At over 775 years old, if you want it, you’ll find it in Berlin and yesterday anyone looking for the brightest minds and best ideas in the ASO industry would have hit paydirt.
Inspired by the knowledge sharing of the 4.6K+ and growing ASO Stack Slack community, the Advanced App Store Optimization Conference is an exclusive event focusing on expert-level ASO discussions. Back for 2022 to talk all things ASO once again, we thought a ticket for this event was a must for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the curve and be part of expert-level ASO conversations.
We sent two of the Redbox team mix, mingle and gather the key points from the day. With so much going on, it was impossible to see all the workshops and discussions, but these are our thoughts on what we attended.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. BLACK-HAT ASO TECHNIQUES AND THEIR THREATS: Natalie Drozd – User Acquisition Manager @Fabulous
‘Evil does not sleep, people say. Unfair ASO techniques do not sleep either; they evolve.’ Natalia discussed different black-hat methods and how they distort the ASO landscape. Covering the entire spectrum of black-hat activities, she explained the reasons why you should not engage in them and how to identify if your competition does.
‘Ignorant juris non excusal’ - Ignoring the law is not the excuse.
- Android keyword stuffing - You will risk a app release rejection on Google and will also likely see a decrease in keyword ranking
- Keyword misuse in indexed fields - i.e use of other brand names, running AB test with keywords stuffed descriptions, you will risk getting a release rejection and also potential developer account suspension.
- Getting to top of chart with bot-installs: Using bot install and fake retained bot-installs or buying incentivised installs; it’s a waste of money and you will be penalised on keywords for 60 - 90 days.
- Keyword stuffed reviews - posting fake reviews or feeding the Google algorithm with fake review and over-egged keywords to rank higher will result in deleted reviews and a warning from the app store operators.
- You can still succeed in the app store without utilising Blackhat ASO, if you want more installs and if you have dedicated budget to increase visibility and downloads you are best to go for UAC or ASA, you will have clarity and clearer reporting.
- Ideas come from anywhere - Smash the idea that there are ‘creative people’ and ‘non creative people’, project a culture where suggestions by the janitor and the CEO are given equal time.
- Bring wider people into a brainstorm
- There are no stupid ideas: don’t immediately analyse ideas. Sometimes a not so good idea can grow into something unexpectedly better.
- “Filter out the trash from the treasure but don’t shoot ideas down”
- Ask for opinion from people who are not offering opinions voluntarily
- You will not be able to cultivate ideas over one session, a healthy design creative needs regular watering.
- Let people contribute with their passions.
- Run quarterly creative sessions with wider teams.
- If you are lucky enough to have a team of people with different abilities, then ask yourself how you might be able to best leverage those.
- Don’t over complicate things, it’s hard to keep things fresh over a long period of time.
- Regularly check reviews: there is a big bank of insights to be had from real users in both app stores.
- Take screenshots of the most surprising or interesting reviews and bring them into your brainstorming sessions.
- Use the power of groups. There is an energy to be found in group brainstorms and they generate new ideas quickly. Once a month or once a quarter, everyone brings a handful of ideas to the meeting directly related to your product, roadmap, data, what your competitors are doing, etc. Each person presents their ideas to the group and from this you get ideas to try.
- Implement “nominal brainstorming” (small groups or individuals) for specific creative work.
- Set up a shared document, tag people to put their ideas in certain areas. Secret sauce can be found in tagging people as it adds pressure to get thinking.
- Cultivate a safe creative space.
- Leverage new possibilities, every now and then when you get new features to try out, brainstorm how you are meeting those opportunities.
- Make sure you switch off - disconnection should be a priority. Internationally disconnect as well.
HOW ASO CAN SUPPORT BUSINESS GROWTH IN MOBILE FIRST COMPANIES
Peggy Anne Salts (Moderator)
Thomas Petit - Consultant
George Natsvlishvili - Air Apps
Nika Grigoreva - ADA health
Oksana Lasrosevych - G5 games
During a panel discussion on how ASO can support growth, the key points we took away were:
- Testing is the new MVP - Slow and steady always wins the race.
- Don’t panic! Failed tests are normal – it’s not really failing, just answering yes or no to your hypothesis.
- You learn from failure what works and what does not work, so if your test does not perform as originally thought, change direction, a “failed test'' is still valid as it validates the test by invalidating the hypothesis.
- “If you don't want to embrace failure, don’t go into this field” (Thomas Petit)
- ASO historically was all about visibility but moving forward to success Apps should be focusing on retention, retention is the real growth driver.
- Returning users don’t see listings in the same way, they see the What’s New Section first, so look at content of the What’s New section.
- Be Strategic - ASO is one step in the journey, it's a series of events, bringing your whole App Acquisition Strategy into action, it's the missing puzzle piece.
- UA managers try to convert impressions into events, however impression it’s just a step in the user's overall journey, look at the steps before the impression happens and look at how you continue to convert that user post impression.
- Understand that ASO is just one piece in a larger puzzle.
- Lifecycle Marketing - ASO is one step in the life cycle of your app - don't forget this.
- So how do you move from a growth marketer to a lifecycle marketer? Analyse the whole funnel.
- The future of ASO is becoming more complex and demanding. Testing and Conversion Rate Optimisation is key.
- A key area to be watching is the European regulators gearing up to force open Apple's walled garden. Legislation reportedly set to be finalised this month could force Apple to allow sideloading apps from third parties.
The Advanced ASO Conference was a fantastic event to attend, we found that the level of expertise and learning available from the keynote speakers, the panellists and the workshops was truly impressive. We’ll be going next year…!
After the last two years having limited our ability to get out in the world and broaden our knowledge amongst our peers and friends, Berlin has whetted our appetite for more. We look forward to seeing you all on the ASO industry event circuit this summer.