Tag Archives: ASO

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Unity Game Developers Must Pursue ASO Strategies to Ensure Their Success

In some ways, there’s never been a better time to be a mobile game developer. As a leading game engine, the Unity game creation software suite offers an unparalleled level of features, support and platform-independence. Its asset store accommodates development teams of all sizes to iterate quickly and incorporate high-quality assets into their titles while the ample documentation of Unity and its sub-systems makes it easy for even novice game developers to get their apps on the app store. But even with these advantages, there are serious challenges facing mobile game developers today.

Chief among these challenges is the ability to be discovered organically within the storefronts where the mobile game is available for download. Even a cursory search for “puzzle games” or “RTS games” in either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store will offer up thousands of results. Even a game with stellar graphics and unparalleled gameplay can easily be buried under games with lesser gameplay and underwhelming user interfaces if it lacks the downloads, reviews and exposure more established apps possess.

Marketing Challenges

This major challenge can be limited through conventional marketing strategies. Pay-per-click ads, video ads bought on platforms like YouTube, press releases, and influencer collaborations are all ways that mobile games can receive exposure and garner downloads. These traditional approaches to marketing, while offering modest returns, also suffer from several drawbacks.

First, they can be extremely expensive depending on how competitive the area game developers are targeting. For example, RTS games are extremely competitive because these titles rely on a consistent stream of user acquisitions in order to generate revenue. Another downside is that these external marketing measures don’t help users organically find your app on the platform they’re searching in.

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So how can mobile app developers, who have invested a lot of time and effort into their projects, ensure their games get a fair shot at organic exposure on their apps’ respective storefronts? They need to make ASO, or App Store Optimization, a core part of their marketing strategy for their product.

How ASO Helps

For the uninitiated, ASO is a strategy that helps developers position their app within a digital marketplace by analyzing search trends and integrating those findings into an app’s listing. Optimizing the listing helps an app reach users organically through the search interface of an app store like Google Play or Apple’s App Store. At the core of ASO is the notion of making it easier for prospective users to find and engage with your software.

It’s easy to put on blinders and focus on just the content of your game, especially for game developers. Game devs are forever tweaking interface changes, adjusting enemy behavior, and polishing art assets for their games. And with post-launch patches, development on a game arguably never ends.

While this is great for perfectionists, sometimes this never-ending development can obscure the more important elements of a project, like branding and ASO. It’s important for Unity game developers to look beyond the immediate development needs of their games and focus on the big picture. ASO is a critical part of a mobile game’s success.

So for developers who are now considering making ASO part of their marketing efforts for their game, what should they know? First, a one-size-fits-all ASO strategy just isn’t enough anymore. Because of the competitive nature of the mobile game landscape, game developers should adopt platform-specific strategies. In other words, the keywords, descriptions, screenshots, and videos you’re using on Google Play are not necessarily the best fit for the Apple App store. You need to tailor your ASO approach based on the storefront you’re trying to garner users from. This is similar to how game developers will choose an engine that best suits their game’s conceptual and technical requirements.

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The other important thing to know about ASO is that you don’t have to go it alone. You can read hundreds of articles, watch hours of video content about ASO and not even scratch the surface of everything you need to know about the subject. But don’t let that deter you from implementing ASO for your title. Companies like Gummicube have done all that legwork for you. They offer software and services that can help your mobile game get found easily by the very people who are the most likely to engage with it. More engaged users mean more word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews, which in turn can help cement your game in the app store search hierarchy.

In Conclusion

If there’s only one thing to take away from this article, it’s that successful games don’t become successful because of their gameplay and graphics alone. Always consider the big picture: the context of your game within the online landscape. Make ASO a core part of launching your game and you are increasing your chances of connecting with your target players.

 

Author Bio

Jonathan Lynch is the Digital Content Editor at Zco Corporation, a software developer that specializes in mobile software. Jon writes about mobile technology, games, and industry trends. He hosts the video series TechBabble that discusses how technology shapes the world.

Why Your App Needs To Focus On Reviews And Referrals For Better ASO

focus_socialThe app market competition is increasing by the day. Be it any industry – lifestyle, gaming, eCommerce or any other, apps are having a tough time establishing their name in the mobile sphere. Acquiring users as well as retaining them is today one of the biggest challenges for app developers and marketers. But the first and foremost thing that apps need to do for sustainable growth, is to nail their app store optimization.

In this post, we’ll be talking about how referrals and reviews play an important role in ASO today.

The importance of App Store Optimization (ASO)

ASO is similar to how you want your website to be ranked on the search engines with effective SEO measures. Amongst the many apps in the market, ASO helps your app become searchable for the keywords and the category you want it to be known for.

As Ryan Kelley explains in his answer on Quora, apps can’t just launch and expect themselves to become discoverable. Certain efforts, apart from marketing campaigns, need to be made to become visible in the eyes of the target market.

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The role of app reviews in ASO

We all know how important the customer’s perspective is in the development, optimization and growth of an app. This is where a first hand feedback from them comes handy. In app stores, this feedback comes in the form of app rating and reviews.

These ratings and reviews provide the developer with valuable information about the target market, and what they expect from the app. This helps create an effective roadmap or strategy for the app post launch. Be it fixing existing bugs, enhance popular features or introducing a new one on popular demand.

But apart from that, as Gummicube points out, Apple and Google both use app store reviews as well as ratings in their search ranking algorithms. The greater number of reviews and the better the ratings, the higher your app ranks in its search category.

For instance, apps that continue to remain trending or at the top of search results, make getting reviews or ratings from users a part of their app flow. Some even go beyond this to incorporate reviews from popular names in their app store description.

Kim Kardashian West’s Forbes featured app is a perfect example of the same. It includes reviews from popular names like E! Online, Marie Claire and more in its app description itself.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 10.56.51 AM

Rating and reviews are important aspects of app store optimization as:

  1. They act as metadata for search and help categorise your app better in the store. According to a post on TechCrunch, app stores are now focusing on search relevancy. In simpler words, user feedback now influences the discovery of an app.
  2. They serve as a social proof to potential users. When a user sees an app that has better reviews and ratings from another app that offers the same features, he is more likely to choose that one.

The one thing to remember here, though, is that the ratings and reviews should not look forced. Make it like a task that is required to be completed to use a feature of the app, or make it a point to suggest dropping a review only after the user has moved along his lifecycle.

The role of referrals in app growth and ASO

Continuing on the point above, offering a great user experience should be the primary goal of app developers and marketers. The happier a user is with the app and what it offers, the more likely he is to recommend the same in his circles.

According to Nielsen, almost 84% of people completely trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products. Word-of-mouth boosts the app marketing effectiveness by almost 54%!

Knowing that millennials are more likely to respond on recommendations than outreach, app marketers need to make referral campaigns a part of their marketing and growth strategies.

The more your app is able to leverage from word-of-mouth marketing, the stronger is your user acquisition. The greater the number of users, the better the app store optimization. Think about it, which app are you more likely to download – one with millions of users or the other that barely has a few hundreds?

Apart from that, you’re more likely to get more ratings and reviews as well, that will boost your search optimization. The only things you need to ensure is that it is easy for users to invite their friends to the app and you continue to optimize as well as deliver a great user experience.

Having an in-app referral campaign helps you:

  • Boost the app’s brand awareness in the target market.
  • Greater the app’s awareness, the more is the user acquisition at lower costs and the more optimized are the marketing budgets.
  • Helps create personalized campaigns and experiences for users, increasing the retention rate of your app.
  • All in all, it improves your app store rankings while growing you in the mobile market!

But it doesn’t have to be difficult for the app developers to tap into the potential of referral marketing. Companies like GetSocial offer tools like Smart Invites, that enable a user to invite his friends to the app using popular chat apps and social media – all without having to switch multiple apps for the same.

For instance, games like Ruzzle Adventure have integrated the tool into the app to make it easy for players to invite their circle without having to leave the game. A few clicks and they are ready to have their own social circle on the app!

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Over to you

A great in-app experience isn’t just important to keep the users engaged and hooked to your app. With the app stores making relevancy of prime importance for discoverability, it is also important to make what your users are saying about your app an integral part of its app store optimization.

VanhishikhaDisclaimer: This is a guest blog post by Vanhishikha Bhargava, Content Marketer at GetSocial.im. Vanhishikha has 4+ years experience as a digital and content marketer, and her focus is to create educational content that informs about the importance of user acquisition, retention and monetization.

Website https://www.getsocial.im