Posted on July 1st, 2017
Coming up with the next great app can be exciting, but when looking at the current mobile app market, entrepreneurs realize that the nearly 3 million apps completely saturate every app category. It’s tough to get noticed in any category, but how do the top apps do it? They start by monitoring the current app market, researching user trends, defining user behaviors, creating a targeted demographic user base and carefully distinguishing which category fits their app best. By monitoring competitors and current app market trends, developers can make crucial changes using ASO best practices before wasting their time and resources launching an app prematurely.
Posted on May 9th, 2017
People think the toughest part of creating a mobile app is simply gathering the funds and launching the app. However, one of the most difficult parts of maintaining a mobile app is continuing its success post launch. Developers need to understand how to navigate and manage the challenges that occur after launching their mobile app. To continue being successful in the App Store and Google Play Store, developers need to be strategic and have a clear vision of what direction they want to take their app. The best marketing tool to ensure growth post launch is App Store Optimization (ASO). This marketing tool will help developers monitor and manage their growth and continue their marketing efforts by using real-time mobile data based on user trends and behaviors within the app stores to drive discoverability to their target audience. While ASO is available to all developers, there are common mistakes that many developers tend to make after launching their app.
Posted on May 1st, 2017
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Posted on April 27th, 2017
Toward the end of September 2016, Apple reduced the character limit allowed for app names, which caused a frenzy among developers focused on App Store Optimization. It pressured many developers to restructure their app’s title tags since keywords in title tags that exceeded 50 characters on the App Store would no longer be ranked.
Posted on April 22nd, 2017
While many developers have followed ASO best practices and improved their app’s metadata (title, description and screenshots), not many focus on the app’s preview video. The preview video is in place to improve conversion rates by engaging the audience and showing users the app’s core features. Unfortunately, it’s a forgotten part of the app’s metadata. Developers need to optimize their preview video with ASO to increase their odds of converting users and encourage them to tap “GET.” What’s a Preview Video? Preview videos are one of the first visual representations of your app that users will see when searching in the app stores. On an Android device, the video appears at the very top of the listing, encouraging users to interact with the gameplay and see how to use the app before scrolling down to read the description. For iOS, the preview video can take the place of a screenshot and is always listed first in the sequence. A preview video is supposed to be rich in content and deliver the app’s message well. There are three common types of preview videos developers tend to use, and those are:
Posted on April 20th, 2017
It seems every time you go to either app store’s home page there are new apps popping up in every category. The Apple App Store alone has over 2.2 million apps, and the Google Play Store has even more. Last year alone, there were 130 billion downloads on the App Store. Competition is intense regardless of what app developers are trying to market for. One industry, however, stands out from the rest. Mobile games are constantly growing and gaming companies want to get their apps noticed by users. From what was seen at this year’s GDC, the mobile gaming industry is booming, and developers need to stand out against the competition. The only way to create more visibility for an app is by utilizing an ASO strategy.
Posted on January 14th, 2017
The New Year is here, and with it comes a whole new batch of trends to stay on top of. With regards to mobile trends 2017 has the potential to be a unique year. Last fall Apple shook up the world of mobile in a major way by shortening their Title field and introducing Search Ads. This quarter, expect app developers to refine their technique when it comes to mastering the new App Store ecosystem. Look out for these trends in Q1 2017: Search Ads Get Refined As the year moves on, more and more app developers will begin to discover what performs best for Search Ads. Look for major developers to hit Search Ads even harder in an attempt to expand their search footprint into any relevant keywords. Similarly, as more developers begin to target wider swaths of Search Ads, they will also refine how to best convert users from Search Ads. As the New Year begins, make it a priority to learn the best practices for landing and converting from Search Ads.
Posted on January 3rd, 2017
App Store Search Ads are often cited as the number one trend to watch for app developers in 2017. Placed prominently at the top of relevant search queries, Search Ads show vital information about your app to potential customers and, in concept, can help even a small independent app reach the top of search. In line with the traditional ASO process, Apple ensures that their Search Ads work based on relevance and not based solely on the highest bidder. Even so, landing a Search Ad is not a guarantee that you will begin converting users right away. To get the most from your Search Ad, it is important to target the right terms at the right time. Just as trends shape the keyword landscape in the App Store, so too will they dictate which Search Ads are best for your app. To this end, any developer targeting Search Ads should take several steps prior to settling on a campaign strategy.
Posted on December 14th, 2016
Apple launched their Search Ads initiative just over two months ago, taking the world of App Store developers by storm. Many developers feared that these new ads, placed prominently at the top of search results, would nullify or somehow contradict the ASO work they had already done. In fact, the opposite is true – ASO and Search Ads go hand-in-hand. To understand how best to incorporate Search Ads into your existing ASO strategy, you must first look at how the ads work and what Apple wants to achieve with them.
Posted on December 13th, 2016
The holidays are almost here, and the influx of new phones, tablets and gift cards that comes along with them will undoubtedly bring a wave of revenue to the App Store and Google Play. Whether or not last year’s record-breaking $1.1 billion in App Store spending can be beat remains to be seen, but regardless app developers would be wise to plan ahead for the holiday season. A well-optimized app needs only a quick update to position itself strongly for the holidays. New creative assets, keywords and a blurb in the description can be enough to capitalize on holiday attention for an app that already has a dedicated fan base. But what about apps that have yet to be optimized? The influx of users that occurs each holiday season can only be fully capitalized upon if your app is appropriately optimized. A strong optimization will increase the number of search terms your app ranks for, and during the vital holiday season, this change alone can make a huge difference. On Apple, that means tailoring your title, keywords and description towards your target audience. Your app’s title should be descriptive and to the point, with a subtitle utilizing highly searched terms to flesh out your rankings and quickly explain your app to users. You only have 50 characters to work with, so be certain to focus on words that will improve your rankings. You want to target the most popular searches in the App Store while describing your app’s features at the same time. Your keyword bank is where you have more room to experiment. Of course, you will still want to use highly searched words in your keyword bank, as these have more potential for putting your app in front of the most users. Focus on words that are relevant for your app and searched the most by users. You may also target competitor apps in your keyword bank, but be careful in doing so – many apps in the store target competitors in their title and keyword bank, but only a few are deemed relevant by Apple. In order to be deemed relevant, your app must have notable similarities to its competitor, and you must position your app’s description in a way such that those similarities seem reasonable. Smaller companies often have difficulty landing large competitors, too, so watch out for that. On Google Play, optimizing your app works a little differently. Your app’s title is still important, but most notably, you don’t have a keyword bank to work with. Instead, Google crawls your app’s description for words that may be relevant to your app. Words that are placed at the front of sentences, or grouped together near similar words, are deemed especially important. That means the best way to optimize your app on Google Play is to create a description that features a bulleted feature list, almost like an outline, that details like features together with one another. Another important element of a Google Play optimization is your app’s Short Description. This is an 80-character field that exists to give users a clear, concise description of your app. The words placed here are especially important for establishing rankings and guiding users to your app’s most important features. By optimizing your app separately for each storefront, you can capitalize on the unique searches and trends that occur in each. And during the holiday season, with potentially over $1 billion being spent over just a few weeks, a strong optimization is more important than ever. If your app hasn’t been optimized yet, now is a great time to start.
Posted on December 8th, 2016
The holidays are a prime time for developers to update their creative assets on the App Store and Google Play. As we approach the end of the year and the impending App Store shutdown, be sure to take the time for a quick app update in this busy season – it can ultimately
Posted on June 9th, 2016
Localization is an important step in the growth of any app. Many developers focus squarely on the United States, but China has actually surpassed the US in iOS downloads, and Japan continues to produce the most revenue for Google Play. Now, countries like China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Russia represent significant untapped markets for many developers. If you had the chance to increase your app’s potential userbase exponentially, wouldn’t you take it? For that reason alone, localization is a must for any serious app developer. However, the localization process leaves many lingering questions, and not all localizations are created equal. A strong localization takes into account not only your app’s title and keywords, but your screenshots as well. After all, these images will take up the majority of your listing on iOS, and on Google Play they are one of the first elements on your app’s store page. When localizing an app, adding your screenshots is the second step of the submission process - and it should be treated with a proportionate level of importance. Users may never even read your translated description, but they will definitely see your screenshots! The creative used on an app page is crucial for conversion in new territories, so you should try to use localized images whenever possible. For example, if you’re localizing a GPS app for China, you’ll want to trade the US maps for Chinese ones and swap US landmarks in your images for, say, the Great Wall. Similarly, if you’re developing a cooking app, you might want to include images of local delicacies in order to entice new audiences into downloading. When it comes to localization, you’ll want to do as much research as possible in order to truly appeal to users’ sensibilities, no matter what the topic at hand may be. Similarly, some countries may prioritize certain features over others. When positioning your app for a new territory, you’ll want to research trending features and position those towards the front of your screenshots so they will be immediately visible to browsing users. For example, WeChat’s group chat and emojis are hugely popular in China. If your app features something similar, why not highlight it in one of your first two screenshots? Speaking of WeChat, this popular messaging app is actually a solid example of screenshot localization. Check out the app’s first three US screenshots below: And compare them with the app’s screenshots in China: Note how the app has been repositioned ever so slightly to emphasize freedom of communication in the United States, and the size of the userbase (complete with group chatting and emojis) in China. When localizing your app, your first two screenshots can make all the difference for conversion, particularly on iOS. Just take a look at the search results below: Each listing only has room for two screenshots, and if your app has a video - like WeChat (pictured above) does - that only leaves you with one screen to convey your most vital points of information. Suddenly, that subtle difference in screenshot ordering between territories becomes absolutely vital. Localizing your app may seem complex, but in the end it’s all about understanding the wants and needs of each territory you enter. Translate the language in your screens, use images that local audiences can relate to, and reposition your most important features towards the front of your screenshots, and you’ll have a solid foundation for any new territory you decide to venture into.