How to Optimize your Ranking in App Stores

Are you developing the next big Hit? Great! In order to optimize your number of downloads, you need to optimize your app’s ranking. Indeed, smartphone users look for new apps through 2 main tools: the top charts on the store and the search bar.

Here’s some advice on how to get the best ranking on Apple and Google’s App Stores:

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Keywords

    • It’s important to find the right keywords before you launch your app. Newly released apps seem to have a better chance of getting a higher ranking by the stores’ algorithms. You don’t want to miss that chance!
    • Choose the right keywords for your package name, title and description. Get inspiration from the store suggestions, and choose a short name for your title. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to the description.
    • Once your app is live, you can use tools like AppAnnie to review your ranking, and remove keywords to which you rank low.

Downloads

    • The number of downloads and their growth rate have a high influence on the app’s ranking. It is even more important within the first few days after releasing your app, so share it with your friends, family and on relevant forums.
    • The most efficient way to get downloads is to buy traffic from ad networks. You can also increase your downloads by having your app featured on websites or apps like Giftiz, which showcase apps against a fee or return traffic.
    • Keep track of uninstalls as they bring your ranking down. An unusual uninstall rate can mean that there are issues within your app (bugs, loading time).

Retention

  • App store algorithms also take into account in-app metrics to determine your app’s ranking.
  • Work on having the highest percentage of active users: make sure users can start using your app within minutes (Is the sign-up easy? Is the tutorial too long?) and don’t experience any bugs. Keep your users active: send them notifications and give frequent rewards (e.g., first levels of a game need to be easy to reach).
  • Make sure you update the app frequently, fix bugs and provide support.

Reviews

    • Both ratings and the number of reviews count towards your app’s ranking.
    • Ask your happy users to review your app! Good reviews improve your app’s ranking, but you also need constructive feedback to improve your app. It’s a good idea to include a contact form in your app, so that unhappy users don’t feel the need to get your attention through a bad review.

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Good luck!

How to make a great video ad for your game?

At AdBuddiz, we have watched MANY videos from our awesome advertisers.

We’d like to share with you the a few tips to ensure the maximum conversion rate for videos:

The Basics

  • Make different lengths from 15 to 30 seconds. From our experience, 15-second videos are the best performers!pexels-photo
  • Make sure to have specific versions for Android and iOS. First, it does improve the conversion rate (because the user can better relate to it). Second, Apple will ban apps that display ads with a Google Playstore logo.
  • Less is more: Don’t add too much texts and details. Keep in mind that a smartphone screen is very small and the user needs to understand easily what the game is about.
  • End your video. This is the key to get a good conversion rate: show the name of the app, and where it is available (which OS, device).

Attract Attention Within The First Few Seconds

Most advertising solutions offer the possibility for the user to exit the video before the end. As a result, we don’t recommend to display the publisher logo at video launch. It is likely that the user will simply click on the exit button to come back to his game!

See the video as a good trailer: show immediately a great scene, then give some information on the app and where the user can find it.

Show The Gameplay

Capture d’écran 2016-01-29 à 17.48.06Show what it will be like to use your app so the user knows what to expect. It should look easy and fun, and use your best graphics in high definition!

Looking for an example? Let’s check out King’s latest video for Jelly Saga.

We can divide the King video into 3 parts:

  1. Catchy video launch: the game’s goal is clearly stated. It lasts less than 2 seconds.
  2. Cool Gameplay description: it’s colourful, you get to the next level in no time, and winning is rewarding.
  3. Closing: OS logos and “free to play” mention. (As this video was posted on Youtube, it makes sense to have the store logos all-together. However, make sure to have one version only with the Appstore logo if you want to promote your game within iOS apps)

3 steps to maximize the ROI of your campaigns

2015 was the year for Mobile Ad Spending growth.
In 2016, it is time to spend every $ wisely ;)

1. Find quality partners

– Test different partners with a small budgetpaper-dolls-14611_960_720
Negotiate all the important terms of the campaign: the goal is to know exactly what you are paying for
– Make sure your partner works with direct publishers: if there are middlemen between your partner and the publishers, it means you can’t for instance know for sure that your traffic is non-incent
– Don’t be afraid to optimize the ad networks by sub sources rather than globally

2. Golden Rule: implement post-install events

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Post-install event optimization is a very powerful tool. It allows you to get only the high quality traffic you are looking for.

 

The way it works is simple:

– Agree on the KPI goal with your ad network: Day 1 retention and in-app purchases are the most common ones
– You create the event postback on your side: most of the tracking solutions on the market propose that functionality
– The ad network will pause automatically all the sources that don’t match your KPI goal (example: 20% of paying users)

3. Go deeper!

– Apply a higher CPI to the highest quality publishers, so you’ll get more traffic from them
– Check out my previous articles to improve the quality of your ads and avoid creatives mistakes
– Don’t forget to make video ads of different lengths and compare the results
Let’s get ready for the 2016 challenges!

The advertiser’s check-list when starting a new campaign

Launching a new campaign is very exciting, but in the heat of the moment you may forget some important steps.

Here is my check-list to help you stay on track:

Tickbox Agree on the campaign’s details with your ad network

You must discuss the following:

– targeting: geos, CPI, OS version, device800px-Teacher-writing-on-blackboard564
– total budget & daily cap (useful for soft launches)
– running dates
– delay to apply pause notifications
– financial details: mainly payment terms

Tickbox Prepare the creatives

At this point it is not essential to make many sets of creatives, however I encourage you to provide localized versions of the same creative. Feel free to ask for advice from your Campaign Manager.

Tickbox Test the tracking links

superhero-296963_960_720It is best to use one of the market’s existing tracking solutions. We are integrated with most of them (Tune, Appsflyer, Adjust, Kochava…). You can also use a Server2Server integration.

Don’t forget to ask your Campaign Manager to make a test install. This is important in order to make sure both sides are receiving the installs correctly, and to avoid any issues at the end of the month.

Tickbox Make sure you receive the sub publisher id

You will be able to see the performance per publisher and push the campaign where it performs best. At AdBuddiz, we are able to send this data easily: we add it to the tracking link.

Tickbox Get the reports

Request a dashboard access from us, so that you can monitor your daily installs and spendings.

Once you have done all this, you are ready to go ;-)

5 factors that influence the conversion rate of your campaign

When  launching a CPI (Cost per Install) campaign, you need to keep in mind that your volume depends on 2 parameters.
The first one is your CPI. The second is the conversion rate from ad impressions into installs.

It means that with the same CPI, you can have more volume if you improve your conversion rate.

Here are 5 factors that can help you maximize your conversion rate:

1) App rating

STARS

If your app rating is lower than 3.5 stars, this might lead to a lower conversion rate. Here is a simple way to improve your App rating:

Ask your users within the app if they like your app or not.
If they click on “yes”, encourage them to leave a rating on the store.
If they click on “no”, redirect them to a form where they can explain why.

By proposing only your happy users to leave a rating, you’ll improve your global rating.

2) Weight of the app

We encourage you to keep your app light (preferably less than 40Mo).
When a user attempts to download a heavy app, he usually gets a warning message. This can be a deal breaker for many users, as only the ones connected to Wifi might want to give it a try.

3) Ad creatives

It is very important to show what the app really is about
(read my article here on the top creatives mistakes).

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From my experience, strategy games campaigns convert much better when showing an action scene on the ad.

Don’t forget the “call-to-action” button (like “Download now” for instance.)

4) App icon/Store screenshots

A user must understand in a glimpse what your app is about through the app icon and the screenshots.

Suggestion: take the best screenshots (an action scene), add a clear sentence and, why not a couple of features?

Need more inspiration? Here are some of the top apps on the Google Play Store:

  1. Clash of Clans: use of video, powerful sentences and highlighted characters
  2. Uber: main features are explained above screenshots

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5) Store description

Did you translate your description into other languages? You might want to find a native speaker to review it!

My top 4 tips to improve the quality of your campaign

Don’t know how to get your campaign to the next level ?
Here are 4 easy steps you can start with.

1. Make sure the traffic is 100% non-incent and direct

You will only get users who want to use your app. Here at AdBuddiz, we guarantee that our traffic serves only non-incentivized ads.

This way, you are sure that the users who install your app have a true interest for it and are not getting rewarded with in-app currency in exchange for the installation.

In addition, the traffic you’ll get is coming only from direct app developers who integrated our SDK:

puzzle-1020413_960_720– You can be sure of the quality of the traffic (if the ad network you are working with is doing media buying, you are probably going to have no visibility on where you are getting your traffic from)

– You can optimize the campaigns according to each publisher’s performance

2. Diversify your geos

One of our best examples is probably a campaign for a War/Strategy game that is now in the top ranks worldwide. At that time, the advertiser was struggling to get more volume.

10012162166_6e611105c5_oWe advised him to try less competitive geos with the possibility to get high volume for a lower CPI. Quickly the campaign was extended to 20+ more geos with a various range of CPIs.

 

Even though the users ARPU in these countries were lower than in the Tier 1 countries, the game still managed to find a lot of ROI positive users.

3. Localize

After running a specific campaign for months with the english creatives produced by the advertiser, we received new creatives in the following languages : French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Language_learningThe volumes increased by 15% in France and Germany. In Spain, we observed a 20% increase. The highest performance was in Brazil and Russia, where we generated over 30% more installs.

4. Review your creativesandroid

You may consider working on your creatives in order to optimize your campaign. If you haven’t already, check my last article on the top 3 creatives mistakes advertisers make.

Top 3 creatives mistakes advertisers make

Today, I would like to share with you some of the common mistakes I have seen throughout my experience as a Campaign Manager.

1. Not inviting to download

When a user sees the ad, it will take him less than 2 seconds to figure out whether he is going to click or not. Forgetting the Call-to-Action button can be damageable.
Just pick a phrase easy to catch and use it !

These examples go straight to the point :person-woman-apple-iphone-large

« Download now »
« Install for free »
« Play today »

 

Don’t forget to add the Play Store / itunes logo !

2. Forgetting the tagline

People need to understand immediately what your app is about : what category and why they need to download it.

Here are few examples:gray-sale-label-142521329417p

« Best MMORPG game of the year ! »
« Match the candies and get rewards ! »
« Find more than 100+ travel ideas »

3. Poor design and image definition

Here are the most common mistakes I have seen :

– Using a screenshot of the app : usually unappealing, unclear. If a screenshot is relevant (an action scene from a war game), you might need to work a little on it.

– Irrelevant ad format : At AdBuddiz, we focus on interstitials because they generate higher revenues. Therefore, your ad should be able to fit a smartphone / tablet screen.

– Low definition ad : one way to know if your ad quality is ok ? Visualize it in full screen mode on your computer.


My last piece of advice ?
Don’t be afraid to hire a designer to make sure your ad has the highest chance to be clicked on. Choose the ad format with the best performance (interstitials) and make sure your ad is going to look as professional as your company.

Top mobile ad world acronyms you should know

CPI, CPM, Fill Rates, SDK…Interstitials…#*&$!

There are acronyms that everybody is fluent in and uses every day, even in business contexts, like TBC (To be confirmed/continued), ASAP (as soon as possible), TTYL (talk to you later) and other more casual (or, useful) acronyms like OMG, LOL, BTW and TGIF. And then there are acronyms used in the mobile advertising world that confuse and make lives difficult for everybody, and the fact that new ones keep cropping up all the time just isn’t helping. 

“Since we run on a CPI basis, the CPM is just for your reference, but if you update to our latest SDK in all your freemium apps, our new algorithm will better optimize your impressions and with our high fill rates, your ROI will definitely improve.”

If you’re thinking “is this person speaking in English?” – trust me, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. We know how painfully annoying it is to figure out what each of those acronyms really mean and that’s why we’re here to help you get through the mayhem and become fluent in mobile marketing geek speak.

Advertiser – the person or company that advertise their apps in other apps

API – Application Programming Interface. Specifies how software components should interact with each other

Campaign – details which types of ads to show over a period, budget and target market

CPC – Cost Per Click. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time the user clicks on their ads

CPI – Cost Per Install. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time their advertised app is installed (downloaded and opened the app)

CPM – Cost Per Mile. Mile ‘thousand’ in Latin. CPM is a pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount for every 1000 views of their ads

CTR – Click Through Rate. The percentage of people clicking on the ad. (Number of clicks on an ad divided by the impressions)

CPA – Cost Per Action. A pricing model in which advertisers pay a certain amount each time a user performs a specific action (like reach a certain level in the advertised app)

Fill Rate – how many ads are delivered compared to how many ads are requested. The higher the fill rate, the more ads that are shown

Freemium app – A freemium app is free to install and use but have locked features that require users to pay to use

F2P game – Free 2 Play game. A game that is free to install and play but offer in-app purchases for virtual goods, features and upgrades

Impression – A view or an appearance of an ad on a mobile device

Interstitial – a full-screen ad

IAP – in-app purchases

Non-incentivised traffic – no reward given to the user for clicking on the ad or installing the advertised app

Publisher – developer who shows ads within their apps

SDK – Software Development Kit. A piece of code that permits developers to smoothly integrate ads into their app

OK, now that you’re fluent in mobile marketing geek speak, you’re ready to venture into the exhilarating and highly rewarding world of mobile advertising!

Success Story Series: Star advertiser – XiMad

This is the second post in our success story series, which spotlights the real heroes of the mobile gaming community — advertisers. This week, we’re very pleased to introduce…

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1. Would you please present Ximad to our readers? Your philosophy and your goals?

XI: Our company appeared in San Francisco in 2009 thanks to massive efforts and boundless enthusiasm of a group of entrepreneurs who decided to explore an absolutely novel and inexperienced area of mobile development. They managed to assemble a rather unique team of world-class creative and engineering talents and inspire them with a goal of bringing to life revolutionary concepts and ideas, redefining conventional mobile gaming as it exists today and making the world a bit better. And after 6 years of existing we can announce loudly that WE ARE PROUD OF MAKING GREAT APPS!

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2. In what countries are your games available? Do you have plans to expand to more countries?

XI: From the very beginning we try to create games worldwide in order to allow every person in the every corner of the world to have an opportunity to try our games, form his own opinion, like or criticize them and maybe share ideas on how we can make them even better. We at XiMAD are always open to listen to our users and constantly working on improving, updating and polishing our titles.

3. How did you find out about AdBuddiz?

XI: I am afraid this story is pretty ordinary and usual. One day our management team decided that it was a high time for us and our apps to expand the base of users and present our products to a wider audience. So marketing managers received a very important task to find those partners who could possibly help us to make our goals come true. Thanks to magic spell and Google Search we came across AdBuddiz portal and made a wise decision to have a test. I believe since June we have never got tired of looking at the volumes and quality of users acquired with your help.

4. What are your criteria in choosing partners for user acquisition?

XI: As we are very interested in expanding both a user base and long term partners and always try to launch as much as possible test campaigns. In order to start loving this or that network and giving them more and more budgets, we should have rather good users, who are really interested in playing our games and the more we get the more we want. So if our partner is ready to give us plenty of high quality users at our payouts, we are ready to move to long-term collaboration on more dynamic and beneficial conditions. To reach this goal and check the quality we use AppsFlyer. They help us to evaluate acquired users and decide with whom to work and they do their job very professionally and competently.

5. How does the volume + quality of traffic from AdBuddiz compare to your other partners?

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XI: We are very satisfied with both volumes and quality of acquired users for our title Magic Jigsaw Puzzles. If to check via AppsFlyer, from June the level of loyal users is about 70%-75%. And to tell you the truth that this result is one of the highest among other partners.

6. What parameters do you think play the highest role in the campaign’s optimization?

XI: I think that the main parameter for optimization is the number of loyal users, I mean those users who open the app more than three times. I understand that during the campaign we should also pay a high attention to the revenue we receive from you, but in my honest opinion this is not enough. If we look at any our product, it can be clear that we have two ways of monetization – in app purchases and in game advertising. And about 30% – 50% of revenue we see from advertising. So even if acquired user is not going to pay, more likely he will watch the ad and click it. The more often he opens the app the higher the probability to earn on advertising.

7. What do you like most about working with AdBuddiz and our service?

XI: We really appreciate your dedication, competence and willingness to help. I understand that sometimes we ask you to do almost impossible things – and you know what? You almost always managed to do it!

8. What do you hope to see improved with AdBuddiz?

XI: I think you know that mobile world is constantly changing and improving. And always something new and interesting also in advertising appears. I think it would be great if you can expand formats you are now using and add for example video or playable ads, animated and rich media formats. It’ll be great if you may set up campaigns within Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest infrastructure. If you need any assistance from our side – we’re here to help. It is always interesting and fascinating to try something new. In case if you have something new and interesting, please, keep us in mind as beta testers.

9. Do you plan to launch any new games soon?

XI: Yes, sure, we are always working on creating something innovative new and interesting. We are almost ready with a new title called Bike Rush, an endless 3D runner with cute graphics. Also in our roadmap is to release a card RPG game Star Crusade. As far as you know our basic app is Magic Jigsaw Puzzles and we’re rather familiar with the app’s audience. And specially for them we’re releasing the solitaire app – Cat Solitaire. We expect it to appear at the middle of the spring.

10. What’s your experience regarding using Appsflyer as a tracking solution? Are you satisfied with its service? How does it compare to other solutions you have used before?

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 17.49.23XI: What I most value in this service is an intuitive and  friendly interface. It is very easy to work with AppsFlyer, all settings are adjusted, all necessary KPI’s are at hand and in case if there is some issues or questions, Appsflyer support will provide the feedback within a couple of hours. And what is more important they are constantly working on updating and improving the system.

11. What are your considerations when choosing a tracking solution?

XI: It should meet all our requirements such as showing the revenue, ARPU, ARPMAU, loyal users, active users and be easy in use and setting up campaigns.

XiMad has been working with AdBuddiz to acquire mobile players since May 2014. 

Where should you market your game in Asia?

Asia accounts for 48 percent of the total global games market. In order to succeed in your mobile games marketing in Asia, it is crucial to know the numbers and figures and understand the key specific characteristics in each of your target countries. Just before you start investing all your time, money and effort in joining the ranks of game studios trying to break into the Chinese market, it may be worth your time to take a look at this Newzoo report:

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Southeast Asia isn’t getting the attention it deserves

Thanks to the rapidly growing economic development and dramatically increasing internet-access rate, Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions for gaming. In just 2014, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand spent $1.1 billion on games, and the growth shows no sign of slowing down; quite the contrary in fact, as Newzoo estimates a continued annual growth rate of 28.8%, doubling spending to $2.2 billion by 2017. Much of the growth is brought about by mobile usage:

“Between 2004 and 2014, Internet access in the Philippines grew more than 800 percent, the fastest rate in the region due primarily to the boom in mobile internet.”

By the same logic, it should come as no surprise that mobile games are catching up with PC and MMO games in terms of spending and revenue generation:

“Vietnam is quickest on this trend, with mobile-phone games seeing a compound average growth rate from 2013 to 2017 of 87.7 percent, becoming the biggest segment in terms of revenues by 2017.”

More cities = more Internet users

One driving force of this rapid growth is the metropolitanization of these Southeast Asian countries. As more people migrate to cities, more people get access to the Internet and many of them start playing games.

According to the report,

“The sheer size of the Southeast Asian population, and its rapid rate of urbanization of 1.4 percent average annual rate of change compared to China’s 0.5 percent, and its young and tech-savvy demographic, are all factors favorable for growth.”

The cherry on top? Unlike in China, there’s free and unrestricted access to Google Play in these Southeast Asian countries. In order to really succeed in these regions, however, it may be worthwhile to spend some time looking into localizing your games to adapt to the very diverse and distinct cultures of these specific countries, and taking language barriers and mobile usage habits into account.

So what’s the takeaway? Next time you think about where to launch your next game, or where the hot Tier 2 market opportunities are for you to expand your games’ reach in Asia, don’t forget to take this data into consideration! ;-)