As user acquisition costs soar, mobile-game developers are looking for alternatives to getting users. One of the best ways, and sometimes most overlooked, is obtaining users organically through app store optimization (ASO). This basically means that developers have to ensure that their keywords, their descriptions, their icons, and all their metadata makes their app easily discoverable amid a sea of a few million apps.
I moderated a session on app store optimization at the recent Casual Connectgame conference in San Francisco. Our speakers included Yonatan Dotan, the vice president of inbound marketing at YellowHead; Alex Malafeev, the founder of Sensor Tower; Jeet Niyogi, the marketing director at Playtika Canada; and Blake Pollack, the chief marketing officer at The ASO Project. These guys showed it takes real expertise to master ASO because every developer is different.
We had a crowded room, and that was a sign of the times. In years past, developers didn’t pay much attention to ASO or spend much money on it. But just as search engine optimization (SEO) proved to be critical to getting discovered by search engines on the web, search on mobile-app stores has now become important.
ASO has changed from a few years ago. And clearly, one size doesn’t fit all. Optimizing for app stores in China, where there are 300 Android stores, is far different from optimizing in the West. Developers should care about their organic installs as they often monetize better than paid user acquisition. That improves the lifetime value of your users, and that generates more revenue over the life of an app.