How I Grew App Revenue x35 with App Store Optimization in less than 30 days [Case Study]

Just to clarify, this post is not a tutorial (but it’s something you can do by yourself), it’s an experience from someone doing ASO with and sharing results in detail.

IMPORTANT: This content was originally posted on Medium on January 2017. In late 2018, the way to do ASO is almost exactly the same, so this post is 100% useful. Anyway, we are posting soon more ASO case studies (with real numbers) you sure will love… Stay tuned!

Table of Contents

ASO Case Study: How to get more downloads in less than 30 days

Let’s talk about mobile apps, App Store Optimization, business and money.

ASO Case Study by TheTool

At PickASO, the leader App Marketing agency in Spain, we run tons of experiments related to apps and App Store Optimization (ASO): We have launched 400+ apps -some of them have received millions of organic installs- and we can say we have “some” experience in mobile growth. As you may know, experience is the best teacher!

In one of our experiments with one of our apps we have seen a 30x growth in organic installs and a 35x growth in revenue by doing just one thing: ASO. 😱

Let’s start from scratch.

ASO is your friend

ASO (App Store Optimization) is the process of optimizing an app in order to increase visibility on the app stores -Apple App Store / Google Play Store-: on Search and Browse, and improve Conversion Rate to Download. The more visibility and the higher Conversion Rate, the more downloads (and lower UA costs) and the more revenue. As simple as that! BTW, ASO is something that should be done before launching the app.

ASO helps acquire organic (FREE) users and reduces user acquisition costs, in case of investing on Social Ads, Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, Display Ads, Influencer marketing, etc. So, App Store Optimization is -or should be- a MUST.

Animated GIF of someone doing ASO
Hackerman from Kung Fury doing ASO in the 80s…

The experiment

Some notes

I used TheTool,  to find new keywords and track rankings, conversion rate and Ad Revenue in some countries (USA, UK, Spain, Brazil, India…). Of course, you can use any other tool… It’s up to you! BTW: Use the code “SEPT30F1” and get 30% OFF your first payment!

  • The experiment is based on an entertainment Android app available on Google Play.
  • App was launched on October 24, 2016, so it’s a young application.
  • App is available worldwide with listing translated to 75 languages.
  • App is monetized with Google AdMob.
  • At the beginning of December app was receiving 150–180 installs / day, yesterday it received 4,600 installs. (30x growth).
  • At the beginning of December app was generating 4€ / day, yesterday it generated 137,77€. (35x growth):
Google AdMob Revenue
Google AdMob Revenue

In this I monetized the app with Google AdMob, but there are other ways to make money with apps: IAP, mcommerce, subscriptions…

The Keys of Success

  • Gloabl ASO strategy. Mobile is global, never forget.
  • Mid & long-tail keyword strategy.
  • Icon optimization strategy.
  • User ratings and reviews strategy.

Let’s play!

At the beginning of December -aprox 1 month after the app was launched on Google Play Store- I decided to add a lot of mid & long-tail keywords in the app’s description (learn more about description optimization) for some languages and track them on TheTool. A few days later, on December 16, app started ranking for those keywords (red arrow in the chart):

TheTool Keyword Rankings Distribution
Keyword rankings distribution (USA) screenshot from TheTool – Now this feature looks much better!

On December 15–22 I run an icon A/B testing experiment on Google Play Developer Console and selected the one with better results (more visits to listing and more installs). From December 22-23, keyword rankings started improving and installs volume started growing:

Google Analytics new users screenshot
Google Analytics new users screenshot

Installs are a Search ASO factor, so increasing installs volume helped the app rank for mid-tail keywords (blue arrow in the chart), get more installs and so on…

TheTool Keyword Rankings Distribution
Keyword rankings distribution (USA) screenshot from TheTool – Now this feature looks much better!
Keywords Ranking Tracker - TheTool
Keyword rankings (USA) screenshot from TheTool  – Now this feature looks much better!

Mid & Long-tail keywords for the WIN

What are mid & long-tail keywords?

Mid & Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific - and usually longer - than more commonly searched for keywords. Usually, traffic and difficulty for these keywords are low or very low, but it’s something!

Long-tail keywords for ASO

For a new app it’s very difficult to rank for head or mid-tail keywords. It’s possible, but it takes time (+ installs and ratings). Because of it, I always recommend long-tail keyword strategy for any new app (unless you are Super Mario Run).

How can you find long tail keywords for your app? Easy… With TheTool!

We have a wonderful “suggested keywords” feature on TheTool so you can easily find ALL suggested keywords for any given keyword and start tracking all of them in a few seconds. This feature helps you find all mid & long-tail keywords related to your head-tail keywords in a very easy way:

  1. Go to TheTool dashboard.
  2. Choose an app and a country.
  3. Just click on the “View” button next to any keyword and magic will happen:
Suggested Keywords ASO - TheTool
Suggested keywords feature from TheTool

Once you click on that button, you get a list of ALL suggested keywords:

Suggested keywords feature from TheTool
Suggested keywords feature from TheTool

From that view, you can discover and start tracking any suggested keyword, or all of them if you want to.

Need help with the ASO Keyword Research process? Read this post!

The importance of Icon in App Store Optimization

In my experience, icon is not only a conversion (visit to install) rate factor, it is also a CRUCIAL factor to increase TTR / CTR (Click Through Rate) on lists like search results for a given keyword, related apps or Top Chart Rankings. So, you should really care about the visual assets in your product page, focusing on icon + featured graphic on Google Play Store or icon + screenshots / video on Apple App Store.

In the experiment, choosing a new icon made my app more “sexy” in the search results lists, increased app CTR on those lists and its installs volume.

Tip: test completely different icon or feature graphic when running Google Play experiments.

ASO is not only Search

ASO is not only Search
No no no… ASO is not only Search!

ASO is Search Optimization, ASO is Visibility Optimization (Browse), ASO is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)… ASO is more complex than people think. ASO is, like SEO is, testing, testing, testing and more testing. And then, testing again!

What are you waiting for optimizing your app store listing and A/B testing with visual assets to get more downloads and make more money?

Feel free to share this post about ASO and App Revenue case study.

Thanks in advance, sharing is caring! 😛

App Radar
App Radar
Related posts

1 thought on “How I Grew App Revenue x35 with App Store Optimization in less than 30 days [Case Study]”

Leave a Comment