App Store App Referral

App Store app referral is a traffic source that includes visitors that come to an app store listing via apps (not from the web).

What is App Store App Referral

App Store app referral is a traffic source that includes visitors that come to an app store listing via apps (not from the web, which is known as App Store web referral). In most cases it refers to users that have arrived via a paid ad from either an app like Facebook or from in-app ads in a mobile game or app.

It is one of the traffic sources App Store Connect (Apple’s analytical platform) uses to measure app store performance. Other channels include App Store search (a traffic source that includes all users who find an app after searching for a query or keyword in the search tab in the App Store), App Store browse (a traffic source that includes all visitors that arrived to an app while browsing charts or feature placements) and Web referral (a traffic source which includes all visitors that arrive at an app listing from mobile web, namely the iOS Safari browser. 

As App referral traffic is mostly traffic that comes from paid for ads, this puts the control of this traffic generally with the app developer / marketer. It’s considered that App referral traffic is of high quality, and therefore exactly the audience an app needs, hency why companies pay for it. App referral traffic generates new impressions and having more eyes on an app has a positive impact on user engagement and conversions. 

Why App Store App Referral is Important

App Store app referral is one of the main growth levers for many apps, more specifically for games, to drive growth through paid user acquisition (UA). 

Users that play / engage with a game or app are a key audience for a similar product. So it’s in a developers / marketers best interests to bring that user and more like them, to their app. Bringing traffic from an app to a new app via a paid ad is a popular tool implemented by UA teams and often forms a major part of a marketing strategy.

App Store App Referral and ASO

The amount of app referral installs correlates highly with ranking which, unless a retargeting campaign, drives first time installs. This in turn drives higher ranking in keyword ranking charts.

App referral is important to ASO because it is a crucial element in analyzing and interpreting traffic patterns according to UA efforts. For UA teams that fail to track App referral data, ASO would be at a disadvantage, not knowing which creatives and marketing messages on an app’s product page failed to convert to install and therefore need optimized.

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Related Terms

  • App Store Web Referral
    App Store web referral is a traffic source which includes all visitors that arrive at an app listing from an external source (mobile web), most commonly the iOS Safari browser.
  • App Store Conversion Rate
    Conversion rate = total conversions/app store impressions OR app store product page views.
  • App Store Search
    App Store Search is an organic traffic source that includes all users who find an app after searching for a query or keyword in the search tab in the App Store.