State of App Search Optimisation


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Xyo app search co-founder Matthaus Krzykowski on the state of app search optimisation at the Casual Connect conference in Hamburg, February 2013.

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State of App Search Optimisation

  1. 1. Beyond Top Charts: How To Benefit From App Search User BehaviorAnd Current App Store Optimisation (ASO) Techniques Matthäus Krzykowski, Xyo Co-Founder Casual Connect Hamburg, February 13th
  2. 2. Why is app search important?
  3. 3. App Discovery Channels for developers
  4. 4. ... but none of these work effectively Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete Delete
  5. 5. Why most channels don’t work well enough (anymore)"Its brutal, it sucks. [...] I ask my 9-year-old How areyou picking these games? and he says Dad, I dontknow, its in the top 25. Thats a shitty reason. Really?Thats the best you can do?”- Rob Dyer, Head of Partner Publishing, Zynga
  6. 6. Implication: The discovery problem0.1% get 50% apps downloads
  7. 7. About Us, Our Take On App Search And What You Can Get Out Of This Presentation
  8. 8. Matthäus Krzykowski - @matthausk- Co-Founder Xyo, heading growth- Multiple PM & business unit leader roles in mobile & digital since 2006- In “mobile growth” since 2007 where I was a PM at Admob’s largest publisher of that time- Since then we saw 3 waves of user acquisition: 1) “Open Mobile Web” Advertising 2) Display Advertising (Admob/ Quattro/Mobclix) 3) Installs (Tapjoy/Flurry) source: Xyo, invested in by Rick Thompson’s Signia Venture Partners & Gameforge’s Klaas Kersting, is a tech play that aims to influence the 4th wave
  9. 9. We Enable The Long Tail Of App Search “75% of apps get 90% of downloads” “22% Install Click Rate Across 14 Languages” Promoted by:
  10. 10. Xyo: If you give users better descriptions of whatgames and apps are about, they download themXyo’s search algorithm identifies over 700 app and 100 game interests
  11. 11. Back to the discovery problem0.1% get 50% apps downloads
  12. 12. Where the mobile game gold rush is at Top 5 Mobile Consumer Game Interests, USA, iPhone Build & Manage Sims!7.0!!!! %!of!Ac1ves!in!Category! %!of!Apps!in!Category!!6.0!!!! Racing Games!5.0!!!! Classic Arcade Jump & Run Role-Playing Games!4.0!!!!!3.0!!!!!2.0!!!!!1.0!!!! !"!!!!!! % of Actives in Total Gaming, iPhone % of Apps in Total Gaming, iPhone
  13. 13. Where you currently don’t want to be Top 5 Game Interests with the highest discovery problem, USA, iPhone Learning Games for Kids!7.0!!!! %!of!Ac1ves!in!Category! %!of!Apps!in!Category!!6.0!!!! Space & Aliens!5.0!!!! Quiz Trivia Block Games Board Games!4.0!!!!!3.0!!!!!2.0!!!!!1.0!!!! !"!!!!!! % of Actives in Total Gaming, iPhone % of Apps in Total Gaming, iPhone
  14. 14. What to do about it?
  15. 15. One solution: ASO.
  16. 16. App Store Optimization Goal Increase Traffic Increase Conversion
  17. 17. “These are the super early days of ASO.” Tomasz Kolinko,"For developers without access to a giant adbudget to boost-market their App into theTop Apple Charts, App Store SEO might bethe best bet to improve discoverability insidethe over-crowded App Store." Niren Hiro, Searchman
  18. 18. ASO: “A set of techniques to improve ranking forspecific user queries in the app store”Every store is different, but they have a lot in common:- Title, description- Downloads- Ratings & reviews- Icon & screenshots- Backlinks & social signals- Browsing & search
  19. 19. The Super Early Days Of ASO - StatusA Simple Model To Compare SEO & ASO, February 2013 SEO ASO Web Apple App Store Google Play Windows Phone Store Keywords Advanced Simple + Trials* Simple Simple Popularity Backlinks Ratings + Trials** Rating + Trials*** Ratings Title,  Descrip-on,   Title, Icon, Description, Conversion Title, Icon, Description, Title, Icon, Description, rel=author,  markups   Screenshots, Videos, Optimization like  ra-ngs... Screenshots, Ratings, Reviews Ratings, Reviews Screenshots, Ratings, Reviews hard  -­‐  if  you  change  anything  you   need  to  submit  a  new  version  of  the   Apply Changes easy app  and  go  through  the  approval   medium hard process,  this  makes  changes  and  a/b   tes-ng  hard Bidding yes *Since the Chomp ** Early trials with ***External signals update last external signals (web links, Google+ autumn trials ( ratings) "will" become around popularity vanity urls etc) more important of queries
  20. 20. App TitleFor App Search- Title is important- Use keywords: “Lyrics”, “Bike Race Free”For ConsumersFor consumers the iOS 6 App Store updatehas significantly shortened the title spacethey can view.
  21. 21. App DescriptionDos - Explain what the game does; first 2-3 lines key - Use bullet points / keep it simple - Important for conversionDon’ts- Don’t brag about how consumers love your games; you are wasting the 2-3 first lines “For descriptions, weve advocated exactly what you have on there, but we also advocate including authoritative reviews in the description (certainly not in the top part of the description though -- we agree thats just a waste of text). For Google Play, its even better if you can include reviews that include targeted keywords.”  Patrick Haig, MobiledevHQ
  22. 22. Ratings & Reviews Ratings Are A Minimum Requirement- Happy about that 4 star average rating? The average rating on the App Store is 3.8New users don’t understand if your game is any good as only the mostpositive ratings are a meaningful signal to users Internal and external reviews- Getting more and more important (see above)- Ask for reviews- “Prompt users for feedback so users can conveyproblem before they post a negativereview” (Appnique)“We have an article here from InsideMobileApps that illuminates how important ratingsare, segmented by each store (Google Play and iTunes). Also, its becoming even moreimportant for publishers to improve upon their current version rating, as thats the onlyrating seen by a searcher in-device (i.e., searching on their iPhone or iPad). Users haveto dig in order to see the All Versions rating, which just doesnt happen.”  Patrick Haig, MobiledevHQ
  23. 23. App Icon - Do not use words - Do not use standard gloss - Keep it simple and clean - Consistent with the appSource:
  24. 24. Screenshots“Moment of truth: iOS6 design increases importance of the screenshot because thatis mostly what they see in the App Store client on the phone” Jai Jaisimha, Appnique “Definitely agree with where youre headed here. Screenshots need to bemore than just screenshots. Advertising copy can be really helpful. Treatingscreenshots like a stop-motion commercial can be powerful.” Patrick Haig, MobiledevHQ
  25. 25. Holy Grail: The perfect keyword- High search volume- Low competition- High relevance“Developers can take steps to get the No. 1 rankunder each of their “long tail” keywords. That is,developers can optimize their rankings forkeywords that will give them better results on theApp Store when users go searching for certainkinds of apps.” Niren Hiro, Searchman
  26. 26. Will history repeats itself?“ If you assume that some of the user behavior we see on the web will transfer to mobile, then when it gets cumbersomefor users to browse results, they will enter more descriptive phrases to get relevant results fast. Longer phrases are 70percent of search volume on the web (indicator), they’re less competitive, and probably see higher post-clickconversion (download) rates because the user explicitly searched for “free video poker game.” Niren Hiro, Searchman
  27. 27. XYO Insights: Types of search queries100 % 5 % Brand75 % 5 % Function50 % 10 % Inspiration25 % 80 % Interest 0 %
  28. 28. “What might also be interesting here would be something about conversion. Wefollow a similar strategy in our consulting where we approach it from the bottom-up.Meaning, we go from low(er)-volume, high-conversion keywords (such as "golfcoaching"), all the way to what we call secondary and tertiary market keywords, like"coaching" or "sports." Conversion for branded and function searches are likely tohave higher conversion rates than inspiration or interest searches -- and interestsearches may have even better conversion rates than inspiration searches. “ Patrick Haig, Mobiledevhq
  29. 29. Brand Queries: „Is there a new angry birds game?“Sample Keywords: „angry birds, fifa, office, weight watchers“
  30. 30. Functional Queries: „I need to crop an image!“Sample Keywords: „crop photos, block calls, view movie“
  31. 31. Inspirational Queries: „Which are the best games!“Sample Keywords: „best games, free apps, fun games“
  32. 32. Interest Queries: „golf apps“ Explain in your description why your game is fun.Sample Keywords: „golf, diabetes, job interview, racing games“
  33. 33. Research the right keywords- Dedicated Tools - - - - Thanks to: Tomasz (, Niren (Searchman, Jai (Appnique), Patrick (Mobiledevhq) for feedback and to Sebastian (Fluidmobile) for large chunks of the deck.
  34. 34. Takeaways- Discovery continues to get more difficult- ASO can improve your downloads- Find the right keywords
  35. 35. Thank you.
  36. 36. Meet us www.xyo.netMeet me
  37. 37. Resources