How to Optimize ASO While Working from Home?

Simon Thillayby 
Head of ASO at AppTweak

5 min read

Last week many companies around the globe announced they were making arrangements for their workforce to work from home after many governments have announced measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

AppTweak being no exception, we thought we’d share some tips about how to make the best of having to work from home and improve your ASO results.

Review & measure impact of past ASO work

The challenge of doing ASO is that it is an iterative process that often needs to be synchronized with others.

Whether it is because you need to align with new brand guidelines, adapt creatives to the latest UA campaign in your main territories, or simply because you are under a certain deadline to share all the metadata changes with the developers in charge of the next app submission, staying on schedule is often prioritized over measuring the impacts of past changes precisely.

Under circumstances where meetings are reduced to the minimum amount and cadences leading to new app version releases are longer, ASO specialists will have more time available to start measuring in further details the exact impacts of past changes.

  • Which keywords in the new metadata set did not only improve their rankings but also started bringing new downloads?
  • By how much did the last creative set update improve the conversion rate overall AND per channel?
  • How have similar apps pointing towards my app changed since the last update?

These are all questions that many ASO practitioners cannot always find the time to treat in-depth and only scratch the surface of because of the need to prioritize the next round of ASO, but could now examine.

AppTweak’s “Keyword Impact” feature

AppTweak’s “Keyword Impact” feature helps you find out which keywords have been bringing you the most downloads since your last update

Learn to estimate the organic uplift from your ASO updates

For those who might end up with more time available before the next release, being able to dig deeper into the successes and failures of past updates will prove very valuable to better understand how Apple’s and Google’s algorithms respond to your app in particular and better plan your next moves.

Monitor keyword volume & rankings closely

One of the impacts of Covid-19 that has already started being scrutinized is how much additional traffic can be observed in the app stores from zones and markets under quarantine.

Reports from Italy have already shown that app store activity (overall) has considerably increased in countries where confinement measures have been taken.

Download estimates for App Store Categories in Italy

Downloads in Italy (iOS) are on the rise since the end of February, especially in the Education, Business and Productivity categories

With store activity peaking, and even more so under unique circumstances, both search and browse traffic are likely to undergo unexpected changes that will impact search and category rankings (among others). This will grant many apps new opportunities for optimization (both in terms of visibility as well as conversion rate optimization), provided ASO practitioners keep a close eye on their app monitoring and are given the means to react and update listings swiftly.

Plan your next steps

No matter whether your app and/or category experiences major shifts in traffic as a consequence of covid-19, if you’re using your time working from home to do ASO, you should use the opportunity to determine what your next steps will be.

Do not lose track of the bigger picture. Using what you’ve learned from reviewing past metadata and creative updates, lay out your roadmap for future months:

  • List the different changes and tests you want to make
  • Compare their success likelihood and potential impacts to prioritize which to roll out first
  • Try and anticipate the iterations you might need in case of success

Last but not least, when preparing your ASO strategy, don’t forget to discuss with other stakeholders in the overall growth strategy of your product.

UA and retention teams might be interested in the insights you will found during your analysis, and both them and the product team might also be able to share with you some of their plans for coming months. Finding these opportunities to align your strategy with other teams can be a great boost for growth. For instance, by maximizing store conversion rates or by reaching out to Apple or Google to be featured when your next big release hits the stores.

in December 2018, Deezer redesigned its Google Play screenshots to match their TV campaign

In December of 2018, Deezer got a nice uplift in their store conversion rate by adapting their screenshots to the design of their TV Christmas-themed campaign.

Of course, these recommendations do not only apply to doing ASO while working from home. We hope they will help you prioritize your efforts in a time when meetings are likely to be reduced, giving more time for strategic analysis and planning.

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Simon Thillay
by , Head of ASO at AppTweak
Simon is Head of ASO at AppTweak, helping apps boost their visibility and downloads. He's passionate about new technologies, growth organizations, and inline speed skating.