Get Discovered: ASO and Organic Acquisition

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In the app universe, you are orbited by a colossal 5 million digital competitors, both on Google Play and the Apple App Store. For your app to stand a chance and get discovered amongst a huge crowd, it’s important that you have a strong app launch. Luckily, we’re here to help rocket launch you in the right direction! It is paramount that you get it right from the start by implementing those key growth strategies that will set you up for success. A good place to start is ensuring your app store listings are as discoverable and as high converting as possible…and queue your initial app users!

What is Organic Acquisition on Mobile?

Let’s break it down.

Organic acquisition efforts on mobile are strategies to gain new ‘free’ customers. This is done through leveraging owned marketing channels and brand strategies. E.g. app stores, marketing emails, organic social media posts, Google searches, word-of-mouth, referrals… and the list goes on.

What is Paid User Acquisition on Mobile?

Paid acquisition is an important method to attract more attention. It builds an audience through paid advertising on mobile acquisition channels like search, social and DSPs (see more here on essential UA strategies to consider). Whilst a great way to scale your user base, it can also be more costly and possibly lower profits. Organic acquisition on the other hand is (kind of) free. Organic installs are vital to your app as they get your app right in front of users that actively search for your brand or service.

The number of ways you can utilise your organic channels are endless. In this blog, we’re going to focus on the main two: optimising for the mobile web and App Store Optimisation.

How to Optimise Organic Acquisition for Mobile Web and App

Now, as we all know, user retention is typically higher in-app than on mobile web with 88% of mobile users spending their time exclusively on apps, and only 12% using mobile web. This means directing your users to your app is definitely a smart move, and should be made as easy as possible.

How do you do this? Simple – it all starts with a Smart App Banner.

Having a Smart App Banner on your mobile web landing page drives that much-needed exposure. Especially in the initial phases of your launch. It allows users to download your app by directly sending them to its app store listing for download. On iOS, you can implement native Smart App Banners which means you can provide a consistent look and feel with your brand and product in the user journey. This will surely aid in improving conversion rates in your web to app referral strategy! 

Google still hasn’t released an Android version of a native Smart App Banner. However, they do offer Cross-platform Banners. These allow for richer visual customisation. They also enable other features like tracking and targeting to continue to evaluate how they perform. 

It is best practice to implement a custom banner that is tracked with deep-linking functionality. Deep linking is a perfect way of getting your users that have already installed to re-engage. It allows them to pick up where they left off, and surface the app for what’s relevant to them.

Smart Banner for Organic Discover UKTV Play
UKTV Play has utilised a Smart Banner, prompting mobile web users to their App Store listing for download.

Acquiring Organic Users via Mobile Search

It used to be enough to have your app ranking highly on the app stores. Now wider discoverability strategies via mobile search is also a key component to acquiring new users organically. In a nutshell, it broadens the chance of potential users discovering your app!

App Packs for Organic Discovery on Mobile
Searching ‘Streaming apps’ on Safari will serve app packs that have been optimised for mobile web search.

One way of improving your app’s visibility is by optimising for App Packs. App Packs surface as tappable app tiles on Google or Safari searches on the mobile search result page. It offers a route for further traffic driven to your app store listings. The apps shown are selected algorithmically, based on numerous factors. These include the app name, URL, and descriptions on your app store listings – both Android and iOS matter here – as well as off-page factors like user reviews, install numbers and backlinks.

ASO: Key to Organic Discovery for Apps

Having a strong presence on the app store is a huge contributor to app success. Generally, most people hunt for specific apps within the app stores like Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A whopping 70% of mobile users utilize search to find new apps. Furthermore, 65% of all downloads occur directly after a search. Clearly, app store search is the most common method for discovering new apps. For you to reach these users, you need a killer App Store Optimisation strategy, also known as ASO.

Your ASO strategy should consider integral on-page and off-page factors to improve your visibility in the app stores. It should also improve conversion rates from impression to install through a compelling listing.

A big -and maybe even most important- factor to getting discovered is optimising your keywords! Knowing what keywords are valuable for capturing your ideal users only pushes you closer to the top of the rankings within the app stores. This would allow your app to make an impression first. Remember to make ASO tools, like AppTweak, your new best friend. They not only help you generate an effective list of keywords to optimise for, but help with tracking competitors, ongoing optimisation and tracking some useful performance data like Keyword Efficiency. 

Lastly, don’t forget to check your competition! Knowing what keywords aren’t ranking for your competitors gives you the opportunity to have your app rank higher for them. It’s also worth knowing what new keywords are beneficial for you, allowing you to optimise them.

ASO: Time to Convert

Thought you were done with ASO? 

Well not just yet. There’s still important work to be done now that your app has made its impression and users have found your listing. There are many components that your user conversion depends on. E.g. the title and subtitle, description, screenshots and video preview. 

The truth is… if your creative isn’t of good quality, it will be a huge friction point. However, do a good job at it, and it should reflect in your results as more users flood to your app. This also needs to be taken into account when considering copy. With character limitations on your copy, such as keywords and subtitles, you need to consider branding, features and essential keyword inclusion within these restrictions! It’s always worth re-visiting Apple and Google’s guidelines as they change frequently. 

Your visuals also need to be gripping as you don’t have much time to grab the user’s attention. On average a user only spends 7 seconds on the listings page before deciding whether or not they want to download your app. Your choice of screenshots is a crucial point to converting users from impressions to installs. It’s also a good idea to incorporate a video into your app listing on the app stores as it is a great format to educate users on the app and its features ahead of install.

Your creative and copy should continuously be tested. On the Google Play Store you can use A/B testing and (good news!) soon enough on the App Store (see more from our iOS 15 report here on what to expect). This allows you to test different variants of your descriptions, graphics, icons, screenshots and meta-data. 

So… What’s Next?

Taking what we’ve learned from mobile web, search and ASO, it should give you the best start to acquiring new users by turning them from impressions into actual installs. Want to take it one step further? You can even take what you’ve learned about your organic channels and begin to apply it to your paid acquisition strategy – was there a creative, value proposition, or message that worked best? Take it – replicate it – test it!

ASO and organic acquisition within mobile is a huge topic – so to make sure you have all the essentials you’ll need for a successful ASO strategy and watch our Mastering Mobile Marketing video guide. Considering ASO for your app? Get in touch to find out more. With over 30 awards won for our strategies, we know what works when it comes to ASO. Additionally, you can sign up to our newsletter for exclusive industry updates and app marketing insights. Want to find out more about optimising your app? Make sure to subscribe to our Mastering Mobile Marketing video series. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #AppMarketingUK LinkedIn group.

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Smokehouse Yard, 44-46, St John Street, London, EC1M 4DF 🇬🇧