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APP STORE OPTIMIZATION · HUGH KIMURA · JANUARY 2014

How Viber, Yahoo! Messenger And Skype Can Improve Their ASO

Find out how the top messaging and online phone call apps can improve their Apple App Store Optimization and how it applies to your iOS app.

When you look at the top apps on our Leaderboard, you may think that they all have their App Store Optimization (ASO) completely tuned. Many of these top apps do pretty well in search, but their ASO quality does still vary.

Sometimes companies spend a ton of money on advertising to get downloads, some apps go viral and others rely on brand recognition. But regardless of how an app gets popular, every app on the App Store can benefit from having strong ASO.

Getting more downloads through organic search traffic means that companies can spend less on paid ads and make up for a lack of brand recognition, if that is a problem. Since going viral is more about luck than anything else, ASO also puts the control of the visibility of an app directly in the hands of the developer.

But ASO is constantly changing and it does take a lot of time to stay on top of testing and optimization. When we analyze top apps in these blog posts, we are not picking on them, but we just want to give you real world examples of how you can improve your app and show you that even very popular apps have room to improve their ASO. So if you don't have a huge marketing budget or Facebook level brand recognition, you can still compete get traction through App Store search.

If you want to read our other top app analysis posts, check out our posts on: entertainment apps, CRM apps, puzzle (game) apps and education apps.

In this post, we will break down three of the top messaging apps in the Social Networking category. They are very popular for their ability to send messages via multiple devices and make free international calls.

Viber

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Viber is currently #10 on our iOS Leaderboard in the Social Networking category and one of my personal favorites. Their keywords are already pretty good, but there are three areas where they can improve.

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First, there are a few keywords on their list that they are not ranking in the top 10 for. They could change this by adding these keywords to their app name or testing new keywords. Of course, this can be a branding issue, where some developers want to keep their app name uncluttered, but as we have seen, adding keywords can help.

Second, when we put their keywords into the Optimize Keywords Tool, we see that they have 10 more characters available. This means that they could add another keyword or two. It may not seem like much, but every single keyword counts and can result in additional downloads every month.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-viber-keyword-count.jpg

Finally, when we look at their localized keywords, they certainly have room to improve. For example, when we look at their keywords in the South Korea App Store, they have a lot of room to add more keywords and optimize their rankings.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-viber-foreign-keywords.jpg

In our experience, this is an area that even a lot of larger developers do not fully optimize for. This might not be a top marketing priority at many companies or they may not have the foreign translation resources to do full localization.

Yahoo! Messenger

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-yahoo-messenger.jpg

The Yahoo! Messenger app currently #85 on our Leaderboard and seems to have some customer satisfaction issues that is bringing down their rating. As you probably know, the current rating of an app is one of the first things that people look at when they are deciding to download an app or not.

So in order to fix this, they can do a couple of things. First, they can mine their reviews to find specific issues that users are having with their app quickly. If we look at the ever-helpful keyword "crashing," we find some specific problems that users are having.

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Second, they can implement a feedback system that helps to collect user feedback and filter bad reviews from ever reaching the App Store. If you read our post on increasing customer retention, we give you a tool for intercepting negative feedback.

When we look at their keywords, they are ranking pretty well on the whole, but just like Viber, there are a few keywords that they can replace. These are the keywords that are doing particularly poorly and should be replaced, unless they are part of an excellent longer target keyword phrase that they rank well for.

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Skype For iPhone

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As you probably know from our homepage, Skype is already one of our customers. So their App Store Optimization is already quite good.

However, one area that they can improve is in their localized keywords. Using our International Keyword Spy Tool, let's take a look at a few of the keywords that they use for the Japan App Store.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-skype-keywords.jpg

Since only one keyword ranks in the top 10, there is room for improvement. When we put their Japanese keyword list into the Optimize Keyword Tool, we find that they have exactly 59 more characters that they can add to the list.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-skype-japanese-keyword-count.jpg

One way that they can get more Japanese keyword ideas is by looking at the reviews on the Japan App Store. This can also help them to find possible issues that are specific to Japanese customers. Like we mentioned above, this does take additional resources, but can be well worth it for search visibility and customer satisfaction.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0098-skype-japanese-reviews.jpg

Conclusion

We hope that this analysis has been helpful and you are able to apply it to your app. No app will be perfect and App Store conditions change continuously, but knowing what to look for and having the right tools can give you the edge over your competition.

Is there a category that you would like us to analyze in future posts? Let us know in the comments below.


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: January 2014

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