ASO Expert Interview: Lee Blyth
Today, we’re having the pleasure to interview another of our ASO experts, Lee Blyth, founder of Approots (app full stack growth company).
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company?
I’ve been working in Mobile Marketing and ASO for a long time. I’m from London (born and bred) and have been in Mobile most of my career, starting at Microsoft in 2007 when the iPhone 1 launched. My consultancy, Approots, is a full stack growth company. We offer strategy and hands on help and support with ASO, Paid and Organic Mobile Search, Paid Media, User Analytics & Retention and more.
We work with all kinds of App businesses like developers, start-up’s and large digital enterprises. Recently we’ve worked with Channel 4, Bookatable and Google Labs APAC.
2. For how long have you been involved in ASO or app marketing?
I’ve been in Mobile for 10 years now. Approots will be 2 years old in June. Whilst Approots is still young I’d say I’m an old man of mobile media. I have the grey hairs and wrinkles to prove it!
3. What was it about this industry that made you choose it as a primary job?
What led me to ASO and organic optimisation was the realisation that many brands waste money on paid media without consideration for their App Store presence, App discovery and organic traffic optimisation. I witnessed too much emphasis on downloads and CPI from previous jobs and a lack of focus on App Store page conversion or discovery of the App. 9 times out of 10 it was also impossible to find an app from device search.
This is what Approots was founded for - to solve these non-paid critical areas. Many clients are amazed at the amount of work needed to really improve organic ranking and optimise for things like Apple Search. It’s a much more interesting space in my opinion.
4. How do you see the world of ASO and App marketing evolving?
Naturally the App stores are shifting to a Paid search model and whilst its better to have more data and transparency, I hope that prices or ‘cost per taps’ do not escalate to the scale of Google PPC now. It’s harder for the little guy to compete purely on paid media alone.
ASO is going to be very important for Paid Search Ads. End users will see and decide whether the App store listing is of high quality before proceeding to install. Therefore ASO complements Paid Ad’s, and the data from Paid ad’s assists ASO. It’s going to be a big area for us. We want taps to equal installs!
Secondly, Apple’s organic search capabilities are only just beginning. Many clients aren’t aware that Apple are actually indexing the web like Google and building their own ‘Cloud Index’. We’ve conducted work here to enable app’s to be visible in organic searches, say from Spotlight or Safari or mobile web. I believe the whole area of App SEO or Device search will be very interesting in 2017-18.
Lastly, Voice. Voice search is becoming a big deal and far more accurate. Apple, Amazon and Google are all investing heavily and opportunities for increased presence will appear. E.g asking for a restaurant booking can offer App results or an In App event (booking).
5. What should be the biggest focus for app developers and marketers in 2017?
Analytics and data are big focus areas for us. We believe no decisions or assumptions should be made without great tools showing us the data. App Marketers really need to understand In App behaviour and also monitor App Store competition. There are great tools including AppTweak to really nail decision making and understand what the data is telling you.
6. What was your favourite app in 2016?
Wow just one! How about three! I love the Sonos App. We’re big music fans in my house. Citymapper is essential for London life. And Dark Sky is pretty awesome for micro-weather alerts. Sorry no Mario Run for me!!
7. Tell us about your most challenging ASO “experiment”
A client we recently worked with had an issue with conversion rate on their App Store listing. They were actually new to the concept of this metric and were investing in paid media, probably not getting as many installs as they should be. Users were viewing the page but not downloading, in line with the vertical average.
I deduced after many tests that the logo was the culprit (although I knew from day 1!) and the client finally admitted it needed to change.
Logo design changes can be quite hard to initiate if the company is large and uses the same assets online or offline, or on TV. Yet App Stores need to be viewed differently as the screen real-estate is much smaller. Getting this mindset change to a new design was not easy!
We finally A-B tested the logo with TestNest and immediately saw improved results. The data told the story and initiated the change. The tricky part was ‘stakeholder’ management. Stakeholders in larger businesses can be emotionally connected to their brand assets and need convincing of change!
8. Tell us about your experience with AppTweak and give us your favorite feature.
AppTweak is the most progressive ASO tool I use, and I use a lot. Currently the integrated Paid Search data is really interesting. Having everything in one place is very useful. You guys update the tool frequently so there is always something new to test. Keyword volumes and suggestions are fantastic tools.
9. Do you have any “masterchef” ASO tips?
Of course! Google Mobile search can drive installs from App specific keywords from Mobile Search. Free! Check out all the keywords your brand ranks for or does not. Add the work ‘App’ to a keyword on your Mobile and see how your competitors fair. Clever reworking of your Title and Description here can improve visibility on Google. Remember, Google is scraping App Store web pages for its on search index. Apparently 1 in 4 installs come from Google search so its worth reviewing.
Look at your own Google Analytics / Search console data and understand what searches drive users to your brand, then adapt your listing where needed.
Lee has 10+ years Mobile experience which makes him one of our most experienced ASO Experts. He and his team would love to help you leverage your app marketing strategy in order help you grow your app’s performance on the store.
Want to contact Lee? Find all details on his ASO Expert profile page.