Blog post from our guest author – Timur Taepov of JustForward.co – App Marketing Agency
Timur is an expert in mobile app marketing and provides services for app publishers who need organic app downloads, helping them to optimize apps in app stores, go viral and employ new traffic sources. He is also well-known as the host of the App Marketing – Growth Hacking Podcast. You can connect him via e-mail: [email protected]
Why Do App Publishers Have to Care about User Acquisition Costs?
At present there is a huge challenge for app publishers to overcome – how to drive more app downloads while minimizing costs. In most cases there is an obvious relationship, where a growth in app installs leads to an increased app marketing budget. Let’s have a look at some figures.
There are currently two major marketplaces that deliver mobile apps; Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Both are crowded, with 1.5 million apps in Google Play and 1.4 million apps in the App Store. That is million with a “M”, and the numbers keep rising. According to Fiksu, the “Cost Per Loyal User Index” reached $3.09 for iOS and the “Cost Per Install Index” reached $1.53 for iOS and $1.74 for Android. All these figures show that app publishers have to care about user acquisition costs.
App Store Optimization
Every app publisher dreams about free app installs with a high retention rate and a high “Lifetime Value”. That quality of traffic usually comes from organic searches from app stores. It is important to emphasize that app store searching is the most popular app discovery method. According to a Forrester study, about 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. And despite the crowded app stores, it is very much possible to use this source effectively. It does not matter what size your company is – indie developer, medium-sized company, or a major player. Nor does what app marketing activities you are doing in order to drive app downloads matter either. However, there is a substantial part of any app marketing strategy – App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO allows you to improve visibility in app stores by using relevant keywords and increase the conversion rate on an app store landing page for inbound traffic to an app.
App Marketing Loop
Let’s take a look at how ASO can increase app marketing performance. Any traffic source leads end users to an app store landing page. At that stage on-page app store optimization helps to increase the conversion rate of inbound traffic. Thus, an app gains more downloads with the same amount of inbound traffic to an app landing page than before on-page optimization. The more downloads an app has, the higher app ranking it gains. This means that an app receives additional velocity that allows it to rank higher in a category and on the app store search by selected keywords. The more proper keywords that are selected, the more organic app downloads an app has. Thus, the next iteration of a loop happens.
As a final result total Cost Per Install decreases, no matter which traffic channel the app publisher employs. The entire concept looks like a loop, where ASO adjusts the system and gives additional high-quality organic app installs, decreasing CPI for the entire app marketing process.
Image Credit: Timur Taepov
Key Components of ASO
As mentioned, ASO consists of two main parts: keywords optimization and on-page optimization. Keywords optimization is different for the App Store and Google Play. For the App Store there are two places for keywords: an app title and a keywords field, which is not visible on an app store landing page. Google Play also has two places for keywords: an app title and an app description, which is visible on an app landing page. On-page optimization is another important part of ASO and usually includes the following assets: app icon, visible part of a title, app reviews and ratings, screenshots, description, a ‘what’s new’ area, and localization.
ASO Is a Process
Another crucial point about App Store Optimization is that it is not a one-time action. This is a continual process that is started in the early stages. As a process it includes keyword tracking and rotation and on-page A/B testing. An awesome thing about ASO is that it is the cheapest way to drive organic app installs and improve current app marketing activities.
Major app directories are getting more crowded, and user acquisition costs keep rising. This means that app publishers have to care about app marketing costs more and use available opportunities to optimize app marketing performance. App Store Optimization is a great tool for that purpose, as it adjusts any app marketing activity, executing as a loop.