How to get more organic app users through ASO
In this article we’ll talk about how to optimize apps on Google Play or the Apple App Store to have a positive effect on other performance channels like advertisements, PR campaigns, etc. If you are not familiar with the term ASO, we recommend that you first take a look at our case study, which gives you a quick overview of ASO (often referred to as the SEO for apps ) and how it makes a large number of organic users pay attention to your app.
Succeeding is tricky – the app stores are overcrowded
Although it seems that apps have to almost fight for every user and generate very few real profits in the app ecosystem with its 3 million apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store. However compared to the range of the German Amazon Marketplace with 150 million products or the total number of 15 million German domains there’s still light at the end of the tunnel, let’s discuss how to find it.
However app visibility is really limited by the underlying ecosystem and thus depends on the mechanics of search algorithms of the Apple App Store and Google Play.
For this reason Appreneurs and all who are interested in the distribution of their app are forced to think creatively. No longer is it possible to create an app with the motto “set it and forget it” and launch it in the app stores. This method just guarantees a high probability that the app disappears just as quickly into the depths as it surfaced.
There are methods to make apps more visible and to benefit from the increase in attention resulting in more organic downloads. One of these methods is called App Store Optimization – See our Case Study.
In general, ASO increases organic traffic by optimizing and customizing apps for the search algorithm of the app stores. The important fact to bear in mind is that this organic traffic is responsible for about 60% of all app downloads and thus represents the largest but also most neglected traffic source.
Making your app discoverable by many users – a question of strategy
The market still offers so much potential for growth and for innovative apps, so it is more important than ever for Appreneurs to consider creative approaches and strategies to prevent the worst case for their app: the competition getting one step ahead.
Most of the app developers focus on channels for paid acquisition, wherein each installation is obtained as a CPI (cost per install) and most users are reached with the help of paid campaigns. For achieving the full potential of CPI campaigns, it is important to optimize your own app for organic traffic as well. That way you can benefit from synergy effects and reach many more potential users with the same effort.
How does the synergy work and what performance campaigns influence ASO?
While ASO increases organic downloads by changing the metadata (app title, keyword field, description text, etc.) and by optimizing the conversion (icon, screenshots, optional video), it also affects any other measures that increase downloads. These include PR activities (app reviews and articles, events), performance-based campaigns, such as the advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads, etc., and burst campaigns.
What are burst campaigns:
Burst campaigns are used to reach as many users a possible in a short time through various channels and to bring them to download an app.
When many users are reached within the short time, organic uplift comes to play.
What exactly is Organic Uplift?
The term organic uplift associated with the aforementioned burst campaigns comes from the Apple App Store specifically, where a large increase in downloads within 72 hours makes climbing the category rankings possible (the following formula applies only to the Apple App Store, as other ranking mechanisms are used in Google Play, and this article mainly focuses on the impact it has on the Apple App Store).
Here, Organic Uplift occurs simultaneously with the increase in rankings and represents the organic downloads that come with the paid downloads. With every paid download the app is further exposed to the eyes of the public, thus more potential users become aware of the app, which increases the likelihood that the app is recommended via social media or word-of-mouth.
Organic Uplift in practice
Provided that the app is App Store Optimized and has targeted metadata:
In Germany on average 16,500 downloads within 72 hours are needed to climb to the top 10 in the German App Store (as of 2015)
As a result in a gaming app 0.9 organic downloads are generated. In a non-gaming app on the other hand only 0.6 organic downloads are generated
You can compensate the additional organic downloads with the cost of paid downloads, the result represents the effective acquisition cost for a user. These costs are also referred to as effective CPI. So in the case of a gaming app a paid install reaches 1.9 users. Thus, the CPI is almost halved!
If a user is bought for €1 and in theory 1 additional organic download can be acquired, the effective CPI is €0.50.
The average effective CPI:
In Germany for non-gaming apps of €0.44
In Germany for gaming apps of €0.81
For comparison, the effective CPI in the USA is €0.91 for gaming and €1.50 for non-gaming apps
Let´s assume one additional organic user was acquired for 2.4 paid downloads, with a CPI of €1.20.
Strategically, a burst campaign must be used with caution as incentivized users often are not willing to interact with the app, which can result in low user engagement that negatively affects the ranking.
The advantage is that the Organic Uplift increases organic downloads and according to our experience, these users have a much higher commitment with the app and therefore a very high Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) (see our case study on boosting app rankings).
How effective is Organic Uplift on low budgets?
Burst campaigns will certainly require a very high budget at about 16,500 downloads needed to promote an app to the top tier rankings. However, this can be done in a smaller scale so fundamentally any paid downloads with a foolproof ASO strategy can achieve Organic Uplift , if you don´t care about the top rankings.
Even if an app does not have optimal keywords and therefore has not undergone App Store Optimization, the characteristic newfound visibility that comes with paid downloads may result in an increase in the rankings, which in turn brings in new users. Accordingly, App Store Optimization increases the Organic Uplift as Zen Cachola of Mobile Action explains in the following article.
Conclusion on the effects of ASO on other channels that target the acquisition of paid users
Those who intend to best position their app in the App Store and want to achieve sustained success, must comply with the requirements for app growth management and keep the right order. Paid acquisition channels used to say before that ASO optimizing the app can result in less synergy effects for the boost campaign. App Store Optimization has a positive effect on performance marketing activities and makes pushing the app in the top rankings far more effective. Therefore ASO supports any type of paid user acquisition and should be always used together.