, but they get automatically directed to the store anyway. This is an auto click, or a click detected without users even touching the screen. Often, since users in this situation didn’t want to end up at the store, they’ll leave the store immediately - that’s called a hasty click, or a click directed out of the app that returned to the app within 5 seconds. In this case, it doesn’t matter where, when, or why they clicked - it’s clear that their user experience was impaired. This is exactly how to calculate the ad’s bounce rate, or the percentage of hasty clicks divided by total clicks.
Once you’ve identified problematic clicks, you can sift through them to find the intentional clicks, or the quality clicks. These are measured by adding up all the problematic clicks (hasty clicks + proximity clicks + auto clicks + early clicks), and subtracting them from the total clicks. This way, instead of just knowing your click through rate (CTR), or the number of clicks per impressions, you can now calculate and understand your app’s percentage of quality, intentional clicks, or QCTR (Quality click through rate). This is measured by dividing quality clicks by total impressions. Here are some benchmarks for the average QCTR per genre.
Ad duration, or the median time users spend watching ads (including the end card), is another good indicator of quality. Generally, rewarded video ads shouldn’t last longer than about 30 seconds, and interstitial ads should be much shorter than that. If an ad is too long (e.g. a few minutes), it will usually harm the UX and increase proximity clicks.
As you measure ad duration, make sure to examine your ad escape rate - the number of ads that weren’t closed properly. This might be due to technical problems (e.g., crashes), but can also be intentional, as users choose to leave the ad. Like proximity clicks, the higher the ad escape rate, the clearer the indication that your ad flow has an ad experience issue.
"The higher the ad escape rate, the clearer the indication that your ad flow has a UX issue"
Any combination of ad experience issues can cause users to leave your app, or churn. Churned users is the number of users that clicked on an ad and left your app, not returning for a certain amount of time (1, 3, 7, or 14 days).
By dividing churned users by total users who watched ads (over a set amount of days), you get an ad’s churn rate. This is a critical metric that indicates that ad experience issues are causing users to leave for good, ultimately affecting your engagement and revenue.
"Any combination of ad experience issues can cause users to churn"
The amount of revenue generated per churned user is churn yield, and it’s key for optimizing your monetization stack. Once you know the extent to which your churn impacts revenue, you can determine whether the revenue you gained outweighs the loss of users.
To prevent churn, you need to ensure that your users are getting the best quality ads. With LevelPlay’s Ad Quality tool, you can identify bad ads, and report them - reducing your bounce rate, proximity clicks, early clicks, and more.
Ultimately, the better you can determine if your app’s monetization stack is optimized, the more easily you can recognize user trends, and nip problematic trends in the bud - and ad experience issues are no exception. Learn more about how you can utilize these metrics to improve your ad experience and maintain high performance here.