ASO Expert Interview: Rishan Weerakoon
Rishan from Yodel Mobile is one of our ASO Experts and he’s answered our questions on App Store Optimization (ASO). Discover his insights below!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company?
I’ve worked in the mobile industry for the past 5 years. Having come from a mobile innovations and insights background, I was quick to realise the importance and impact that mobile would have on brands, businesses and everyday users for the foreseeable future.
I currently work at Yodel Mobile, which traditionally focused on effective user acquisition through paid media. Although we still undertake plenty of user acquisition activity for global and local clients, we now closely focus on the optimisation of key elements that drive the success of the app and organic growth.
Our ‘Fit to Market’ programme is a unique service in the mobile space that looks at maximising efforts from an organic acquisition and retention point of view by converting users at key engagement points.
2. For how long have you been involved in ASO or app marketing?
I’ve been involved in ASO when it was still a buzzword within the mobile space. As a result, I’ve kept a close eye on the app stores and their developments.
3. What was it about this industry that made you choose it as a primary job?
The mobile industry is one of the most dynamic and fastest evolving industries that I have encountered. As smartphone adoption continues to proliferate throughout the world, so will the use of apps.
There are new developments happening all the time and it is a truly exciting space to be involved in. I think it’s partly my passion for tech and partly my interest in data that have led me to where I am now. It truly is an interesting industry and one that will continue to change and evolve.
4. How do you see the world of ASO and App marketing evolving?
There are currently +60,000 apps per month being released between Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. In addition, we’re seeing the growth of apps across other devices such as wearables and smart TVs. The app stores are continuously trying to segment into more granular app categories in order to allow users to find the correct type of apps that they’re looking for. I believe we can expect to see the big app stores breaking up into mini app stores that house specific types of apps. For example, a gaming app store or a wearables app store, etc.
5. What should be the biggest focus for app developers and marketers in 2017?
Retention, retention and retention. As smartphone users are maturing, the time that they spend with apps becomes a lot more limited, and as a result a lot more valuable. Sure, you can blow huge budgets on acquiring users. But what good is it if those users do not come back to the app.
Industry stats show less than 20% of new app users return to the app after first use. The bottom line is, if you can’t get your audience to stick around and build a rich, durable relationship with your brand, you’re going to be at a major competitive disadvantage. A lot of what we do here at Yodel Mobile has this focus very much in mind. It’s about leveraging the analytics to devise strategies that can reduce churn, increase re-engagement and essentially drive LTV.
6. What was your favourite app in 2016?
My favourite app for 2016 would have to be Moneybox. The guys over there have put a clever spin on rounding up your expenses and using that spare change to invest into thousands of leading companies such as Netflix, Unilever and Disney. Very easy to use, great support and a wonderful UI.
7. Tell us about your most challenging ASO “experiment”
Although not entirely ASO, but still falls within its realm, is the optimisation of the iOS and Android app store listings to drive organic visibility on Google. Sounds a little strange (I know), but we’ve managed to successfully rank all of our client’s apps in top positions for specific, high relevancy and high volume search terms. Which have resulted in an increase in app store page views and more importantly organic conversions.
8. Tell us about your experience with AppTweak and give us your favorite feature.
Having compared the majority of key players out on the market, we felt that AppTweak was the most well-rounded tool for its price point. One of my favourite features is the ranked keyword feature.
9. Do you have any “masterchef” ASO tips?
A/B testing is imperative to ASO. Leverage experiments and A/B test everything from icon to screenshot to description. However, the key is not to simply carry out an A/B test, but to incorporate a hypothesis based on previous results. It’s a continuous cycle of proving and disproving hypotheses, but what you’ll realise is that you’re at the same time carrying out optimisations.
Rishan is App Marketing Specialist at Yodel Mobile, aiming to boost your organic discoverability both on and off the app stores. His successful results demonstrate the quality of this work and the efficiency of his App Marketing strategies.