I have been developing games since I was a teenager about 20 years ago. I started developing web games first and then started on mobile game development about 7 years back. While it has become a lot easier now to develop games and create amazing content, it has also become a lot harder for developers to stand out in the various app stores. While developing a game with good retention and engagement is difficult, I found it even more challenging when it came to building the player acquisition funnel.
There are several tens of thousands of new games submitted monthly to the stores, most of them built by small developers who are doing it for fun, side-hustle, market testing…..really, for any number of reasons.
In this crowded field, finding optimal ways to make your game “discoverable” is essential. It is critical that you put in place processes that maximize your organic game installs from the very beginning. In addition to being free, organic installs generally bring you players who are more engaged in your game than paid installs. Since <5% of developers ultimately land a publishing partner, having a good player acquisition funnel helps tremendously when you are self-publishing your game, with the added benefit of building the player metrics and making game optimizations that can then be used to land a publisher.
In the mobile game company I co-founded, we managed to increase our revenues from $0/month to $120k/month – but only after hiring a lot of resources – dedicated staff of 27 people – to focus on the organic marketing (incl. ASO) of our game.
In this post, I will take the various aspects of app store optimization (ASO) from the top.
Self-publishing games requires ASO to get the desired visibility in the App Stores. The game distribution process with ASO can make your game stand out in the crowd of the games that keep coming up every single day, taking the competition to a higher level.
Game developers now face a challenge with optimizing their games in the App Stores. Let us proceed further to inspect how ASO for games can ensure the game developers high visibility and download for their games.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO) for games?
App Store Optimization is the process for improving app visibility to increase app impressions and installation rates in the Apple App Stores and Google Play Stores. Furthermore, ASO also targets click-through rate (CTR) and its high ranking within the search results of the app store. Therefore, to market games, you need to optimize the App Name, App Title, App Icon, App Screenshots, and App Ratings.
Why is ASO important for your mobile games?
ASO is essential for the growth of mobile apps within the range. The mobile games apps are being added to the list every single day, and your App without optimization is facing tough competition within the stores. Let us find out the reasons as to how an ASO enables you a proper growth of your app visibility and conversion rate:
ASO enhances the visibility of your mobile game after the app store listing for your App is optimized, your App will start ranking higher in the Search Results. The users looking out for apps like yours have a higher chance of trying or downloading the App.
Free organic installs for your App
An ASO-optimized mobile app will boost your organic installs. It enables you to ensure long-term results. With proper ASO implemented keywords, the users will find your apps when they search for the apps with the targeted keywords.
Lower player acquisition costs
Without spending loads of money on ads to boost your visibility, you can lower the costs by implementing a strong ASO strategy in your mobile game apps for organic growth. It not only reduces the cost but equally ensures continuous and long-term growth.
A proper ASO-optimized app will consistently rank higher in the search results, and the users will easily find your App and download it.
Localization to reach a global audience
To reach a global audience with your App, your App must be available to different native speakers or in other languages. Localization is such a process in an App Store Optimization that enables the users to access your App worldwide. I will discuss localization is more detail next week.
App store search ranking factors
App stores like search engines use complex algorithms to sort search results according to the App’s relevance and its specific search query. The app stores like Google Play Stores and Apple App Stores do not show the exact factors on which they calculate the ranking factors and how their algorithm works.
However, certain factors are known to influence the rank of your mobile apps in the app store. Though Apple Apple Stores and Google Play Store are different when it comes to ranking algorithms, some factors equally apply to both the stores. Here is the list of the factors that influence the search ranking factors:
The app name or the title matters a lot for visibility and high ranking in the search results. The keywords used in the App’s name or title make a stronger rank strength in the search results. This means your App has a higher ranking rate for the keywords used in the app name. Apple App Stores allows 30 characters, while Google Play stores allow 50 characters for the app title.
Relevant keywords usage is counted more while writing down the description. The keywords in the first line are more important than the rest of the description.
Your App installs also affect the ranking of the App Store. The rank of your App will positively increase with more installs and engagement of the users. The core reason for the high ranking by the App installs is that the app stores like to rank the apps that are popular among the users.
App Rating and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are taken into consideration while ranking your App. The high rank of your App is based on the better ratings and reviews of the App.
App Regular Updates
A constant or timely update of the apps ensures you a better review. The users understand that the developers are working on the App listening to their valuable feedback to fix the issues or bugs. Both the App Stores, Google Play stores, and Apple Play Stores take into consideration the constant update while ranking the mobile apps.
Localizing your mobile games for app stores
Localization of apps means adjusting your App to enable it to be accessed or fit many native languages and other factors of a country to make it easier to understand.
App localization is done by optimizing the crucial factors for ranking an app that includes visuals, graphics, and keywords used to optimize the apps.
It is crucial to localize your mobile apps for proper game distribution and game marketing. The process is also known as internationalization which means your application is not locked to only one language for access. In the long run, localization is the first and the most crucial step to target a large audience to let access your App across the globe.
To ease out the process of game app optimization and game distribution, the SLAB AI platform enables features to optimize your keywords and translate, track in multiple languages to the local countries. It is important to note that proper communication between the user and the App is necessary to boost your game downloads and ranking. With the SLAB AI platform and super-powered features, you can access the tools required to localize and share proper information in multiple languages to target a vast audience.
SLAB also takes care of the localization process. It not only translates but also makes necessary changes in elements listing, the process of showing and equally adapting to different customer behavior in other countries.
How to boost your ASO for games with ease?
Hopefully, this post has conveyed the importance of ASO and also the complexity of doing it right. As a developer you need to constantly test, monitor and update keywords, graphics and description to ensure that your game is getting its maximum potential views and installs.
Now that you have come to know the importance and benefits of ASO for the development and growth of the games, I would also like to introduce SLAB. SLAB provides an automated no-strings-attached solution to optimize your game’s ASO, resulting in increased visibility and conversion rates of your game. SLAB’s solution enables the developer to access the widest market possible in the shortest amount of time!
Here are some of the awesome features of the SLAB solution that make it perfect to use for your games growth:
- Automated storefront localization in all iOS and Android stores
- Automated store optimization of keywords and graphics
- Customized storefront optimization cycle to maximize your installation curve
- Active monitoring of installs
- Transparent dashboard
- 24/7 support and account management
- Currently offered for FREE with no minimum-term contract!
- Absolutely no need for developer to spend any time or resources on ASO!