Technology Lover, Design Thinker, Indie Hacker #Aircrafts
Maker of cryptomanual.co (Non-profit)
I am an ASO expert who loves to find new ways of organically growing apps on the play store and app store. While I have my own app business with apps that have clocked over 5 million installs, I love to help other app entrepreneurs launch and grow their apps.
I am here to talk about a recent app growth project that I did for a client to help them grow by 95% in 30-days without spending a penny on paid ads. I will also put across my learnings and experiences for other app makers who are looking for organic ways to grow their apps.
About the app -
A learning app to help people learn the basics of coding. The android app was chosen as Google Play's Editor's Choice app a few years ago. The app was obviously great but, the download trend was decreasing since then. The iOS app was launched recently.
Tips to growing -
When I picked up the app project around first week of Jan 2019, the app's download trend was decreasing. The competitor apps were doing good, which meant that the market was there, but our app was being pushed down on the rankings. Here are bunch of things that we focussed on to grow the app -
Keyword research - Researched some good and high traffic keywords that are relevant for the app and those used by the competitors and used them to prepare store listing title, descriptions and keywords. For Play Store, Title, Short Description are very crucial while long description adds some weightage to keyword rankings. For the App Store, we have a keyword section that allows 100 chars, these help in the keyword rankings. Tools used for keyword research included - Sensor Tower & App Annie.
Run Store Listing Experiments - I ran some store listing experiments with different variations of descriptions. Monitored them for a few days and then applied the one that yielded best results. Store Listing Experiment is a really useful A/B testing tool available for app makers on the play store. I am yet to figure out this feature on the app store.
Improve your app ratings - Social proof plays an important role in store visitors converting to installs. A lot of users look through an app's average rating and user reviews before deciding to install an app. We added an in-app rating pop-up within the app prompting happy users to rate the app on the play store/app store. The rating pop-up should be placed at a point where your users are most happy. In our case, we placed after a user completed a course. We instantly started seeing great results. For the play store, we were getting about 120+ reviews per day. Our average rating on the app store improved from 4.1 to 4.4 which was a big boost for us. The ratings continue to improve.
Replying to app ratings - Our support team was really critical about every user feedback and they would personally respond to every app rating. The negative ones were looked at very seriously and they made every possible effort to act on the review and improve the users' experience.
Store Listing Translations - We translated our store listing metadata such as title, descriptions, screenshots in multiple languages. We decided the languages to translate based on the countries where our app was being ranked. App Annie tool is really useful to monitor these rankings.
Reducing app size - App Retention is an important factor that helps an app get ranked higher on organic searches. Our app was really light-weight compared to other apps in the similar category, so less users were uninstalling the app leading to higher retention rate, hence better ASO.
Reduce your app crash rates - High number of crashes also lead to high uninstalls, hence these also impact ASO. Our product team was really critical about keeping the crash rate of the app to minimal. For the android app, we managed to achieve a crash rate of 0.08% which is considered great.
Improve your store listing screenshots/video - The store listing page is the first impression of your app that your users see before they decided to install the app. A best practice is to have meaningful screenshots on your store listing that gives a good app preview for your users. It is also a good practice to add app preview videos.
ProductHunt Feature - Our iOS app was launched recently and also our app had undergone a major revamp. We decided to create a buzz with the new update, so we launched the app on ProductHunt to gather community feedback. This turned our really well and the community feedback was mostly positive. We also identified some useful feedback to improve the product further. We were featured as the #3 Product of the day with 690 upvotes.
Other Community Postings - We identified some relevant communities where we could find our target users who are looking for a solution like our app. Made some high quality posts on these communities. It is important that you do not spam these communities and only help them with a solution to their problem.
Getting featured on online news websites - Some top news websites spotted our app from the ProductHunt listing and decided to make a news article for us. This gave us a boost in terms of traffic and we were started to get on the grossing apps list for a lot of countries.
App Store -
98% increase in installs
97% increase in in-app purchase revenue
Top ranked (under 500) in 43 countries
Play Store -
92% increase in installs
95% increase in in-app purchase revenue
Top ranked (under 500) in 51 countries
Feel free to critique or add your views on any of the approaches that I followed. It will be a good learning for me.
I am happy to answer any questions that you may have on any of these.