ASO GUIDE: App Store Optimization Case Study.

ASO Guide Case Study: Step by step process on one of my apps.

As newbie app developer, I was curious on why my apps weren’t ranking in the top 10 and how I can get it there. So I decided to research App Store Optimization (ASO) and after reading a bunch of ASO guides, I applied it on one of my apps. This post shows the exact steps I made on one of my apps and the results that I got after doing some App Store Optimization.

Step 1: Research and pick my keywords

  • Signed up with AppAnnie and checked my rankings and keywords.
  • Added the app I want to optimize, then scroll to the bottom and on the left sidebar choose Keywords/ASO AppAnnie left toolbar which contains Keywords/ASO section

 

  • Here I could see what keywords my app is ranking for in the play store. I picked the ones in the top 5 as my target keywords to optimize for. For my app, I chose football sticker and euro 2016 as my target keyword

AppAnnie Top Keywords listing example

 

Step 2: Analyze keywords and Research Competition.

  • Next, I researched my competitors keywords and “spy” on what they are ranking for. This is so that I can get more keyword ideas for my optimization plan. This time I used the Mobile Action tool. As usual, I registered and added my app to the watchlist.

Mobile Action dashboard screenshot

 

  • After adding the app, went to the ASO Intelligence on the left tab and clicked on Keyword Analysis 

Mobile Action ASO Intelligence screenshot

 

  • Here it lists the Keyword Ranking History for my app, the Top apps for that keyword aka “The Competition” and the most important section at the bottom, the Keyword Analysis Tool. Here is where the true value of Mobile Action shows. It lists the search score, chance, total apps and current rank of the app for the target keyword.

mobile action keyword analysis tool screenshot

 

  • My keyword focus football sticker has a search score of 22 and a 95% chance of ranking in the top 10. Keep in mind that this chance is only a guideline and not a clear cut guarantee since play store ranking depends on a lot of factors. But it is safe to say that higher the chance, the easier it is to rank for that keyword.
  • Next I wanted to find out what other keywords the top apps are ranking for. So I go to the Top Apps section and clicked Track on the number one app.

mobile action top apps screenshot

 

  • Go to the Competitor’s Keywords tab and see what keywords the top apps are currently ranking for. This is useful for finding keyword ideas to optimize for.

mobile action competitor's keywords screenshot

  • Here, there are 2 more keywords that I am interested in, football stickers (plural) and euro2016 (No space). So I add them to my keyword list. Different variations of keywords will have different chance scores, it is up to you to decide which keyword to optimize for accordingly. NOTE: The free version only allows up to 5 keywords to be tracked.

mobile action my keyword analysis screenshot

  • So I decided to target all these keywords in my ASO plan.

Step 3: Optimize my app listing.

  • So now is where the optimization process starts. There are numerous posts on ASO guides and they all basically tell you the same thing. The one post that I followed can be found here. Thanks to AppTamin.com for the updated ASO guide.
  • Here’s what I did to my app listing:
    • Put the keyword Euro 2016 and football stickers in my Title, Short description and Full description.
    • In the Full description, I used my keyword 5 times. DO NOT OVERUSE YOUR KEYWORDS OR GOOGLE WILL CONSIDER THIS AS KEYWORD SPAMMING WHICH IS AGAINST THEIR POLICY.
    • I haven’t updated my screenshot or added a video (work in progress).

 

RESULTS.

Even though I only updated my store listing with my target keywords, within 24 hours there were already massive change in my app ranking. As you can see from the screenshots, my current rank for my target keyword football sticker is at 12.

AppAnnie rank result after 24 hours of implementing ASO guide

According to AppAnnie, that’s a whopping 139 spots up from where I was before. A pretty significant jump considering the only thing I did was change my app descriptions. For the keyword euro2016, my app saw an increase of 33 spots in the ranking. Not as much but still a noticeable change.

RESULT UPDATE #1: 30th April 2016

The app broke the Top 10 in rank for keyword football sticker for most countries and currently at #9 in the US market. The highest the app ranks for the keyword is #7 in Germany.

AppAnnie rank update for 30th April 2016

For the keyword euro2016, the rankings is at #50 to #60 range for most countries. A variation of the keyword euro 2016 is steadily climbing the ranks and currently at #40 to #60 range.

 RESULT UPDATE #2 30th May 2016

My app is holding steady within the top 10 position for the keyword football sticker. While the position changes from week to week, it never drops below #11 and the highest spot it achieved is #5 in the play store. A search of the keyword football sticker in the play store shows my app at the first page of the results, although it is at the bottom of the page :-). I did not update or do any further app store optimization  to the app since the beginning of this case study.

Play store search result for keyword football sticker

First page baby. Oh yeah!!

Conclusion

Its surprising that a little ASO effort could have a massive impact on my app’s rank and with more optimization to my listing, screenshots, videos, etc, I’m sure I would be able to break the top 10. Keep in mind that ASO is only part of what it takes to stay on the top ranks. Downloads, ratings and competition all factor in to whether your app stays on top or drops in rank. I hope this ASO guide case study will help any app developers  in applying ASO to their apps. If you find the post helpful, please like and share on social media. Thanks.

All the tools used in this ASO guide case study are available for free. AppAnnie, Mobile ActionCheck out my app on Google Play store

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