PrioriData to launch a new ASO tool and more…

ASO Monthly #8- December 2016

Happy 2017! It’s that time of the month to reflect on what happened last month in the world of App Store Optimization with our ASO Monthly digest.

In the ASO Monthly-series we aim to provide App Store Marketers an objective and full overview over emerging trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, new conversion rate tricks and tool updates.

App Store Optimization December 2016

December 5: ThomasBCN posts his slides from the App Promotion Summit in Berlin

Even if you lack a big ad budget, I’d recommend checking out Thomas Petit’s slides on Apple Search Ads. Thomas leads UA at 8fit and gives great insights on how to use Search Ads even for ASO, as it’ll help you focus your ASO efforts on search terms that have a better downstream impact.

App promotion summit berlin apple search ads

December 8: A/B Test screenshots in the device or without

It’s generally accepted that annotating your screenshots to describe the benefits people can expect from your app, rather than showing what might even be a bit boring but useful interface, can help heaps with conversion.

What’s still up for discussion, is whether or not it makes sense to frame your screenshots in a phone. 63 of the top 100 apps do this in the US as Incipia pointed out previously. On December 8 Splitmetrics added another case study that tries to show that you can expect an uplift.

December 9: Google Play to break up “Apps & Games”

Android Authority reports that Google Play is testing separate sections for Apps and Games:

appfollow introduces a slack and telegram 2.0 update

On December 9 also Appfollow introduces a Slack & Telegram 2.0 Update.

December 12: Search suggestions & update

Double news on search suggestions today, albeit about different topics & at different scales.

screen record search on play storeFirst off: DroidMen report that Google Play is testing showing smart search suggestions that will make it easy to narrow down your search results in the Google Play store.

In other search suggestion news today: ASODesk introduces keyword suggestions functionality helping app marketers find different keywords for their ASO strategy.

Finally, the screenshot generator tool adds capabilities to localize screenshots on a per-device basis.

December 13: Rachel Wilson writes about how to manage backlinks for Google Play — a good article but we still miss the waterproof research that backlinks are indeed affecting your search ranks in Google Play. Whilst it would make sense, previous research has not shown a correlation between the number of backlinks and rank, nor did this 2 year old experiment show any impact. We will remain creating backlinks first and foremost for the traffic we expect to come over that link (and the traffic itself, in turn, might boost your ASO), but not because of the Google Play algorithm taking the backlink itself into account.

December 14: Another ASO Hack spotted in the wild & how to fix App Discovery

David Barnard (Twitter) reports a very Black Hat hack on Twitter involving keyword optimization for the Apple App Store. He points out that there are developers out there launching a lot of (skinned/fake) apps which include several target keywords (i.e. in the example below “Photo”, “Picture” and “Editor”). It’s believed that developers that follow this black hat approach tend to rank really high for those keywords that are shared:

pham hoang

The idea that Apple’s algorithm would take keywords from your other apps into account would make sense as it would be a way to identify (game) titles belonging to one developer and let them rank for these keywords:

angry birds

i.e. all the “Angry Birds” variations Rovio has, would increase the shared weight of the title “Angry Birds”. Rio / Star Wars wouldn’t get extra weighting.

We haven’t been able to confirm the hack, but hopefully, Apple is aware now and will make this hack impossible.

If Apple needs any help fixing this and other problems with App Discovery they seem to be having, they might want to give Gabe Kwakyi a shout. Gabe published an excellent blog post on Mobile Dev Memo on how to fix App Discovery on the same day David wrote about the ASO hack.

Google might already be onto Gabe, as also on December 14, they publish how they use AI in their take on app discovery with personalized recommendations based on related apps. Read more here:

App Discovery With Google Play, Part 2: Personalized Recommendations with Related Apps

In Part 1 of this series on app discovery, we discussed using machine learning to gain a deeper understanding of the…

December 15: Priori Data launches their ASO tool & Launch Super Mario Run

Patrik Winkler announces Priori Data’s first stab at implementing App Store Optimization in their Mobile App Market Intelligence tool. It’s exciting to see Priori entering the ASO arena for two reasons:

  1. They are actively using auto-suggestions as leading indicators for volume for a certain keyword (for est. outside of the App Store US). If you type in “Photo” and “Photo editor” appears as auto-suggestion above “Photo vault”, it will tell you a lot about the search volume.
  2. They have one of the most accurate app download estimates out there. Those estimates (how many downloads did a certain app have in a period) combined with all the search terms you rank for, are powerful to roughly estimate what Priori calls “Keyword Downloads” (i.e. how many downloads you can expect coming from a certain search term).

keywords and keyword downloads

On the same day as Priori Data launches its ASO tool, Super Mario Run launches. Super Mario Run was the first app that had a “Notify” button in the Apple App Store pre-launch, which was already an indicator for the marketing power Apple would put behind this. Quickly after the launch, the long-awaited title got to rank #1 overall downloads in most countries. ASO Tool “The Tool” had a special Super Mario Run page to follow the craze that has died down a bit by now.

December 22: Moburst’s take on the perfect screenshots

December 23: AppTweak introduces Design Makeover

AppTweak Makeover to End the Year in Style – ASO Blog

The holiday season is right around the corner… and we wanted to mark the occasion with one last release for 2016. We…

December 29: Best Practices Top 100 App Icons

Another great piece on the top 100 App Icons and correlation with their app ranking from Gabe from Incipia: “The simplicity of an icon’s color palette was correlated with a better average rank, as apps with two or fewer colors had a rank of 48, vs. those with color combinations of three or more (53)”. For more results head read the Incipia blogpost.

Thanks, that’s it from us for this month!

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Let’s discuss in the comments, and like always: if you have noticed anything related to ASO, please let me know on Twitter or reach out to [email protected].

Other ASO Monthly editions:

  1. May 2016: App Store broken + 5 localized store listing experiments…
  2. June 2016: Announcement search ads…
  3. July 2016: Google Play Store testing with 2nd ad…
  4. August 2016: Simplified screenshot submission… (by Peter)
  5. September 2016: 50 character title-rule… (by Gabe)
  6. October 2016: Apple launches Search Ads… (by Maximilian)
  7. November 2016: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks…
  8. December 2016: Priori Data launches Keyword Tool …
  9. January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more
  10. February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings