Burning ASO Questions with ASO Tools

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In this video, experts from popular ASO tools AppFollow, AppTweak, App Radar, and Mobile Action, are answering your burning ASO question.

Source:
Burning ASO Questions with ASO Tools
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Webinar
Publication date:
March 11, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
March 12, 2020
Invite a guest
Unlock 600+ mobile growth insights 💎 - for FREE
💎 #
1

When getting started first find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.

04:07
💎 #
2

You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for both Google's robots and people.

07:44
💎 #
3

You need to repeat keywords in your Google Play Store long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% (which would be keyword stuffing). 

10:05
💎 #
4

Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there for Google.

12:52
💎 #
5

We need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine".

17:14
💎 #
6

You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.

21:05
💎 #
7

When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.

21:50
💎 #
8

Premium games: video really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.

25:04
💎 #
9

Ilia from AppFollow has almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.

31:20
💎 #
10

Screenshot creation: you can integrate Fastlane within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.

33:16
💎 #
11

Screenshot upload: you might have around 1,000 screenshots to upload if you handle localization. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.

33:50
💎 #
12

For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).  

38:58
💎 #
13

Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.  

40:50
💎 #
14

You can also optimize your iOS In App Purchase fields

44:52
💎 #
15

Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that you have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.

46:21
💎 #
16

Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ But be careful!

51:23
💎 #
17

Ideal keyword update frequency: Apple: iterate every 3/4 weeks but once you find your set of keywords, keep it (maybe seasonal change, big competitor change, etc.). Google: iterate keywords every 6/8 weeks when in testing mode but after that, keep it (only seasonal changes, etc.).

57:47
The gems from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Receive the hottest gems 🔥 (most valuable insights) each month
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

When getting started first find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.

04:07
💎 #
2

You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for both Google's robots and people.

07:44
💎 #
3

You need to repeat keywords in your Google Play Store long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% (which would be keyword stuffing). 

10:05
💎 #
4

Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there for Google.

12:52
💎 #
5

We need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine".

17:14
💎 #
6

You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.

21:05
💎 #
7

When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.

21:50
💎 #
8

Premium games: video really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.

25:04
💎 #
9

Ilia from AppFollow has almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.

31:20
💎 #
10

Screenshot creation: you can integrate Fastlane within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.

33:16
💎 #
11

Screenshot upload: you might have around 1,000 screenshots to upload if you handle localization. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.

33:50
💎 #
12

For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).  

38:58
💎 #
13

Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.  

40:50
💎 #
14

You can also optimize your iOS In App Purchase fields

44:52
💎 #
15

Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that you have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.

46:21
💎 #
16

Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ But be careful!

51:23
💎 #
17

Ideal keyword update frequency: Apple: iterate every 3/4 weeks but once you find your set of keywords, keep it (maybe seasonal change, big competitor change, etc.). Google: iterate keywords every 6/8 weeks when in testing mode but after that, keep it (only seasonal changes, etc.).

57:47
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GET Access
💎 #
1

When getting started first find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.

04:07
💎 #
2

You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for both Google's robots and people.

07:44
💎 #
3

You need to repeat keywords in your Google Play Store long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% (which would be keyword stuffing). 

10:05
💎 #
4

Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there for Google.

12:52
💎 #
5

We need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine".

17:14
💎 #
6

You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.

21:05
💎 #
7

When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.

21:50
💎 #
8

Premium games: video really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.

25:04
💎 #
9

Ilia from AppFollow has almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.

31:20
💎 #
10

Screenshot creation: you can integrate Fastlane within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.

33:16
💎 #
11

Screenshot upload: you might have around 1,000 screenshots to upload if you handle localization. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.

33:50
💎 #
12

For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).  

38:58
💎 #
13

Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.  

40:50
💎 #
14

You can also optimize your iOS In App Purchase fields

44:52
💎 #
15

Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that you have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.

46:21
💎 #
16

Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ But be careful!

51:23
💎 #
17

Ideal keyword update frequency: Apple: iterate every 3/4 weeks but once you find your set of keywords, keep it (maybe seasonal change, big competitor change, etc.). Google: iterate keywords every 6/8 weeks when in testing mode but after that, keep it (only seasonal changes, etc.).

57:47
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Ranking criteria

Criteria different if iOS vs. Google Play but also category ranking or keywords ranking

iOS App Store

  • Category ranking: main influencer is download velocity of the app
  • Keyword ranking: conversion rate on a specific keyword

Google Play Store

  • Much higher focus on quality metrics: retention, uninstalls, crash rates, Android vitals which makes it harder to see impact because it is much more complex


Impact of Keyword Optimization

It is a must but is not enough. In order to get impressions you need to do keyword optimization but it is crowded.

Conversion rates are getting more and more important.

[💎@04:07] First find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.


Keywords is the base layer because this is how people find you. Once the app is found, it is about convincing users to download the app.


ASO has gotten way beyond keywords. You have to do all of it, even though you start with keywords. After that you need to keep improving on all fronts.


Keyword density on Google Play

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • It was very important about 2 years ago. Now it doesn't work.
  • [💎@07:44] You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for Google's robots and people.
  • It can actually hurt to have too many keywords, even though you still need to include all the most important.

ML (AppTweak)

  • A client from India rewrote the description with a focus on two keyword (rummy, poker) while making it easy to read (natural language),
  • [💎@10:05] You need to repeat keywords in your long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% and do keyword stuffing,


Use the number of characters you need in the description. A 2,000 characters description done right is better than a 4,000 description stuffed with screenshots.


Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@12:52] Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there.


How to track the organic uplift from Keywords

ML (Apple)

  • No metrics to measure the uplift. AppTweak tries to estimate the number of organic downloads that you get from a specific keyword in a specific country. It can help ASO managers show the impact of changes. Formula considers volume of keyword, ranking of the app, brand or not.
  • #1 is relevancy: it can not be too broad. Find the balance between volume and competition.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@17:14] Need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine" (i.e. a good start I assume).


Testing keywords with ads

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are able to do regular updates (e.g. indie developper) then try your changes "live" in the App Store biggest otherwise it can get costly to get enough impressions to assess the result,
  • If you are a bigger company/app or if you want to test screenshots/icons you can use advertising through Apple Search Ads or even ad networks. You can even try your screenshots as an ad creative and choose what works best.


How does ASA impacts ASO

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • What Mobile Action knows from Apple's workshops and other sources is that TTR and CVR are really important for the algorithms for you to rank well: this is true for both organic and paid (where you end up paying less if conversion is better).

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • ASO and ASA are two channels that work very well together.
  • [💎@21:05] You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.
  • Once you find keywords that are very relevant you can run ads on them and you can also optimize your keyword field accordingly and will see an uplift in organic downloads.
  • [💎@21:50] When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.


About App Previews

Do App Previews work better?

Ilia  👍👎

  • It depends. If the app is simple like a calculator not needed. For a game it is critical, and maybe for a complicated app as well,
  • For a game, you want to test several video previews.

ML 👍👎

  • Work with a lot of gaming studios and when videos became autoplay developers saw a +30% impact on conversion rate,
  • Google is testing autoplay as well and if you are in the game sector you should do it,
  • Other apps (example of fitness with all kind of videos) where the video doesn't win,
  • You need to test it, and don't necessarily do what your competitors do because they might not have the same userbase.

Thomas 👍👍

  • [💎@25:04] Premium games: videos really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.
  • Can re-use some of the promotional videos developers already have.


Metrics that show if you are doing it right or doing it wrong

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are doing it right, you should see
  • Increase in impressions,
  • Higher conversion rates.
  • These 2 metrics go hand in hand.

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Most important metrics is download,
  • But if you are looking deeper you should also look at revenue.

ML (AppTweak)

  • For a quick sanity check look at a small set of 10 really relevant keywords for your app that have good volumes and make sure you rank well for this. This is what you want to do every morning.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • It gets harder to track but the further you can down the tunnel the better it is. Sales, trial/subscription starts, etc. are therefore good things to look at.

Ilia: bring more revenue also brings more revenue to Apple, which might help you get featured.


Does Google see the text of icons and screenshots?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • [💎@31:20] Almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.
  • Not sure if it works for icons as well. We have to try!


Is there a way to automate the uploading of screenshots for multiple languages

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@33:16] Creation: Fastlane that you can integrate within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.
  • [💎@33:50] Upload:  then you can have around 1,000 screenshots to upload. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.


How to leverage custom store listing on the Google Play Store

ML (AppTweak)

  • Main example is for LATAM where you can have different icons and screenshots for each country. It can be important because countries can have pretty big differences (e.g. sports team logos different per country for a sports app),
  • Other example is Belgium where there are two languages. It allows to get closer to users (e.g. for a travel app).

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Also for Arabic market: now you can make custom store listings for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. for travel apps with local elements in the screenshots that led to +30% download boost.


If an app has 0 download, how to get started?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Start with keyword optimization,
  • Choose the category you're working on carefully,
  • Can also run some ads to see if they get clicks for a category or not.

ML (AppTweak)

  • [💎@38:58] For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).
  • Also find words that are "around" your main keywords (e.g. associated with the "poker universe" for a poker app), especially for Google. This will bring you credibility to be able to start targeting bigger keywords.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • If 0 download, it will take a lot of time before you start ranking organically,
  • [💎@40:50] Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.


iOS: a way to add more keywords than title, subtitle and keyword field?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Apple Search Ads can help,
  • Besides using the fact that several languages can be indexed for the same country,
  • Maybe one day Apple will move to something more complex.

[💎@44:52] Steve - you can also optimize your In App Purchase fields (more info here)


Burst campaigns at app launch

ML (AppTweak)

  • Yes because it gives you the initial boost but it depends on what happens in the long term: if nothing happens behind then your rankings will go down. You also need something that keeps generating traffic.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@46:21] Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that they have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.


How long to wait before another ASO update?

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • Now, once a month. Before you could speed up the ASO workflow (on a weekly basis) because the App Store was faster to index new keywords.


Minimum threshold for retention under which ASO is useless?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Google is doing some big stuff about vitals and retention rate,
  • Look at benchmarks vs. other apps

ML (AppTweak)

  • Be better than your category is the basic thing. Everything Google does is compare you to other apps in your category (vitals, retention, uninstalls, etc.)
  • [💎@51:23] Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ Be careful!
  • Ranking better in your category can have a big impact on conversion, then leading to better keyword rankings.


Last questions

Thomas (AppRadar): Is ASO still important?

  • Yes. All the traffic ends up on your app store page, no matter the acquisition channel. You need to nail that presence.

Mustafa (Mobile Action): Google tags?

ML (AppTweak): How long to wait before ASO update?

  • Different on Apple and Google, as Apple is more reactive.
  • On Google, wait 6 to 8 weeks because it is much more gradual,
  • On Apple, 1 week boost so you see results faster.
  • [💎@57:47] If you're really starting with ASO:
  • Apple: change every 3/4 weeks on but once you find your set of keywords keep it (maybe change for seasonal, big competitor change, etc.)
  • Google: in testing mode, iterate every 6/8 week but same thing only change for seasonal changes, etc.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

Ranking criteria

Criteria different if iOS vs. Google Play but also category ranking or keywords ranking

iOS App Store

  • Category ranking: main influencer is download velocity of the app
  • Keyword ranking: conversion rate on a specific keyword

Google Play Store

  • Much higher focus on quality metrics: retention, uninstalls, crash rates, Android vitals which makes it harder to see impact because it is much more complex


Impact of Keyword Optimization

It is a must but is not enough. In order to get impressions you need to do keyword optimization but it is crowded.

Conversion rates are getting more and more important.

[💎@04:07] First find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.


Keywords is the base layer because this is how people find you. Once the app is found, it is about convincing users to download the app.


ASO has gotten way beyond keywords. You have to do all of it, even though you start with keywords. After that you need to keep improving on all fronts.


Keyword density on Google Play

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • It was very important about 2 years ago. Now it doesn't work.
  • [💎@07:44] You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for Google's robots and people.
  • It can actually hurt to have too many keywords, even though you still need to include all the most important.

ML (AppTweak)

  • A client from India rewrote the description with a focus on two keyword (rummy, poker) while making it easy to read (natural language),
  • [💎@10:05] You need to repeat keywords in your long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% and do keyword stuffing,


Use the number of characters you need in the description. A 2,000 characters description done right is better than a 4,000 description stuffed with screenshots.


Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@12:52] Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there.


How to track the organic uplift from Keywords

ML (Apple)

  • No metrics to measure the uplift. AppTweak tries to estimate the number of organic downloads that you get from a specific keyword in a specific country. It can help ASO managers show the impact of changes. Formula considers volume of keyword, ranking of the app, brand or not.
  • #1 is relevancy: it can not be too broad. Find the balance between volume and competition.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@17:14] Need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine" (i.e. a good start I assume).


Testing keywords with ads

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are able to do regular updates (e.g. indie developper) then try your changes "live" in the App Store biggest otherwise it can get costly to get enough impressions to assess the result,
  • If you are a bigger company/app or if you want to test screenshots/icons you can use advertising through Apple Search Ads or even ad networks. You can even try your screenshots as an ad creative and choose what works best.


How does ASA impacts ASO

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • What Mobile Action knows from Apple's workshops and other sources is that TTR and CVR are really important for the algorithms for you to rank well: this is true for both organic and paid (where you end up paying less if conversion is better).

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • ASO and ASA are two channels that work very well together.
  • [💎@21:05] You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.
  • Once you find keywords that are very relevant you can run ads on them and you can also optimize your keyword field accordingly and will see an uplift in organic downloads.
  • [💎@21:50] When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.


About App Previews

Do App Previews work better?

Ilia  👍👎

  • It depends. If the app is simple like a calculator not needed. For a game it is critical, and maybe for a complicated app as well,
  • For a game, you want to test several video previews.

ML 👍👎

  • Work with a lot of gaming studios and when videos became autoplay developers saw a +30% impact on conversion rate,
  • Google is testing autoplay as well and if you are in the game sector you should do it,
  • Other apps (example of fitness with all kind of videos) where the video doesn't win,
  • You need to test it, and don't necessarily do what your competitors do because they might not have the same userbase.

Thomas 👍👍

  • [💎@25:04] Premium games: videos really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.
  • Can re-use some of the promotional videos developers already have.


Metrics that show if you are doing it right or doing it wrong

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are doing it right, you should see
  • Increase in impressions,
  • Higher conversion rates.
  • These 2 metrics go hand in hand.

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Most important metrics is download,
  • But if you are looking deeper you should also look at revenue.

ML (AppTweak)

  • For a quick sanity check look at a small set of 10 really relevant keywords for your app that have good volumes and make sure you rank well for this. This is what you want to do every morning.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • It gets harder to track but the further you can down the tunnel the better it is. Sales, trial/subscription starts, etc. are therefore good things to look at.

Ilia: bring more revenue also brings more revenue to Apple, which might help you get featured.


Does Google see the text of icons and screenshots?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • [💎@31:20] Almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.
  • Not sure if it works for icons as well. We have to try!


Is there a way to automate the uploading of screenshots for multiple languages

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@33:16] Creation: Fastlane that you can integrate within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.
  • [💎@33:50] Upload:  then you can have around 1,000 screenshots to upload. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.


How to leverage custom store listing on the Google Play Store

ML (AppTweak)

  • Main example is for LATAM where you can have different icons and screenshots for each country. It can be important because countries can have pretty big differences (e.g. sports team logos different per country for a sports app),
  • Other example is Belgium where there are two languages. It allows to get closer to users (e.g. for a travel app).

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Also for Arabic market: now you can make custom store listings for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. for travel apps with local elements in the screenshots that led to +30% download boost.


If an app has 0 download, how to get started?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Start with keyword optimization,
  • Choose the category you're working on carefully,
  • Can also run some ads to see if they get clicks for a category or not.

ML (AppTweak)

  • [💎@38:58] For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).
  • Also find words that are "around" your main keywords (e.g. associated with the "poker universe" for a poker app), especially for Google. This will bring you credibility to be able to start targeting bigger keywords.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • If 0 download, it will take a lot of time before you start ranking organically,
  • [💎@40:50] Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.


iOS: a way to add more keywords than title, subtitle and keyword field?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Apple Search Ads can help,
  • Besides using the fact that several languages can be indexed for the same country,
  • Maybe one day Apple will move to something more complex.

[💎@44:52] Steve - you can also optimize your In App Purchase fields (more info here)


Burst campaigns at app launch

ML (AppTweak)

  • Yes because it gives you the initial boost but it depends on what happens in the long term: if nothing happens behind then your rankings will go down. You also need something that keeps generating traffic.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@46:21] Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that they have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.


How long to wait before another ASO update?

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • Now, once a month. Before you could speed up the ASO workflow (on a weekly basis) because the App Store was faster to index new keywords.


Minimum threshold for retention under which ASO is useless?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Google is doing some big stuff about vitals and retention rate,
  • Look at benchmarks vs. other apps

ML (AppTweak)

  • Be better than your category is the basic thing. Everything Google does is compare you to other apps in your category (vitals, retention, uninstalls, etc.)
  • [💎@51:23] Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ Be careful!
  • Ranking better in your category can have a big impact on conversion, then leading to better keyword rankings.


Last questions

Thomas (AppRadar): Is ASO still important?

  • Yes. All the traffic ends up on your app store page, no matter the acquisition channel. You need to nail that presence.

Mustafa (Mobile Action): Google tags?

ML (AppTweak): How long to wait before ASO update?

  • Different on Apple and Google, as Apple is more reactive.
  • On Google, wait 6 to 8 weeks because it is much more gradual,
  • On Apple, 1 week boost so you see results faster.
  • [💎@57:47] If you're really starting with ASO:
  • Apple: change every 3/4 weeks on but once you find your set of keywords keep it (maybe change for seasonal, big competitor change, etc.)
  • Google: in testing mode, iterate every 6/8 week but same thing only change for seasonal changes, etc.


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Ranking criteria

Criteria different if iOS vs. Google Play but also category ranking or keywords ranking

iOS App Store

  • Category ranking: main influencer is download velocity of the app
  • Keyword ranking: conversion rate on a specific keyword

Google Play Store

  • Much higher focus on quality metrics: retention, uninstalls, crash rates, Android vitals which makes it harder to see impact because it is much more complex


Impact of Keyword Optimization

It is a must but is not enough. In order to get impressions you need to do keyword optimization but it is crowded.

Conversion rates are getting more and more important.

[💎@04:07] First find the right keywords, then start tackling the conversion rate so you can get meaningful results.


Keywords is the base layer because this is how people find you. Once the app is found, it is about convincing users to download the app.


ASO has gotten way beyond keywords. You have to do all of it, even though you start with keywords. After that you need to keep improving on all fronts.


Keyword density on Google Play

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • It was very important about 2 years ago. Now it doesn't work.
  • [💎@07:44] You have to prepare your description using Google Natural language and optimize for Google's robots and people.
  • It can actually hurt to have too many keywords, even though you still need to include all the most important.

ML (AppTweak)

  • A client from India rewrote the description with a focus on two keyword (rummy, poker) while making it easy to read (natural language),
  • [💎@10:05] You need to repeat keywords in your long description but the recommendation is to have a density of 2-3%. You should not go over 3% and do keyword stuffing,


Use the number of characters you need in the description. A 2,000 characters description done right is better than a 4,000 description stuffed with screenshots.


Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@12:52] Important to have the end user in mind. You want to nail especially the beginning of the description (first two paragraphs) and include important keywords there.


How to track the organic uplift from Keywords

ML (Apple)

  • No metrics to measure the uplift. AppTweak tries to estimate the number of organic downloads that you get from a specific keyword in a specific country. It can help ASO managers show the impact of changes. Formula considers volume of keyword, ranking of the app, brand or not.
  • #1 is relevancy: it can not be too broad. Find the balance between volume and competition.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@17:14] Need to be careful about what we call low volume keyword vs. high volume keywords because the relation between the keywords' popularity score is exponential. If you choose a keyword that has too much popularity, you probably won't rank. Keywords with a popularity of 10/20/30 are "also fine" (i.e. a good start I assume).


Testing keywords with ads

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are able to do regular updates (e.g. indie developper) then try your changes "live" in the App Store biggest otherwise it can get costly to get enough impressions to assess the result,
  • If you are a bigger company/app or if you want to test screenshots/icons you can use advertising through Apple Search Ads or even ad networks. You can even try your screenshots as an ad creative and choose what works best.


How does ASA impacts ASO

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • What Mobile Action knows from Apple's workshops and other sources is that TTR and CVR are really important for the algorithms for you to rank well: this is true for both organic and paid (where you end up paying less if conversion is better).

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • ASO and ASA are two channels that work very well together.
  • [💎@21:05] You can pay to rank on a specific keyword with ASA and by doing so you can figure out if it is a good fit for relevancy: keywords that drive traffic but also convert.
  • Once you find keywords that are very relevant you can run ads on them and you can also optimize your keyword field accordingly and will see an uplift in organic downloads.
  • [💎@21:50] When Apple's algorithm sees that a paid keyword is driving downloads to an app, it decides that it is indeed a relevant keyword and that the app should rank higher.


About App Previews

Do App Previews work better?

Ilia  👍👎

  • It depends. If the app is simple like a calculator not needed. For a game it is critical, and maybe for a complicated app as well,
  • For a game, you want to test several video previews.

ML 👍👎

  • Work with a lot of gaming studios and when videos became autoplay developers saw a +30% impact on conversion rate,
  • Google is testing autoplay as well and if you are in the game sector you should do it,
  • Other apps (example of fitness with all kind of videos) where the video doesn't win,
  • You need to test it, and don't necessarily do what your competitors do because they might not have the same userbase.

Thomas 👍👍

  • [💎@25:04] Premium games: videos really important because you need to convince to pay and it is hard to do with just screenshots. There is no way around it.
  • Can re-use some of the promotional videos developers already have.


Metrics that show if you are doing it right or doing it wrong

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • If you are doing it right, you should see
  • Increase in impressions,
  • Higher conversion rates.
  • These 2 metrics go hand in hand.

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Most important metrics is download,
  • But if you are looking deeper you should also look at revenue.

ML (AppTweak)

  • For a quick sanity check look at a small set of 10 really relevant keywords for your app that have good volumes and make sure you rank well for this. This is what you want to do every morning.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • It gets harder to track but the further you can down the tunnel the better it is. Sales, trial/subscription starts, etc. are therefore good things to look at.

Ilia: bring more revenue also brings more revenue to Apple, which might help you get featured.


Does Google see the text of icons and screenshots?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • [💎@31:20] Almost 99% confidence that Google reads screenshots. Example: an app got bunked because it had a keyword in a screenshot that Google judged inappropriate.
  • Not sure if it works for icons as well. We have to try!


Is there a way to automate the uploading of screenshots for multiple languages

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • [💎@33:16] Creation: Fastlane that you can integrate within your app to take screenshots while testing your app, and you can also localize what you see in the screenshots.
  • [💎@33:50] Upload:  then you can have around 1,000 screenshots to upload. AppRadar let you just upload a folder with all your screenshots, AppRadar detects the language and uploads to App Store Connect and Google Play.


How to leverage custom store listing on the Google Play Store

ML (AppTweak)

  • Main example is for LATAM where you can have different icons and screenshots for each country. It can be important because countries can have pretty big differences (e.g. sports team logos different per country for a sports app),
  • Other example is Belgium where there are two languages. It allows to get closer to users (e.g. for a travel app).

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Also for Arabic market: now you can make custom store listings for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. for travel apps with local elements in the screenshots that led to +30% download boost.


If an app has 0 download, how to get started?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Start with keyword optimization,
  • Choose the category you're working on carefully,
  • Can also run some ads to see if they get clicks for a category or not.

ML (AppTweak)

  • [💎@38:58] For indies when doing keyword research start by targeting lower volume, long tail keywords (2-3 words).
  • Also find words that are "around" your main keywords (e.g. associated with the "poker universe" for a poker app), especially for Google. This will bring you credibility to be able to start targeting bigger keywords.

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • If 0 download, it will take a lot of time before you start ranking organically,
  • [💎@40:50] Team up with influencers and micro-influencers to get the initial boost organically.


iOS: a way to add more keywords than title, subtitle and keyword field?

Ilia (AppFollow)

  • Apple Search Ads can help,
  • Besides using the fact that several languages can be indexed for the same country,
  • Maybe one day Apple will move to something more complex.

[💎@44:52] Steve - you can also optimize your In App Purchase fields (more info here)


Burst campaigns at app launch

ML (AppTweak)

  • Yes because it gives you the initial boost but it depends on what happens in the long term: if nothing happens behind then your rankings will go down. You also need something that keeps generating traffic.

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • [💎@46:21] Best practice from APAC region: running pre-order Apple Search Ads campaign so that they have a good boost as soon as the app launches (lots of downloads in 1 or 2 days). Recommended especially for games.


How long to wait before another ASO update?

Thomas (AppRadar)

  • Now, once a month. Before you could speed up the ASO workflow (on a weekly basis) because the App Store was faster to index new keywords.


Minimum threshold for retention under which ASO is useless?

Mustafa (Mobile Action)

  • Google is doing some big stuff about vitals and retention rate,
  • Look at benchmarks vs. other apps

ML (AppTweak)

  • Be better than your category is the basic thing. Everything Google does is compare you to other apps in your category (vitals, retention, uninstalls, etc.)
  • [💎@51:23] Changing the category (without ASO or app update) and ending up in a category where your app becomes better than your peers can have a significant impact. ⚠️ Be careful!
  • Ranking better in your category can have a big impact on conversion, then leading to better keyword rankings.


Last questions

Thomas (AppRadar): Is ASO still important?

  • Yes. All the traffic ends up on your app store page, no matter the acquisition channel. You need to nail that presence.

Mustafa (Mobile Action): Google tags?

ML (AppTweak): How long to wait before ASO update?

  • Different on Apple and Google, as Apple is more reactive.
  • On Google, wait 6 to 8 weeks because it is much more gradual,
  • On Apple, 1 week boost so you see results faster.
  • [💎@57:47] If you're really starting with ASO:
  • Apple: change every 3/4 weeks on but once you find your set of keywords keep it (maybe change for seasonal, big competitor change, etc.)
  • Google: in testing mode, iterate every 6/8 week but same thing only change for seasonal changes, etc.