Which apps need to attract organic traffic: research of ASOdesk
We have analyzed the percentage of organic and inorganic traffic in apps and games of various categories around the world in 2020. The study helps to understand from which channels users download applications more often and, based on this, build a promotion strategy.
Organic and inorganic traffic
Before moving on to research, let’s explore the concept of organic and inorganic traffic.
Organic traffic includes: search traffic (search) and featured traffic (browse).
Search traffic is received by applications that users find in the App Store and Google Play searches for certain queries. To promote apps in the search results of mobile app stores, you need to do App Store Optimization.
Featuring is the promotion of apps through special collections, most frequently viewed by visitors of app stores. To get into collections, you need to comply with all store requirements and apply to the App Store and Google Play.
Inorganic traffic includes all installs from in-app ads. As well as from the web links: contextual, targeted and banner advertising and application mentions on various websites.
Non-gaming applications traffic
We took apps from the App Store categories and analyzed the install rates from different traffic sources.
The percentage of search traffic (search) is over 75% in the following categories: “books”, “business”, “catalogs”, “food & drink”, “education”, “finance”, “music”, “news”, “productivity”, “reference”, “social networking”, “utilities” and “weather”. These apps get the most installs from search.
These applications require App Store Optimization. It is necessary to track positions by keywords, add new keywords to the semantic core and analyze competitors’ promotion strategies.
Apps with less organic traffic need to focus on paid promotion channels. These categories include: “entertainment”, “family”, “navigation” and “lifestyle”.
We see a large percentage of traffic from featuring (browse) in the following categories: “board”, “comics & cartoons”, “navigation” and “stickers”. It is important for such applications to make the appropriate optimization and send a request for adding to categories or collections.
Applications in the categories “boards”, “entertainment”, “navigation”, “lifestyle” and “family” have a percentage of advertising traffic of more than 40%. The publishers of these applications need to reconsider their advertising strategy and invest a significant portion of their funds in inorganic promotion.
Game applications traffic
In green you can see the categories of games in which there is a large percentage of search traffic (search): “action”, “arcades”, “casual games”, “educational games”, “racing”, “sports” and “quizzes”. It is important to invest in App Store Optimization to promote these apps as they get the majority of installs from search.
Smaller percentage of search traffic is in the categories: “strategy”, “simulation”, “role-playing”, “puzzles”, “casino”, “card games” and “adventure”. Users are less likely to search for such applications, but this does not mean that they are not searching for them at all. There is less organic traffic only as a percentage. Therefore, it is important to invest in advertising while still doing basic App Store Optimization.
A large percentage of browse traffic comes from the following categories: “adventure”, “puzzle”, “role-playing”, “simulation” and “strategy”. Developers and marketers need to optimize the app and increase its rating in order to apply for the inclusion of the app in the collection.
What else influences your app promotion strategy
ASOdesk experts say that before building a promotion strategy, in addition to the percentage of organic and inorganic traffic, it is also worth considering the following parameters:
What competitors in your niche focus on
For example, in the categories “casino” and “puzzles”, the percentage of search traffic is significantly lower than the percentage of paid traffic. Major publishers are investing in paid advertising. However, this does not mean that there is little search traffic in these categories. In this study, we looked at niches only from the percentage ratio. In absolute terms, the percentage of search traffic can be much higher. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the behavior of competitors in your niche.
What is the percentage of branded traffic
The higher the percentage of search traffic, the more ASO is needed. However, it is important to highlight your market niche and look at the percentage of branded traffic.
For example, in the social media niche, the percentage of search traffic is quite high. But users are looking for specific brands: Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. This means that non-branded search queries will be difficult to promote in this niche. In such niches, you need to invest in ASO, but even more time should be spent on brand development.
How to determine the ratio of branded to non-branded traffic:
1. Collect all the search queries relevant to your niche.
To do this, find all search queries. Divide them into branded and non-branded. For example, in the field of purchasing airline tickets, branded queries would be “American airlines”, “Delta airlines”, etc. Non-branded queries would be “book air tickets”, “cheap air tickets”, “air tickets online”, etc.
To find the most popular search queries, you can use “Most Popular Keywords” tab in “Keyword Analytics” in ASOdesk. For example, we found the most popular keywords related to air travel in the United States. Keywords from this tool can be added to the semantic core.
2. Estimate the percentage of branded and non-branded traffic for these queries.
See the number of users searching for an app using a specific keyword per day (Daily Impressions). Analyze all keywords and see the percentage and popularity of branded and non-branded keywords.
We have analyzed 300 keywords for the US airline industry and found that 73,627 users are searching for an app using branded queries and 9005 users are using non-branded ones. Branded keywords are eight times more popular the non-branded keywords.
How to choose an application promotion strategy
Traffic analysis helped us understand in which categories of the App Store users find apps more often.
Applications with a high percentage of organic traffic include: “books”, “business”, “catalogs”, “food & drink”, “education”, “finances”, “news”, “productivity”, “reference”, “social networks”, “utilities” and “weather”. In games, a high percentage of search traffic is found in the categories: “action”, “arcades”, “casual games”, “educational games”, “racing”, “sports” and “quizzes”.
Applications in the categories “board”, “entertainment”, “navigation”, “lifestyle” and “family” have a large percentage of advertising traffic. The percentage of paid traffic is the highest in the following categories of games: “card”, “casino”, “puzzles” and “word”.
ASOdesk specialists have compiled recommendations with the help of which you can identify suitable promotion channels:
1. It’s important to regularly engage in App Store Optimization if the niche is dominated by non-branded search traffic. Therefore, you will need an on-staff ASO specialist who will constantly monitor the position of the application by keywords, change the name and description, add queries to the semantic core, and analyze the ASO strategies of competitors.
2. If the traffic for brand queries in a niche is more than 40%, then it is important to create a budget for brand development: publications in the media, participation in exhibitions and conferences, SMM and influencer, TV and radio advertising.
3. If the percentage of search traffic is low, the app will still need basic App Store Optimization. You need to add keywords to the name and description of the application, optimize icons and screens, analyze competitors, track the rising and falling of positions for various queries. However, in this case, you can spend less time and resources on optimization. It will be enough to hire an employee for a few hours per week or month.
4. If more than 20% of your traffic comes from featured, promote your app in recommendations. It is necessary to optimize the application, remove bugs, do visual optimization, increase the rating and apply to the editors of the App Store and Google Play.
5. Ad traffic brings in a significant number of installs in most categories. Therefore, it is important to run ads in applications, search engines, and websites. The ad budget depends on the percentage of inorganic traffic in your niche.