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AppTweak Releases Improved ASO Organic Keyword Attribution

Gabe Kwakyi | February 25, 2019

Big news from ASO tool, AppTweak with an excellent new data point to add to your weekly ASO reporting: the number of downloads sourced by keyword, AKA organic keyword attribution.

While ASO tools such as AppTweak have offered this data point in the past, the approach has been far less involved. This time around, AppTweak solves for two critical pieces:


1. The non-linear distribution of downloads based on keyword ranks. Most app marketers know that ranking in the top 10 is the goal; but not all app marketers realize that the number of downloads that an app receives at position #10 is vastly different from those at position #4, and especially #1.

The graph above illustrates the mechanics of this (if the time were replaced with rank in descending order, and quantity were replaced with number of downloads in ascending order)


2. The stark difference in the distribution of downloads based on whether a keyword is branded or not. Most app marketers also like to rank highly for competitive keywords, and would call a top 10 rank for a competitor a win. While any downloads that can be sucked out of conquest rankings are typically very valuable, the number of downloads that go to the other apps ranking for a brand search is much smaller than one might realize. And the similar, non-linear decay in the distribution of downloads in the apps ranking after the branded result means that apps ranking anywhere beyond #2 or #3 net a much smaller percent of the download distribution than the same apps ranking in the same positions if the keyword were non-branded.


Also - as AppTweak points out, Google Play's organic search term insights are available only for your own app, and AppTweak's download estimation is available for any app, including your competitors.


AppTweak's data is also extremely valuable for ensuring that, when optimizing metadata, no keywords that have a high contribution margin to your bottom line are not disturbed. 


So what's missing? Here are a few factors that may yet remain unknowns or challenges in interpreting this great new data for actionable insights:

  • While there is the treasure trove of organic search term insights in Google Play, there is no such yardstick in iOS to measure a 3rd party like AppTweak's accuracy in calculating the number of monthly searches or downloads available.
    • Moreover, it is hard to get a read of the true, organic-only number of downloads, especially if the data underlying AppTweak's insights is based on apps that rely on a lot of advertising, which can skew back end calculations, especially when looking at non-branded keywords' availability of monthly downloads.
  • Relevance and conversion rate are still invisible - while having the download estimation based on the average download distributions is great, it's also important to know that download distributions will be higher or lower than the average distributions, depending on relevance and conversion rate. Ultimately relevance and conversion rate will lead to changes in rank, but especially when competing for keywords with high incumbent inertia and a large gap between 1 or 2 rank spots, the score may lose its potential to distinguish download share between competing apps.
    • This can also make using the data to research new keywords challenging, as a large total number of downloads doesn't say anything about your app's ability to capture those downloads if you were to compete for them (but AppTweak's Keyword Efficiency Index is their means to solve for this).
  • Real visibility - it's unknown whether AppTweak accounts for the presence of editorial placements like App of the Day features or collections, developer pages, or search ads in iOS results, all of which can change the download distribution.


The Bottom LineAppTweak revamps its organic keyword attribution feature, explicitly factoring for two key aspects: the non-linear nature of keyword download distribution, as well as the difference in download distributions between branded and non-branded keywords.


That’s all for today! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts breaking down mobile marketing concepts.

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Incipia is a mobile marketing consultancy that markets apps for companies, with a specialty in mobile advertising, business intelligence, and ASO. For post topics, feedback or business inquiries please contact us, or send an inquiry