August 10, 2018

Mobile app 300 DAU, 100+ reviews with 4.8/5 rating. ASO experimenting.

After blindly going about mobile app development for the longest time. I recently learned/experimented with a few simple things, that I'm embarrassed that I avoided for so long & I know there's more things to explore with A/B testing.

I made an Android app called "Delightful" (also now on iOS - http://delightful.today/), a simple gratitude journal & gradually got downloads over the last few years & app reviews. I've earned about $30 so far from in-app donations (which I know is not sustainable).

The things I finally started experimenting with are Play Store A/B testing on my app's description & adding code for rating popups in the app.

I added a simple rating library to my Android app at the beginning of June, that pops up after starting the app 10 times or opening it after 14 days. I had about 20 app reviews & now after 2 months I'm up to 104 reviews with a 4.8/5 rating.

The tools available by Google are awesome to test different versions of your Play Store listings. On the flip side, it seems difficult to optimize your Apple App Store listing without multiple app updates since I learned that Apple doesn't let you change your listing without an app update. So I plan to use my Play Store app description for the Apple App Store & see if that translates to more downloads there too.

For anybody making mobile apps, any advice on ASO & optimizing apps on multiple platforms? Any other mobile app advice?


  1. 3

    What library did you use for the app rating on Android?

    1. 1

      The one Nuno mentioned below is the lib I use currently. I had a chance to check out the Habit.fm landing page, pretty cool. I was curious, how do you approach cross-platform development or have you thought about that? Is it pure native for both platforms? Or something like React Native?

      1. 2

        It's a hybrid using the Turbolinks wrappers.

        1. 1

          Nice, I hadn't heard of Turbolinks before. Cool stuff.

    2. 1

      I'd love to know that too - I have coded some of the reminder/upsell-logic after x app startups myself. But its a quick and dirty version...

      1. 3

        I've used this library with success in the past.

        https://github.com/kobakei/Android-RateThisApp

        1. 1

          That's the one :D. Simple, easy to add.

          Curious if you ever tweaked the conditions of when the rating would show? I've used some mainstream apps before that very quickly show rating dialogs before I've even had the chance to use an app. Which I found to be strange, but possibly still effective for quick rating boosts.. idk.

        2. 1

          Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. 2

    For Google Play (all done for my www.uvimate.com app - 1k$ mrr):

    • hire native speaker on Feverr to write your app's description

    • iterate on screenshoots, make them freaking good, use Google Pixel 1/2 for frames (not Samsung ;)

    • polish on-boarding (use coach marks), good results -> 45% retention after 1 day, 20% after 7 days

    • localisation, pick 4 top languages

    • make Android Wear version of the app

    • post on medium '5 best [you category] apps in 2019'

    • incentivise user to share your app content on twitter/facebook

    • answer to any app's review, ask people to contact you directly by email if the rating is less than 4 and offer them promocode to make them happy. Follow up and ask to update the rating.

    • wait at least 6 months to see results

    • don't spend money on Ads, ASO tools, video, app folders. Better to optimize your funnel [from the bottom] and follow the market guidelines (that will increase your chances to be featured one day)

    Properly done ASO mesured as >32-35% visitors converted to installations and you are on 1-3 place in search for the key topic.

    Good luck.

    1. 1

      Amazing list to reference. Thanks for this Alex!

  3. 2

    I worked on ASO optimization quite a bit for my app on iOS, Clock In. There are quite a few tools that have free trials. If you use each of them individually until the trial runs out, I’m pretty sure you could test ASO growth for a few months for free. My favorites are AppTweak and Sensor Tower.

    1. 1

      Aha thanks for the tip! I've been meaning to explore some ASO tools.

      Btw I found Clock In, I'm not the target user but I really love the icon, in-app design, and detailed on-boarding sequence.