ASO Monthly #19 November 2017: Black Friday in the Stores, APK size vs. Play Store conversion rate…

… and a new tool for switching App Store locales!

In the ASO Monthly-series, we reflect on the previous month and shed a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tool updates.

November 1 — App Store: New badges shown in search

Apple made their next step towards controlling and encouraging apps quality, displaying new badges instead of star rating in the App Store search. Applications with higher ratings (not necessarily with a high number of ratings) are getting the badge “Editor’s Choice”. This could positively affect apps’ conversion rate, as additional social proof can convince users to download the app.

via David Barnard on Twitter

November 4 — App Store: Different Search results for iPhone X

Some interesting details in the App Store search results have been noticed by ASO Stack Slack channel member Anatoly Sharifulin. Apps that have features available only for the iPhone X will not display for older iPhone models. This will affect ASO conversion metrics and increasing discrepancies should be taken into account with the further adoption of iPhone X devices.

iPhone X search results (via Anatoly Sharifulin)

For better understanding of the situation, here are some insights on the iPhone X adoption rate.

iPhone X adoption rates (via Lovoo Engineering)

November 8 — Google Play: New features in Developer’s Console

Google Play has been trying to improve developers’ experience by adding new features to the Developer Console. Now, an app’s release status is reflected in the right top corner of the search bar. Also new and important for developers/ app managers is the new feature of managing orders and refunds — viewing statistics by custom date range. Additionally, ratings now show averages and cumulative totals.

new app status on the Developer Console (via Catherine Sibirko, ASO Stack Slack group)

November 10 — App Store: New marketing materials, featuring, Black Friday apps sales

Apple extended their marketing materials list with the latest models of their devices: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and Apple TV 4K.

Apple’s App Store also added more featuring options, Weekend Deals and Black Friday tabs, another downloads booster for developers to be used for seasonal or discount offers.

Black Friday featuring on the App Store

Together with this news came a new record of the biggest mobile shopping day on Black Friday 2017, as reported by App Annie. New benchmarks in mobile commerce in the future are predicted. The main challenges for the developers with opportunities like this is to prioritize their user acquisition strategies, incl. App Store Optimization, updating store descriptions, assets, promo materials and also pitching App Store for the seasonal featuring for more exposure.

November 16 — App Store: Movements in keywords rankings

Some unusual movements on the App Store for top keywords given by the Apple for “free” have been spotted by ASO Stack Slack channel members Luca Giacomel and Gabe Kwakyi. Games will usually rank for these keywords without including them into the metadata. The inconsistencies in rankings may be linked to downloads/CVR of top players and their changes over time, however, this is still unclear.

“Free” keyword rankings on the app store (via Luca Giacomel, ASO Stack Slack group)

November 20 — Google: Install Referrer API

Good news for App Marketers comes with Google releasing their Install Referrer API. Using this API, your app will get precise information straight from the Play Store, including:

  • The referrer URL of the installed package.
  • The timestamp, in seconds, of when the referrer click happened.
  • The timestamp, in seconds, of when the installation began.

This appears to be a good way to locate click injections during app download and prevent any fraudulent behavior.

Google’s cooperation with attribution measuring tools resulted in something called Install Start Time, another signal for further funnel optimizations. As measuring in details all steps from click to app launch will lead to better conversion, especially for large apps.

November 21 — Google Play: APK size effect on conversion rate

To attract users, developers have been adding numerous features to their app, as well as analytics, attribution and other SDKs. Therefore, the APK size quadrupled since the Google Play store launch back in 2012. Sam Tolomei found a correlation between the APK size and Play Store conversion rate. Having analyzed Play Store metrics his conclusion was:

For every 6 MB increase to an APK’s size, we see a decrease in the install conversion rate of 1%.

This number is even higher (~2.5%) emerging markets, where users care more about limited storage on their phone and data usage for the download.

Install conversion rate increase per 10MB decrease in APK size by select market (Google internal data, via Sam Tolomei)

November 22 — App Store: New tool for switching the locales

An amazing tool called Switchr for switching App Store country was brought to the ASO community by ASO Stack Slack group member Illia Kukharev. It’s a great time saver for those working on ASO, as the App Store territory (for viewing) can be changed with two taps. No more tricks with logins/logouts and struggling with new accounts and payment methods. We love it!

Switchr — The ImagilityIO App Store country changer (via Omar)

November 28 — AppTweak: iOS downloads and revenue estimates

Utilizing machine learning, AppTweak extended their competitive intelligence tool adding +70 more countries, providing insight on iOS downloads and revenue estimates. These data helps developers or app marketers compare their product revenue with their competitors’ numbers, as well as estimating the effect of seasoning.

Curve of downloads & revenue estimates by AppTweak

November 30 — APS Berlin took place, materials to come

App Promotion Summit 2017 was a great success in Berlin with a wealth of talks around mobile marketing held by various industry experts. Phiture held its own workshop around competitive ASO, materials soon to be published.

App Promotion Summit 2017 (via Adeline from Clue)

Interesting blog posts:

  1. Analysis of 3,300 Google Play Feature Graphics (ASO Stack):
  2. Closer look at Product Page Artwork (ASO Stack):
  3. How to optimize IAPs for iOS by Gabe (Incipia):
  4. New Report Finds Gaming Apps Mostly ROI Positive (AppsFlyer):
  5. More Analytics on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Localytics):

Thanks, that’s it from us for November!

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Previous ASO Monthly editions:

  • October 2017: New Search Ads countries, Play Store installs per search term coming (?)…
  • September 2017: The launch of the ASO book, the launch of iOS 11…
  • August 2017: UACs, video previews, subtitle rankings…
  • July 2017: Algorithm changes and more iOS 11 news…
  • June 2017: A whole new game: renewed iOS 11 App Store… (by Luca)
  • May 2017: App Store metrics, Google I/O Instant Apps and more…
  • April 2017: Apple search ads, botnet attacks and more…
  • March 2017: Replying to reviews in iOS 10.3 and more…
  • February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings
  • January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more