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Apr 22 2022
ASO is an important strategy for app marketers to win their app business. ASO World tech teams is always on the lookout for new ways to improve our app's user acquisition and traffic growth efforts, taking the time to find the best strategies to help our users level up their apps and win their competition.
In this case study, we'll take a closer look at the steps we took to increase organic downloads of one of our users' video apps by 66%. We hope it provides some useful app store optimization strategies and gives app promoters more inspiration.
In the video app example below, we will focus on the following topics:
The leading mobile subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) app in the U.S. reached nearly 18 million monthly active users in the first quarter of this year, a 14% increase from the first quarter of 2020 and a 49% increase from 2019. According to recent data, mobile users are becoming interested in streaming video on smartphones.
Apps like Disney+, Peacock TV, and Discovery+ have driven MAU growth over the past two years as content continues to drive existing offerings. However, it also means the market has become more crowded and competitive, as non-traditional platforms like YouTube are also making inroads into the space by producing original content.
To tap into development opportunities in such an environment and drive the growth of your video app, an effective strategy is especially important. Below we share the cases of our user's video app, hoping to provide you with more inspiration for innovation and growth.
Also, the game name remains anonymous here to protect the privacy of our customers. But to give you a better idea of the casual game's story we're sharing, we found one of its competitors' game from the Google Play Store below.
The video app of our user is released in 2021 and has a very good foundation. Through the strategy of "Ads + ASO", it grown rapidly in the early stage, and the daily organic download volume has reached about 1,000. But it has been difficult to contunue its growth in recent months, and traffic has always no longer grows.
Our team has been involved in the early stage of the user's app promotion works. Users have chosen our direct app installs and keyword installs service, and together with ads to promote the growth of the app in the early stage. And they want our full service to redesign their video app promotion strategy with the goal of further increasing their organic downloads this program.
As a startup company, the user's marketing team is very small, and there is not enough budget to further expand the investment in advertising, which means that we will rely more on ASO strategy and comprehensive data analysis support.
When a new app of a user quickly rises to a certain level in a short period of time, I believe that many app promoters have faced the same troubles. The previous strategy seems to be no longer effective, and it is difficult to achieve substantial growth.
Innovation, dynamic optimization strategies and remarketing strategies based on the analysis of segmented data have become the fatal limitation of many entrepreneurial teams, because many supporting factors cannot keep up, the budget is limited, the time of testing and the allocation of professional staff are not enough. Then, it would be a good idea to consider a mature team to complete the next work together.
When we started evaluating comprehensive data on users' video apps, we found some common issues with keywords and app store conversions:
1. The keyword structure is unreasonable and is often placed in inappropriate fields (title, subtitle, keywords);
2. Many keywords are not generating significant traffic;
3. In major non-US countries, keywords are simply translated without considering local culture.
1. There used to be very little A/B testing and app store experiments.
2. The screenshot design is relatively "boring" and does not stand out in the search results, so it needs to be updated in time.
At the strategic level, the user's video app mainly focus on the US store. This means they miss out on traffic opportunities in foreign markets including France, Japan, Spain and the UK, etc.
ASO consists of two distinct but interrelated areas: conversion rate optimization for store listings and keyword optimization.
In order to give us a solid understanding of the environment, the first step we took was an in-depth analysis of our users' competitors. We need to understand their features, their visual and functional user experience; whether they use video on their app store product pages; and their product detail page optimization experiments. All of this needs to be considered when we create a strategy and calculate the potential ranking of a user's app.
To identify countries where additional investment in ASO could be profitable, our data analysts have prepared a list of top markets using available sales and market data. To narrow down the country, we focused on three metrics: average revenue per user; top 10 countries by revenue; and market size (download potential, etc.).
In the title/subtitle, there are always some keywords that can work well in quantity, but there are some sensitive keywords and brand keyword restrictions that need to be considered.
The entire optimization process is divided into two stages:
1. GP and ASO for US market on iOS (including keyword optimization + store listing);
2. Localization in the most attractive non-US countries.
1) Keyword optimization for the US market
To see how likely it is to get top rankings, we first need to assess where a user's app is in the "Video Players & Editors" category and identify the best apps in that segment.
Ranking potential largely depends on the app's existing downloads base, brand awareness, number of reviews, and more. Since the video category is very competitive, we know that users' video apps cannot rank higher than top apps like Youtube.
Our strategy is to look for apps with less competition and less traffic but users to rank in the top 10, preferably the top 3 keywords, as this is where most installs happen.
2) Keyword research
The video category, especially its niche, is tricky because users are more likely to search directly for well-known brands, rather than generic phrases like "video editor."
However, our assumption is that there is also a significant portion of users who want more unique experiences.
About the entire keyword optimization process:
Start by digging in and create a long list of valuable keywords that are relevant and have significant traffic.
Evaluate whether the app already ranks for them.
Evaluate our chances of being in the top 10 or higher based on the level of competition.
Select the final keyword collection.
Embed selected keywords into titles, subtitles, and descriptions.
Submit a new keyword list.
Measure, iterate, measure...
3) Keyword optimization for non-US markets
Localization levels range from simple keyword translation to full localization of product listings, including screenshots.
For keyword research in the most important countries, we have carefully prepared localized languages and content including German, French, British, Spanish, and Japanese, taking into account the local culture. For the rest of the world, we only did simple translations, as the ratio of time investment to growth opportunity did not justify a more sophisticated approach.
Instead of including more countries on iOS, we expanded localization to Google Play. Another difficulty is about the accuracy of translation. After discovering some errors using paid online translation services, we recommend that users hire translators in each country to double-check the final keyword set.
Finally, when we checked the results, an interesting difference emerged between iOS and Google Play. On iOS, we see big improvements in all metrics. However, ASO on Google Play is much more difficult to implement, and we haven't seen such a huge increase, even though the user's video app has been ranked #1 for 2 major keywords for a while. While not as successful, we still think the 31% increase in app downloads after the first stage of optimization is a good result.
What we've done above is to improve the app's search ranking and search visibility in the app store. The next topic is to optimize the conversion rate of user apps. These two parts complement each other and form a closed loop, which are critical to the growth of the app.
We have done a lot of testing on iOS and GP on the detailed creative parts of the app's product page, including Icons, screenshots, videos, etc.
At first, users’ screenshots of the video app looked mediocre, resulting in low conversion rates. We studied the design styles of the top 20 apps in this category, excluded branding factors, and made creative ideas that are more appealing to users.
● The potential impact of app store optimization largely depends on your niche, whether you have an active user base, whether users are actually searching for apps like yours, and the level of competition.
● Knowing the quality of your app is critical, ASO is influenced by reviews, ratings and other in-app factors!
● Remember, ASO is not just about keywords optimization and screenshots, it’s about optimizing everything. You need to improve the user journey from accessing product page to successful app installs. If you have games, you also need to pay attention to your game's APK/IPA size to increase download rates.
● ASO is a good strategy for both old and new applications. Some apps could take advantage of it more, but for many it's a great strategy to attract the most target users.
● Even if you stop actively doing ASO, you can still benefit from organic downloads that can last for months or years. This is a big advantage over paid campaigns.
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