Just How Essential are Referrals for Mobile Apps?

Referrals are a great indicator that your brand is being talked about. Best of all, using this form of “word of mouth” marketing is relatively cost free. With that in mind, I wondered how much of a bearing referrals have on the highly lucrative mobile app market.

Using SimilarWeb, I decided to take a closer look at two of the top performing apps in their category – Trivia Crack and Netflix

App Rankings for Trivia Crack and Netflix

SimilarWeb’s Top Apps tool shows that both Trivia Crack and Netflix are highly successful in the Play Store

Trivia Crack has been a phenomenon whichever operating system you look at! In the Play Store it’s managed to maintain the number 1 position for Games/Trivia and has gradually become the number 1 app in Games and, amazingly, number 1 app overall.

TriviaCrackRanksPlay

Trivia Crack’s app ranking in the Play Store between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

 

In the Play Store Netflix has proved to be a very successful app and only failed to hit the number 1 position in the entertainment market for 6 days out of 3 months.

Netflix's app ranking in the Play Store between October '14 - December '14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Netflix’s app ranking in the Play Store between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

 

How Important Is Referral Traffic for Trivia Crack and Netflix?

We’ve seen with SimilarWeb that Trivia Crack and Netflix are both very strong brands that have each managed to reach the top of their respective categories.

But how much of an impact does referral traffic have on their rankings?

With regards to Trivia Crack, in the Play Store search is the dominant source of external traffic. This indicates many Android users head to the store to search through the apps without a specific app in mind. Referrals, however, are the second most popular traffic channel and this illustrates how important word of mouth is.

TriviaCrackPlayReferrals

External traffic sources to Trivia Crack’s store page in the Play Store between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

 

As for Netflix in the Play Store, the most common channel for traffic is search,  which suggests Android owners tend to browse through different entertainment apps before selecting one. That said, referrals still count for around a third of traffic to Netflix’s store page in the Play Store, so word of mouth is still very important for Android owners in this category.

NetflixPlayReferrals

External traffic sources to Netflix’s store page in the Play Store between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

 

Where Do These Referrals Come From?

It’s clear that referrals are very important for mobile apps, but what are their sources and what insights can they reveal?

The top 10 referrers for Trivia Crack’s Play Store traffic reveal some interesting facts. 5 out of the top 10 referrers relate to the makers of the game, so it’s obvious they have strong SEO campaigns to pull in consumers to their sites. Jogosonlinegratis and portalprogramas are both sites which advertise free games and have links to Trivia Crack, so these are key sites with which to build relationships. Finally, techtudo, moretecno and adnfriki are all technology news sites, so forming affiliate relationships with these is key in boosting brand awareness.

TriviaCrackPlayReferralsURL

Top 10 referrers to Trivia Crack’s Play Store page between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb

 

The top two referrers to Netflix’s Play Store page are easily identifiable as being the app’s makers. However, en.softonic.com and download.cnet.com represent powerful affiliates in the shape of download sites. Fans of Android entertainment apps also appear to be very switched on in terms of technology as 5 of the top 10 referrers are tech sites. This illustrates the need to build relationships with tech savvy affiliates.

NetflixPlayReferralsURL

Top 10 referrers to Netflix’s Play Store page between October ’14 – December ’14 by SimilarWeb

 

Referrals Are Key to an App’s Success

Using the SimilarWeb platform we can see how referrals are very important in driving traffic towards apps, but the manner in which this is done can be quite complex.

Tech sites prove to be very popular regardless of an app’s category due to the buzz they create talking about the latest and most exciting apps. Creating good relations with these affiliates can really help promote your app. Also, creating an amazing website to back up your app is important in driving traffic towards the relevant stores. Good SEO practices, therefore, remain essential to keep you one step ahead of your rivals.

That’s why we have App Analysis on SimilarWeb – so you can analyze your (And your competitors’) app’s data to give you a better understanding of how to maximize your referral traffic.

About the Author -

Pavel Tuchinsky is a marketing analyst and blog editor at SimilarWeb. He came from the world of International Economics, passionate fan of e-commerce and technology.

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