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Whether you’re publishing game or utility apps, Yetizen CCO Japheth Dillman says that far too many marketers are neglecting even the most basic optimization strategies.
“Ninety-nine percent of the developers on the app store are still very elementary with their knowledge of app store optimization,” says Dillman, Of course, he’s referring to the kind of techniques that are essential to boost all-important organic installs. And if you’re missing out, it’s costing you money.
Organic installs traditionally have the highest engagement and the highest monetization. “And as you increase your ranking,” Dillman says, “you have a multiple-effect on gaining those organic installs –generally between three to 10 times multiple as you go higher in the app stores.”
“The app store has been around for awhile and there’s lots of information out there,” Dillman continues, “but developers are overlooking the basics in search of boosting their install numbers overall.
Even small, simple changes can have a powerful effect, he notes. As an example, he points out how many screen shots on the app store show a hand holding a device. That’s a real mistake, he says, comparing it to real-estate sales strategy.
“Just like when you show a house, if you have a lot of personal items sitting there from the owner, buyers have a psychological barrier to envisioning themselves in that house.” The same thing applies to the app store. When potential users see someone else’s hand holding a device in the screen shot, they won’t associate themselves with using that app.
Of course, there are back-end optimization strategies that developers need to be pursuing as well. With the CMO of Google Play and the author of the iOS app store algorithm as mentors for Yetizen’s acceleration program, Dillman and his team have been able to leverage unique knowledge that most developers and marketers aren’t privy to in order to impact placement and ranking in the store.
Consider that Google Play, for instance, uses geotargeting when it scrapes the web for social media mentions of your app. If your app is mentioned in a specific geo location — say for example, Japan — and someone in Japan is searching the app store, your app is ranked higher.
“So to take advantage of that as a developer going after a regional release,” he says, “instead of getting PR mentions globally, go after bloggers that are specific to that region, and that will get you an increase in ranking in that specific region.”
Tools like Testnest, he says, can show you exactly how huge an impact optimization can have on your app.
“By changing screenshots, descriptions, icons, or titles,” Dillman says, “you can see anywhere from half a percentage up to a ten percent increase in clickthrough and install rates per change you make.” As you begin to initially optimize your app store listing, you’ll see huge jumps. “If you’ve got ten million installs,” he says, “five percent on a single change is a huge impact.”
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