App Store Optimization (ASO) for Great Developers

Notes on a talk by Enric Pedro of Lab Cave and Joyce Zhou

  • Joyce Zhou of IGG (“I Got Games”), developer of Lords Mobile ($50M/month)
  • Enric Pedro (@enricpedro), Chief Marketing Officer of Lab Cave (ASO company)—
  • ASO is the process of getting more users by improving visibility within the app store and optimizing the app profile visit-to-install conversion
  • Why it matters
    • 65% of global downloads come from search traffic
    • Traffic quality is high: organic users have higher “intent” to download/buy
    • About 90 apps installed per device on average
  • Improving conversion rates
    • Localize app store descriptions for each country
  • Key factors
    • iOS
      • Keywords
      • Title
      • Subtitle
      • Ignored
        • Description
        • Promo text
    • Google Play
      • Bundle ID
      • Title
      • Short description
      • Long description
      • Ignored: 
        • what’s new
  • ASO check list
    • Keyword analysis
    • App titile (use all space available for keywords)
    • Know where to put keywords in App Store vs. Google Play
    • Localization (and, more advanced, “culturalization”)
      • Should I translate my app’s title (which has a keyword in it) into the target language?
      • Only avoid localizing the title if it’s a big, well-known name
    • Choose the right category (or not)
    • Ratings & reviews
    • A/B test visuals
    • Use holidays & festivities—in China, Chinese New Year; in US, Christmas
      • Not hard, relatively big payoffs (just adding “decoration”)
    • Update the app often (not much detail is needed)
      • At least once a month even for a large app
      • Don’t need to change too much… it’s so low risk
      • Can use Google Experiments to A/B test
    • Research competitors—what are they not doing that you can do better
    • Backlinks
  • ASO trends
    • Google Instant apps
    • App weight matters (300 MB is a lot!)
      • Especially in developing markets, 300 MB has a clear price tag for people in terms of their mobile data plan
    • Quality/retention/ANRs
    • Long-tail keywords
    • App uniqueness
    • Pre-registrations (basically a pre-order)
    • Joint UA & ASO strategy
    • 6-second videos (ad format)
  • Tool suggestions
    • Lab Cave has their own proprietary tools
    • Cheap solution: Use Google Experiments on Google Play, apply what you learn there to Apple
  • If you can’t rank in the top 200 for a keyword, it probably doesn’t make sense to try
  • Icon has a huge impact on conversion rates; screenshots & CTAs still help, though
  • App preview videos often hurt on Android regardless of quality—look at Lab Cave’s games and see how they’re doing things

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