Let’s talk ASO (App store Optimization)

ASO maybe be single handedly the best way to optimize your organics without spending a penny.  ASO (App Store Optimization) is a concept a lot of Publisher continue optimize and test to have their app display in users searches as frequent as possible.

Since there are well over 4 million apps in the app store (blended total of both Android & iOS), these days it is very important that you have defined your organic strategy.

What does this mean?

Organic downloads is an integral component in your publishing activities as the industry medium for marketing spend is about 70% Organic and 30% Paid users.  This means that every app in the app store is highly dependent on organics as the organics outweigh the paid users by more than 2x.

Tracking organics has been proven very difficult on the granular level since its usually unknown the real reason why a user downloaded your app.  Maybe it was a friend referral or this user saw someone play your game on commute home, which is why a lot of publishers just clump everything that is not paid in to ‘Organics’

The many faces of ASO.

App store optimization is the tool that both Apple and Google provides to developers and publisher to get their app discovered.

Keywords:

Defining your keywords of your app needs to be be taken seriously. These words are the front line on how your app gets discovered in the store. Both Apple and Google have their different approaches in how you can define your keywords.

Apple Keyword System:

Apple has a specific field in your app submission process where you can define what your keywords which is limited to 100 characters.  

Google Keyword System:

Google takes your title, subtitle and the first paragraph of your app description to define what your keywords are.  There exist a weighting portion in the algorithm where the app title is weighted higher than words that exist in the long description of your app.  All these section have character limits, so choose your app name, and description wisely, this is why you see real long generic titles and sub titles in application as these publishers are choosing the 100% organic ASO strategy approach.

How to define my Keywords?

Defining your keywords is a process that each publisher needs to plan carefully to stand out in the app shuffle and also continue to optimize after release.  This is something any publisher can do as the ASO ranking for each is all public information you can find in app tools like appannie. You can just search your favorite app and near the bottom of the categories are the list of ASO keywords the app ranks in. The more successful ones would dominate the popular high quality keywords.  These keyword rankings are updated on a weekly basis.

What is Keyword Ranking?

The higher your keyword rank means if a user searches this keyword, this is the position it will fall in.  Publisher ideally want to fall in the first page of the rank or strive to be in the first page of the mobile display as this garners the highest download for your app. Since your keyword rankings are updated on a weekly basis,  Keywords that are falling in ranking are usually tossed away with the attempt of a new keyword to rank in the first page of any user mobile display. Optimizing your keywords on a weekly basis is an integral process in maximizing your organic growth.

Keyword Services

This stuff can be very complicated and time consuming for many developers or publishers that have a 100 other things to do than think of keywords, but i can’t stress enough how important this phase in publishing is for the success of your titles.  For this, many Keyword service have popped up to help your road to ‘whatever it is you’re striving to be’

Appradar: Appradar.com  

AppTweak: Apptweak.com  

These companies provide a service where they track your app and track x amount of keywords and update you daily on the growth of your keywords and also suggest keywords for your app to grow. Saving you thousands of clicks and time to research and optimizing your Keyword rankings in the app stores.

Conclusion:

This rabbit hole can get very deep and for any indie developer or publisher its a hole one needs to jump into and real grasp how to rank high in many keywords.  Mastering this will provide you with a skillset many publishers consider valuable. Good luck

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