“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” – Albert Einstein’s quote couldn’t have been more true to summarise my work life in 2020.
2020 – wasn’t completely a disaster. Yes, the travel industry was hit very badly. Yes, lots of people lost their jobs – left stranded more so. But despite all this, there were some good moments or rather career-changing events for some just like me. I was given an opportunity to learn and explore Mobile App Marketing during the lockdown. This involved a lot of self-learning, positive mindset and perseverance but the results were very satisfying! Here’s how it went!
We launched our Travel Planner App on May 15, 2020, without any fireworks 🙁 During regular times – launching an app with a well-constructed marketing plan is the way to go forward. But the same becomes a challenge to launch it amidst covid-19 and make it shine especially when the entire travel industry is on a stand-still. Add to this, your hope to getting some limelight was only through organic efforts – given paid marketing campaigns was also completely out of the picture. Enter the hero, “ASO” – every article/blog on the internet would lead you to this as the first step. What exactly is this and how it helped our travel planner shine with organic downloads!!!
What is ASO?
App store optimization – also known as “ASO”, is the process of optimizing your app to maximise visibility in the respective app stores (Google Play and App Store). It helps in increasing your app downloads organically by generating traffic to your apps listing pages. More simply put, it is SEO for an app.
1. Market research & Keyword optimization:
Travel Industry is a huge market. It is highly important to learn from your competitors on what kind of keywords work, what keywords have huge traffic & high conversions in the form of downloads. It is also crucial to stay associated with relevant keywords as it directly brings you high-quality users resulting in conversions.
For new apps, competing with high conversion keywords is a challenge. Hence, going after mid or long-tail keywords is the best choice. Once your desired rankings are achieved on the respective app stores, targeting single word keywords could be successful.
The easiest way to do the above is to find the right ASO tools available online, I use AppAnnie as it is free with certain restrictions but still very useful. Tracking your keywords, adding more & tracking should become your everyday grind.
2. Eye-catchy App Store listing is mandatory:
So you have an app that costs an 18-day travel itinerary within 5 minutes, simply a wonder! But, if you don’t showcase it the right away, your spectacular app is just another app in the App store – a 1 in the millions.
As scary as it sounds, it is super easy to stand out though, all that matters are your On-metadata and Off-metadata factors. On-metadata factors like your app title, short description, description, screenshots, video, icon etc – which are 100% in your control. Off-metadata factors are more strategic like ratings. Reviews, Increasing downloads etc. Work on your on-metadata factors – get your design team to work the magic & reap what you show!
Localising your store listing is also very effective if you don’t have a translator, leave it to google to do a good job. I simply worked on all those countries that accept English – leading to more keyword insertions.
3. Off-metadata strategies that won’t cost you a buck!
- Increase in ratings and reviews – A simple out-reach to your customers to drop a rating/review on their experience creates a good impact in boosting your ranks and downloads.
- Backlinking – a concept more famous in the SEO world. Coming up with the right strategy for this was easy but making it happen is on luck. Once you have app media kit ready, reaching out to online app review publications, doing a collaboration with App bloggers in exchange for an app review on their blog to writing SEO-friendly in-house blogs on key features of your app does a whole lot good to boost rankings and get high-quality user installs.
- Refreshing your app listing – (Title, short description, Description) once every 15 days is the best-kept secret to being discovered for newer keywords and expanding your ranks.
After having done all of the above, some stats on how our App has been growing month on month and all this by just purely embracing ASO.
- The unique user installs for the app have been growing 42.45% m-o-m since May 2020.
- We reached a 5-star monthly average rating as compared to just 4 on both Android and iOS app stores.
- Ranking on more than 10 keywords within the first 5 app results including both app stores. These keywords are the ones with more than 250+ app results.
If you are still out there thinking “How can I learn something new all by myself?” All it takes is a little positivity, can-do attitude and a wonderful company & colleagues to support you in your journey. I am proud to be working in one – Pickyourtrail 🙂
P.S: Those of you who want a sneak peek of our app, find it here.