Organic installs are app downloads that occur without any direct effort by a marketer to acquire users via paid or owned media campaigns.
In contrast to non-organic installs (which employ various techniques to try and get a user to download an app), organic installs describe downloads by users that discover apps by themselves through word-of-mouth, or through an app store keyword search.
It’s important to note, that in the context of measurement, it defines a situation where no user journey was attributed to a specific marketing effort.
In addition, an install is also considered organic if a user views or clicks an ad, but downloads the app after the attribution window has closed. Or, in other words, if the download happens outside the attributable time frame, there is no way of knowing for sure if it resulted from an engagement with an ad and the installation is considered organic.
Why organic installs matter
Organic users are usually considered the highest quality users in terms of ROI and LTV (lifetime value).
However, driving organic users at scale is no longer feasible for most apps.
Organic app discovery is largely broken in large part due to the sheer number of apps in the stores. This makes it nearly impossible for users to find your app. The top two stores, Google Play and Apple App Store each have between 3-4 million apps. And these numbers grow all the time.
The organic multiplier (i.e., the ability of non-organic campaigns to drive organic installs) has decreased significantly in the past few years. This means your ability to use paid campaigns to scale organically has become very limited.
Scaling non-organic traffic is a different story. The good news is that by working with a reliable attribution and analytics provider, you can use data to optimize your spend and ROI, drive more scale and increase the quality of your non-organic users.