Posted on August 12th, 2016
Pokémon Go - It seems like all anyone can talk about lately. And why not? It became the top grossing app in the US within 13 hours, raising Nintendo’s market value by $9 billion in five days. 21 million users play the game daily. Between four and five million more download it each day. And with well over $1 million daily setting the app above competitors like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans, it seems like The Pokémon Company and Niantic are on top of the world. It might come as a shock, then, that Pokémon Go is in desperate need of ASO. Beneath the sheen of the Pokémon brand, surprisingly little has been done to market Pokémon Go to mobile users. And while brand recognition and online chatter have contributed significantly to make the app number one on the charts, those factors can only take a game so far. As of now, when the social media masses move on to the next big craze, Pokémon Go won’t have a leg to stand on. Let’s start with the app’s most crippling weakness - its keyword rankings. As expected, Pokémon Go ranks for multiple Pokémon-related terms, such as “pokémon games free” and “pokémon RPG”. However, many of these rankings fall well below what you might expect. For instance, as of this writing the app is only rank 8 for “pokémon games free” and a whopping rank 600 for “pokémon RPG”, a shocking figure given that Pokémon Go is, for all intents and purposes, the biggest Pokémon role-playing game of all time. The rankings only get worse from there. A series of surprising oversights means that users who may connect with Pokémon Go will likely never find it through search. For example, the app does not rank at all for Nintendo, a brand closely associated with the Pokémon legacy. Similarly, the app doesn’t register for its world-famous mascot, Pikachu. Nor does it rank for other famous creatures like Mew, Mewtwo, Squirtle, Charmander or Bulbasaur. Even generic phrases are missing from Pokémon Go’s keyword rankings. Core words and phrases that are extremely relevant and could help the app grow by leaps and bounds are outright missing, such as:
Posted on July 24th, 2016
iOS 10 is coming, and along with it a long list of major changes for developers. But along with those changes come a plethora of small and medium quality-of-life updates that should make this iteration of the iPhone experience the smoothest yet. The below features haven’t been widely publicized by Apple, but expect fans to be extolling their virtues when iOS 10 releases later this year.
Posted on July 1st, 2016
The recent reveal of iOS 10 means big improvements for users, but it will be even more revolutionary for app developers looking to take their feature set to new heights. Here is a rundown of how these new features will help you make your app more accessible than ever before.
Posted on June 16th, 2016
Just in case Apple’s huge WWDC announcements weren’t enough to whet your appetite for the next year of mobile, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) also kicked off this week, and brought with it a series of important gaming announcements for iOS and Android. The games collected below might just be the next big thing come this time next year.
Posted on June 16th, 2016
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off its 34th year with a host of massive announcements that will shape the landscape for app developers over the coming year. Over the span of a two-hour keynote, Apple laid out exactly what changes, improvements and alterations are coming to iOS 10. Just in case you don’t have a spare 2 hours, we’ve broken down the biggest announcements from this year’s keynote and how they could affect app developers moving into the future. 5. Siri Comes to Desktop in macOS Sierra iPhone and Apple TV owners have been enjoying Siri’s snarky brand of personal assistance for a while now, but Mac users have been left out in the dust - until now, that is. Apple announced a new Mac operating system with a new naming scheme to match iOS, tvOS and watchOS. OSX - now called “macOS” - is getting a new update called Sierra, and with it Siri is finally coming to the desktop. Siri on desktop should function as a supplement to Finder and Spotlight, allowing users to search for files, switch between active apps, browse the web, and perform math functions. These features are exciting on their own, but going into the future Apple is hoping to make Siri even bigger, positioning her as an intelligent household assistant that can help you through your day-to-day. So how does this impact mobile app developers? Combined with new Siri updates on mobile, which we’ll cover more later, developers can now feel empowered to add Siri features to their desktop apps and increase feature parity between different versions of their apps.
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.
Posted on May 23rd, 2016
While optimizing your app’s keywords, title and short description is vital for growing your visibility organically, all the visitors in the world mean nothing if they don’t download your app. The goal of a conversion strategy is just that - to make a higher percentage of visitors hit that “Get” button. Optimizing for conversion is a vital part of a successful App Store Optimization strategy, yet it’s frequently overlooked in favor of emphasizing keywords and title. We’ve all seen apps that stuff as many keywords as possible into their titles and descriptions, and while those apps may rank for trending terms, their muddled language and inconsistent callouts do them no favors when it comes to getting users to convert.
Posted on May 11th, 2016
There are two approaches to launching your mobile app:
Posted on May 5th, 2016
App Store screenshots are phenomenally important for your app’s organic growth. Given that over 60% of downloads are from users searching in the App Store, your screenshots are very much at the forefront of the conversion funnel. Aside from user ratings, once store browsers reach your app in the search results page, allure your screenshots’ design will decide whether they click through and download it or not. If your app supports both Landscape and Portrait mode, then choosing the right orientation for your store screenshots will matter as well.
Posted on April 19th, 2016
Facebook's annual F8 developer conference has grown tremendously in just a few years to become one of the most highly anticipated tech events of the year. This impressive growth is due to two main reasons:
Posted on April 15th, 2016
The launch of the iPhone and the App Store in 2007 heralded a new era in mobile technology. More specifically, it led to the explosive growth of smartphones and related technologies such as app development. The expansion of the smartphone space led to the creation of new terminologies and vocabulary specific to the industry. Here are some of most common terms and acronyms in the mobile app space and mobile marketing:
Posted on April 13th, 2016
Shakespeare once inquired: “What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. When it comes to mobile apps, however, names matter a great deal. There are many factors that impact app store rankings and user installs - from how the app is indexed to which searches Apple and Google deam an app a relevant result, and then conversion of search result views into installs and users. An app's name impacts all of these factors and often serves as the anchor for the rest of an optimized app store listing. Looking at the top apps in the store, not only overall but by category or niche and a few trends for naming appear: