When evaluating typical trends year by year, at least 2020 can be said to be an outlier. With the significant changes in people’s daily life, previous user behavior trends have also undergone significant changes-from the popularity of home office or online learning and work, to mobile shopping and delivery, home fitness and meditation.
Although user behavior has changed in 2020 and will continue to change in 2021, the basic elements of an appropriate App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy remain the same. Although certain factors are not within the direct control of marketers, such as the global trend of shopping at home or in-store, the core elements of a successful App Store optimization strategy can and should be updated regularly. The key component of organic ASO is to evaluate performance and issue updates based on observed trends, regardless of whether these trends are from external or internal factors.
Keyword optimization is still the starting point of the App Store optimization strategy. It is always necessary to understand which keywords are related to the application you are optimizing, which terms are searched heavily in the mobile application store, who are the main competitors and their trends. Targeting the right keywords can increase search visibility in the app store, thereby attracting more potential new users.
Many applications and businesses are interested in seasonality. Some of them will remain unchanged in 2020, while others (such as back-to-school or vacation bookings) simply cannot fall into their previous year at the same time. It’s always important to plan to take advantage of seasonality when possible, but it’s also important to constantly evaluate trends in the app store to see what user behavior and search interests look like and make adjustments if needed.
Positioning the right keywords at the right time has always been an important part of ASO. Take the store transfer changes in 2020 as an example. When the time comes, it is more important to look for the next “new normal”, the one after and the “new normal” after that. Changes in user search interests.
Conversion and creative optimization
Once you find your application, whether from search or other discovery areas, the user must decide whether to download your application. Although there have been many changes in user behavior and experience in 2020, the assets that can be seen in the store list that affect their download decisions are not one of them.
The set of creatives (including app icons, screenshots, and videos) has a great influence on users’ download decisions. Analyzing keyword interests and similar strategies of top competitors is important here-understanding the new trends that are emerging and the elements that can be tested in the app.
For example, the application 30 Day Fitness converted the text of its first screenshot from “challenge” to “home exercise” in the second quarter of 2020. This change coincides with changes in user behavior and search interests. The app rose from 19th place in its category on March 1 to 3rd on April 1, indicating an increase in its daily downloads.
30 Day Fitness changed the text in its first screenshot to focus on Home Fitness based on changes in user behavior and search trends.
Before fully applying the creative set, you should always test the creative set through strategies such as Google Play experiments or Apple Search Ads creative sets. However, the decision to make these changes for testing should depend on the trends in search terms and how users behave-understanding what these are and how they might transform in 2021 will be the key to success throughout the year.
In addition to keyword and creative optimization, iteration has been and remains the cornerstone of App Store optimization. Iterations need to analyze what is specifically deployed, how it will be performed before and after the update, and how to further improve the content that is running.
Although 2020 is the most extreme, global example of how user behavior changes and marketing strategies must change along with it, this can happen at any time in any industry. When iterating, it’s important to keep in mind the past performance of the application, what features can be used to deal with seasonal trends, and what new developments in user behavior need to be addressed in upcoming updates.
The success of a marketing strategy can come from understanding trends, locating the right keywords and emphasizing the right functions of creative focus. It sounds simple, but it must be thoroughly researched and analyzed, and then executed correctly and in a timely manner to succeed. If you don’t use the appropriate ASO software to quickly understand the changing trends, including which words have high search volume, what competitors are doing in the creative focus, and which applications are becoming more popular, then it’s impossible to maintain performance and stay ahead of Next trend and be prepared for the one after that.
Supplement organic advertising through paid user acquisition
Supplementing these organic search visibility and conversion efforts through paid user acquisition is another important part of a successful App Store Optimization strategy. The same concept is applied here, and knowledge of trending key indicators of various campaigns must be regularly tested and reused, such as impressions, conversions, and CPI, to achieve the best results.
Launching paid campaigns from channels that directly affect app store search (such as Apple Search Ads or Google Ads) can also help promote organic search-this is true before and during 2020, and there is no sign of change. If a campaign converts to clicks or downloads, indicating that users have found apps related to the search query, these campaigns can benefit your natural search target, just as users get through natural search. In this way, your paid ad campaigns can complement your natural optimization efforts, and understanding which keywords have the best organic results can help you guide the strategy of paid UA work. It has always been important to keep a close eye on the measurement trends of advertising campaigns and to iterate, but especially in 2020, as user behavior changes dramatically, this trend will continue in 2021.
People and organizations around the world must make major adjustments to their behavior in 2020. This has brought huge changes to the app store ecosystem, but the basic concept remains the same: these people are still looking for apps, and these organizations still want their apps to be discovered. The strategy behind how to connect users with the application and make them convert is also a basic concept that remains the same.
Although this situation always occurs to varying degrees in different industries and categories in the app store, 2020 exemplifies a trend that can change quickly. In 2021, it is crucial to evaluate performance, understand user behavior and release the right updates at the right time to stay ahead of the trend, regardless of the trend.
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