How to Optimize your ASO for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
November is a big month for the retail sector with major marketing events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up. Traditionally following the US Thanksgiving, this year they will take place on November 26th and November 30th respectively, officially launching the Christmas Shopping season. With tons of promoted sales and deals online, Black Friday & Cyber Monday typically drive a huge number of downloads to Shopping apps on both the App and Play Store. Here’s more info on how to prepare your app to fully leverage the potential of these events.
Search volume for ‘Black Friday’ is trending early
People are starting their research early this year! Search volume for ‘Black Friday’ started to gain traction in mid-September. Today, in the US, the keyword ‘Black Friday’ already has a volume of 45 vs 39 in 2019. In 2019, the search popularity for ‘Black Friday’ reached a volume of 59 at its peak. This peak in volume creates a unique opportunity for apps to optimize their metadata to capture part of this search traffic during the busy shopping season.
Search volume for the keyword ‘Black Friday’ in the Apple App Store in the US and UK in 2018 vs 2019 vs 2020.
Why optimizing your app for Black Friday & Cyber Monday is important - The 2019 Black Friday Winners
To better understand how to successfully leverage the potential of Black Friday as a shopping app, we had a look at the fastest growing apps in November last year. These are the apps that can serve as examples of good practices to prepare your app for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.
Fastest growing apps in November 2019 in the shopping category in the US in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store.
Category rankings of the fastest-growing apps in November 2019 in the shopping category in the US in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store.
Rakuten, Best Buy, and Adidas emerge as the big winners of Black Friday in 2019 on the Apple App Store. They have experienced the highest category growth throughout November 2019. The success of these apps on Black Friday relies on a well prepared and funded marketing strategy. But what is unique is that Rakuten and Adidas carried through their messaging in the app stores. All advertising eventually leads to the app page, so correctly optimizing your app page to match it with your overall messaging and promotional campaigns is crucial.
Rakuten for example updated the subtitle on November 12th to ‘Black Friday Deals & Coupons’. As a result, the app ranked #13 on the keyword ‘Black Friday’. Also the long description and screenshots were updated to align with advertising campaigns and highlight the specific Black Friday offers.
Metadata updates from Rakuten to promote Black Friday in 2019 in the US Apple App Store & Google Play Store.
Also on the Google Play Store, Rakuten gained the highest growth in the Shopping Category. They included the keyword ‘Black Friday’ in the short description and long description. Screenshots were also updated to align the messaging. Keyword rankings increased from ‘unranked’ to #38 on November 29th. The increase in visibility is not as outspoken as in the Apple App Store, but Rakuten did manage to rank above the other top apps for this keyword (only Flipp ranked higher).
Out of the top growing apps in the Google Play Store, Flipp managed to gain the highest rankings on the keyword ‘Black Friday’. Rankings on the keyword increased to #16 on November 29th. Interestingly the app did not make any updates to its title or description.
How to prepare your app for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
So what is it that makes some apps more successful than others? To get the most out of this busy period, you definitely need to adapt your app’s metadata accordingly. We recommend adding relevant keywords to your app’s title, subtitle (iOS), keyword field (iOS), and short & long description (Android) so that your app starts ranking on those words. Keywords such as ‘Black Friday’, ‘discounts’, ‘deals’, ‘coupons’ etc. have seen increasing popularity in November during the past years. Make sure to also update your creatives, so it aligns with your messaging and campaigns outside of the stores to boost conversion.
To really take advantage of the increased search volume for ‘Black Friday’ apps need to be willing to experiment and actually add the keyword ‘Black Friday’ into their title. When looking at the past search results for ‘Black Friday’ we see that lesser-known apps that aggregate ads and deals rank in the top in both stores. Their titles don’t resonate with a specific brand and focus solely on ‘Black Friday Ads’ or ‘Black Friday Deals’.
Ranking history for the keyword ‘Black Friday’ in November 2019.
The branded app that managed to rank the highest on the keyword ‘Black Friday’ in both stores is Slickdeals. Sure enough, Slickdeals did add the keyword ‘Black Friday’ into their title and managed to reach the 6th position in the App Store and 5th position in the Play Store on November 30th. Slickdeals also updated the screenshots (on the app store) to align their messaging and promote their Black Friday deals and offers within the store.
Metadata updates from Slickdeals to promote Black Friday in 2019 in the US Apple App Store.
The Slickdeals app did not gain enough downloads to rank in the top 10 in the Shopping Category but the increased visibility did help them to increase rankings from the 200s to #67 on November 28th in the Apple App Store. In the Google Play Store, the app managed to break into the top 50.
Category rankings for Slickdeals in the US Apple App Store & Google Play Store.
In short, November is a busy month for shopping apps mainly due to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Apps that don’t optimize their metadata accordingly to these events miss a huge opportunity. We recommend apps to add Black Friday and Cyber Monday related keywords to their metadata to boost their chances to rank on these words. Screenshots should also be updated, featuring best value deals in first positions to maximize conversion.
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