How to Grow X2 Organic Downloads: What Makes your Game Unique? [ASO Case Study]

In this post we disclosure how a good Keyword Research plus working with a clear CTA on your screenshots can help your ASO strategy to drastically improve your organic downloads. Have fun!

May 2019 came full of challenges for the teams of TheTool and PickASO. One of them was increasing the volume of organic downloads of an Android game (by just doing ASO) that was not having it all when it came to downloads, as well as improving the keywords rankings.

grow organic downloads

Our client has a game in the Google Play Store which was released in December 2018 and is available worldwide (all through 148 countries) and in 6 languages. It is somewhat of a name-based renown brand in the gaming industry in many countries and knocked on our door because they needed improving its organic results for Spain and the USA, without investing in user acquisition paid campaigns.

Google Play Store and why a game is not an app

Games are entitled to a whole different “application type” (in the Play Store we differentiate between “apps” and “games”), and inside “games” we can choose from a list plenty of options that can suit our product:

Google Play Store game cartegories

Doing ASO from scratch: keyword research

The client did not have any idea about what they were doing wrong nor knew which were the keywords or aspects that made their product “unique”, so we decided to conduct a keyword research in order for us to optimize the listing so it can stand out when users are scrolling through all the other games in the category.

How to combine Google Play Console and TheTool data

When we start working with a client, we always check the background of the product. One of the best ways to do so is to analyze the metrics that the Google Play console offers. When you reach a given amount of downloads for a country, the data of installs per keyword is going to become one of your best friends. On the Google Play Store, unlike on the Apple App Store, the keywords in the long description help your ASO and improve your keywords rankings, so you have more available space to work.

Installs per Keyword – Google Play Console:

Installs per Keyword Google Play Console

That being said, if you analyze this data carefully, altogether with the data that TheTool helps you gather for each keyword (traffic, difficulty, and number of competitors), you will be all set to start optimizing the listing.

Keywords rankings table – TheTool ASO tool:


Analyse your keywords with The Tool

Why the title and screenshots do wonders to your ASO

Thanks to the analysis of the main keywords that brought the more downloads, we found that there was a certain term / concept (for both markets, Spain and USA) that could be combined with other keywords, which could help emphasize the main distinctive characteristic of the app. With that gem found, we took the store listing by storm. What does it mean? On May 20th, we applied that keyword to:

  • Title: using 50 / 50 characters.
  • Short Description: working with 75 / 80 of the characters available.
  • Long Description: using almost the full 4,000 characters, and not only working with it in the text but also using it in headings (<h2>), in bold, structuring the text with bullet points and paragraphs, as well as adding emojis.

Surely not so long after, we started seeing an improvement within the ranking keywords, both for Spain and USA, due to the fact that we started working with long-tail combinations of that distinctive keyword:


keyword rankings spain

Rankings improvement:

  • Ranked keywords: 16 ↗️ 56
  • Top 1: 0 ↗️ 19
  • Top 5: 2 ↗️ 17
  • Top 10: 1 ↗️ 5
  • Top 50: 12 ↗️ 8
  • Top 100: 0 ↗️ 2
  • Top 250: 1 ↗️ 5


Keyword Rankings USA

Rankings improvement:

  • Ranked keywords: 12 ↗️ 32
  • Top 1: 0 ↗️ 2
  • Top 5: 0 ↗️ 1
  • Top 10: 0 ↗️ 6
  • Top 50: 6 ↗️ 12
  • Top 100: 2 ↗️ 5
  • Top 250: 4 ↗️ 6

In order to make a complete makeover for this listing in Spain and the USA, during this process, we redesigned the screenshots with a clear CTA explaining the easy steps that the users need to follow in order to enjoy the game. Why, you may wonder? We found out that many of the bad reviews were about users who did not read the long description, so they did not get quite right how the app works. Therefore we needed to put onto the table the real advantages that the users can get by downloading this game beside others.

To sum up

The final listing lets us work with more straight-to-the-point keywords which makes better search results for the user who may be interested in the product. Updating the app with pretty visuals and screenshots with a more narrative element explaining the “story” of how the game works does wonders for the Conversion Rate to download.

Thanks to our ASO for games implementations, our client went from having 31,263 organic downloads globally in May 2019 (before we started implementing any optimization), to 73.621 organic downloads in July 2019. This increase was noted both on Search and Explore traffic sources. Besides that, in May the game got 29,479 downloads through Search, while in July it received up to 70.852 (more than 2X the organic downloads!).

When analyzing the numbers for the two countries we worked for (Spain and the USA), in May, Spain registered a total amount of 25,666 organic downloads (from the total amount of 25,754 for the whole country, not excluding any traffic source), while in July it registered 44,827 (from the total amount of 44,955).

In May, the USA received a total of 4,659 downloads, which were entirely from organic traffic sources; in July, we obtained 13,569 via organic traffic, from the total of 13,624 accumulated for the country during that month (3X growth).

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