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Comprehensive App Store Optimization Guide 2021 (ASO 2021)

App Store Optimization 2021
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What is app store optimization ASO?

App Store optimization is the process to increase the number of downloads by improving the visibility of mobile apps/games. We are going to dicuss all the aspects of App store optimization here in this complete guide App store optimization 2021. The number of downloads can be increased by getting top keyword and category rankings, so by this definition, we need to work on all parts that can help to increase the number of users.

 

App Store Optimization Definition by  AppRadar 

“App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of improving app visibility within the app stores and increasing app conversion rates. The major app stores are App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. In addition to ranking high in the app store search results, ASO also focuses on click-through rate (CTR). This means you have to convince people to actually click into your app store listing once they find it. You can do so by optimizing your App Name, App Title, App Icon, App Screenshots, and App Rating.”

 

What is “User Acquisitions”?

The acquisition is used to grab users – older and newer but a user. The very first thing is to kick start your App Store Optimization in 2021 is to grab as many users as possible in your niche. User acquisition is the base of App store optimization.

 

Mobile user acquisition strategy

As we have discussed that the first thing in ASO is acquisitions, so how to do that? Users can be acquired by multiple ways, as listed below;

  1. Search Users
  2. Explore Downloads
  3. Paid Campaigns
  4. Cross Promotions
  5. Forums comments and posts
  6. Websites backlinks Links
  7. Social Media submissions
  8. Influencer Push
  9. Event promotion

 

So these are the multiple ways by which you grab users. No go the next stop.

 

FAQs of Keywords research in ASO 2021

 

Where to find app keywords?

Where to place keywords?

How should be my app title?

How many translations we need?

Have the keywords any impact in App Store optimization 2021?

 

Keywords are dead?

 

Many people think that keywords are dead after 2017 but it’s not in all cases but there’s few exceptions where keywords don’t matter. It can still bring thousands of downloads, and even if can’t bring any user it will still important because of explore installs. Now we get most of users from explore and it comes from similar, you all also like, recommended for you and top charts. So still 60% downloads depend upon keywords. Keywords are as much as important as AApp Store optimization itself.

 

Where you search keywords for App Store Optimization 2021?

You can use multiple keywords density checker tools to get repeating phrases of competitors and also Appannie ASO keywords to know from which keywords they are getting downloads in your App Store optimization.

 

Copy the link of top 10 competitors, who have got maximum downloads in less time and then grab their most used keywords, list them all. Then go to Appannie, and extract their keywords from there also and add to that list. Now check traffic and difficulty to finalize your keywords.

 

Keywords placement

Instead of one English title use all 7 as Google gives the option to add multiple version of any language. English US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, South Africa, and Singapore are the places to target all keywords in title.

 

“Same is for description, write 4 descriptions of 1000 characters instead of one description with 4000 characters”

Read Detailed ASO keyword reserch

App Store Optimization 2021

App title ASO

App Title is the most important factor in on page App Store optimization. Choose the perfect 2 primary keywords in each title. There’s also a super title strategy where we use same long tail keyword in all 7 titles for English. So you can try both techniques – 2 keywords in each title and one long tail keyword in 7 titles.

 

Does the App Localization have any impact on App Store optimization?

Yes, of course translations or App localization has great positive impact on organic downloads. You can use simple Google translator to translate in any language, but now a days Google sends rejection for double words like if we use shooting shooting then they will reject for keyword stuffing, and it happens while translating in Google for App Store optimization.

 

Play Store Explore Downloads

Explore downloads come from top charts, play store cards, similar, featured and different places where use can see your product without searching it. Google shows it on interest and similarity basis. Like if you search for an action game, then all your cards will be filled with similar games, also when user explore any category then Google shows all top chart games on his home page of that category.

 

What is Play store cards (Trays)

It’s basically the grids of apps on your home screen and categories screen, of play store. People also use to call it trays, and games with massive downloads or uniqueness come in these trays.

 

How to get in trays (Play store cards of Trending Apps)?

To bring your game/app in the trays, focus on the following KPIs:

  • Retention
  • Android Vital
  • Conversion Rate
  • Number of downloads
  • Number of ratings

 

Downloads

If you have massive number of downloads then it will be automatically in trays of that category and also on home screen and for massive downloads, we need to provide paid downloads to win the competition from other top games here and it’s the real App Store optimization.

 

App Retention

Retention is the most important factor of ASO nowadays. You need better retention than all the competitors to get ranked and come in the top charts.

 

Android Vitals (ANRs & Crashes)

Now the game is not going to long term, if there’s any issue of crashes and ANRs, even if you are spending hundreds of thousands for paid downloads. For ANRs the threshold rate is 0.47% and for crashes, it is 1.09%, which means that product will have 99.53% ANRs free and 98.91% Crash free.

 

App Ratings & Reviews

Redirect all the users who are willing to give you 4 or more rating to your app. It’s also a peer to peer issue, and console shows it clearly.

 

ASO Conversion Rate

We need to bring conversion rate according to the category. App category have low retention and games have higher, so for games category we need to at least 30% day 1 retention according to firebase and 27% in Game Analytics and Unity.

 

Paid Campaigns (Paid Push)

Paid Campaigns are very much important now very much important and Google has made almost impossible to get ranked without paid push.

 

How to start your App Paid Campaigns?

There are multiple advertisement platforms, where we can run campaigns to get paid push. The most useful and cheaper is Google ads. Start a global campaign in all countries where remove very low eCPM countries. Continue these campaigns for 5 weeks and observe the data.

Read detail PPC Strategies here

Should we use Facebook ads?

Yes, fb ads are best to target the exact users for your product. Initially start with a broader audience and then check your demographics and then again start new campaign with exact users that you observed in the demographics.

 

Another benefit of fb campaigns is the third party installs conversion rate. Basically it comes from backlinks to our product and always have

 

Which Regions we should Target? (Campaign Strategy)

ASOs have different approach to this question. Some like to target specifically and other generic. I suggest to go for all tier of countries to get variety of users. Target high tier countries to get better eCPM, mid-tier for downloads with better revenue and low tier to get max push from the play store.

 

Cross promotion downloads (CP)

Cross promotional are the free downloads that are counted in 3rd party installs. Few years back CP downloads were very important but nowadays it has positive impact but very small. Effective CP strategy is very much necessary to maximize the 3rd party install.

 

Store listing Graphics

Store listing graphics are important to get in similar trays and better conversion. For massive explore downloads we need to get in play store trays. If you have just one impressive KPIs you can get 50,000 downloads per day, but if there’s issue in just one KPI you will loss all these downloads.

 

Icon yields better CTR

Screenshots and promo video cause better conversion rate

 

Icon has almost 25% impact on organic downloads. So be very possessive about your app icon. It decides the future of your product. Do as many A/B testing on app icon and screenshots as possible.

 

Data Analytics

Read the analytics of your app to know what the user is doing inside the app/game. This App Store optimization Guide 2021 is about all aspects and the analytic is most important in ASO. We need to implement any app analytics tool, like firebase, unity analytics, game analytics, and app flayer, adjust etc. The market is full of such tool and every tool has its own way to represent data. Choose the one you are comfortable to read data.

 

Monetization

After creating new app/game, we must think of business model and everyone has different mindset of earning. Like some local companies don’t think that user will play my game or not, but just check that user is watching 5 ads in 2 min gameplay.

 

Admob, Unity, Facebook, App Lovin and Iron Source have better revenue than all other networks. So place admob on priority and then so on.

 

Title translations

We can translate simple English title into any other language but stop! First check that any word in the translated text has any searches? If yes then go on. If your translated title hasn’t any searches then go to Apennine and extract competitor keywords in those regions, you will get the accurate title.

 

Category Selection

Category selection depends on your conversion rate, retention and downloads. If you want massive downloads then surely will go the competitive category where high conversion rate, high retention and all other KPIs are required.

 

As difficult to beat, as awesome will be the results

 

Game categories have maximum downloads but highest competition, so if you are fully ready then go otherwise choose any low competition area and play safe.

 

How to kick start an app/game?

Create a game, which is playable with catchy storefront graphics. Do proper keyword research according to Google Trend and Sensor Tower keyword research. Localize your content even inside the app. Push with a small budget and check KPIs, if everything is perfect then invest the maximum budget that you can and enjoy the awesomeness.

 

ASO Tools 2021

Every ASO tool has some specific pros and cons. I personally love AppTweak because of great competitor analysis, keyword history, meta data score and a lot more awesome features.

 

Let me share the benefits of multiple tools

Sensor Tower => Keyword research, Latest Rankings, monthly downloads

AppTweak=> Timeline, Keyword history, ASO Score, ratings needed, similar, brand keywords

AppAnnie => Featured, competitor ranked keywords

Appbrain => Changes timeline

AppStoreSpy => Daily downloads

 

I suggest to use apptweak paid version, which will make your ASO life easier.

ASO Marketing

ASO Marketing is about to make awesome products, market, maintain and sustain your brand for long term. ASO marketing is the combination of product management and marketing, where an ASO expert gets hands dirty in the every part of product making, release, marketing, optimization, maintaining, branding and everything.

 

Is there any ASO course?

To be very honest, you will get nothing of these courses. I have done the longest course on Udemy and it’s nothing more than keyword research and content writing for ASO. If you like my articles of ASO then please must let me know, I will make it on demand inshallah

 

App SEO

App SEO is basically the ASO (App Store Optimization) which is now changed a lot same as SEO. Now the SEO has a lot more than just writing content and the same is ASO. We need to do proper keyword research, writing content, better user experience, amazing graphics, and useful campaigns.

 

GROWTH HACKING IN THE APP BUSINESS (ASO 2021)

 

I am going to explain a systematic process to make your apps and games successful

 

Idea

App business start with the idea of your game and app. While thinking about an idea, one should assure that app/game has the following qualities

 

Maximum user engagement

Your app/game should have engagement time at least 2 min per user. As much time user will spend, as much higher will be revenue. If it is game then make such addictive game that people use it for hours.

 

Daily use

Daily use means that people need it daily or at least once in week because if you create an app where people just open, check something, and close then you will get nothing. So make something where use spend time and use it daily.

 

Addiction

If the game get user addicted then you win the game. It is the most difficult thing in the latest world because developers have done a lot but still think such an idea that can make new addiction for the users and they come every morning to check it. Everything is yours if you did it.

 

Ad serving/investment return

Create apps and games where you can implement you best business model. Games are best for multiple ROIs like ad serving, videos ads, reward base and in app purchases. You should have a return strategy before going to execute.

 

Market Trend

Check the market trend and go according to it. Like a time people were making coloring apps in 2017 but now, no one is looking for it because the trend has gone. In 2019, everyone was looking for face apps but the trend gone. So always, look for the latest trends. It is same for the games, developers are adding new ideas every day and other follow them like fast follower. New idea is a bit difficult to make successful but the validated idea is far easy to win.

New

Never ever, make the apps, which are already developed in 2012 to 2017. If you want to copy or follow someone then pick apps and games of at least 2018 and onwards.

One Screen apps

Google has already made it privacy violation that minimal functions apps would be removed. So think idea of a complete featured app/game while providing multiple features and module

 

Execution

 

Execution is the design and development process where you should think of multiple

Mockups, WI frames and requirements:

It is the starting point of your product, so be very possessive to each and every button, icon, feature, flow etc. Follow the material design standards. Make is simple and elegant. Games and apps flow is very much necessary to be very easy. If user don’t know that how to use then you wasted your money.

 

Design

Spend as much as you can in the design part because a great icon gives great CTR (Click through Rate) and Great presentations return great conversions (Installs) and great in app design make user happy and engaged and give good rating. Let me make it simple

 

App icon & Feature Image => CTR in the store and Campaign Presentation => Conversions

In App Design => User engagement and ratings

 

Development

Development is the backbone of a game and apps, if there is any functionality broken or something is not working, then will get nothing. All in vain if, you do not implement your idea.

Implement basic functionality properly Make unit testing properly

Remove crashes and ANRs Standard coding

 

Ad strategy Implementation

Ad strategy is the step where you plan to earn. Use all type of ads like banner, interstitial, reward vides. Place your banners on every screen. Show interstitial after splash screen, 3rd activity and closing of app. Google has defined awesome ad implementation and you can see in the ad mob ad implementation.

On Page ASO

ASO means app store optimization. It is of two kinds, on page and off page. In on page ASO the following are included.

Content:

  • Package Name
  • Title
  • Developer name
  • Short description
  • Long Description
  • Reviews

Design

 

  • Icon
  • Presentation (Screenshots)

 

Keywords research

For the content part, find great keywords from Apennine, keyword planner, tool.io, play store suggestions, sensor tower etc. and use in the title, short and long description. Target all possible keywords in the long description.

Go to Apennine to check the competitor keywords, Google AdWords for the keyword search volume, Sensor tower to check competition. First, go to Apennine extract competitor keywords, check the keywords searches in the Google AdWords Keyword planner to know the audience, check these keywords in the play store, are you getting it in the play store search box or not, it verifies, then final check is sensor tower to know the competition that can you win or not.

 

Title

It is most important to so use your best keyword and brand name. Must use a brand name for your app and game, you will know the benefit of it after success in the store. If you use a common name then people will copy your game with the exact name and google will say nothing to them. So use the brand name with a keyword in the title.

Shor description:

It should be very catchy with two keywords because it helps in explore downloads and CTR.

Long Description

The long description is not indexed able in the app store but google is still working based on it. So target all the possible keywords at least one time. The first paragraph and bold text are the hot-parts in the long description. Utilize 3000 characters.

Package name

It is also your game/app URL. Com.hanif.market.etc 😀 use at least three keywords in the package name.

Reviews

Use your app name and keywords in the reviews replies and check the magic. 😛 It is a low-level targeting but why should we miss a chance to target a keyword.

Publishing and release management

 

Make proper releases with a specific time. Like check the users reviews, crashes and ANR report and update your app with a new version. So update your app on specific intervals not very shot and not for very long. I suggest updating one time in 45 days. Google encourages updates.

 

Remove bugs

Makes tests and identify bugs and best ways of flow to improve the quality

 

Crashes & ANRs

Go to developer console, check the most happening crashes and ANRs and remove it.

 

Users Reviews

Reply to each review. Users tell in their reviews that where they are facing problems. So read them and list down the next changes in the app according to the user comments.

 

Off page ASO

 

Off-page, ASO means backlinking from various platforms. You can share your app link in niche sites, YouTube videos, forums, submit app sites, Pinterest, social media, etc. App stores don’t consider backlinking but Google is still considering it, so one should not miss the opportunity. Share your link everywhere and enjoy free downloads.

 

Social media sharing

Share your apps and games in different groups, profiles and with friends and family. There are also many people, who provide free reviews. It is a bit difficult to get reach because Facebook and other social platform has paid reach option so they do not give enough reach organically.

 

YouTube Niche Channel

It is of course not a free thing because you will contact the channel owner to provide you a shout out and share your app/game link in the description.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest is the best place regarding of SEO. Upload photos and put links in the app target site. Pinterest is the free maximum reach platform so enjoy the amazing experience. Share as much interesting photos with link as possible.

 

Niche blogs

Niche blogs are best places, you can share your game with them and can paste link in the comment section.

 

PPC (Google AdWords & Facebook Campaigns)

 

PPC means Pay per click where you pay for the clicks and installs. There are many platforms and websites, which are providing app installs but Google AdWords, is the best.

 

Why Google AdWords

Google AdWords now knows as Google Ads. It is best because it is official apps/games promotion platform where you can advertise. It increases ranking of organic keywords. As the social media sites has limited the organic reach, same is for the Google AdWords. You cannot win the business without it. Do not look anywhere else and starting promoting your apps in Google ads.

 

Facebook Campaigns

Facebook is the second place where you should advertise to get cheap and best targeted downloads. It has app installs campaign option, which is very easy to use. You should just make it simple like other campaigns. Create campaign, app link, promo graphics, text ideas, budget and bid.

 

“We are focusing Google ads here, but you can the same bid, budget and countries in the Facebook advertising”

 

Campaigns Strategy

 

First campaign

Start promoting app/game with a worldwide campaign with a test budget of 2$ and set the bid to 1 cent. It will not work if there is competition, so check the impression for 48 hours. If there, are enough impressions and consumes $2 per day then change nothing but impressions are less then increase the bid to 2 cents. Let it run for at least one week and change nothing.

After getting 1000 installs from that campaign, remove the low tier countries and enjoy the cheapest campaign in mid-tier countries even some downloads will be from high countries. Change the budget according to return and remove countries which are not giving good return.

 

More Campaigns

Now you have a worldwide campaign, which will make profit in one month. Create three more campaigns but do not include the countries where worldwide is targeting.

 

US Based

Target country USA, Bid 13 cents and budget is 2$. Increase the bid gradually if you are not getting impressions up to 25 cents maximum.

High-Tier Countries

Target high countries with a test budget of 2$ and set the bid to 10 cents. If you are not getting impressions, then increase up to 17 cents but do it gradually.

Low-Tier countries

Set the bid to 2 cents and test budget 2$. Do not increase budget because 2 cents is enough for Low Countries, but you want to make it successful then increase just one cent.

Mid-Tier Countries

Set the bid 4 cents and budget is 2$. Increase the bid gradually if you are not getting impressions up to 9 cents maximum.

 

Countries List

 

High Countries (Starting Bid 10 cents to 17 cents)

US, UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherland, Sweden, Spain, France, Singapore, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Mexico, Argentina

 

Mid Countries (Starting Bid 4 cents to 9 cents)

UAE, Saudi, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Israel, Brazil, Uruguay, Thailand, Greece, Ukraine, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia, Philippine, Bulgaria

 

Low Countries (Starting Bid 1 cents to 3 cents)

Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sari Lanka, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jorden, Azerbaijan, Yemen

 

Monitor your campaigns daily and take decisions according to the data.

 

Data Analytics

You can never decide what you have to the next if you are not good in the data analytics or if there is incomplete information in front of you. For games and apps, you need following platforms to make perfect decisions.

 

Playstore Developer Console

In the developer console, you check the number of total downloads which includes organic and paid downloads. Check how many installs are from search and explore. If you are getting explore downloads, it means your app is ranking somewhere in category, countries, overall or with any successful competitor. Crashes & ANRs, Users devices and locations, reviews and a lot of other information. So never, forget to check developer console daily.

 

Google Ad mob & AdWords

 

These both platforms are directly related. Where you are spending and from where the return comes. So check each country in the Google AdWords and Ad Mob to know that should I spend in a country or not. It is a bit difficult to explain because you will do the math by yourself to decide that should I spend more or not. Include or exclude a country. Increase or decrease the budget. Stop, pause or continue the campaign, every AdWords decision is based on the Ad Mob return.

 

 

Google Firebase Console

These is the latest powerful tools with magical features to know what is happening inside of your game/app. Check the live users, look at their behavior, session time, ad strategy, etc. send live notifications to users and increase the daily usage

 

I apologize for the very bad grammars and length of an article but there is a lot to tell.

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8 Responses

  1. Hello brother!
    thankyou so much for sharing informative things with us. I just read your article, after reading this I got a lot of new things which will help me for next time in ASO. please share some unpaid tools names from where I can search keywords. and second thing kindly tell me that how many keywords we can use in one app description and how many times we can use main title keywords and other keywords.

    1. I suggest to use app Annie for competitor-ranked keywords, copywritely keyword density checker for competitor description keywords, sensor tower for traffic and diff and Google keyword planner for number of searches in any region.

  2. Thanku so much for this much useful guidance.✨✨
    Really helpful to fresh and less experienced ASO’s

  3. Thanks for valuable information, i enjoyed the Article and got some great points.

    However , in your article You said that:

    “Now you have a worldwide campaign, which will make profit in one month. Create three more campaigns but do not include the countries where worldwide is targeting”

    Can you please clarify it a bit ? does it mean that we should create multiple campaigns on a single Google Ads account for the same app with targeting different country sets at the same time?? do you mean this ??

  4. please also tell us about IOS Game App ASO how to know ios game downloads ranking and how to do aso for ios apps what tags are written how title select etc

    1. Do a deep keyword research and choose the keywords that have margin to get some rankings. Use these keywords wisely in Title, sub, keyword section, and promotional text.

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Me

Hanif Marwat

ASO Expert

I am Hanif Marwat – Senior ASO Expert with 4 years of mobile Games & Apps Marketing experience. I also love to write blogs about my expertise.

Hanif Marwat

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