How to Harness the Power of App Store Optimisation with Lab Cave

By: Mark Jones

October 17, 2018


#DMWF - Featured -

This summer, the mobile app market turned 10 years old and a decade on from inception, it’s safe to say the industry has grown to mammoth proportions. Catering to an ever-growing audience of billions of mobile users, millions of app developers are jostling head-to-head not just for downloads, but for visibility alone in the app store.

In order to stand any kind of chance in the app market, it has never been more important to make sure your apps are getting in front of the people searching for products and services like yours. That sounds obvious, but get this right, and the bounty can be enormous. At DMWF North America, we’re proud to have the backing of Gold Sponsor Lab Cave Games, a Madrid-based specialist in App Store Optimisation, so we caught up with their CMO, Enric Pedró, to find out how to succeed on the app store front lines.

First of all, could you give a quick introduction to the concept of App Store Optimisation?

Enric Pedró: App Store Optimisation, better known as ASO, is the process of improving the visibility and visit-to-install conversion of an app. Think about SEO [Search Engine Optimisation] but for apps. ASO improves the chances that a given user sees an app while browsing or searching keywords in an app store – for example, Google Play or Apple’s App Store – and therefore are more likely to download it.

Why is it so important?

EP: You wouldn’t build a website without investing time on SEO, the same applies to apps. If you are promoting your app on any given medium and you didn’t even think about ASO, you should rethink your app marketing strategy.

If that reason is not compelling enough, according to Apple, 65% of all downloads come from keyword searches. If you want a successful app, you need to make sure that it’s ranking for relevant keywords with high volume. Spending millions on paid marketing will never get close to the results that organic traffic can yield. Additionally, organic traffic is of higher quality.

Most marketers are trying to attract highly-engaged users with fancy (and expensive) ad units. In reality, the answer is in front of their eyes and way cheaper. Funnel users that are interested in what your app offers, with organic traffic. Users are already engaged; they are willing to download your app without being told to do so. The better your ASO, the more refined and engaged the audience that you attract will be.      

How can app creators achieve better ranks within the App Store?

EP: Focus on the right keywords, in other words, use your keyword space wisely – more search volume doesn’t mean it’s better for your app ranking though!. A/B test icons and featured graphics, localise your app and make changes appealing to each region where your app is available. Improve your rating and provide feedback to any review. Research your competitors and consider partnering with a mobile growth company that can guide you throughout the process.

Do approaches differ between the various app stores on the market?

EP: Absolutely. Each tech giant has its particular way to calculate how an app should rank. A quick example, on Google Play one key factor is keyword repetition on the app description. It might not be pretty for PR but what truly matters are the number of times that certain keywords appear. On the opposite side, on the App Store, the app description doesn’t have a direct impact on its ranking.

What are the most common mistakes in-app marketing?

EP: Ignoring ASO and just focusing on paying to acquire new users. I don’t blame marketers, I’ve been working on mobile marketing for the last eight years and it wasn’t long ago that I learned about ASO. Millions of dollars could be saved or reinvested in other actions. In fact, with ASO the conversion rates from visit-to-install dramatically improve, therefore user acquisition campaigns decrease their average cost per app download, which in return, unfreezes more marketing budget.

What kinds of apps are seeing most success at current?

EP: In terms of revenue, mobile games are by far the most successful. We are talking about millions of dollars made by a single developer with one game in one country – and they have the game available worldwide… In terms of innovation, augmented reality is finally being adopted by the masses and app developers are taking notice. Smartphone penetration is the main reason why a technology that has been available for almost a decade is slowly becoming mainstream. Obviously, mobile game hits like Pokémon Go, and Instagram or Snapchat’s filters, are helping too. People use technology but don’t even know that it’s called AR.

What would your one piece of advice to a company launching an app?

EP: Make sure that you choose a good bundle ID; the code that identifies an app which is defined with the first app build on the development stage. A good bundle ID helps a lot to rank your app and it can be as important as your app title. Once a bundle ID is defined, it’s an extremely long and cumbersome process to change it.

Thanks, Enric!

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About Lab Cave

Lab Cave has achieved more than 200 million organic downloads with its own titles and provides ASO and Ad Mediation services for mobile Apps and games. Part of Fibonad Group, the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services.