At Mystic Media, we’re no strangers to App Store Optimization. Every app development project we take on has its specific ASO challenges. ASO remains one of the most vital processes in the marketing process. We’ve detailed our knowledge in our six part ASO series where we explored techniques for the ASO Basics, Title and Keywords, Increasing Downloads and Ratings, Getting Featured on the App Store, Differentiating between Apple and Google Play App Stores, and Changing Your Title.
In this article, we’ll detail how to get the most from researching your competitors, what to look for, and how to go about maximizing your analysis.
As with any aspect of marketing, understanding your competitors is vital to finding a search opening in the app store for an app. The app store allows for anyone to do detailed research on competing apps. Simply search the keywords you’ve selected for your app in app stores in order to find primary competitors.
It’s easy to see which app competitors come up in search results; however, it’s important to differentiate between which apps are significant and which have no competitive value. An old sub-par app may rank high in the app store, but it’s not in-competition with a well-designed app. Understanding the value of competing apps will allow you to narrow the list your true competition.
The following factors are vital in appraising the value of a competitor:
The app’s last update: Apps that are not generating revenue will not be updated frequently as it’s a futile endeavor. If a competing app hasn’t had any recent updates, it’s safe to deem them an irrelevant competitor.
App launch date: The app launch date not only dictates whether the app is still active, it informs you as to whether it’s ranking in the search results is being boosted by the “new app” factor. Apps get a boost in downloads and ASO at their launch. If the app has been around for a month or two and retains its ranking, then it’s definitely a competitor worth researching.
Amount of reviews since last update: With iOS apps, the reviews an app receives lose value after an update. This makes for hesitation every time an iOS developer decides to update their app. Evaluating the amount of downloads and reviews since the previous update will also give insight into the amount of traffic being generated by the keywords used.
Other factors include: The publisher of the app, the average user rating, the keywords targeted in the title, and what other keywords the app is emphasizing.
Subscribe to Gabriel Machuret’s Youtube channel for a bunch of awesome videos containing information on how to increase an app’s ASO ranking:
Here’s one on the best ASO tools available to developers:
When you’ve identified the apps with which your app is in direct competition, you can begin to analyze their strategy and decide what techniques you wish to emulate and where you might be able to counter them. This takes consistent monitoring of what techniques the app developers are using to improve their app’s ranking. Analyzing what demographics competing apps are targeting will help define where there might be an opening for your app to appeal to an audience. Knowing what share of the revenue competing apps have will give insight into which app store an app might appeal to (perhaps a competitor has Google Play locked down, in which case one would focus their energies on the Apple App Store.)
Tools such as App Annie, Mop App, and more give app developers and marketers a time-efficient way of attaining the analysis they need to understand their competitors and adjust their strategy accordingly.
ASO is a thorough process with many ins and outs. Understanding both your competition and how each of the app stores rank apps in search results requires both experience and a great deal of research. Using the techniques given in this article, in conjunction with those outlined in our six-part ASO series and a well-designed app, you will be able to conquer your competition in the app store and rise to the top of search results.