App Store Optimization (ASO) consultant Peter Godtfredsen from Mobtimizers joins Ariel Michaeli to discuss App Store Optimization strategies and shares his framework for success as well as tips and tricks.This fireside chat is part of a series of videos discussing App Store Optimization (ASO) by AppFigures.

What is App Store Optimization and why do we need it?

When it comes to App Store Optimization, one of the big mysteries is WHAT does it mean and what does it entail?

Some say that it is related to keywords. “Let’s add some keywords and everything will be better.” Some people mean that it is the marketing aspect and that evolves more around SEO. And I think a good way to think about is, it’s a framework that you (Peter) introduced when we started to talk about it and I would like you to introduce it to everyone. It looks at the entire journey from before someone is your user and after they are a user. 

The full fireside chat video is available here:

The Rank, Convert, Engage Framework

Peter: We have a simple concept for how to get people to see your app. A good way to introduce it, is the RANK, CONVERT and ENGAGE framework. 

  1. RANK: You want to rank and get eyeballs in the app store
  2. CONVERT: You want to get conversions. How do you secure the highest conversion and increase conversions, meaning downloads.
  3. ENGAGE: Last thing is engagement, which falls a bit out of ASO, but it truly ties into having successful ASO, because we now know that the stores are using engagement from the app to give the ranking

This is a general framework and we use it to make clients understand that there is a process to this (ASO). That is what it takes to succeed and it is definitely not easy.

Ariel: “Those are all things that ASO is about. It wraps it all together. So you can change your meta-data, you can change other things to rank better and change things to convert better and work with your app to get people to stay.  And that will feedback to give you more visibility. ”

“We now come to a point where ASO is a necessity. It is not a thing where you can say, “I don’t want to worry about it for now. I will worry about it later. Everybody wants to get downloads. “

RANK: Rank in the app stores

Ariel: Let’s talk about rank. What does it mean to rank? What does it mean to go into the app stores and search for terms that are associated with your app and see your app in the. 1st, 2nd or 3rd position. How do we get there and where do we begin? 

Peter: We have mapped out a few tips on how we can  give you something very concrete … first thing I want to say is. Research the competition. What is the competition out there? 

On the competition we can look at a bunch of different things. We can look at their screenshots, titles, and we can really go deep and analyse what they do on their app store pages. But another thing we can do is to say “Who are the competition in the current moment?” You need to have a long term plan. What is the status of your app right now. At what level are you now. Do you want to rank as number 1. Well, maybe that will take 5 years to achieve. So you got to pick your battles. 

Shortcut to higher ranking – Intent based keywords

Peter: “What is the person sitting there typing on their keyboard. What is the task they are trying to get done. That’s it. If you figure that out and identify those combinations of words, that is your intent based keywords. Example “How to do business” or “I want to buy a new bike”. That is very intent based. 

So, we often see that people don’t use intent based keywords in ASO. Another example we see in companies, is that they have a tendency to do stuff that is not connected to the user. Their vision of what they are doing is not connected with the user. 

One concrete example is a pharma app putting/using the word “adherence”. There is a category of apps that has to do with making sure that people take their pills. Drug adherence apps “I think that people will just write Pill Reminder”. That is an example of the big gap between the intent of the user and what is offered from a company. 

Analyze and optimize your keywords

Then there is the basic stuff. Don’t repeat your keywords in your title and keyword field. And in Google Play, are you repeating enough? When you do your analysis of your competitors, analyse the keyword density. You want to dive in and look a the keyword density. So you get insights into what they really want to rank on. Typically the density will be around 2-3-5%. Your competitors want to win that word, so how do we get there? It is a bit similar to SEO. Find out how many repetitions you need to rank in Google Play. 

CONVERT: A/B testing is the core of Conversion optimization 

Always be testing 

Peter : “You have to setup A/B testing in your stores. If you are not testing (right now) on your apps, you are missing out on extremely valuable data. You need to set up tests. It is called Multi Variate Testing (when you test multiple different variations in multiple different locations on your Google Play page). You have up to 4 different variations you can do in the Google Play store. Always have a test running per country. You can run a local US test and test out specific elements. You can test out your screenshots and your feature image. You can test out the title and the short description. Descriptions and so on and so forth. You will be shocked by the amount of customers that do not do this. “And this is one of the first things I say to clients). 

Converting best practices 

Peter: Is there a best practices for conversion. Absolutely! In general we can see that there are good ways of making good screenshots. There are certain ways and methodologies of getting high conversion. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the really powerful ways and small changes you can do to improve the conversion rate in Google Play. The reason to focus on Google Play, is that in Google Play, we can test it. You set up a test. Store Landing page A and Store landing page B and you can change one or several things. 

Experiment with your feature image and short description

Peter: Start with your feature image and your short description. Those 2 things are super easy to change. You can shorten down the short description and make it more action oriented. Or switch the words around and you will see that conversion rates can jump up 10-15%. These are the results we see by changing a couple of words around or introducing a new idea or concept. 

Then you can go to the feature image. Why the feature image? It is the first thing people see in Google Play store. You get into the page and it is on top. And you introduce your CTA (Call to Action) or Value Proposition. Keep your copy less than 6 words and make it really actionable. Limit to 3 or 4 words, if you can. Put it in writing and add some cool graphics. Try experimenting with that and you will see your conversion rate bump with 5-10-15% 

Data-driven Experiments 

Arial: “I think ultimately when it comes to conversion a lot of it comes down to experiments, because what works for the 60+ segment, does not work for the 24+ segment. And all you have to do is to make a change and you make sure that you keep track of what is going on. We talked about how a change that seemed like it helped on impression, might take it away from engagement. Or a change that improves engagement, might take away downloads. So, it means that you have to take a look at the data. And not just make a change and come back in a week. 


Engagement is king 

Peter: When you start looking at conversion rates and you start changing stuff in your app store pages, sometimes what happens is that your conversion rates will drop. Let’s say you run experiments and you get minus 2-3% in your conversion rates. But maybe what you want to do is to take a look at your engagement. So, what we found is where our clients make a change in the app store page we see a drop in conversion, but a 10% increase in engagement. And that is very important. Because, really what you want is to have people engaged in your app. All that stuff around Rank and Convert is really good, but we all know that the engagement metrics is king. 

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