Month: December 2016 (page 1 of 2)

5 Common Questions About App Store Optimization

Close-up of hipster man hands using his smartphone outdoor in the park.

As a new and mysterious, algorithm-driven field, there are many questions about how app store algorithms work and how to optimize your app listing to gain more visibility and drive more downloads. Today’s article provides answers to some of the most frequently asked ASO questions based on Quora threads, Google searches and conversations with our clients.

What is App Store Optimization?

In a short, ASO is the combination of SEO (search engine optimization) and CRO (conversion rate optimization) for the world of apps, focusing on optimizing your app’s listing for better results.

ASO is like SEO in that the goal is to be found for as many relevant keywords and places in the app store as possible. For visibility optimization-work, the number of store impressions and product pageviews are important metrics of success.

ASO is like CRO in that the goal is to convince as many visitors to download your app as possible. For conversion rate optimization-work, pageview-to-install conversion rate is an important metric of success.

App store optimization begins by creating your app listing (title, description, screenshots, etc.) in either the App Store and continues by tweaking each of your app listing’s elements in order to maximize your visibility and ability to convert visitors into users. ASO is most commonly thought of as finding and using the right keywords and text/visual listing elements, but it can also encompass push campaigns, review flow optimization and getting an app featured, all of which positively influence views and installs.

How does the App Store algorithm work?

First – the category or top chart ranking algorithm (free, paid and grossing) is much simpler than the keyword ranking algorithm. App category ranks improve with more downloads (free or paid) or more revenue from purchases (grossing). While the exact calculation in terms of installs or purchases volume to rank is unknown and varies between categories (e.g. photos and video vs weather), but it is logarithmic (i.e. moving from rank 1000 to 500 is much easier than from moving from 10 to 5) and the most important factors are installs or purchases. Apps will first achieve a rank in their category or sub-category (e.g. #1500 entertainment apps), followed by their country (e.g. #1500 US overall).

The initial factor of the keyword ranking algorithm is whether an app is relevant for that keyword or not. Without being relevant, you app is even eligible to show up (i.e. Facebook is the most popular app but only shows for a certain set of relevant keywords). Relevancy is determined by several factors including those in question #3 below.

For all apps that are relevant for a keyword, each is assigned a keyword rank score that changes with each user interaction (e.g. pageview, install, purchase). An app’s keyword rank score is updated with each interaction and either goes up with positive engagement (e.g. a click, install or review) or goes down with each negative engagement (e.g. an impression but no click, pageview but no install or uninstall before the app is ever used). Apps compete with one another to rank for keywords and when one app’s rank score for a keyword becomes higher than the score of the app above it, it will move up one spot. Engagements are sourced back to each keyword that the user came from, meaning that scores are different from each keyword. That said, engagements for an app overall will improve its ranking for all relevant keywords to some degree, meaning that if Facebook were to become eligible for a new keyword, it would likely start at a very high ranking.

The keyword ranking algorithm is also logarithmic and most installs come from the top 10 ranked apps for a keyword.

How do I rank for keywords?

There are 4 places in an app’s listing that will determine whether it is eligible to rank for keywords:

  • App name
  • App keywords space
  • Developer name
  • App in app purchases (exact match only)

Apple has also been evolving its algorithm to rank apps for keywords not necessarily found in an app’s listing, such as:

  • Partial keyword matches (e.g. ranking “Spotify music app” for “music player app”)
  • Competitor names (e.g. ranking Spotify for Pandora)
  • Common category or other contextual keywords (e.g. ranking Spotify for music-related searches)

Additionally, if a keyword is removed from your app listing (e.g. keywords space), you typically will become immediately ineligible to rank for that keyword.

How can I estimate the volume for each keyword?

There are three main ways to estimate what the search volume of a keyword is. Here are a few of the most common methods:

  • ASO tools – these will provide you with a search volume score, which indicates the popularity of a keyword;These tools compile data from several sources including their proprietary databases, the google keyword planner tool, store autofill results and trending keywords.
  • App Store Autofill Resultsby typing a keyword into the search box you can see the most popular keywords that include that word, such as “free (games, music download, music”). For keywords that are popular enough in the app store, related keywords will also show at the top of a search done from an iPhone or iPad.
  • Google Keyword Planner Tool – this handy, years-old tool provides data on what people are searching on Google.com, which while not the same as app store searches, provides generally applicable search trends.
  • Google Trends – this tool allows you to see the popularity of a Google search trend by country or state. While keywords must have significant volume to show up in Google Trends, Trends can help visualize the popularity of a search trend over time better than the keyword planner tool can, even providing data by the hour.

What kinds of ASO tools are there?

There are myriad tools and services available for researching and managing ASO strategies, most of which encompass a common set of features, such as showing an app’s listing, category rankings, keyword rankings, download estimates, and keyword research like search or difficulty scores. The most common tools include App Annie, Sensor Tower, TUNE and Mobile Action

Supreme Media provides expert ASO services  with the biggest dataset and the best keyword search preview UI, capturing significant and store-wide changes in rankings and optimizing keyword density in an app’s listing .

That’s all for today! Thanks for following along – happy optimizing!

Get a Free ASO Consultation With Our Experts Here

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4 Mobile User Retention Secrets

Good news, mobile marketing teams: user retention doesn’t have to be a losing battle.

There was once a time when growth was the name of the game in mobile marketing, but the tides are turning. Installs alone are not enough to propel apps to the top of the app store’s search results—mobile engagement and retention are becoming make-or-break metrics for app store optimization (ASO).

According to Nielsen, 84% of users’ time on smartphone apps is spent on five non-native apps from the app store. But with increased competition among mobile apps across the board, marketers can’t depend on installs and ratings to push them to the top. It can be hard to acquire users purely by virtue of being the biggest and the best in the category, so app publishers have turned to retention instead.

Here are four facts you need to know about mobile marketing to kick-start your retention efforts:

Secret #1: Only a Small Fraction of Users Return to an App After Initial Install

These days, the dark reality of app retention isn’t much of a secret, but it’s important nonetheless. The average retention rates might seem discouraging, but bear with me—there’s a surefire way to improve your metrics in the long run.

According to Appboy, less than 25% of people return to an app the day after initial install. Leanplum’s data science report on retention backs this up, revealing that almost 80% of your hard-earned users will leave your app after the first day. By day 90, our findings show that retention drops to 1.89%. The average cost-per-install (CPI) in the US is only $2, but these retention figures put that stat in a new light.

To put these numbers in context, consider the TV show Silicon Valley. There’s a scene where the characters remark that their app has 500,000 downloads but only 19,000 daily average users (DAUs). This gives them a 3.8% retention rate, which is above average. Yet, at a $2 CPI, the team would have spent $1MM on retention—$962,000 of which would be lost on users who never returned.

For a mobile team planning a large-scale acquisition campaign, these stats are scary. But it’s never too late to invest in a retention strategy to complement your user acquisition.

Secret #2: Push Notifications Boost Retention

Another mobile marketing secret? Push notifications have a huge impact on retention. Marketing Land reports that sending push notifications (both personalized and generic) boosts 90-day retention by 180%, and eMarketer compiled studies that found more than a 250% increase in retention over the same period. The specific numbers vary from sample pool to sample pool, but the trend remains the same: push notifications improve retention, and personalized push takes it one step further.

In Leanplum’s retention report, we found similar figures that emphasize impact of push notifications. The simple act of sending push notifications was shown to increase user retention by 20%, while personalized push showed an astonishing 7x increase. What do personalized push notifications entail? Personalization can include anything from message content to behavioral send triggers. In this case, we found that personalized send times provided the biggest boost to retention. However, you might want to test different factors for your target users.

Secret #3: Higher Engagement Results in Lower Dormancy

Sometimes, the best way to retain users is to not lose them in the first place. Maintaining high engagement throughout the mobile customer lifecycle makes for a great retention strategy.

Many retention strategies focus on pulling dormant users back into the app. It’s easy to forget that keeping users engaged from day one is just as important to your overall retention. In a Leanplum report on push notification personalization, we found that messages sent by behavioral triggers enjoy an 800% higher open rate than their non-personalized counterparts.

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In-app features like a helpful onboarding flow will give users a good first impression, and behavioral push notifications will keep them engaged as they discover more of your app. Even a daily user would benefit from a helpful media recommendation, travel alert, or product discount based on their in-app behavior.

Secret #4: Push Notification Opt-In Requests Are Critical

After all this talk about the importance of push notifications, let’s not forget that many users never see them. iOS users must opt-in before receiving push notifications, and the average opt-in rate is only 41%. That means over half of your iOS users will be difficult to reach if they fall dormant.

To combat this issue, consider optimizing your push notification opt-in request.  We’ve found that requesting push permissions up front leads to poor opt-in rates—the request gets lost among the other system permissions prompts, and the user often doesn’t trust the app yet. A more effective alternative is to wait until your app has demonstrated its value before asking for permission. Then, request push notification privileges with a customized in-app message. If the person still declines the prompt, there’s no harm in waiting until another engagement milestone before making the request again.

For example, after a user books a trip, the travel app Last Minute Travel uses push pre-permissions to display a customized permission request before displaying the system prompt. This feature earned them a 182% increase in push notification opt-ins.

last-minute-travel-example

With these four secrets in mind, any mobile marketer can build out a solid retention strategy. There’s a trend here: customized opt-in requests perform better than generic system prompts, behaviorally-triggered push notifications have a higher open rate, and personalized messages help increase retention. When you add it all up, it’s clear that personalization is essential. The overarching secret to retention is that people want personal, meaningful interactions—they’ll be sticking around and coming back for more if that’s what you offer.

Have you ventured into the world of mobile apps? Get in touch with our experts HERE!

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5 TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR APP LOCALIZATION

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In this article, we talk about how you can make the most of your mobile app localization to raise your visibility in the App Store, increase downloads and create an optimal user experience.

It’s no secret that mobile app localization is vital if you want access to global markets. If you’ve been studying the statistics, you’ll know that more than half the world’s mobile phone users are located in Asia and the Pacific region. You’ll have also heard that by 2017, the number of subscribers worldwide is predicted to climb to almost 5 billion. That’s a lot of subscribers. Which means a lot of potential clients who don’t speak your language.

The case has been well laid out for why you need to localize your mobile app for Android and iOS. Not only will you increase your ROI, worldwide sales and growth, but you’ll be assured access to continuous new customers from developing markets. So, you may have some idea of how to start your app localization.

But how do you make sure that you do it correctly? How do you make the most of your mobile app localization to raise your visibility in the App Store, increase downloads and create an optimal user experience?

Get it touch with our mobile experts here!

1. Prepare Your App Localization For IOS And Android

With a staggering 1 billion Apple devices around the world, it’s pretty clear that you’ll need to localize your app for iOS. But Google Android’s figures are even higher, with more and more well-known brands, like Samsung and Sony, creating smartphones to rival the likes of Apple’s iPhone. Whichever system you prefer for personal use, one thing is for sure; you’ll need to be prepared to localize your app for both iOS and Android.

You can do this the easy way or the hard way. You can take a platform-specific approach for both systems and make use of platform-specific tools for the localization process. But, if your app shares the same functionality and content, then it’s much more efficient to share the data between iOS and Android platforms.

If you’re familiar with iOS’s XCode and its “Base internationalization” feature, then you’ll need to abandon any ideas you have of using it. If you want to avoid conversion headaches later on, it’s a lot easier if you prepare your app for both platforms from the start. Generating the right strings for your iOS app, that are correctly named and prepared, is completely useless to you if you want to use the same file in your Android app.

RTL Languages

2. Design Your UI To Handle Foreign Characters

You’ll need to make sure that you design your UI to accommodate foreign character sets, including different symbols, accents, and RTL languages. Remember that a key element when designing your UI to accommodate different languages is the issue of space. You’ll need to make sure that you leave ample room in your interfaces to be able to accommodate languages that take up more space.

For example, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German take up almost 30% more room than English. You’ll need to think about this for languages that read vertically and RTL as well. Both iOS and Android have extensive resources on how to localize your mobile app to support RTL languages.

Check out the advice from Android and iOS before designing your UI for these languages. You’ll find invaluable tips and requirements that you need to know, such as mirroring your interface and changing the text direction. Remember that language localization from RTL doesn’t include country codes and telephone numbers, which always read from left to right.

Providing an optimal user experience in all your target languages is imperative if you want to increase downloads and app adoption. If your design appears broken, the text goes outside of the lines, or simply doesn’t read right in their language, then with just one tap of their fingers, it will be deleted. Some 77% of users never use an app again after just 72 hours of downloading it. Be part of the other 23%.

3. Provide A Positive Purchasing Experience For All Buyers

Make the most of your mobile app localization project by creating a positive purchasing experience for buyers in their own language. Carry out the extensive research you do in your home market overseas. Know your foreign customers’ tastes and preferences.

After all, you create a positive purchasing experience for your buyers at home. You optimize your content, make use of social proof on your website, are active on social media, and maybe even use influencer marketing. You offer competitions and engage your customers on your home turf. So, why wouldn’t you do your very best to provide the same satisfying experience for your foreign clients?

If they don’t feel like you’ve studied the market (if you haven’t, in fact, studied the market) then they won’t download your app. They won’t even find your app in the first place, if you don’t optimize your translated content. So, whatever you do at home to create a positive purchasing experience, make sure you mirror that in your target language markets as well.

Localize your texts and images appropriately to ensure adoption in different cultures. Make sure that prices are displayed in local currency. Think about dates, weights and other measurements. Appeal to your customers through targeted social media campaigns. Adapt your offers to meet different legislation and to cater to diverse cultural nuances. Make it worth their while.

4. Establish A Strong App Localization Team

Mobile app localization is a big task. From original design concept, to extracting and converting files, translating texts and localizing icons, colors, and images. You need a strong team able to work well together across different disciplines. Whether you decide to use the services of an external consultant for your market research, or conduct investigation in-house; you’ll need to know how to utilize the data efficiently.

Programmers and developers must be aware of their roles, and be able to communicate well with the translators and product managers. If you’re hiring a specialist for help with content optimization and different search engine requirements; make sure that they communicate the keywords to the translators.

The best way to ensure that your localization team works harmoniously together is by using the right translation management software. Your programmers should be able to upload screenshots for translators and provide context where needed. Your product managers should be able to tag people and leave notes and requests that can be seen by everyone. You need your team to be able to collaborate openly and easily, to ask and answer questions or express concerns.

To make the most of your mobile app localization, you’ll need a united team who can see the project through from start to finish, so that when your app is ready, it doesn’t disappear into the sea of similar apps already existing in the App Store.

5. App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization should never be an afterthought. You should be layering in your keywords and optimizing your localized texts from the beginning. Once you’ve discovered the most popular search terms in the country of your choice, make sure that you use them. Think about the name and description of your app and how you can utilize keywords and phrases to ensure maximum visibility and downloads.

If your app is about finding the right vacation destination, remember that in England and Australia, they’ll be searching for “holidays” or “getaways.” If you’re offering a better solution to time management for Canadian customers, remember to keep in mind their spelling of English. Seemingly small mistakes in your ASO can make the difference between your app being a hit, or sinking like the Titanic.

Keep in mind the importance of your app’s icon from the start and how it will look on both systems (and at a small size). Try to avoid adding text to your icon, as it won’t be readable and may get lost, or end up looking unprofessional or blurry. Your app’s icon will probably come up at various stages of the localization process, and that’s because getting your icon right is vital.

When you’re localizing your mobile app for Android and iOS, make sure your icon looks good with both rounded edges and square edges. Color is also an important factor, so make sure that your chosen one doesn’t get lost against the user’s screen, and that the icon is culturally appropriate worldwide.

When it comes to selecting the category for your app, be sure to take your time. Selecting the right category is vital. It’s not always best to select the main category for your app, if the competition is fierce. A secondary category may go further towards increasing your visibility.

Test Your App On All Devices

Finally, if you really want to get the most out of your mobile app localization, then don’t cut any corners when it comes to testing out your app. Try it across different operating systems in different regions, and on different devices. Do your best to smooth out any bugs and make sure that no design is broken. If you want your app to be king of the App Store, it’s going to have to work perfectly, not just look great.

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

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The Key to Comprehend User Behavior in App Stores

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Research has shown that the vast majority of mobile users who are looking to download an app already have a good idea of what they want. We know this because according to Nielsen, Forrester and even those who run the store at Google, searches inside the App Store and Google Play make up for a “vast majority of the installs.”

This means that the success of an app comes from understanding how your app stacks up in the search listings versus the actual search intent for all of those important keywords.

It also means fundamentally understanding what users see when they search and how they are pushed from merely browsing to downloading an app.

Understanding search intention and using the right data

When it comes to search intention in the App Store and Google Play, just like any other platform, users are looking for specific features or solutions to a problem. What’s important, however, is that the type of features that users want on their mobile device are vastly different from what is important on a desktop computer.

In essence, search intention is different.

A good way to decode search intention is to look at related queries in both the App Store and Google Play. This kind of data gives you some granular hints into what people actually hope to find when they are searching.

In general, users look for apps that help them with a given problem or provide entertainment. That’s why the games category is flourishing within the App Store. Although it may be counter-intuitive, advertising within a gaming app, if it is done subtly and tastefully, is not a disturbance. If anything, it actually helps users discover more relevant apps. However, when its entertainment they are searching for, timing is everything.

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According to Appnext’s research (see image above), the peak discovery time for iOS is 6 -11:30 pm. In contrast, for Google Play, 7-10pm is most ideal. Interestingly, data shows that in regards to late conversions, users tend to be most open to re-targeting and re-engagement campaigns between 7-9 pm when they are using apps in the utility, personalization, and casual games categories.

In more specific, instructional categories, users behave a bit differently. Looking at the finance category based on App Store and Play Store search data provided from March 2016, it is clear that the types of features users are searching for relate to spending trackers, personal budgeting and ways to save money.

You’ll find that the words users are predominantly looking for pertain to career development. The only real overlap between the mobile data and web data has to do with managing stock portfolios and checking the markets — which is exactly what many people do on their mobile devices.

Conversion optimization at the point of discovery

With so many people talking about “page conversion” (the number of users who visit an app page and then download), it seems that the critical metric of the click-through-rate in a search listing is almost forgotten. Understanding search intention, as we discussed earlier, is necessary because it dictates how to create a search listing that users will select.

Since a clear majority of downloads originate from a search query, search click-through-rate is actually the most important top of the funnel metric that marketers must pay attention to.

There is no coincidence that the top search results in Apple’s App Store carry through the specific keywords and themes that users are actively searching for in the store.

This practice helps them have instant relevance for a user who might spend less than 5 seconds looking at their app listing before deciding whether to click or to pass.

For brands like Intuit, consumers may understand what the app is about just from brand recognition. For newer apps, however, communicating clearly what your app is all about with a smart icon, title and initial screenshot is critical for success.

Too many innovative apps fail because their developers choose to have simple letters or images on their icon that are unrecognizable to end users. This practice, paired with a title that doesn’t quickly describe the most important features of an app, can be the kiss of app death.

It is also important to understand that the structure of an app listing influences app selection.

In the case of Apple’s App Store marketers must focus on the creative displayed in the listing. On the other hand, Google search results are more contextual, featuring a short text description. These two user experiences are very different and you shouldn’t conclude from only one and assume it will work for both stores.

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Now that you have read this far, you are probably thinking “this sounds like building a user acquisition funnel” — and that is absolutely correct!  However, to be successful, this funnel needs to use mobile data and testing strategies specifically for both the App Store and Google Play.

Summary

Let’s recap the most important points in understanding what users are looking for when choosing an app:

  • Understand what users are searching for and use mobile data, not web data
  • Be sure that your app features overlap with what users are downloading
  • Focus on click-through-rate optimization, not just page conversion optimization
  • Creative is important — design communicates what your app is about even before the user reads anything
  • The sum of your icon, title and screenshots must be consistent and targeted

Think about this — if you have a travel app that is advertising ski packages in the middle of summer, there is something wrong with your user acquisition funnel.

Needless to say, people are looking for summer vacations at that time. Use this same logic to cater to what users are looking for in relation to your specific app and within the category. Test and update your creative frequently, and think beyond simple page conversion.

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If This Is Your First Mobile App Marketing Campaign Launch, Do These Tips

Portero’s-mobile-conversion-rate-triples-with-Google’s-AMRecent stats revealed that the average American is spending 2.8 hours a day using mobile devices. 90% of that time is spent within apps.

Does that mean every business needs an app? Not really. Does it mean that if you have an app, you should be striving to get it in front of the people it’s going to benefit most? Definitely.

Here are a few tips to help you in launching your first mobile app marketing campaign:

1. Build an app that’s genuinely useful and free of snags

Before you think about marketing your app (or even making it), it’s critical you get the basics right.

Ask yourself this:

Why are you building this app? Because it fills a genuine need? Or because you’ve been told “Apps are the future (or the present)”?

That last bit might be true (we already know that 90% of mobile content is consumed via apps), but there’s still little point in building an app if it doesn’t have a real purpose.

If it’s an alternative to your website, but doesn’t offer anything your website does not, you might be wasting your time.

 

It’s also key that your app is free of snags that impact usability (or as close to free of snags as you can get – there are always bound to be a few problems that don’t surface until the app’s on the market).

Key issues to watch out for include:

  • The app closing without request (or warning).
  • The app taking too long to respond.
  • The app slowing the performance of the rest of the device.

2. Create a detailed strategy

All marketing efforts should be preceded by a detailed strategy that includes specific, measurable goals, and a dated plan that details how you hope to achieve those goals, and by when.

Points you’ll want to consider will probably include (but won’t be limited to):

  • Pricing – what will your app cost, and how much, if necessary, can you afford to cut the price?
  • What accompanying content are you going to create for your app? Are you going to build a microsite, or are you going to add a landing page to your current site? Who’s going to be responsible for designing and developing this content?
  • Exactly which strategies are you going to employ for marketing your app and who’s going to be responsible for managing each of them?
  • Who will have the responsibility of overseeing the entire project?

3. Optimize your app store listing

App store optimization (or ASO) is the process of optimizing your mobile app to help it rank more prominently in the app store (or stores). Just as with internet search engines, the higher up your app appears for a given keyword, the more visible it is and, hopefully, the more people will download it.

Effective ASO necessitates that you understand the keywords your target customers are using to find apps like yours. Mobile experts from Supreme Media  can help you assist with this (and with most aspects of ASO).

Once you know which keywords your target customers are using, the trick lies in including them in the right places – primarily, in your app’s title and description.

Those are the basics of ASO. You have full control over those things, so it’s important to get them right.

Number of downloads and reviews also affect ASO. This bit is trickier because you don’t have complete control; far from it. But, if you do a good job of marketing your app and include a gameplan for enticing reviews then the chances of having a higer ranking are more thereby driving more organic installs .

Get the best of your apps with our ASO and Marketing Experts here !!!

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5 Best Growth Hacking Practices for Apps

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A wise man once told me, “great marketing does not mean creating a product, sprinkling the information around and praying that someone comes across it. Great marketing means building a story, creating a journey where you take your customer along with you on a ride that eventually benefits both of you.” What I want to convey is the biggest mistake app marketers make is they simply start focusing on downloads right from the beginning and what I think they should be doing is making a larger plan, a story, a customer journey on how they plan to pick a random stranger and convert them into a customer. That, in my opinion, is the foundation of all app marketing and growth hacking plans.
Predictions have it that by the beginning of 2018, the number of app downloads would reach around 300 Billion resulting in $80 Billion revenue for the app developers. This information pretty much makes it clear that apps are serious business and if your business does not already have one then go ahead and get one developed for you. Assuming you have one, get this—the number of downloads is growing rapidly and so is the usage. Which basically means that your competition is growing at a rate faster than you can imagine and if you are looking to grow your app and make your mark in the plethora of other apps out there, you will have to put extra efforts from all ends and strategize your marketing in a way that you eventually growth hack user acquisition for starters.

Get In Touch With Our Mobile Experts Here For A Free Consultation!

Let’s figure what steps are essential to get started with growth hacking for your app:

  1. Positioning and Target Market: Who is your app for? How large is the group that maybe interested in your app? How many competitors are there? If the competitors are too many, are you smart enough to position your app in a way that creates a new market entirely? Knowing the answer to these questions is the key. The more you know about your market and your customer, the better chance you have at growth hacking.

 

  1. Build a story: If you start telling people what your app is about and how many features it has, no one is going to give a damn about it. Create a story that involves spreading awareness about the need people will have and presenting them with a solution that includes your app.

 

  1. Attracting Strangers: By now you know your target market and you’re ready with your story, now is the time to map out the strategy of attracting strangers to notice your app and download it. Here are the important tactics you must master to master user acquisition:
    • App Store Optimization: Studies have shown that majority of the apps are discovered accidentally through searching app stores. Unlike search engine algorithms, best practices or app store search algorithms are not available for public so the best way to go about it is by sticking to the basics: Keywords, Downloads and Ratings. The better the ratings are, the more the chances of app being found are. Of course, the keywords being used are equally important—they should not be generic and must focus on the target market specifically
    • Search Engine Optimization: Most people still take the traditional path of searching apps—by typing in keywords such as app for doing A, best app for B, in the search engines. Although very simple but an extremely important step that you must take—you simply need a great landing page, a few content posts and get as many back links as you can to optimize your search results
    • Offline Promotions: Go to fairs, events, conferences and hand out flyers, pamphlets, cards notifying people how your app can benefit them. Get PR, the process is like any other activity, and spread awareness. Use email database, if you have one, and run an email campaign offering features that might help those users
    • Social Campaigns: There are hundreds of groups on all social media platforms that have users that may have an interest in your app. Target them with your content. Most importantly, enable social sharing at multiple stages/events in your app and influence them to share your app on social media platforms
    • Word of Mouth: Build a great app and people will automatically spread awareness. They all want to be the first to tell people about a good app, which makes them feel important and special. Leverage this psychology and let your app go viral and while you’re at it, enable in-app referral campaigns which in addition to bringing in new users also provide benefit to both.
    • Advertising: Of course this is strictly for those who can afford this. Knowing one’s target market makes it easy to create advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook and even on app stores.

 

  1. Displaying App in Stores: People have started arriving to your app on app stores. Do you want them to go away without downloading your app? Yeah, so you got to cover these points as well:
    • Name: “What’s in a name?” Shakespeare said. EVERYTHING, is the answer. The name is the first thing users will notice when they spot your app in the store. Does it stand out? Is it attractive? Will it make the users click on it for more details? Is it short and self-explanatory? Yeah, you get the gist
    • Icon: Well, I do not want to sound frivolous here but the colors you choose in your icon can either make or break the brand of your app. Think of all the top apps you use, what colors do their icons have? Think of the last app store search you did, what was the color of icons of the apps you checked out? Are all of them bright and glossy? Or are some black and white? Do some research, find out what colors would your target market prefer, colors that suit your vertical and the colors that would stand out in the competition
    • Description: In most of the cases, like in around 90% of the cases, the users would read only the first few lines of the description. Reason? Sometimes they don’t have the patience and sometimes they don’t care to click on view more. So what should go in those two lines? Either something that shows off your app’s achievements or simply why should one download it, in clear, crisp and succinct language
    • Screenshots: Devil lies in the detail. Screenshots make the final impact as they give a preview of how the different screens and features are going to look in your app. Unless they are convincing, it is unlikely people are going to download your app
    • Reviews: I agree that you will get reviews only after people download your app. But you will get good reviews only after you ensure that your app is great and the user experience is seamless and fantastic. The first thing people go ahead and read are the bad reviews to find reasons to convince themselves that they don’t require another app. Of course, one cannot avoid bad reviews as there are more cynics than critics but the least you can do is try and lessen the number

 

  1. Conversions: Well, you can get a lot of people to download your app but you cannot get them to pay. Typically, in a free app, the percentage of paid users is in single digits. But what you can do is avoid marketing mistakes and chances are that your conversions might take off.

 

To conclude, growth hacking in mobile apps is not rocket science and all one needs to do is to figure out all the minute details that most of the marketers/developers fail to notice. List out your priorities and work on them one at a time and your app is bound to take off, provided it is indeed what your target market has been missing out on all this time. And also, since you want your app to have a seamless experience, do not compromise with the analytics. It is always advisable to invest in a good real-time actionable analytics solution that gives you a complete control of your users and engagement.

 

Check it out  here to estimate FOR FREE how many downloads could our Mobile Experts and Growth Hackers bring to your App by doing ASO !

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User Retention : The Biggest Struggle for App Developers

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Of the over 3 million apps available on the App Store and Google Play, a very small number are actually downloaded and opened by users. Of that small number of apps, an even smaller number become an indispensable part of the user’s day-to-day activities. A new study from Localytics finds that one in four mobile users open an app only once.

 

Surprisingly, these user retention rates have actually increased from a year ago (from 34% to 38%), but the numbers are still disheartening for developers.

The difference between retention on Android and iOS differs depending on the report; Localytics found that iOS apps fared slightly better compared to previous years, but a similar study by Appboy found that Android apps held a slight advantage.

Most interestingly, Localytics found that mid-sized apps (identified as apps with between 15,000 and 50,000) had the strongest increases in user retention compared to previous years.

This is most likely attributed to an increased budget for retention strategies like push notifications, in-app messages, and user segmentation.

Of users that see an in-app message, 17% will use that app just once; however, 26% of users who did not see an in-app messaging abandoned the app after one use.

 

For a different look at these numbers, Apsalar took a look at which apps fare the worst in terms of user retention. They found that travel apps and gaming apps had the highest 4-week uninstall rates at 31% and 29%, respectively.

Get a free consultation on your user retention strategy with our mobile experts here !

Though gaming users are notoriously fickle, the travel app rate is a bigger mystery. The most likely scenario is that users download travel apps for one specific trip or booking and delete the app after the activity is completed.

Retail and shopping apps rounded out the middle of Apsalar’s study at a 28% uninstall rate with entertainment & lifestyle apps (17%) and on-demand services (12%) at the bottom.

 

The important takeaway for developers is twofold:

1) your app isn’t the only app struggling to keep users

2) incorporating a user retention strategy before you launch will give you a leg up over the competition.

More importantly, Apple and Google seem to recognize user retention is an issue for their developers and are taking some minor steps in helping them out. For Google, they announced Instant Apps at this year’s Google I/O conference. Time will tell if these strategies end up helping developers in the long term.

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App Promotion Strategy For Christmas Season

Every Christmas millions of smartphones are unwrapped and activated while billion of apps are downloaded. Last year the number of US app installs on Christmas day was 2.5 times larger than an average December day. Although it’s a great time for app marketers to take advantage of the holiday traffic spike, this period is highly competitive. Big publishers and companies can afford to sustain high volumes of paid traffic on holidays when acquisition costs become higher. For smaller app developers, app promotion during this period can be a real challenge. Should they concentrate on acquiring high value users or utilize a volume boost campaign? What is the best time for app developers to enter this pre-holiday marketing race?

GoWide created an ultimate advent calendar for effective holiday app promotion. Like many other things in app marketing, it starts with proper planning and preparation:

 

Early November

Start preparing for marketing campaign by planning a budget. You may need to spend more on user acquisition during holidays. It’s a good time to start a sustainable, optimized campaign and enhance an engaged user base. Don’t forget to update your ASO tactic which will increase app visibility and make further paid efforts more efficient. You can ask your existing users to positively rate the app in stores. A one star shift in rating can increase app downloads by up to 340%, according to an Apptentive survey.

 

Late November

Holidays are perfect for introducing a new version of your app. It can be a new holiday-themed interface, additional functionality, or helpful holiday shopping features. Make sure the app is ready for an increased number of downloads and make technical adjustments if needed. Notice that due to holiday rush, approval time at app stores can take up to 14 days. Late November is a good time to submit an app update and get it approved in time.

 

December

Start a pre-holiday campaign before advertising costs increase. Add a seasonal theme into marketing activities (i.e. song lyrics, holiday visuals, catchphrases, etc.). A series of recurring boost campaigns will help an app to increase visibility and prepare a launching basis for holiday promotion. Boost campaigns will also attract organic users. This is when you have to get your ASO (App Store Optimization) on point. ASO is crucial for christmas, if you are ranked on the wrong keyword and not visible to your audience, you will not enjoy and make profit of the christmas burst.

 

Christmas week

It’s time for your app to reach top charts and shine like a Christmas star! Focus on volumes. Utilize a rewarded installs campaign on a self-serve platform. This provides full control over CPI and installs volume, is cheaper than premium traffic, and is perfect for burst campaigns. A rewarded installs campaign will help reach positive ROI through lower CPI and attracted organic traffic. The most common mistakes app developers make after reaching a desired chart position is not sustaining paid install volumes. Once you have reached top charts, try to maintain ranking with a sustained campaign otherwise it will result in a quick position loss.

 

January

While many users continue to download apps on their new devices in January, the cost per install drops. Make this post-holiday calm work for you. Think about all the users who installed your app and have not used it for some time. Launch a re-engagement campaign to keep them interested and active, offer them new features and post-holiday discounts.

Holiday season brings a lot of stress and rush to app developers. In order to stay calm and profitable, prepare your strategy in advance, set up your marketing priorities, and find a proper ad platform. AppBooster is a perfect tool to use for the holiday race. It’s simple, it provides rewarded installs from reliable sources, and it fits any budget.

Appy Holidays!

Get Your Free ASO Consultation to get Christmas Ready Here !

 

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App Store Optimization: How to rank higher on App Store and Google Play search

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If you want to win in mobile, you have to win in apps. And if you want to win in apps, you have to win in search. But it is not easy: to get a top 10 ranking in your category on Google Play or the iOS App Store, you’ll need to rank for 60 to 110 search terms on average. That starts with a strong focus on App Store Optimization.

We studied the top 50,000 apps on iOS and Android, including billions of ratings, reviews, and bits of metadata to find what’s different about top-ranked apps.

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Search really , really matters.

For most mobile publishers, a massive 65 to 80 percent of all your app installs will come as a result of app store search. Apple says that 65 percent of all iOS app downloads come directly from search on the app store. Mobile ad network Fiksu says that 80 percent of quality organic Android downloads come from Google Play search.

There’s a good reason for the dominance of search: people are extremely task-focused when installing mobile apps.

Not only are Google Play and the iOS App Store very often the first place users recall seeing apps that they install, smartphone owners typically approach app discovery like a job to complete as quickly as possible.

When we asked over 3,000 smartphone owners why they had downloaded their last few apps, 37% of them said they had a specific task to accomplish. Another 13.5% of them had searched the web for something they wanted, and Google had returned the app as a result. Put those two together, and you’ve got about half of app installs resulting from purposeful, intentional, directed search.

So you’ve got to win search. But how?

To win search, win ranking.

If you want to be a top app, you have to win at Google Play’s and the App Store’s ranking algorithms. That means a lot of things in terms of app store optimization, but ultimately it means you need to rank for a large number of keywords that people search for.

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On average, top 10 apps rank for a lot of keywords:

  • Android: 60-105 terms
  • iOS: 65-110 terms

If you break it out by individual apps, your app has to rank for between 15-25 search terms in order to crack the top 150 apps in your category on Google Play. On the iOS App Store, you have to rank for more than 25 to crack the top 150, and to hit the top 10 you have to rank for over 65 terms.

Interestingly,

Android has a longer tail than iOS, for two reasons: there are more apps available on Google Play, and Google has traditionally been more sophisticated at crawling and indexing content, and at returning search results, so more apps rank for more terms. Apple, in contrast, relies more heavily on developer-provided content such as app titles and iTunes Connect keywords, which limits the diversity of terms an app can rank for.

You can see the long tail here:

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If you want to rank in the top ten apps in your category, you can’t just rank for many different terms, you have to rank first, second, or third for a lot of those keywords. This is the core challenge not for apps that are forgettable, way-out-of-contention efforts thousands of positions from the top in their category, but apps that rank 140, 152, or 137 in their category.

Apps in the top ten get hundreds and sometimes thousands of times as many installs as these moderately successful apps, and it makes all the difference between pulling in millions of dollars of revenue each day or week, and pulling in maybe a $1M every two or three months.

This is the scope of the challenge: apps that want to challenge for top-ten spots need to rank for between five and eight times more keywords, on average.

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Of course, averages are nice to see, but of limited applicability for your particular app in your specific Google Play or App Store category. The real question is: how many keywords do top apps in my category rank for?

As you might expect, the answer varies wildly.

Top apps in the wildly competitive games categories rank for easily 200 keywords each. Photo & Video is also extremely competitive, and Social is tough too. But less popular and less trafficked categories such Books, Business, News, and Weather are comparatively easier to rank in, with top apps ranking for 25 to 50 keywords in most cases.

For iOS, the different category challenges look like this :

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Within the massive games categories on both Google Play and the App Store, which house easily half of all mobile apps, similar principles apply: some categories are just much, much more competitive than others. Which is why you need to select your app’s category very, very carefully.

On Android, for instance, Casual games are the most competitive, while Family, Music, Trivia, and Board games tend to be easier to rank in:

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The key is in knowing your competition and playing accordingly, taking your time is also critical.

 “It’s important to realize that not all of your competitors may be equal, so don’t target your most popular competitors at the outset. Take a graduated approach to keyword targeting and optimization, and as your downloads and user engagement increase, you’re likely able to graduate to more competitive (and often higher volume) keywords.” 

Increase your chances to boost your ranking and organic installs! Start now!

 

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The 4 ASO Trends of 2016 to Focus On for the Next Year

While the importance of App Store Optimization in mobile app marketing strategies remains constant, trends are moving towards app discovery and retention. For this blog post, we decided to put 4 of the most favored 2016 ASO Trends in a nutshell.

1. Search Ads are coming to improve app discoverability

This summer, Apple announced to bring in-store Search Ads for iOS developers. Starting this fall, Search Ads beta is running on App Store for the United States.

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ASO Trends 2016: App Store Search Ads

By introducing Search Ads, Apple tries to solve the discoverability problem of various apps on App Store. With over 65% of downloads coming directly from searches on the App Store, search is the most significant discoverability-method for apps. The concept of Search Ads should enable you to promote your app at the top of app store search results. This should improve user experience for customers searching for an app on the App Store and help you get your app discovered.

2. App Indexing drives downloads and re-engagement

Deep Linking already was a trending ASO tactic in 2015. But we all just begun to see how it affects the mobile marketing ecosystem. Deep Linking and App Indexing helps your app to get discovered more easily outside the app store. By getting your app into Online Search, you can drive downloads and re-engagement.

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ASO Trends 2016: App Indexing

And this is how App Indexing works: Using App Indexing, your app can get displayed and promoted as an app result on Google Search. If your app and site have similar content, you can associate them with each other. Google then can index your app to serve it in search results. People, who are searching for your content and do not have your app installed, they get directed to the app store listing. Someone, who searches for some specific content in your app and already has installed it, gets directed to the app itself.

3. App Descriptions are getting more attention

Another ASO trend, we recognized in 2016 is the increasing importance of app descriptions. While it was well known, that app descriptions are relevant for Google Play ranking, many app developers have ignored descriptions in App Store. In the recent past, however, the value of app description is rising again.

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ASO Trends 2016: Emoji in App Description

Since Apple plans to attach greater value on keywords in description, the field is another important part for your keyword strategy. It can be noticed, that keywords in App Store descriptions have impact on your search ranking. Also Emoji can be spotted in higher concentration in 2016. A nice example of Emoji-use in app description is that of “Unispotter” on Google Play: Funny, useful for text structuring & addressing target audience – we like that.

4. There is more focus on Retention

When there is a hot topic to discuss with app marketers in 2016, then it is app retention. Several studies showed that it is very common for the average app to lose 77% of its DAUs within the first 3 days after the install. It turned out to be normal, that over time, 95% of users “get lost”. This caused some critical discussions in mobile industry.

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ASO Trends 2016: Fight the Retention Curve

It is a fact, that users generally tend to try out different apps but decide which ones to abandon within the first 3 – 7 days. Thus, app developers are trying to improve these retention curves by enhancing product description and on-boarding flow. What to do in order to bend the curve, depends on the kind of mobile app. For a blogging product for example, you could let users pick a theme, name or write their first post to get them invested. Social services on the other hand can increase their retention by getting users to import their address book and connect to a few friends to enable a good start and strong user experience. What stays the same with all kinds of apps, is that you have to make the user feel like your app is really useful. (creating an app that is actually useful, helps in this case 😉 )

What ASO Trends might we expect in 2017?

All in all, we saw that App Store Optimization is dealt as a crucial part in mobile app business and will still remain a hot topic in 2017. Due to the worldwide growth in mobile device usage, also mobile app downloads are predicted to expand. As a result of growing smartphone and tablet industry, there was a growth rate of 52.17 percent in the years between 2011 and 2016. On the other hand this means app stores become more and more crowded. “Can your users find your app“, therefore, will become a question, app publishers will strongly emphasize in 2017.

 

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