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.

What is App Store Web Referral

App Store web referral is a traffic source that includes all visitors that arrive at an app listing from an external source (mobile web), most commonly the iOS Safari browser. By tapping a link or banner ad on a mobile website, the visitor will arrive at the listing in the App Store. The volume of web referral traffic is generally controlled by the app developer or marketer through the web to app store banners, which bring high quality (actively engaging), targeted visitors to a listing. 

Referral traffic brings more eyes to an app, generating new opportunities for user engagement and conversions. The tracker in the banner ad or link means app developers and marketers will gain useful insights and a better understanding of  the user journey.

Why App Store Web Referral is Important

Apple enables developers via App Store Connect to measure app store performance by outlining traffic source channels such as Web referral, App referral, App Store search and App Store browse. These metrics allow developers to see where their users are coming from, which helps them strategize and optimize their marketing efforts based on data.

App Store web referrals are important as for many apps, using a link or banner is how they drive growth, from exposure to install, through mobile website traffic. it claims a large stake in how they bring visitors to a listing.

Expedia is a good example of a big brand that uses App Store web referrals; Expedia drives users by inviting them from their mobile website traffic directly into the App Store to download the Expedia app and use its service from there. Customers don’t need to browse the web when they can utilize everything Expedia has to offer (find, research and book a hotel room) from inside their app. This strengthens brand loyalty for returning customers and shows to an audience that a company has an App Store presence.

App Store Web Referral and ASO

Web referrals as a traffic source means these users are already familiar with the brand and know the service being offered, which makes them of high quality (heading to an app listing knowing what to expect), offer better return on investment (ROI) and so this important segment needs to be taken into account when ASO teams are optimizing the product page with creatives and marketing messages that speak directly to users who are purposefully looking to use the key functionalities of the app. Using Expedia as an example, web referral users will be looking for better deals, to read reviews and book hotels so the app listing should be optimized to highlight this.

The web referral user funnel ultimately strengthens the relationship a user has with a brand from mobile web to app store. Brands have further scope for engagement by presenting users with exclusive deals and special offers for downloading the app. 

Related Terms

  • App Store Update
    An update is a newer version of the app than the one that’s available to download in the App Store.
  • App Store Title
    The app store title is the name of a mobile app or game as it appears throughout the app stores on all different placements.
  • App Store Browse
    App Store Browse is an organic traffic source which includes all visitors that arrived to an app while browsing Top Charts, Category Charts, the Today tab or Featuring placements.