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How Win in Mobile App Store Optimization on iOS and Android


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Growth Hacking - Mobile App Store: This is an exhaustive deck on app store optimization on iOS and Android based off my experiments over the last 3 years. I have driven apps over 100 spots for free.

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How Win in Mobile App Store Optimization on iOS and Android

  1. 1. App Store Optimization (ASO) How to optimize for search and user installs Haris Ikram Director of Growth Jan, 2014
  2. 2. First Lesson of ASO By the time you read through these slides, the rules of ASO will have changed Lesson #1 ASO keeps changing, always test, rinse, repeat…
  3. 3. Importance of Search on iOS “For the average app, search actually makes up the vast majority of installs.” – Ankit Jain, Head of Search & Discovery, Google Play 40% of users from search
  4. 4. Importance of Search on Google Play 80% from search Even bigger!
  5. 5. What Impacts Search Algorithms? • There are many parameters that Apple & Google’s search algorithms factor in, that are not in a developers control e.g. installs, momentum of installs (number of installs/hour for n hours) • Lets focus on the those in a developers control: – – – – – – App Title Description (Android only) Keywords (iOS only) Ratings Reviews Page Rank (Android only)
  6. 6. What Impacts User Conversion (1/2)? 1. Title 2. Icon 3. Ratings 4. Screenshots
  7. 7. What Impacts User Conversion (2/2)? 7. Reviews 5. Description 6. What’s New
  8. 8. App Title • An app's title is the single most important factor for rank in ASO. Each word in the title is parsed and used as a keyword • But the title is also important conversion tool for potential users. Be sure to include the keywords, but don't be spammy. Make sure it makes sense and represents the brand
  9. 9. App Description (1/2) • Good things to include here are: – Rave reviews from press – Stats e.g. 7 million downloads, 60 million documents created – Benefits of your app to potential users – Mention pro features but at the bottom • Localize description for large markets e.g. FR and DE
  10. 10. App Description (2/2) • Only 5 lines are visible (without clicking display more) on the ipad and 3 shorter lines are visible on the iPhone. It is critical to get the most impactful copy at the top. Optimize every letter and space here • Additionally, on the Google Play store, app description is even more important as Google parses the description and selects the most referenced words as keywords, so repeat the important words as many times as possible for the Play store
  11. 11. App Icon • This represents your brand and your product first and foremost so make sure it represents it well • You want this to stand out in the app store versus the other apps, you also want this to stand out on the ‘desktop’ of your device once it is installed • You can a/b test different app icons using mechanical turk (incent bias) or ad campaigns • Smaller point, but the Google App store team strongly dislikes using an Apple style app icon (flat design, rounded corners). Create separate versions for each platform
  12. 12. Screenshots (1/3) • Place screenshots in the order of what the user cares about. The first screen shot is the most important as that’s the one users see when searching for apps • Have different screenshots for iPhones vs iPads as one is looked at in portrait and one in landscape. You'll need: – – – – Screenshots for 3.5-inch iPhone and iPod touch: 960x640 pixels. Screenshots for 4-inch iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th gen): 1136x640 pixels. Screenshots for iPad: 1536x2048 pixels. Save all screenshots at 72 DPI, use the RGB color space (not CMYK) and save them as PNG's. Ok BAD! BAD!
  13. 13. Screenshots (2/3) • • • Display benefits/explanations so that people who don’t know anything about your app get it instantly (see examples below) – note: not everyone will read it Show images of your app as large as possible All 3 are good but I prefer the first, showing the iPhone frame is wasted space
  14. 14. Screenshots (3/3) – less important • Localize for top markets. Arguments can be made for both sides on apps that function in English but the app store text is localized • Add video for the Google Play Store
  15. 15. Keywords (1/2) • This is the second most important factor for search results so test the shit out of this • Apple allows you to populate up to 100 characters, so fill it out and don’t leave it empty • Do not put spaces between words, only commas, spaces are wastes and apple parses words with commas • Do not use both plurals and singular of the same word e.g. notes and note
  16. 16. Keywords (2/2) • First, think from the perspective of your user, what should they be searching for to get to you? • Do not use your category name as that is already a keyword • Use services like searchman, mobiledevhq, sensortower to see what keywords will drive higher volume and which have lower competition • Look at what keywords what your competitors use • Only way to get this right is to test and see what works. Once you get good results, don’t stop, what works will keep changing
  17. 17. Ratings • The rating score is a big determinant for users and less so the number of ratings • Best way to get this right is build a great product  • One way to increase ratings and number of ratings is by asking users to rate the app. This is supported by Apple and there is nothing wrong with doing this smartly • Not smart: Apps ask users to rate their app in the first session. Users should understand and like your app before you ask them to rate it • Surface dialog boxes to rate your app but target a portion of users who are heavily engaged with your app and like it and thus would most likely rate 5 stars. We can do this in house or leverage APIs like Apptentive
  18. 18. Reviews • Like with ratings, reviews are important decision points for potential users. Study reviews and solve those issues in your product • See what words keep coming up in reviews and evaluate using them as keywords • Additionally, on android, developers can comment on reviews and engage with the user base and get users to change their ratings • Tools will sensor tower can parse your reviews and analyze top mentioned words
  19. 19. Other Points • Bundle size – keep bundle size under 25 MB if possible as that is a limit on many carriers beyond which users are required to connect to WiFi. This will lead to fewer installs. This problem manifests itself even more outside the US • Get the ‘Designed for tablet’ label on the Google Play store as that directly impacts search results on Google tablets • Page rank works drives up search on the Google play store as it does for Google search. Point as many links to your Google play store as possible e.g. on the company website, company blog • For Android Kitkat devices, you can deep link Google search results to your app in the appstore
  20. 20. Thanks • CloudOn: • My Linkedin: