Month: August 2016

Boosting Organic Downloads: App Store Optimization in 4 steps

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAvBAAAAJDNlZTM2ZGEzLWJmMDUtNGExMC04OTFjLWU1MzMxMzlhODU5MAInvisible app syndrome? With over 1.5 million apps in each app store, it’s easy for apps to disappear and never be seen. But it doesn’t have to be that way. App Store Optimization (ASO) can bring your app out of hiding, placing it squarely in front of the customers who need or want it, and keep them clicking through.

It takes effort and insight to implement the kind of ASO that makes a measurable difference

Check out some of the key takeaways.

Step 1: Measure your installs

As Peter Drucker once famously noted, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” At every stage, every single tweak you make should be measured against the benchmark you’ve established. Start by measuring both your organic and paid installs. The equation is simple:

Organic Installs = Total Installs – Paid Installs

The app store reports the total number of installs, while you’ll find paid installs reported in your mobile measurement platform. Both Google and Apple are now helping publishers by providing app engagement analytics as well as app store search data. As you implement your ASO strategy, check back to identify your progress and impact.

Step 2: Choose the right keywords

The right keywords — the singular and multi-word phrases searched for by users to find exactly the app they’re looking for — are critical for app discovery. That’s because two-thirds of users (67 percent) found the last app they downloaded by using search.

So if your app isn’t turning up high in the keyword rankings when your ideal customer searches for it, you’re not using the right keywords.

Develop an initial list by:

  • Brainstorming a list based on the keywords your customers might use to find apps like yours
  • Searching for a seed keyword on, Google Play, or the Apple App store and using autofill results
  • Working with free tools like Google Keyword Planner tool, Google Trends Tool, and Keyword Tool
  • Exploring keyword research and analytics that identify potential keywords based on analysis of your app, competitor’s keywords, and more

Edit and prioritize your list

You’ve now got your master list. Next, there are three factors to consider when paring it down to determine the most effective keywords:

  1. Relevance: Turning up at the top of a list doesn’t matter if your app has nothing to do with the keyword. A user will ignore your app, delete it immediately, or might even leave a negative review.
  2. Difficulty: The more popular a keyword is, the more apps are competing for it and the more difficult it is to rank. Start with less competitive keywords. (A thesaurus can help find keyword synonyms for similar but less difficult words)
  3. Popularity: How often are users searching for the keyword?


Keywords in the language of your target country is an underutilized silver bullet. One developer found that updating their final list of keywords to the local language in key countries led to a 700+ percent increase in downloads.

Step 3: Optimize your rank

According to Flurry Analytics, 82 percent of users never browse past the top 25 search results. In addition, the number-one app usually takes 30 percent of organic installs, with 17 percent in position 2, and 12 percent in position 3.

Two factors directly impact your app’s keyword rankings:

  • On-Page factors: information the app store associates with your app, including app name, developer name, title, description, icon, screenshots, etc.
  • Off-Page factors: how your users interact with the app, including click-through rate, downloads, usage, social media ranking, speed/reliability of servers, etc.


Improving Off-Page factors

Ignoring Off-Page factors, in particular, means you’ll never get into the critical top three positions, where over 50 percent of keyword traffic goes. Off-Page factors tend to be much more difficult to influence than On-Page factors, but can be boosted through effective paid advertising with ad networks like Supreme Media , that optimize campaigns for strong ASO impact.

The actual ranking algorithms are guarded secrets, but there are factors you can influence to effectively improve your rank in both stores — so improving these will impact your visibility.

  1. Total downloads
  2. Download velocity
  3. Click-through rate
  4. Usage and discard rates
  5. App updates
  6. Average user rating
  7. Ratings count

Improving On-Page factors

On-Page factors improve both click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CVR), which directly improve ranking. To do that, focus on optimizing the following areas:

  • App Name (Title): Only 25 characters appear in search results. Consider using relevant keywords to boost CTR.
  • App File Size: You want an app that’s quickly downloaded. The larger your app file, the lower your CVR.
  • Description: Only the first three lines are displayed as a preview, so make them count.
  • Icon: The icon impacts both ongoing use of your app as well as the initial CTR and CVR. Use A/B testing tools to determine which icons stand out and perform best.
  • Screenshots and video previews: Well done, A/B-tested visual promotional assets convince visitors that your app is worth downloading.

Step 4: Repeat

ASO is a continuous process—you need to stay on top of your optimization efforts to keep your rankings high. Continue to measure for all of the above, keep an eye on under-performing keywords, never let up on A/B testing to keep improving your visual marketing elements, and keep boosting your rank with strategic paid advertising.

Check it out here to calculate FOR FREE how many downloads could ASO bring to your App !

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Is App Discovery a Key Part Of Your Mobile Marketing Plan?

Columnist Craig Weinberg discusses the ins and outs of selecting the right keywords for app store optimization.

Remember the good old days of simply optimizing your site for the search engines? According to Apple, 65 percent of all iOS app discovery takes place via organic in-store (iTunes) search.

If app discovery is a big part of your business model, you need to invest as much nuance and creativity as possible to organically grow your app in the app stores (iTunes and Google Play) through app store optimization (ASO).

Jason Falls phone screenThis is mobile. There are no shortcuts. There is no passing go and collecting $200. You must earn your users’ attention the old-fashioned way: by making a great product and optimizing all of your channels, including ASO.

Yes, Apple is releasing search ads in iTunes this fall, but you won’t be able to buy your way into a comprehensive, successful app discovery strategy.

So, okay. By now we all know that ASO is pivotal for marketers. And yes, relevancy upon being discovered is and has been essential to conversion.

But this much hasn’t changed (yet): Keywords are at the root of it all. They’re how your app ranks, and success in optimizing for them requires both technical acumen and a specific mobile lens.

At 3Q, my employer, our app store keyword strategy hinges on two core pillars:

  1. Discoverability: How clearly are potential users able to find your app when searching both broadly and with specific intent?
  2. Conversion: How can you optimize your app store assets — keywords, description, screen shots, preview video — to capture a user’s fleeting mobile attention?

As for the process itself, we break it into four discrete steps:

1. Do your app store BI (business intelligence) research

First, we utilize App Store intelligence reports, store analytics, and performance history to understand how your app and your competitors perform against the elements that matter to the App Store ranking and search algorithms. These elements include lifetime downloads, download velocity, average rating and update frequency.

2. Conduct a keyword and app title audit

Keywords are the driver of discoverability. Again, keeping the idea that “65 percent of apps downloaded are downloaded through search,” you have to take the 100 characters Apple allots you for keywords very seriously. In this vein…

  1. Title: We research titles of competition, and then we audit search queries containing those keywords for popularity and difficulty to rank. Usually, your final title should be keyword-rich for keyword phrases important to the app. Strive to explain key selling points to someone reading the title.
  2. Keyword research: To analyze keywords, we use competitive tools such as Keyword Spy in Sensor Tower, and we audit your current keyword set in iTunes Connect for popularity and difficulty.
  3. Get a Free Consultation  here

3. Try it out on the app store

After we’ve done our research to know your keywords, your competition’s keywords, their popularity, and ranking/search difficulty, we test! We test in the app store to gauge the top five to 10 results for each. “Difficulty” is relative, so you need to do this research to determine which you have a shot at ranking for.

aso examples

These apps optimized well for the “real estate” keyword.

As a recent example, a large mCommerce client saw its app rank against real estate instead of in shopping or lifestyle because of its particular name. It didn’t surface for any “related or competitive keywords,” which resulted in a low-volume organic install yield.

Originally, the client did not use more obvious keywords because of their ranking difficulty. Now, we are testing more obvious ones and using the learnings to course-correct the app name itself.

4. Bring it all together

As a general rule, the most important keywords you want to rank for should be included in your title. And the keywords you select within your precious 100 characters should fall into one of the following categories:

  1. High-popularity, highly relevant keywords (If you have a hard time ranking for these, add descriptive keywords that are more unique to you that you have a better chance of ranking for)
  2. Low- to medium-popularity long-tail keywords that you have a better shot at ranking for
  3. Competitor keywords

At the least, let this be a good primer for what will be commonplace by this fall: app store search ads. In a move to muster app store feature parity with Google, there’s good and bad coming for developers from Apple’s move.

The good? Potential new opportunity to rank for previously out-of-reach competitive keywords, plus visibility into converting keywords. The bad? Your keyword efforts toward organic search result rank can potentially be overshadowed by a competitor buying an ad.

Either way, the only way to learn is to get in there and experiment. Good luck, and check back in October!

Get your ASO on point with our experts here !

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