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Finding the best ASO tool for an app or game is a major challenge for today’s mobile marketers. With many free tools providing unreliable or inaccurate data, app marketers may struggle to understand the mobile industry and keep up with the competition. Nadeer Nelliyullathil, an ASO expert, explains his journey to becoming an ASO consultant and the tools that facilitated his growth in the field.
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Nadeer is an ASO expert and enthusiast who started his ASO journey 4 years ago when a friend needed help in ASO. Apps and games have always interested Nadeer as he enjoys publishing and experimenting with apps on the App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Huawei AppGallery. As a result, he converted his interest in app marketing into an established business and started ASO Buddy, a company that specializes in ASO and app marketing. AppTweak had a quick chat with him to better understand his experience with ASO and setting up an established business.
Nadeer: ASO is the present and the future. I have seen an exponential rise in companies investing in app marketing and developing apps over the last 4 years. In the past, these businesses relied on their websites for business and revenue generation. With increasing competition and constantly changing markets, companies are now looking at ways to maintain their customers’ brand engagement and strengthen consumer loyalty. One way to do this is through apps. ASO helps to break through the clutter, allowing apps to increase their reach to broader audiences. The benefits of ASO outweigh any marketing investment over a certain period of time.
Nadeer: Taking ASO for granted or not focusing on it can be a dire mistake; studying an app and its competition is the key to success. For an ASO expert or an app marketer to work efficiently, ASO tools are essential. In my initial days as an ASO consultant, I spent a lot of time using free ASO tools to save money. I used to read up on app descriptions, create Excel sheets for analyses and then provide results. This process took a lot of time and was very inefficient. For a simple analysis, I needed days – at times, weeks – to skim through apps and find the data points I was looking for.
ASO tools like AppTweak make my job easier. Having invested in a proper tool, I was finally able to work better, taking on more projects and working more efficiently on my existing ones. Paid tools like AppTweak also help a lot in app localization. For custom listings and apps in different countries and languages, app marketers can get stuck in their work for a long time with free tools. To anyone working on ASO, I would highly recommend that they find the right tool and look at it as an investment rather than an expense.
Nadeer: One of the significant challenges I faced in my journey was dealing with the constant changes made to the Google Play and App Store algorithms. These changes require an ASO expert to unlearn and relearn how they can benefit from the algorithm updates. For example, I might have to reexamine how the Play Store used to weigh the app package name, and then have our ASO experts tweak the app listing accordingly. In the industry, you definitely need to keep adapting to changes in the market and on the store to be a good ASO expert.
Nadeer: ASO is a vast subject. Fortunately, I enjoy reading and watching videos. To keep myself updated with ASO news and changes in the market, I read blogs from AppTweak and other top websites. I also enjoy watching videos from ASO experts and keeping a tab on Quora and other ASO discussions. On a personal note, I created a WhatsApp community of ASO experts to discuss, debate, and learn about app marketing. This open group helps me test my ideas and get a quick litmus test on my ASO strategy.
Nadeer: For anyone wanting to optimize their apps, understanding key metrics is paramount. Some metrics can be controlled and others can be influenced. Understanding the metric and what you are aiming to achieve is an essential long-term ASO goal. I generally start by understanding the store and the category I’m optimizing the app for. Different stores give different weights to metadata fields, and it’s essential to understand them.
My next step is to dedicate a lot of time to competitor research. The prime objective here is to stand out from the competition and establish the app. I try to understand the top apps in the category or competitor group, as well as apps that are quickly gaining ranks and popularity. I then spend time conducting extensive keyword research and building my semantic dictionary. I follow keywords that drive installs to competitors, keywords they already rank for, and generic keywords that are high in search popularity. Keyword research gives me a starting point to track keyword movements and competitors’ ASO efforts in order to stay relevant for generic keywords.
I then look at localizing my app for different markets (a lot of app marketers miss this trick). Most apps today focus on one market, one language, and both stores. That’s an approach that won’t take you far. Apps need to be optimized for each language and each store differently. Let me give you a quick example: On the Google Play Store, the keyword “dukaan” – or ‘shop’ in English – has a different search volume in Hindi compared to English. These small intricacies are vital in ASO.
Once I complete my keyword research and analysis, I make the appropriate changes to the store listings and track my results. The key to success lies in using the right tool to analyze, track, and optimize performance. You should use the best tools possible to track data, like visibility changes or changes in the number of installs. One of the most successful ASO implementations I worked on was adding over 400 daily organic installs to an app, which was made possible with patience and perseverance. ASO is a process that takes time and effort but provides results that can help your app gain organic installs for a long time.