Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Black Hat ASO - Presentation eMetrics

18,950 views

Published on

A presentation on the various types of Black Hat App Store Optimization from November 2016 by Moritz Daan, ex-growth lead @ SoundCloud and now running Phiture.com, mobile growth consultancy.

Published in: Mobile

Black Hat ASO - Presentation eMetrics

  1. 1. Black Hat ASO Recognizing and fighting Black Hat App Store Optimization Moritz Daan @moritzdaan November 9, 2016 - eMetrics Summit
  2. 2. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Phiture - Mobile Growth Consultancy ● Est. february 2016 by 2 former SoundCloud growth team leads Andy Carvell & Moritz Daan ● Consulted 20+ apps from startups with 0 downloads to apps with 100M+ ● Specialties on Mobile Growth Audits, Life Cycle Marketing and App Store Optimization ● Publishers of ○ ASO Monthly: medium.com/app-store-optimization-monthly ○ MobileGrowthStack: mobilegrowthstack.com Joidy Seed stage Pre-launch ASO HERE WeGo 10M+ downloads ASO + Audit Goodgame Studios Top 40 Grossing ASO Workshop Clue Top 5 Health apps ASO + Audit Opera 100M+ downloads Growth Audit Onefootball 5M+ downloads ASO + Processes SoundCloud 100M+ downloads ASO, Retention, UA
  3. 3. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Black Hat ASO: a hot topic
  4. 4. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly From ASO to Black Hat ASO 1. ASO 101: An introduction to App Store Optimization 2. Black Hat ASO: Where to draw “the line” 3. Your compass: How to behave yourself
  5. 5. App Store Optimization 101
  6. 6. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly What is ASO? App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app stores and the conversion rates of app store assets. App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app store. We extend it a little
  7. 7. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly ASO task: Picking your distribution channels “App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app stores and the conversion rates of app store assets.”
  8. 8. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly ASO task: Improving visibility within an app store “App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app stores and the conversion rates of app store assets.” Keyword optimization Getting higher in the ranks
  9. 9. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly ASO task: Improving visibility within an app store “App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app stores and the conversion rates of app store assets.” Getting featured
  10. 10. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly ASO task: Improving conversion rates “App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app stores and the conversion rates of app store assets.” Screenshot(s) Title Developer nameIcon Ratings & Review App Preview Place your screenshot here Feature graphic Video Title Developer nameIcon Short description Screenshots Ratings Reviews Description Developer page Category
  11. 11. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Let’s zoom in ASO Activity Black Hat ASO tactics known 1. Keyword optimization Yes 2. Ranking visibility Yes 3. Conversion rate optimization Yes Choosing platforms & distribution channels No Getting featured Unknown, but bribery/nepotism not unlikely These three are most relevant to Black Hat ASO. In the next slides we dive a bit deeper into these 3 white hat ASO tactics.
  12. 12. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keyword Optimization: there are 2 types of apps Those that benefit from legit keyword optimization And those that don’t 1
  13. 13. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keyword Optimization: legit approach1
  14. 14. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keyword Optimization: localization ◉ Google auto-translates, but Apple does not ◉ After localizing keywords in Russian SoundCloud saw ~400% uplift in downloads in the App Store 1
  15. 15. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Ranking visibility ◉ Apple & Google both have three top charts per category & overall: Top Free Top Paid/Selling Top Grossing ◉ Free & paid are based on downloads, grossing is based on revenue ◉ Increasing ranking visibility can be done by white hat tactics such as changing revenue model briefly, or burst campaigns 2
  16. 16. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Ranking visibility: burst campaigns2 Src: Tune Note: (incentivized) burst campaigns see declining returns, three possible reasons: 1) Even incentivized CPIs are higher 2) It takes more downloads to get to the top than 2 years ago 3) There’s relatively less ‘discovery appetite’ via charts
  17. 17. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly CRO on app store pages: how?3 ● Use A/B testing tools for highly converting assets (ie. screenshots): ○ Google Play Store Listing experiments ○ Third-party landing page tools (SplitMetrics, TestNest, etc.) ○ Custom built (as I did with SoundCloud) ● Follow best practices, do qualitative user testing and then A/A test assets that are impossible to test (ie. developer page) or not worth A/B testing (ie. the 50th word in your long description :)) ● Drive number of reviews and star ratings to boost CR by asking users at the right time with the right message
  18. 18. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly CRO: Ratings & Reviews Src: Storemaven 3 Note: these are vendor-based researches outside of the app stores, merely to back up my point how important ratings and reviews are. With established brands you might not see this big of an effect on conversion (but from personal experience I did see a 20% drop from 4 to 2 stars). Heatmap, indicating importance for both droppers and installers of reading reviews: Consumer Survey “Would you consider downloading an app with X stars”
  19. 19. Black Hat ASO In search for “the line”
  20. 20. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly “What line, you ask”
  21. 21. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly ● Both Apple & Google keep it necessarily vague. ● It’s however not so easy to recognize the line (not even for Apple nor Google, who are also figuring it out as we go)
  22. 22. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly In the next slides, we’ll call out examples, and try to classify what we think is over the line (at this point in time): Over the line (Black Hat ASO) This is not over the line now, but perhaps later (legal high) Entirely safe & white hat Stacked hats, mean we’re not sure either! Let us know your opinion at @ASOMonthly
  23. 23. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Contents Examples of gray hat / black hat: 1. Installs 2. Keywords 3. Ratings & Reviews 4. Other types
  24. 24. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: Incentivized Installs1.1 Whilst (2016) it seems generally accepted that these campaigns are (whilst technically ‘manipulating rankings’) okay, this was not always the case: https://gigaom.com/2011/04/19/apple-reportely-rejecting-apps-with-pay-per-install-campaigns/
  25. 25. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: Bot Installs1.2
  26. 26. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: “Retained” Bot Installs1.3 We receive unsolicited messages at Phiture from time to time, making us aware of how these shady agencies play cat & mouse with Google & Apple. In this instance, the agency will have their bots not only install the app, they also come back X days later to trick the algorithm into thinking the app is any good.
  27. 27. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: Non-Incentivized Search Installs1.4 The more people install your app via a certain search, the more positive feedback it is for Apple & Google that your app is relevant for that search phrase. In TV ads or via YouTube influencer marketing, ask viewers to install your app over a certain search term: “Search for ‘strategy game’ and download ‘Fleet commander’” Risk: if your rank is too low, some people might not find you, or even install the competition.
  28. 28. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: Incentivized Search Installs1.5
  29. 29. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: Bot trending searches1.6
  30. 30. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Installs: “Top Grossing Refund”-trick1.7 Src: Gabriel Machuret (ASOAgency.com)
  31. 31. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keywords: Keyword “dropping”2.1
  32. 32. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keywords: Keyword “stuffing”2.2
  33. 33. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keywords: Lifting of brand names2.3
  34. 34. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keywords: Lifting of trending keywords2.4
  35. 35. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Keywords: Leverage localization tricks Src: http://www.mobilegrowthstack.com/acquisition/app-store-optimization/increasing-number-keywords-app-store-optimization-localization/ Leverage localizations to add more keywords (Apple) 2.5
  36. 36. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Why push people to (positively) review? My first review on the App Store took 12 steps This cumbersome process discourages most users to rate the app themselves. Only the really vocal (often negative) voices will be heard. Especially Apple is having this issue because of their implementation, which result in way less reviews (< 10% of Play), and worse ratings: Combine that with the star rating reset that Apple does after every update, and you derive to the conclusion that asking for reviews is vital to any app store optimization strategy.
  37. 37. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Asking for reviews3.1
  38. 38. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Asking for reviews after segmenting3.2 Especially for iOS this was a wonderful strategy to collect feedback and communicate with your unhappy users, whilst combatting the vocal (often negative) ratings in the store.
  39. 39. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Asking for reviews after segmenting3.2 App Store: "We noticed that your app includes content [...] that can manipulate the user reviews [by filtering] user reviews and only directing users who intend to rate your app 4-5 star." October 26, 2016 We thought it was all safe, but then...
  40. 40. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Asking for reviews3.3 Open questions: 1. Does Apple’s rejection of Piet Brauers app, mean that we’re back to these dialogs? 2. Can we still place them at “Aha”-moments or are we then also influencing our users? 3. Can we trigger the “Rate the app”dialog at a later point, only to the promoters we determined earlier? 4. Can we still use the segmentation tactic on Google Play? (Google hasn’t explicitly rejected an app as far as we know)
  41. 41. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Paid Negative Reviews3.4
  42. 42. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Paid Human / Bot Reviews3.5
  43. 43. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Incentivized Reviews3.6 Hinting at a bonus for any rating Offering a bonus for any rating (1-5) Saying you give a bonus for a 5 star rating
  44. 44. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Writing your own reviews3.7
  45. 45. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Review Contests3.9
  46. 46. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Reviews: Paid FB likes or Google +1s3.10
  47. 47. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Other: Not abiding the guidelines4.1 Note: It’s easy, and often non-intended to break guide lines. Whilst we don’t consider it “over the line” it’s still not allowed, and it easily gives your competition an edge over you. Be in the know!
  48. 48. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly Other: Fake apps & rip-offs4.2
  49. 49. Finally: where do you want to be?
  50. 50. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly The line Obviously not here You’re over the line. You risk getting rejected / expelled. It can hurt your brand irreparably.
  51. 51. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly The line Not here You’re losing out on DL
  52. 52. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly The line You want to be here! You play it fairly safe, don’t risk getting expelled, but at the same time you do everything to be able to play along.
  53. 53. @moritzdaan @ASOMonthly The line You want to be here! You play it fairly safe, don’t risk getting expelled, but at the same time you do everything to be able to play along. And know EXACTLY, what’s going on here, and which competitors are killing it / you in the app stores because of it.
  54. 54. @moritzdaan, @ASOMonthly moritz.daan@phiture.com Thanks!

×