App Store Optimisation trends 2019 – Lab Cave

Last month Lab Cave’s CMO, Enric Pedró, gave interesting insights on App Store Optimisation (ASO) trends for this year. At the Mobile Trends Summit, which was held in London on 5 December, the talk was focused on explaining the trends to improve an App’s visibility in the most important App Stores (Google Play and Apple Store).

Within this article you will find information – from some case studies and conclusions after analysing the work of some big companies in the industry – that points to what should be kept in mind for mobile marketing strategies in 2019.

Lab CaveChoosing the right KPIs to track
There are a lot of KPIs available to track through App Stores and websites/softwares: focusing on the wrong ones could cause a ‘blindness’ towards your progress and if you keep your eye on too many, it could make you lose sight of your true goals. High-quality KPIs are becoming more and more important while the App Stores are valuing the user experience more to rank their Apps. According to Lab Cave’s ASO experts, these could be the three most important KPIs for this year:

1 – High Retained Installers & Retention Rates (Ideally higher than your competitors)

2 – High Ratings per Country & Devices (Ideally above your competitors)

3 – Low Crashes & ANRs volumes (Ideally lower than your competitors)

Google Play even offers some benchmarks regarding these KPIs where it is possible to have an overview of your competitors and plan future steps more solidly. Apple Store unfortunately doesn’t offer the same information yet, but thats not a reason to leave out the effort to improve KPIs in the Apple Store, as it is known that Apple values user experience as well. These KPIs also affect ASO strategies directly and can push back an App’s growth – avoid the bottleneck!

Keywords strategies getting more complex
Long-tail keywords are something that could be expected at some point, as the App Store becomes crowded and has more intense competition. There are some tips to follow, like mix the genre and some particularity from an App to create long-tail keywords with a good potential to receive qualified traffic. By the way, qualified traffic is the principal characteristic of long-tail keywords due the accuracy of the research. They bring higher conversions and also decrease the bidding price for User Acquisitions (UA) campaigns.

Another interesting fact about long-tail keywords:  a growth of 1000 per cent is expected by 2023 from the usage of voice assistants, according to the Consultancy for Technology Markets, Juniper Research. A look into the way that people are using these devices could benefit  keywords strategies, since they are using long-tail keywords to do their search for Apps. Even though long-tail keywords bring less traffic than short-tail keywords, it is worth thinkinking twice about long-tail keywords in mobile strategies taking into account all these trends/predictions.

Less weight and more relevance with Instant Apps
Released in 2017 for Apps and last year for Games, Instant Apps is a quick way to try an App before installing it on Google Play Store. This smart idea to catch the user’s attention is driving important publishers to adopt this strategy, since it’s way more attractive to experience an App without waiting to download or pay for it –  in line with the trend of bringing more focus to User Experience.

As a result, it is possible to achieve more clicks on the store listing pages and more users downloading the game, affirms Google Play’s Instant Product Manager, Jonathan Karmel. The same improvement was also reported by large game publishers like MachineZone, Supercell and Zynga.

“Lab Cave already has some clients testing Instant Apps with very positive results and we could see an enhancement in the number of downloads plus a good impact in the user retention rate. Due to our deep knowledge of launching Apps and Google Play Store algorithms, we could combine this know-how and take advantage of Instant Apps in a interesting period of time,” says Pedró.

What will stay strong this year
All these trends have something in common: they should be part of a good ASO strategy. What makes ASO so powerful and what will keep it strong in 2019 is the ability to bring high-quality traffic and optimise visit-to-installs conversion without the necessity to invest in any paid campaigns. ASO looks not only for organic improvements, but also drives UA campaigns to better and cheaper biddings and consequently saves budgets that can be invested in other areas, in addition to making clear where the efforts must really be invested. Pedró points out “I don’t blame marketers for ignoring ASO and just focusing on paying to acquire new users. I’ve been working on mobile marketing for the last eight years and it wasn’t long ago that I learned about ASO”. With overcrowded App Stores and an increasing audience on mobile, companies who wish to profit from their Apps should definitely become familiar with ASO in order to achieve their goals.