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ASO Pre-Launch Strategy: Why & how to get started

ASO Pre-Launch Strategy: Why & how to get started

There are different elements you should consider when defining your new app marketing strategy, and ASO should definitely be one of them!

ASO or App Store Optimization is the process of improving an app’s visibility in the app stores with the objective to increase organic app downloads. If you start with a solid analysis of your competition and a strong pre-launch keyword optimization strategy, you will get off to a better start! It will help you obtain higher rankings and more visibility for your app🏆.

If you are still in the process of developing your app and are not sure how to get started with ASO, we’ve got you covered!

Just read on to learn how you can use AppTweak to create your ASO pre-launch strategy.

Understand Your Competition in the App Stores

An ASO competition analysis is the process of identifying who you’re competing against and understanding what those competitors are doing. It is a starting point because it will allow you to take more educated decisions for your pre-launch strategy.

How to get started?

Learn how you can use AppTweak to identify and research your main competitors in the app stores.

  1. Identify your ASO competitors

The first step in your ASO competitor research is to establish a broad pool of apps with whom your app might compete. You probably already have some competitors in mind, but we suggest you take your research one step further and find other apps that target a similar audience or similar keywords. Create a list of up to 10 potential competitors you want to analyze.

Keep in mind that your app doesn’t have to be live in stores, for you to be able to start using ASO. On AppTweak, we have many features to help you get started with your competition research.

Once you’re ready, start out by adding the main competitor to your dashboard. Then, check our “Suggested Competitors” section which shows you a list of competitors that share similar features and keywords. This is the easiest way to often find your most important competitors.


E.g. Here, we are displaying the Suggested Competitors of King of Crabs for the iOS Store in the UK.

Find out more about our “Suggested Competitors” Feature

Secondly, find which apps are your strongest competitors by taking a look at our Top Charts. Apps and Games that rank high in their category are very powerful apps that get thousands of downloads per day. These apps and games are likely to be your strongest competitors.

For a deeper analysis, filter them by store, country or category of your preference (E.g: Games, Games-Action, Games-Adventure, etc).


E.g. Here, we are displaying the Top Charts for the Games Category (UK, iOS Store)

Thirdly, you should also have a look at “Similar Apps” or “Apps You May Like”: At the bottom of every app page, both stores show a selection of similar or related apps. Analyzing Similar Apps (Google Play) or Apps You May Like (iOS) is a very important step in your competitor research as it shows those apps that Apple and Google think might also be of interest to your users.


E.g. Here, we are displaying Apple’s suggested list of apps “You May Also Like” of King of Crabs for the iOS Store in the UK.

Finally, use our Live Search to find additional competitors who are strong on a specific keyword you are interested in. We call these apps “ASO competitors” because they compete with you for visibility on specific keywords even if they are not a direct competitor in terms of activity or features. This process will help you gather all the information you need to identify opportunities for your pre-launch strategy.

E.g. Here, we are displaying a Top 10 Live Search Result for the keyword “crabs” of King of Crabs for the iOS Store in the UK.

  1. Research and analyze your competitors

Once you’ve identified your main competitors, it’s time to start your competitive analysis!

Now, you can use our features to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of their ASO strategy.

ASO Overview: Start by analyzing your competitor’s metadata (App Name, Subtitle, Screenshots, etc) to get a better idea of their strategy in terms of keyword optimization, design or feature releases. All of this can be done very easily in AppTweak, using the Overview tab.


E.g. Here, we are displaying some metadata of King of Crabs, Catapult King and Candy Crush Friends Saga for the iOS Store in the UK. The keywords that are highlighted are keywords that are shared between the competitors.

After this, we provide a Timeline to help you view the history and before/after of the metadata of your competitors.

ASO Timeline & History: ASO is a long term process and search behavior in stores changes frequently. Successful apps review their keyword strategy regularly and update their metadata accordingly. Our ASO timeline feature gives you a better understanding of how often apps update their metadata and the “before/after” view shows you exactly what they have changed.

The Timeline can also help you explore how competitors respond to trends and seasonalities. Many games will adapt their visuals and keywords to a period of the year, so it’s interesting to understand when and how apps in your category are doing it.

E.g. On November 26, 2018 the icon and promotional text of Candy Crush Friend (iOS, UK) was adapted for the upcoming Christmas season.

Get more tips on how to monitor your competitor’s updates

Then, it is crucial to understand how your competitors are performing in the app store. To make this task easier for you, we calculated a unique metric called “App Power”⚡.

The App Power, a metric that ranges from 0-100, is based on the app’s category rankings, which in turn is based on app download history and velocity. A higher App Power, usually means the app has more downloads, which makes it easier for the app to rank for certain keywords.

E.g. Here, we are comparing the App Powers of King of Crabs, Catapult King and Candy Crush Friends Saga for the iOS Store in the UK.

Read more on how the App Power can be useful to compare apps across categories

After launching you will see how your app progressively starts increasing its App Power. Keep in mind that ASO takes time and needs to be monitored and adapted.

App Download Estimates: To get a better understanding of how many downloads your competitors get, consult our “App Download Estimates”, available for any app on iOS or Google Play.


E.g. Here, we are displaying the Download Estimates of a competitor of King of Crabs for the iOS Store in the UK.

This feature will truly help you understand your competition, market potential and help you set expectations or KPIs for your own app.

Reviews & Ratings: Last but not least, it is important to understand what users are saying about your competition. By checking out your competitors’ reviews, you’ll be able to understand what users are complaining about, what they’re loving about other apps and how they talk about those apps.

We understand this might sound like an exhausting task. But, don’t worry! We gathered all the information related to what customers are saying about your competitors.

In our “Reviews and Ratings” tab you will find a summary of your competitor’s reviews.

E.g. Here we are displaying the reviews from Candy Crush Friends Saga for the iOS Store in the UK.

Explore how reviews and ratings can help build your ASO strategy

Now, let’s take moment to recap before you jump into the next big step (Keyword optimization!):

  • Use our different features such as: Suggested Competitors, Top Charts, Similar Apps and Live Search to make a list of 10 potential competitors
  • Determine from your list who is your strongest competitor, why, and what customers think about him.

    Define your pre-launch keyword strategy

This is where a critical part of ASO happens! It’s essential you execute high-quality keyword research before launching your app, to increase your chances of visibility and conversion once your app is market ready.

AppTweak provides keyword picking and auto-suggestion features, to help you find inspiration for your brainstorming and keyword optimization. For example, with our keyword picking features, you can spy on your competitors and see which keywords they rank for or find top category keywords to build a strong semantic dictionary🕵.

E.g. Here we are displaying the Search Ads Recommended Keywords of King of Crabs, Catapult King and Candy Crush Friends Saga for the iOS Store in the UK.

Once you’ve created a good list of keywords (150 - 250), that are relevant to your app, it’s time to choose which ones have the best potential for your pre-launch strategy!

To find those keywords with the highest potential, take a closer look at the metrics in the Keyword Analysis table. For example, the volume helps you understand how often people search for this keyword, the difficulty score helps you understand how competitive this keyword is. The more competitive a keyword is, the more difficult it is to rank in the top 10 for that keyword.

As new apps have low app power, it is important you select keywords that have a lower difficulty score as it will be easier to rank in the top 10 for that keyword and get some downloads.

We’ve already covered how to do a keyword analysis in detail in another article, check it out here

E.g. Here we are displaying the Keyword Analysis of King of Crabs, Catapult King and Candy Crush Friends Saga for the iOS Store in the UK.

Discover how these indicators are useful for your app

Get your app ahead in ASO before launching! You now have all the elements in your hand to start optimizing your app’s metadata before launching it.

TLDR:

  • Understand your competition. Compare different apps and identify which are the strongest
  • Analyze your competitor’s metadata
  • Track down ASO competitor’s changes to understand trends
  • Pay close attention to what customers are saying
  • Execute a high-quality keyword research & analysis to determine what you’ll write in your metadata the day of the launch

Feel free to schedule a demo with us so we can show you how AppTweak can help you understand your competition when you are developing a new app!📈

▶ Start a 7-day free trial ◀

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