5 Ninja Tips on ASO (AppStore Optimization)
So you can’t afford buying your app/game a nice and cozy top10 AppStore rank?
No big review page gives your game the attention you are desperately looking for?
Your AppStore ranks are bad and no one even finds your great new app/game?
What to do?
Here’s a handy, fast, cheap and easy list to increase your app’s/game’s visibility in just one day of work:
1. Get an awesome icon
Increase the contrast of the icon’s colors and give it a golden or shiny frame.
Somehow icons with frames are more likely to get clicked than icons without.
It costs no more than $5 if you know where to search: http://fiverr.com/gigs/search?order=rating&query=app+icon
2. Find the right keywords
Go to http://www.appcodes.com and sign up for about $15 a month to find & observe the best keywords for your app/game.
Also sign up for the free-as-long-as-beta http://www.straply.com to get keyword ideas with low competition you didn’t even think of - like keywords with typos.
3. Translate your keywords
In my game “Highway Run” (https://itunes.apple.com/app/highway-run/id492097046) I wondered why my rank in Germany was always the best of all countries. I only translated the description and parts of the keywords in German which made me much more visible in Germany. In my last update I translated the most powerful keywords into several languages - especially Asian ones.
4. Make your first screenshot look awesome
The first screenshot is the first thing the user will see when the AppStore spotlight falls on your app/game. Show the user what your game is about. Maybe even put more screenshots into one or put a text on it with your core feature. Use it as advertisement!
5. Focus on the first 4 lines of your description & update
The text of your description and update message will be cut to the first few lines. That means you have to tell the user why your game is awesome in just that space. Use your update messages to sell your game, too. Don’t write things like “bugfixes” or other technical stuff no one understands or cares about.
That’s it for now!
I hope I could help you a little bit with this list. If anything is missing here or if you have any feedback or questions, feel free to contact me!
Nice Monetization & ASO Resource
Check out this page, if you are interested in how to monetize your game & how to optimize your ASO (AppStore Optimization = sth. like AppStore SEO):
I am still not 100% sure if this guy works for RevMob though. ;)
There will be an update for my latest iOS game “Highway Run” with some monetization & ASO changes. I will keep you updated how it performed.
Went Full Time Indie
It has been some time since my last update, but here is a big one:
Creating games is now my full time job (again)! I left my well paid and cozy job as Software-Engineer to return to games.
That being said my upcoming game “Raccoon Rumble” needs some more polish and won’t be done till “Early 2013”.
I hope to get it done in the next few months, though. :)
Here is a first preview (Alpha footage, not final!) of my next game “Raccoon Rumble”. It’s a unique physics puzzle game and will be released on iOS in the following weeks. I will also try to port it to Android and OUYA later, so stay tuned.
Hope you like it!
I just uploaded a first BETA of the translation community page i was planning the last few days:
This page gives you the chance to translate texts into languages you are able to speak while getting your texts translated into languages you don’t know. It’s a free service i made to make it possible to get our games in as many languages as possible without using Google Translator or expensive translation agencies.
Here is a screenshot of the submission process:
The basic idea is, that you spend credits for translating your text into one other language.
You earn credits by successfully translating a text of another person. Successfully means, the other person accepts the translation.
You could also decline it, if you are somehow unhappy with it. In that case it would return to the list of open translations.
The open translations (you access them via the button “Translate” see screenshot) are sorted after the creators “score”.
The higher your score, the faster your stuff gets translated since it’s on top of the “Translate” list.
The score is simply a percentage of successful translations of all translations you’ve made.
Before you translate another text you reserve it for 12 hours with a simple buttonclick. The translation will then get invisible for others in that timeframe to avoid 2 people translating the same text.
Please give it a try and send me all the feedback here or per PM or email.
Also feel free to share the link so we can reach more languages and users!
Best Survival Games
Here are my favorite survival games of the last few weeks:
The Walking Dead - Rating 9/10
- not too stressful & no stupid Zombie bashing
- very good story - even better than the TV show
- nice facial animations
- cool comic graphics
- easy to pick up
Project Zomboid (Beta) - Rating 7/10
- scavange, collect, run and fortify instead of stupid Zombie bashing
- bird’s eye view gives you a good overview, but makes it less scary
- very good music!
- too complicated itemsystem - I would open a can with my teeth if i’d be really hungry. Why on earth do i need a can opener and a pot to eat it?!
DayZ (Alpha) - Rating 7/10
- still many bugs like Zombies who slip through closed doors - but hey it’s alpha
- VERY complicated controls - it feels like every button on your keyboard has an important function
- hard to pick up
- scavange and survive, again no stupid zombie bashing (good!)
- first person view makes it kind of scary, you always have to turn around
Where to Sell Your Indie Game?
Here is my personal collection of indiegame selling stores beside Steam:
There’s a new store on the block, too which looks kind of promising: https://indiegamestand.com
Maybe those stores can help you with some sales if Steam’s green light doesn’t shine on your (or my) next game. :)
4 months of Highway Run
4 Months have passed now and it became more silent about the game since i had some other things to do (unfortunately).
Current random facts about Highway Run:
- quite no reviews, because the mail i sent to the sites was too boring (i guess) + i wrote them when the game was out and not before *beginner mistake*
- one review of a very big german IT page “chip.de”, which wasn’t really good - more like “average racing game”
- more than 200,000 downloads
- most downloads per day: 20,000
- current downloads per day: ~350
- current percent of people who buy In App Purchases: ~1.5%
- 4,5 Stars in USA :) thanks mates
- my second press release was on Gamasutra: here
- I was #1 in India in ALL categories
Where to put the next great indie game? Here are my top platforms:
Windows 8 (Metro Store):
+ Metro Store with massive userbase (Win7 was sold >600 MILLION times already)
+ easy to publish to
- no experience with ranking & sales yet
iOS & Android:
+ bazillions of users
+ users are willing to pay cash for every bullsh*t
- innovation might be risky (maybe i am wrong about this one?)
- touch controls are limited
- small screens
- limited hardware power
- SO many other games
+ plenty sales
+ plenty users
+ Greenlight! the indie’s hope
- you just don’t get in
+ very affordable
+ open (yea indie spirit!)
+ game can also be published on other Android devices
+ i preordered one on Kickstarter!
- does it reach a critical user base? (like millions!)
- are Ouya users willing to pay money for IAP?
Platforms like kongregate, indiedb, indievania, indiecity, desura, impulse etc. are nice ideas, but i think they aren’t the platforms which pay your rent.
Maybe one can use them for promotion though?