App Store Optimization Tips

This is a transcribe of one of my ASO podcast when I went Solo…. giving some ACTION-AWESOME-PRACTICAL stips….


Hey, guys.  Welcome to the fifth show of the app store optimization podcast.  This is the only podcast talking about app store optimization.  Today was a very interesting day to start with here in the south coast of New South Wales in Australia, where we live, we’re absolutely covered with fires, it’s absolutely boiling hot so the whole town around the fire is 50 kilometers around, is extremely hot.

                        I did a conference today at Meetup and a Skype conference with people in New York, I was invited to talk about app store optimization.  It was interesting.  There were approximately 30 developers and we were talking about the steps to take when you’re launching an app, okay, so it’s interesting that this different level of knowledge of app marketing.  People don’t really know where to start.  It’s a lot of information, pretty overwhelm.  Usually, the big question is where should they start.

Where do you start is the whole thing about the app marketing.  Should you invest thousands on an icon?  Should you invest thousands on downloads, so what I want to do today is I want to make a little bit different format of this show.  I don’t have a guests today.  I will have a guest for the next show, an awesome guest and based on the emails we’ve received, we’re going to invite some female power to the show, some expert in marketing, social marketing and also app marketing, general app marketing.

                        The tips I want to talk toddy is general tips you can implement fast, okay? If you’re thinking about launching an app or if you have an app already, these are the tips that are going to be able to help you to implement these changes as fast as possible and hopefully you can actually see some results.  The whole point here is you want to see some results.  If there’s no results, there’s absolutely no point in doing what we’re doing.


               Okay, so the first mega tip that we want to be talking about today is believe it or not is with your icon, okay and I know the icon is a bit weird because people usually thing that app store optimization has only to do with key words and key words and key words but in reality, if people arrive to your site and they, I mean to your app page and they don’t want to download, okay, it’s not going to work.  If they actually search the term and your app appear in the results and they don’t feel engaged with the icon, there’s absolutely no point, so the first ninja tip I’m going to give you hear from the ASO ninja is do a market research with your icon and this is go out to the offline world and by offline world is literally print your icon and print the icon, I mean of five completers that you have in the same niche, in the same industry that you’re going to compete and go and show to people or actually go and take, let’s say your iPad if you have your apps in the app store.  Take your iPad or your tablet and show people six different icons and ask them, “Which one would you click?”  That’s it.  No more information.

                        Now, I’m going to ask you please don’t show these to your mom or to your sister or to your boyfriend or girlfriend because I don’t know about you guys but everything I do for my wife usually, I mean business-wise or internet, I mean is always fantastic, okay.  Everything is like how great it is, how amazing it’s going to  work, that you’re going to rock the world and that’s what I mean, people, the lovers do for us but we want to do this with people that don’t know anything about us.  You want to go literally to Starbucks and connect with people, I mean, see people sitting down and say, “Listen, can I ask you questions, very quick question?  If you had to click one of the icons, which ones do you like the most and why?”  Very, very important and you’re going to be doing this with 20 people.

                        Actually, literally five minutes to go to Starbucks and do this.  Yes, they’re going to think you’re a freak.  Yes, they’re going to think you’re weird but eventually you’re going to get very precise information about if people like your icon or not, now to do this literally my suggestion is do not invest a fortune on an icon.  Don’t go straight to the icon developer.  Don’t go to the graphic artist that’s going to charge you a $150 per hour.  Just develop some cheap icons or just go on, copy some ideas of someone else and test as cheap as possible.

                        Once you have an idea of what works in your market, then when you can actually do is go and develop a professional icon.  What I find funny is how many developers invest thousands and thousands of dollars in an icon and they have never even tested to see if it works so it’s all about testing before and trying to fail as cheap as possible, failing when you invest lots of money kind of sticks so that is the first mega tip.


                        Okay let’s go to the next mega tip.  In the next mega tip, I’m going to be talking about screen shots and the screen shots that I’m seeing nowadays is like if you did all the homework you developed the app, you did all your effort and you forgot to put the effort on the screen shot.  This is a little bit like you’re trying to get fit to impress your girlfriend or your boyfriend and then you forget to brush your teeth, okay.  It’s the same deal because if this screen shot is not working, no one is going to download your app.  If the screenshot doesn’t engage people, no one is going to download your app so we’re going to take a look is I want to take a look at the most successful apps and literally go and look what they’re doing with the screen shot, the screen shot is not just displaying information about the app.

                        The screen shot becomes like a poster, like a movie poster, okay a movie poster that actually shows me what can I expect when I download the app.  It’s extremely, extremely cool to see what very successful apps are doing.  Always remember that very successful apps have a very smart theme behind and they have a lot of budget and usually what you see is things that they have worked before for them so once again, actually mention this today in the conference with the guys in New York is do not reinvent the wheel.  Don’t try to come up with things that no one has done.  Instead, find very successful apps in different markets and try to implement the same things they’re doing.  I’m not asking you to be a copycat.  I’m asking you to copy successful marketing ideas, okay?

                        I mean the whole idea of me making a podcast about apps store optimization is not new, I’m following ideas I’ve taken from other people and I’m implementing this in my industry that is app store optimization, so that is my second tip.  Screen shots, try to make them okay as a practice all for action include sentence after people download.  If you have reviews, I mean put them there.  If you won an award, put them there.  If there’s a new feature, put them in your screen shot.  Make it cool.  Make it attractive.


The third one we go a bit more classic and we go here to the app store optimization core that is key words.  These, once again is do some key word research. By all means, do not guess your key words because usually when we develop apps, we believe that we know the key words of our audience.  We are usually okay, we have a big ego and we believe that we know it all and that we know the right keywords but the funny thing is that many times the apps are thee are targeting the wrong keywords.  Now, you can go up to many of the tools that we saw before, okay, App Code, Search Man, App Store Rankings, many of the tools of there, Mobile Def HQ for people on Android and go and try these tools.

                        If you have no idea, you can hire someone like me to do it.  Yes, I’m plugging myself.  You can go to and contact me and I can do the whole thing for you until you, if you’re targeting the right keywords or wrong keywords.

                        Now, I want to talk about key words a little bit because the keyword we need to find is the balance.  If the keyword is going to be a keyword that gets traffic and how competitive is the keyword so if you’ve a web site of course I mean ranking for the keyword sink is going to be awesome, okay.  I mean, everyone wants to rank for their keyword if you have an idle website or you want to rank for the keyword car if you sell cars but obviously the competition is going to be a mega competition, okay.  It’s going to be almost impossible for you to rank on that key word so you do a nice balance between what is possible and what is, I mean, smart to do from a traffic point of view and I make this example of one of my clients, I mean, if you ranked tomorrow for iPad with Bananas in Pajamas cover, well that’s a nice keyword to rank but no one is looking for that so you need to understand that you need data to support why are you doing the keyword research.

                        So, if right now you have an app, it’s tough to say so to ask yourself does the key words that I have make any sense and if you listened to the previous podcast, we talked before about how many people are literally putting keywords that are useless like game or fun or app or HD.  You think they’re useful?  Trust me, they’re not useful and you’re wasting that so it’s very, very important.


                        The fourth tip, okay, here we go with the fourth tip.  The fourth tip is, if you are in the Android market and in the ILS market, okay and do two different app stores is by all means treat your app like two different apps because once again remember the basics, okay.  The Android world works different than the Apple world, so therefore, your description should be different in both of them.  Why?  Because in one of them, the description can be indexed and you can start ranking for description.  The other one in Apple, the description means nothing.  So, very important that you treat these two markets like completely different environment.

                        It makes me laugh when I see the same app with exactly the same description in both of them.  You just change the key word Apple to Android but in reality, the algorithm is going to treat your app in a different way.  So, this is great because if you have an app in Android and the same app in Apple by all means experiment.

By all means, try to use different, let’s say different icons, different screen shots and I don’t want to mean you different icons in different app stores sounds crazy but why not.  It’s your opportunity to test different things or in the same way, we have a free version of the app and a paid one, well try different icons to see if it makes a different. Try different screen shots.

                        The more you test, once again I sound like a crazy record going back and back, the more you test, the more you know if things are working but what breaks my heart slightly is when I get app developers that tell me we don’t know why things are failing.  We don’t know what things are failing so it’s absolutely important to try to do this test as much as possible and if you’re in the Android and Google Play, I mean this is going to Google has got to become a smarter, a smarter, a smarter at detecting apps rather than Apple.  My theory is that Google is always going to do a better job in search than Apple, so be smart and try to understand a little bit how Google works.

Okay, because Google is a very smart cookie filing content, so the more content you have in the app based the better it’s going to be.  My theory and maybe I’m wrong, hopefully I’m not is that Apple eventually will have to change their algorithm.  They can’t keep ignoring description.  They can’t keep ignoring the content in reviews.  Where, in the Android world, okay, this I mean Google Play.  These descriptions.  these reviews are, I mean count and count and count are more and more important.  So, that is my fourth awesome tip.


                        Now, the last tip and I hope you’re still with me and you’re awake, the number five is reviews and is the importance of reviews.  I know this is an important point because many of you out there are looking for reviews, “Okay, how can I get reviews and they cost so much money, I have to pay these guys $100 to review, should I pay this guy for a video review” and it becomes such a big challenge and I know that sometimes you guys get frustrated and you stop trying to get reviews because everyone that you approach told you “Yes, we can go premium review for $125” and don’t get me wrong, maybe affordable, $125, but not when you’re trying to get five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 reviews.

                        So, here’s the deal.  Think different, okay?  You are trying to get reviews in the same way that all the app developers are trying to get reviews in the same app review sites and it’s funny that you’re thinking that everyone that is looking for an app goes to an app review site.  I have never looked for an app or an app review site.  Never.  What I do all the time is I read blogs of people that I admire.  I read blogs of entrepreneurs.  I read blogs about productivity.  I’m crazy about time management so I love this kind of information.

                        So, guess what?   If you have, let’s say, an app about time management, well, think niche, go and contact people that are already talking about time management.  Why, because they have the audience that you’re looking for.  You see, if you have an app about time management and you go to an app review site, well they may post a review but I’m never going to reach that because I don’t read about time management in app review sites.  Where do I read about time management?  In people that are into productivity, into entrepreneurship, so you have 10 times more chances of being successful with reviews if you target literally people that never get contact to review apps.

                        Now, it’s very important you’re not douchbags, okay. I’m sorry to say this but many of you up there are douchbags when you contact blogs to ask for review.  You copy and paste the same email, you spam everyone, you don’t even do your research and this is a little bit like dating okay so if you suck in dating, you’re in trouble but you need to flirt, you need to be nice.  If tomorrow you send email and you said,

“Hey, review my app.”  The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to delete your email so do your homework, okay.  Interact with the owner of the blog a little bit before you ask for something. Once you have the relationship, maybe find on Facebook, maybe contact them. I’m doing that the moment that I’m tried to get on my ASA podcast, okay?  So, it’s very important that you try to flirt with people that you want to appear on the one that you want them to review your app, okay?

                        So, we have those five tips.  Let me recap very quickly.
The first one is the icons.  Once again, with icons, those who afford to and try to get some icons that you can actually test very, very fast.

The second one: screenshots.  With screenshots, try to use a screenshot as a call for action.  Go and learn from successful apps that are out there and see what they’re doing with the screen shots.  Some screen shots are awesome, are crazy, it makes you like I want to buy this because the screens snot is so hot.

The third one, very, very important is understand if you have the right keywords.  If you don’t have the right key words well, you’re wasting opportunities and you’re wasting organic traffic and believe it or not, some apps just get traffic from key words.

 Number four is if you’re going to different markets, try and test different markets in different ways.  Take the opportunity.  There are different audiences, so if Android’s one and Apple’s another one.  Try to experiment with both.  Both behave different so why take the same strategy in both stores?  It makes no sense, so if they behave different, try to also perform different type of marketing for different markets.  Very, very simple.

Number five is the reviews.  Reviews think different.  Be original.  Be cheeky.  Try to be like me, try to be with a South American flavor and try to approach things in a different way.

Try to flirt with the people who are your audience.  Don’t go to Facebook group and say “Hey, review my app” because, you know what? That’s what spammers do.  That’s what everyone does.  They go and post a link and you see I have done it before and although it may work, you may get one visitor to visit, people end up hating you and that’s not the idea. The idea is that you actually manage to be a little relationship with someone that some stage is going to recommend your app.  Is it easy?  No, it’s not.  If it was easy, everyone will be doing it but if you manage to do it and you take your time, hopefully, if you learn to launch an app, you start doing this beforehand.  Okay.  Don’t do it the day you launch the app and go, “Oh, my god.  How do I get reviews?”

So, guys, that’s it.  This is the end of the show.  Five power tips.  I really want to leave you with just five tips so you can hopefully implement them this week.  If you enjoy the tips, if you think this tips can actually help you to improve your app and your app marketing I would love if you leave me a review in iTunes.  If you leave me a review, let me know, I will send you a copy of my book ASO Ninja and  I will read your review and your comments on the next show.  On the next show, we have awesome people involved.  I’m trying to get very smart cookies in the app organization world and also other people who are not just about app store optimization but general app marketing, producing app and being entrepreneurs in this app ecosystem so thank you once again and I will see you on the next show.  Until then, go and take or subscribe to the podcast, if you haven’t done it at  Bye.