App Store Optimization

The Quick ASO Checklist to Increase App Downloads

Angelica Valentine

Elevate your ASO Strategy: Learn what the best UA and ASO managers do to increase app downloads.

A great download strategy is the key to the success of any app. It does not stop there. The smartest marketers know that engagement and a great user experience are also important. But how do you know for sure if your users are psyched? If your monetization strategy is dependent on downloads, then winning in the app store is critical—but it’s easier said than done.

What can app publishers do to increase app downloads without skyrocketing ad spend? 

Increase App Downloads with a Combination Approach

The vast majority of top apps employ a one-two punch strategy: combining the power of organic search with paid ads to supplement. Even blockbuster apps that see an explosion of organic interest at first will eventually need a paid strategy as competitors enter the space and buzz dies down. Mobile marketers and user acquisition (UA) teams need to drive users to apps through organic search while harnessing paid search advertising to ensure that their apps remain visible. 

Nearly two-thirds of all app downloads come from organic searches, so this side of the equation must be protected and improved. However, the other 35% includes a defensive strategy that is required in order to increase app downloads and protect market share from encroaching competitors. 

So what are app publishers to do? Here at App Annie, we’ve compiled a list of the steps all UA and App Store Optimization (ASO) managers need to take in order to protect and increase app downloads. 

1. Understand your overall search visibility 

Starting with a bird’s eye view of your organic search visibility gives you a benchmark against which you can compare your future performance and monitor progress. Learn more about how to track organic visibility in the app stores. 

2. Compare your visibility with competitors

Knowing where you stand is helpful, but the next piece of the puzzle is understanding how you stack up with competitors. Mobile metrics should never be viewed in a silo because your metrics only make sense when compared to your industry at large. After all, the mobile industry is moving so fast that one’s rate of growth may be leading the pack one day and the next it may be lagging. That is why the first step to increase app downloads is to always look at your metrics in context. 

3. Track where paid campaigns are disrupting your organic strategy

You could have the best organic strategy in your app category, but if competitors’ paid ads appear in the results ahead of your hard earned number one spot, then it’s time for action. Dig into the paid keyword share of voice and compare this with your organic traffic share. Which leads us to...

4. Step up paid campaigns where necessary 

If some of the keywords that drive a large share of your downloads are threatened by competitors running paid campaigns, then it’s time to allocate additional budget to keep those keywords safe and increase app downloads over time. 

5. Try new keywords

New keywords pop up each day, but combing through the app stores to figure out which keywords are popular is a losing battle. Instead, look to the competition to understand what keywords they’re ranking for and how that compares to your own metrics. Your competitors might be ranking for keywords that you might have never thought of. Understanding competitive keyword overlap and which keywords are unique to competitors will provide a good list of keywords to consider.

Beyond competitors, novel keyword suggestions are also helpful in order to appear more often in search results. Thanks to machine learning, we can suggest new keywords if you simply type in a few seed keywords to point our algorithm in the right direction. Contributing just a few data points will get you dozens of keyword suggestions to consider for your own strategy. 

6. Monitor keywords over time 

You won’t want to throw every keyword you find into your mix automatically. Some are better to track over time, especially if you are considering putting ad dollars behind them. Organizing keywords into lists that enable you to track performance and rank over time will provide the insight necessary to make an informed decision. 

Increasing App Downloads is an Ongoing Process

There is no “set it and forget it” when it comes to increasing app downloads. It is an iterative process that requires consistent research and tweaking to improve your performance over time. Luckily, mobile data platforms can help aggregate and track this data to ensure you can make the most impactful decisions each day. 

App Annie partners with ASO and UA professionals around the world to build and refine best-in-class ASO strategies. Get in touch with our Sales Team today to learn how you can get started for free and get on the road to that leads you to increase app downloads.

March 9, 2020

App Store Optimization

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