How to Use AppTweak Before Your App Launches on the Stores

Sarah B. Touimiby 
Former Senior App Growth Consultant at AppTweak

10 min read

At AppTweak, we continuously strive to develop the #1 ASO tool that helps you at every step of your app or game’s life cycle. This remains the case even when that app is not yet in the stores! In fact, we recommend you undertake a considerable amount of preparation and consider many elements before even launching your app or game in the stores.

In this blog, we will present the different ways you can use AppTweak to boost your ASO strategy even before your app or game has launched on the stores.

If your app is not yet on the stores, it will also not be found on AppTweak.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use AppTweak to gather the necessary insights to make important decisions and prepare for your app launch.

In fact, the best way to do this on AppTweak is to use another app, preferably one of your competitors, to gain access to the most relevant information. This helps you access all of AppTweak’s valuable functionalities and features, but also to stay as close as possible to your own app when working on keyword and creative optimization.

Pick the best category for your app/game

Choosing the best category for your new app is a difficult decision that should be made before even launching your app in the stores. So, how should you decide which category is the most relevant? How can AppTweak help you make the best choice?

  • Consider your competitors and the category (or categories) they have picked.

How can AppTweak help?

AppTweak’s Analytics highlights the category picked by similar apps in terms of functionality, theme, and features. This gives you a better idea of how to position your app in the stores. Similar apps can be found under the same category or set of categories, which will already narrow down the relevant categories you should choose from to pick the right category for your app or game.

  • Analyze and familiarize yourself with the specific categories you are considering for your app.

How can AppTweak help?

With AppTweak’s Market Intelligence, you can learn which categories experience the largest growth in terms of app downloads and revenue estimates. This intel can help you determine seasonality trends and also understand a category’s level of competition. As a result, it is very beneficial to uncover all of these category insights before launching your app.

Let’s say that for a new Match 3 Puzzle game, you want to choose between the Games-Puzzle category and the Games-Casual as your primary category. As shown below in Market Intelligence for the US, the Games-Puzzle category experienced higher growth than the Games-Casual category in terms of downloads and revenue throughout 2020. However, the total number of downloads was much higher in the Games-Casual category.

Additionally, the number of downloads needed to reach the top of the category is much higher for Games-Casual compared to Games-Puzzle (except for downloads to Top 1). This means your game would rank higher in the Games-Puzzle category than in the Games-Casual category for the same number of downloads (except for the #1 position).

  • Look at which apps rank highly for keywords particularly relevant to your app. Also see which categories those apps have chosen. For example, looking at the top 10 ranked apps for the keyword “puzzle” on the US App Store, we see that each app is part of the Games-Puzzle category. Each game has selected this category as either its primary or secondary category.

For Google Play, you can also add “tags” to your app listing. Google Play tags helps the store algorithm understand what your app or game is about and which other apps and keywords it should be connected to.

These tags can be added manually, but sometimes Google also automatically assigns relevant tags to certain apps and games.

How can AppTweak help?

With AppTweak’s Live Search feature, you can see which tags are associated with other apps and games and thus spy on your competitors! It can provide you with a better idea of which Google tags might be best for your own app even before it launches in the stores.

Expert Tip

Don’t pick too many Google tags! It is better to specialize in the most relevant tags rather than go for a wider spectrum.

Target the best markets for your app/game

Knowing in which market your app or game will generate the most demand (before it has even launched in the stores) is a bonus.

How can you identify the markets where your new app has the best chance to succeed?

How can AppTweak help you understand this?

Identifying the markets in which your app would be most demanded can help you better allocate your resources. For example, knowing that your app has the best potential to be searched and monetized in France and Germany can allow you to allocate more ASO efforts and resources into these markets. For instance, you could then invest in localizing and culturalizing your app’s metadata and creatives before its launch to go further than simple translations.

  • One way to identify the countries where your app would be popular is to monitor the markets to see if your competitors have a strong presence in the top charts. AppTweak’s Market Intelligence feature provides an overview of the top charts across categories and countries, so you can identify the specific top charts where your competitors are most present. This then serves to indicate the markets where your app or game would appeal to users the most.

In the example below, we see the top 10 games in the Games-Puzzle category on the App Store across 9 markets. We notice that Match 3 Puzzle games, such as Homescapes and Gardenscapes, are very popular in Spain, Italy, and Mexico but are less popular in Japan and Australia.

Optimize your app or game’s title

Are you hesitating between which generic keywords should be part of your new app or game’s title?

For example, imagine that your new game focuses on running and you want to choose between the keywords “run,” “running,” and “runner.”

Which keyword would have the most potential to boost your game’s visibility in your title? How can AppTweak help you find this out?

Discover which generic keywords are ideal for your app to target

Run a Live Search

To get your first idea of which keyword is better associated with your app or game, you can run a Live Search on these keywords using AppTweak’s ASO Intelligence. This feature allows you to immediately see the apps and games that are ranked highly for a particular keyword so you can determine if these apps are similar to your own.

In the given example, we can tell that using the word “run” in the title is best for games, while “running” is more related to Health & Fitness apps, unless the title also has the word “game” in it (specifically for iOS in the US). “Runner” is also good for games but is not commonly used in titles. So, based on this, “run” seems to be the best choice among these three keywords for our game’s title.

Consider volume & difficulty

Next, look at the different KPIs, particularly volume and difficulty, for these single-term keywords and their combinations when associated with your brand name. You should also make sure to analyze other relevant generic keywords.

Using the runner game example, let’s say that our brand name is “XYZ.” We are hesitating between the titles “XYZ Runner Game”, “XYZ Running Game,” and “XYZ Endless Run”. We would then look at the volume and difficulty of not only “run,” “running,” and “runner,” but also “runner game,” “XYZ running,” “endless run,” and so on.

Based on the volume and difficulty of these keywords and combinations, you would be able to determine which of the 3 keywords considered (“run,” “running,” or “runner”) offers the best opportunity to increase your app’s visibility in its title.

Build a semantic dictionary

How can you build a semantic dictionary before your app launches?

Although your new app is not yet in the stores, you should already know everything about it. For instance, what it’s about, its value proposition, different features, etc.

Have a clear idea of the most relevant keywords, so you can already start building your semantic dictionary.

You can use a similar app or game to access AppTweak’s functionalities that can help you prepare your new app’s ASO strategy.

To start developing a semantic dictionary, you can first build it on AppTweak based on another app page and then duplicate it later to make it more relevant to your own app once it has launched.

  • Start by adding your initial keyword list. Then, check various indicators such as volume, difficulty, and the number of results. Also, consider the number of installs. This will help you understand which keywords can best increase your app’s visibility.
  • Check which keywords your future competitors use in their metadata (title, subtitle, short description, long description)
  • Find new keyword opportunities. Look at the keywords your future competitors rank well on, those that drive the most downloads to your future competitors, and trending keywords
  • Find and create relevant high-volume keyword combinations
  • Discover the relevant branded and generic keywords

AppTweak lets you create a semantic dictionary even before your app or game hits the stores. A semantic dictionary helps in choosing the right keywords for your metadata. Optimize your app’s metadata to boost search visibility immediately upon its store launch.

Discover valuable keyword opportunities for your app

Analyze your competitors’ creative strategies

Knowing ASO creatives best practices helps design appealing visual assets for your app or game’s target market:

How can AppTweak help you understand the creative trends associated with your app or game?

  • Look at the top charts of your future category/categories and analyze the icons of the top apps in that category. This helps you recognize any common practices that stand out across them. For example, in the Shopping category on the App Store, most apps have very simplistic icons with a plain background and only display the brand title, initials, or logo.

  • To identify metadata update trends and best practices, monitor top apps in your target category over a year. On platforms like AppTweak, you can compare with benchmarks in specific categories (e.g., Top 30 in Shopping).

Check out this blog to learn more about AppTweak’s Metadata Update Frequency feature

  • Spy on your competitors to understand their strategies and find inspiration to optimize your app’s creatives.

Compare metadata update frequency with your competitors

With AppTweak, you not only get an overview of your competitors’ current creative assets, but also with their update frequency.

Our Metadata Update Frequency shows the number of changes a competitor made to each creative element during a specific date range. You are also able to view the timeline of the exact dates a competitor updated its creative assets and what specific changes were made to that asset.

Learn how you can spy on your competitors’ A/B tests on Android

Thanks to these insights, you can develop your own ASO creative strategy and create the first version of your app’s creatives following best practices.

Final thoughts

Our blog highlights how AppTweak can help refine your ASO strategy for app/game launches. It offers features for every stage of your app’s lifecycle, aiding in keyword and creative optimizations, global expansion, localization, Search Ads, and social media advertising. ASO is an ongoing process, so early strategy definition and optimization can boost your app’s success chances.

Interested to boost your ASO strategy before your app or game has launched in the stores? 

Start a 7-day free trial

Sarah B. Touimi
by , Former Senior App Growth Consultant at AppTweak
Sarah is a former Senior App Growth Consultant at AppTweak, helping apps increase their visibility and downloads. She has experience in digital Marketing and is passionate about new technology. She is a born entrepreneur!