How to analyze competitors for efficient app promotion?
There are millions of apps in app stores: more than 2,000,000 on App Store and 3,000,000 on Google Play. The competition is huge, you need to know your main competitors in person. Competitor analysis can help you stand out, analyze your growth areas, and acquire new users. Let’s consider how to select competitors and what criteria you can use for your analysis.
Why monitor competitors at all?
Without a good understanding of how your competitors are progressing, it may be quite a challenge to forecast your own activities. Studying the ASO of your competitors should be a regular practice.
Example 1: You analyze the keywords by which your competitors are indexed and watch how their ranking grows. If the growth is rapid, chances are they are using ad traffic to promote. You can join the battle, or postpone using the keywords of interest if you don’t have a decent advertising budget at hand.
Example 2. Having analyzed how often your competitors change their graphics, you realize that they stick to the tradition of adjusting visuals to match a holiday. Take a look at how they do it. Do they just add snow to the icon on New Year’s Eve or do they find more interesting solutions? This is an opportunity for you to stand out.
The conclusions that you may draw by analyzing your competitors make it possible for you to quickly change your promotion strategy and achieve more.
How to find competitors? Shaping a competitor base
1. Find apps from the TOP-10 for the most popular queries of your theme. For example, enter “delivery of pet supplies in Moscow” first and then analyze apps that show up among the top 10 search results. Ads shouldn’t be considered.
2. Explore the Similar Apps recommended by stores. You may find some relevant apps there. Keep in mind that stores may choose them not based on similarities in topics, but based on the audience overlap. We published a study about this.
3. Checkaso algorithms select competitors automatically, based on the similarity of the semantics like keywords that people use to search for your app.
What criteria should I use to analyze my competitors?
- ASO quality and app visibility
ASO is a set of actions to promote a mobile app on App Store and Google Play. ASO consists of text and graphic optimization. It’s ASO that influences app visibility. The scheme is simple. If you do it right, you’ll rank higher by key queries. To install your app, people need to find it. For now, it makes perfect sense. To make ASO work, you may want to improve the text metadata. It’s also important that users like the visual part, as at this stage we get the conversion from views to installs. This is where graphic ASO comes into play.
You can quickly assess the quality of ASO using ASOindex. This value ranges from 0 to 10 and takes into account all the main ASO parameters like number of characters in the text, number of screenshots, a video, if any, the overall quality, and app visibility. ASOindex monitors update frequency, ranking, number of reviews, and number of installs. Are the figures growing? You’re doing everything right. Keep experimenting.There’s a more narrowly targeted value, Search Visibility Index. It can help you assess app visibility: how accessible your app is to users who are looking for apps by key queries. If the percentage is low, you should analyze the ranking by relevant keywords to find out why. You also can look at your competitors’ metrics. After that, you can proceed to analyze the keywords by which they are ranked as well as their rankings.
- Text ASO
Text ASO is the process of including relevant keywords in the indexed text elements like title, subtitle, description, and so on. They may vary depending on the store. Make sure you keep an eye on text ASO of your competitors: what keywords they use, how they rank, how successful they are when it comes to ranking, how often they arrange new ASO iterations, and use ad traffic, if they do so.
- Graphic ASO
Graphic ASO is a complex work on all visuals like icons, screenshots, and videos. In short, icons should be catchy and understandable, and screenshots should be informative. Make sure you keep track of your competitors’ graphic ASO. How often do they improve the graphics? Do they use situational marketing? Are their graphics solutions different in different stores?
To make sure your graphic ASO is of high quality, you may want to be well-watched and conduct lots of tests. The more you look at someone else’s graphics, the easier it is to understand trends and find solutions to stand out. But personal taste is not enough. It’s important to test your hypothesis to select visuals that would boost your conversion.
- Rating and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are a source of insights. They say it’s better to learn from others’ mistakes; this means, negative feedback your competitors get is a gift for you. You can find out what you don’t like, what users are unhappy with, where the bugs are. If the reviews are positive, this also is a good chance to gather some information for your own development. The Rating and Reviews section helps to filter feedback by number of stars, app version, and review status (addressed, not addressed, amended). Examine the way your competitors communicate with their audience and deal with negative feedback. Thanks to good communication, ratings may often change.
If your competitors are promoting in other countries, you may want to assess their localization quality (which means adaptability of the app page for different countries). The Performance section will help you with that. First, find out in what countries your competitors have a high Performance Index. This metric measures how efficiently an app is acquiring organic traffic. The countries with a high Performance Index are most likely markets where those competitors are advancing. Examine each locale separately to leave doubt behind.
Let’s talk about in-app purchases (IAP), and promoted in-app purchases, or promo IAP, in particular. App Store is the default store here, as IAP can be promoted only there. It’s important to keep track of your competitors’ offers and their ranking by keywords. In the first case, it’s worth analyzing the format and prices. Let’s use photo editing apps as an example. Competitors may offer annual and monthly subscriptions to a service with a free trial. They may sell photo presets. They can do collaborations with someone and arrange promo campaigns, offering something exclusive as an in-app purchase. It’s important to take note of some ideas and monitor prices.
Similarly, it’s important to keep track of AIP rankings by keywords, both your own and those of your competitors. It’s tempting to get as much space as possible in the search results. Say, a user types “photo editor” and sees not only your app, but also your IAP in search results. In this way, you will occupy the entire first search screen, and minimize the user’s attention to competitors. Optimizing promo IAP is based on the same principle as the classic ASO. You need to experiment with key queries in the IAP title. At the same time, it is important that the IAP title and description reflect its essence as well as possible. Users should come first while algorithms should come second.
- Other options
The above parameters are fundamental, but they don’t provide an exhaustive picture. It’s useful to track not only your competitors’ ASO, but also external ads:
- What keywords your competitors use to launch Search Ads campaigns.
- What extra traffic sources they utilize.
- What creatives they use in ad campaigns.
You may want to draw up your own media plan and adjust your promotion strategy to evaluate competitors’ offers, generate new ideas, and avoid potential tactical errors.
Competitor analysis is a must. Track your competitors with Checkaso tools. We offer a free trial — no bank card required.