app-store-optimization-aso

Tips for app store optimization

ASO, or app store optimization, is the process of creating and adjusting an App Store or Google Play listing for long-term, organic success.

The concept of ASO has caught fire recently due in no small part to the massive volume of applications clogging the app stores: nearly 3 million apps are available on the Apple App Store and Google Play apiece. Successful optimization can put your app on top for a long time to come.

Why ASO?
Apple itself recently touted that more than 65 percent of app downloads come from searches made in the App Store. That is bigger than all the television ads, Facebook promotions and burst campaigns out there, making search officially the strongest way to boost your app.

With an optimized listing, your app will be more likely to appear in relevant searches, capitalizing on the intent of users each time they search in the store.

Tailoring your optimizations
When optimizing your app, it is important to consider the platform on which you will be launch.

Apple and Google each have their own unique process for indexing your app. That means you will need to play to the strengths of each platform to successfully optimize for both.

Optimizing on the App Store
Apple’s App Store is the easiest platform to optimize for in many ways.

An app listing for the App Store consists of two key parts: Your app’s title and your app’s keywords. Only your title will be visible to the public, but both the title and the keywords have great influence on which terms you will rank for in search.

Words from your title and your keyword bank can be combined to build phrases.

For example, if your app is called “Fun Game” and you have the word “Free” in your keyword bank, you could pick up ranking for the phrase “Fun Free Game.”

By looking over your title and keywords, as well as reading your description and playing around with your app, Apple will determine foe which terms and phrases your app is relevant. That makes targeting the proper keywords in your title, keyword bank and description extremely important.

Optimizing on Google Play
Like Apple, Google also has a title field. Unlike Apple, Google restricts the title to 30 short characters. That means you will not be able to add too many key terms in your title.

Also, unlike Apple, Google has no keyword bank into which you can type manually targeted keywords.

Instead, Google uses the words in your title, long description and short description to determine foe which terms your app is relevant.

The short description is a small, 80-character description of your app that will appear to users on mobile as they search.

Google places great weight on your title and short description when it decides your ranking, so it would be wise to use highly searched, relevant words and phrases here.

The same is true of your long description.

If you can use high-volume, trending terms in your description in a natural way, you might find yourself picking up a lot of new rankings.

Converting users
ASO places heavy emphasis on the data behind your app. You always want to use the most relevant, trending terms as your keywords.

However, not all the action happens behind the scenes.

After all, a user still needs to like the look of your app to download, and that means optimizing your icon and screenshots as well.

Creative optimization is incredibly important in ASO.

An app can have great keywords, a solid title and a captivating description. But with an ugly icon and screenshots, it may never gain the traction it needs for success.

Again, it is important to take into account the differences between Apple and Google when you optimize your creatives.

For example, Apple’s search results display two screenshots for each app, making your first two screenshots – or your first screenshot and your preview video, if you have one – vital for converting users.

Google, on the other hand, does not display screenshots in search results. Instead, your icon will be the only creative item featured in the results.

Take these differences into account when you set up your listing for each store.

WITH THAT, you have got a solid foothold for optimizing your app with both Apple and Google.

Each platform has its own unique challenges. But a successful optimization could be the first step towards scaling nearly 3 million competitors on each app store.

Source: Mobile Commerce Daily, article by Dave Bell (http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/tips-for-app-store-optimization) 

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mobile-ad

4 top tips to help secure the best mobile ad campaign success

Obtain an effective marketing technique by understanding the importance of these effective tactics.

Think you know what makes the best mobile ad campaign? Think again! Sure, you may be aware that mobile is the future, but is it the future you’re ready for? Chances are you’re still dabbling in the mobile marketing territory and have realized what so many others have already come to discover: without the right marketing strategy, your monetization plans can go completely awry. This might not only mean making less money than you thought but maybe none at all!

However, success does not have to be hard to come by if you know how to utilize the right tactics that will appeal to your audience, engage them and hold their interest. This is important because the average user reportedly has an average attention span of 10 seconds. Therefore, you need to have an effective ad campaign that must provide the right message in those precious few seconds.

The following are effective mobile ad campaign strategies that can help you make the most of these seconds so you can make the most money.

Choose the right target market

You need to choose your audience wisely. There is no way you’ll know how to appeal to your audience if you don’t first decide who they will be. Not every ad or marketing style appeals to everyone, nor is every style the right fit for your business. You need to think about what advertisements most effectively represent your business and choose your audience accordingly. For optimal results, design your campaign around your target market and use geo-targeting for the best effect.

Don’t underestimate the power of call to action

If you want your audience to act on your advertisement, you need to remember about engaging call to action. This is the incentive your audience needs to actually engage with the ad. Usually offering discounts, bonuses, gifts or freebies work wonders.

Choose the right demand-side platform

A DSP platform is a service that handles the purchasing and bidding of auction-based online advertising on behalf of another company. You need to find the DSP platform that will work best for you. The DSP should provide access to many advertising opportunities in one place. It should also be impartial, connecting you to the best potential advertising opportunities and rates; not only one particular ad network should be favored.

Pick the right format

Choose your ad format carefully. Not all formats are created equally and some serve certain businesses and types of advertising better than others. That being said, for the most part, when it comes to a strong mobile ad campaign, pop-up advertisements that cover the entire screen are typically invasive and many users find them irritating, which means users are far less likely to interact with the ad. It is far more useful to use a banner ad that won’t take up the whole screen or to place the advertisement at a natural break point in an app (ex. at the end of a game level).

That said, keep in mind that video ads are where the future of mobile advertising is going, especially ads that provide players with rewards.

When you have a well thought out marketing strategy, you will be able to evolve your business in the most effective ways. Just remember that no strategy is set in stone. Continue to build on your strategies because there is always room for improvement.

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workplace

Facebook Workplace is the new social network for your OFFICE

FORGET LinkedIn, Facebook Workplace, offering collaboration tools, worldwide communication and more, could be the new social media network for your place of work.

The age of sneakily using Facebook whilst at work could finally be at an end thanks to the launch of a new social media site from the company.

Facebook Workplace looks to allow companies to set up their own private social networks, where employees can communicate, share knowledge and stay in touch, even at multinational businesses with offices all around the world.

Looking to target workers who don’t spend all day at their desk, Workplace is a mobile-focused service that will let employees and managers alike stay in contact wherever they are.

Formerly known as Facebook at Work, Workplace is Facebook biggest launch for some time, and marks a move towards the corporate scene for the first time.

Facebook says that more than a thousand organisations around the world are already using Workplace, which has been in beta testing for over two years, including many UK businesses.

This includes international companies such as Danone, Oxfam and Starbucks, as well as major domestic organisations such as India’s Yes Bank and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore.

Companies will need to pay a fee to use Workplace, which will be based on a monthly cost per active user.

The more users a company has, the less they will pay – with initial rates starting at $3 for the first 1,000 monthly users, $2 for up to 10,000 users and $1 for any higher than that.

Customers can also add in a number of additional services to their Workplace subscription, including multi-company Groups (which let employees from several different organisations work together without leaking valuable corporate information), and video and group audio calling in Work Chat.

However more traditional Facebook services can also be included, such as Facebook Live, Reactions, Trending posts and auto-translate.

Facebook says that utilising its various programs could allow workers to chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group, or follow along with a CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.

Facebook wrote in a blog post, “The new global and mobile workplace isn’t about closed-door meetings or keeping people separated by title, department or geography.”

“Organisations are stronger and more productive when everyone comes together.”

Source: Express, article by Michael Moore (http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/719665/facebook-workplace-new-social-network-office)

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instagram-snapchat

Snapchat Needs to Go Public Before Instagram Stories Kills It

With Snapchat leaking that the company is planning a quick initial public offering (IPO) at a $25 billion valuation, the real motivation for speeding up the deal may be the ability of Instagram Stories to grow to from scratch to 60 percent of Snapchat’s user base in just 10 weeks.

L&F Capital Management suggests that Snapchat’s current advantages are easily replicated, and that “Instagram will ultimately consolidate the teen user base.”

They see a Snapchat IPO as another one-trick-pony like GoPro, Fitbit and Shake Shack. All three had hot IPO’s and a big jump in price in the first few days of trading. But within a year, competition swooped in and the companies’ stock prices crumbled.

A recent Wishbone survey targeting 35,000 Snapchat users between the ages of 12 and 25 found the company’s primary competitive advantage is its filters. Geo filters and puppy dog faces are what the youth demographic currently wants for viral “fun.” But the survey also revealed that if Facebook had Snapchat-type filters, it would take market share from Snapchat’s 12 to 25-age demographic.

Facebook Instagram Stories launched on August 2, and already has 100 million daily active viewers, compared to Snapchat’s 150 million users after almost five years. A big part of Instagram Stories’ rapid adoption has probably been due to “immersion” within the 500 million users in Instagram’s ecosystem.

L&F is confident that Facebook can continue to grow its earnings by 30 percent compounded, because the falling “Cost per Engagement” for the Instagram and Facebook platform is a magnet for advertiser dollars and an impediment for other social media platforms.

Snapchat is the primary target in the Facebook’s app consolidation plans. By knocking off Snapchat’s core features, Facebook will strengthen its user base and take share in the youth demographic, where advertisers desperately want to increase engagement.

Snapchat currently has an advantage when it comes to private direct messaging, but that feature is easily imitated. Facebook is already testing a similar tool with Messenger. By enabling short-lived direct messaging text, photos and videos, Messenger would seem to be a huge threat to Snapchat’s value proposition to users.

Instagram Stories already addresses the public messaging components, and when combined with Facebook Messenger features, it could also offer the kid-targeted private component.

L&F believes that with all the hype around Snapchat, the stock price will undoubtedly jump after the IPO. But it also expects Snapchat to be “butchered” as reality sinks in that the company does not have “protectable” value.

Source: Bretbart, article by Chriss W. Street (http://www.breitbart.com/california/2016/10/09/snapchat-needs-go-public-instagram-stories-kills/)

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Third time’s the charm: Google is trying to be a phone company, again

Today, Google officially announced something that the tech world has known for months: it’s launching a pair of high-end Pixel-branded smartphones, killing the Nexus program, and competing more explicitly with Apple and every other company that’s making and selling Android phones.

Google is definitely pushing itself as a hardware company like it never has before. But this is hardly the company’s first effort to get into the smartphone hardware business. The first was the Nexus One, which drew iPhone comparisons when it was launched. But low sales almost killed the brand—Eric Schmidt said in 2010 that the Nexus One “was so successful [in helping Android along], we didn’t have to do a second one”—before it was resurrected and pointed at the developer-and-enthusiast niche.

The second and more serious effort began in 2011, when Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion. After clearing out the old Motorola’s product pipeline, in 2013 and 2014 the company introduced a series of high-end and midrange Moto phones that were critical darlings for their price tags, their focus on fundamentals, and their fast Android updates. These were three non-broken things that Lenovo promptly “fixed” after it bought Motorola from Google for just $2.9 billion three years later.

Google made no mention of its Motorola experiment onstage today, even though the same guy who ran Motorola is now running Google’s hardware efforts. But the sense that all of this has happened before is just one of the contradictions of Google’s new mobile strategy. More importantly, the company’s actions and stated goals contradict one another, to the extent that I wonder just how committed Google is to its hardware plans and, on a related note, just how good its chances of success are.

Google’s sales pitch for its new phones is distinctly Apple-esque: Pixels are the first phones designed from the ground up by Google, which gives Google the opportunity to tailor the hardware to better suit its software and vice versa. This is a departure from Google’s Nexus strategy, in which Google slapped Nexus branding on existing or near-complete products that one of its partners was already working on.

Except, well, the Pixel phones are pretty Nexus-y. FCC filings show that they were clearly built by HTC, and as our own Ron Amadeo pointed out they appear to share components with HTC designs like the One A9.

“Designed by Google” and “built by HTC” don’t need to be mutually exclusive. I don’t doubt that Google blessed each component and design choice individually or that it became involved in the design process much earlier than it normally would for a Nexus phone. And even if the Pixels are HTC phones with Google logos on them, that’s becoming an increasingly common move. HTC can make phones, but the mass market doesn’t care about its brand. Google has a mass-market brand but maybe didn’t want to start from zero to design a new phone. Fine.

The trouble is, Google has actually designed some quality hardware all by itself. The Pixel Chromebooks were both lovely, though they were priced out of reach of anyone but ChromeOS die-hards. And even though the Pixel C tablet’s software has been rough, its hardware has the benefit of at least looking and feeling good. Chromecast is a Google effort, too, as are Daydream View and Google Home.

Google can design its own hardware, and it says that it does. But the Pixel phones aren’t as Google-y as some of Google’s other devices, and they definitely don’t have the signature design touches of the other Pixel products (including the lightbar and the boxy-yet-still-appealing curves). This may be a springboard, the first step in a transition from the Nexus era to a new Pixel era. Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh says that he’s already seen photos from next year’s Pixel camera, so at a bare minimum Google has a roadmap that it’s in control of. But the way Google is hitting the “#MadeByGoogle” drum so hard is odd, given the Pixel’s obvious lineage.
Exclusive features don’t mesh with Google’s business model

Google’s hardware contradictions are puzzling but easily explained. The software contradictions are more troubling.

One of the reasons Apple can get away with keeping iPhone prices the same every year even as Android phones get cheaper is that the company really is in full control of its hardware, software, and ecosystem. The iPhone is the only place to get iOS, it’s the only phone that offers tight integration with the Mac and other Apple products, and it’s the only place where you can get iOS apps.

Few players in the Android market, Samsung aside, can do the same thing, since the primary differentiator is often price rather than any particular gimmick or spec. Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer believes there’s room for another player in the high-end, high-margin phone market. That may be true, but when asked what Google intends to provide that other Android phone makers won’t or can’t (beyond intangibles like brand value), his answers were vague.

Clearly, the Pixel is going to get a lot of things first: Android 7.1 will come to the Pixel before it’s even available as a developer preview for older Nexus and Pixel devices, to say nothing of OEMs who haven’t even started shipping Android 7.0 updates. The Google Assistant and Google’s new Pixel Launcher are both Pixel exclusives, at least for now.

But Android’s success is built in part on how widespread it is, and Google’s business is built on casting wide nets that can collect lots of data. It might make sense to keep the Pixel Launcher exclusive to the Pixel phones to give Google’s phones their own unique look and feel and tighter integration with all of Google’s services. But the Assistant will almost certainly be available for other Android devices eventually, just as Google Now and Google Now On Tap (two services that have plenty of overlap with the Assistant anyway) already are. The Daydream VR platform is already open to other phone makers as long as they’re using Android 7.1.

Google’s stuck in a place where it needs to give its own Android phones unique features to differentiate them from the crowd, which is doubly true since they’re being sold at iPhone and Galaxy prices instead of Nexus prices. But it makes most of its money by building out large userbases and making its products and services as available to as many people as is realistically possible. In that tug of war, Google will ultimately be pushed to do whatever is best for its bottom line, something that may damage its nascent phone business.

Which kind of Google experiment will the Pixel phones be?

Are we missing a part of Google’s strategy? The so-called “Andromeda” project, that long-rumored collision of Android and ChromeOS, could be part of it. But this whole hardware shift could just as easily be one more experiment from a company that loves to try new things without always committing to them.

Gmail, Android, Chrome, Chromebooks, the Chromecast, and of course the search engine that forms the core of the company are all solid successes that Google is obviously committed to. Motorola, the Nexus Q, the Android Update Alliance, the Google Play Edition program, Google Hangouts, the OnHub, Google Buzz, Google Wave, Google+, Project Ara, Google Glass, Google TV, Google Reader, and any number of other initiatives swept under the rug during a “spring cleaning” phase were all eventually canceled or dramatically scaled back as the company’s strategy and personnel have changed.

Source: ars Technica , article by Andrew Cunningham (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/googles-phone-strategy-is-a-study-in-contradictions/)

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