Your app has great app store rankings.
It shows up in the first listings of every app store, and you are receiving a huge amount of traffic that’s generating downloads, conversions, in-app purchases, emails, phone calls, and leads. Well done you!
Then, it happens. You’re not sure why, but your leads started drying up. You check your app analytics reports and there’s a drastic loss in traffic.
You’re starting to feel worried so you check your app store rankings. They’ve gone down too.
At this point, you’re not just worried, you are alarmed and terrified.
How could this have happened?
Moreover, what can you do to fix the problem and get all your leads and sales flowing smoothly again?
If you have the dilemma above, then you’re not just a victim of lost ASO rankings, but also a bit of ranking obsession. Your ranking is a vital ASO metric, but you could be focusing on your ASO rankings to the point where it’s a bit counterproductive.
That being said, your ranking is still important, so let’s continue with 8 reasons why you may experience a drop in your ASO rankings and what you can do in each scenario.
What To Do When Your ASO Goes Wrong
1. App Store Keywords
You could be tracking the wrong rankings in your ASO Strategy. In 2016, there has been a shift towards “natural language” when it comes to searches on the App Stores, which means people are typing (or speaking) keyword phrases or terms into the App Store search engines, rather than just using one or two keywords.
If you are only tracking relevant keywords, it might be that your keyword strategy is not up to date. People who are looking for you may be using long-tail keywords or phrases, and you need to update your keyword strategy as soon as possible so they can find you.
2. The App Store Rankings Dance
Remember that it’s OK for ASO rankings to fluctuate. Not just from one day to the next, but from one computer to another, one particular location to another, or based on many other variables. Apple and Google are constantly testing every new variable by changing app store search results.
This is why it’s counter-productive to focus more on specific app store optimization rankings. Your ASO firm or expert may give you an ASO ranking report, but if you checked the rankings on your own machine they may be different, mainly because the report sent to you was run from a different computer.
Because the ASO rankings have changed since yesterday, the Google Play or App Store dance is the only logical explanation for small drops in app store optimization rankings.
3. You Have a New App
If you just launched a new app, you can expect your ASO rankings to drop, regardless of the work you did to launch it, and regardless of how much better the new app is in terms of ASO than the old one.
To limit the drop in app store rankings, make sure a solid ASO strategy is in place. Some companies have gone out of business after a major ASO mistake. Make sure the new app is well optimized prior to launching it.
Also, prepare yourself for the worst as the rankings will inevitably drop, at least temporarily. Generally, the ASO rankings will recover within three to four weeks, if not quite a bit faster.
4. You are Focusing on the Long-Term Over the Short-Term
Your new app is new no longer. After an update to your app, its ASO rankings went down, then came back up quickly, even higher than they were before, but now they’re back down again.
Or maybe you launched a new game and after a few weeks or so, it shot to the top of the app store rankings in its category, and then dropped back down – big time. This is a common occurrence. The important thing here is to be patient, and invest in best practices for App Store Optimization.
Great long-term rankings require continuous work.
5. Low-Quality App 🙁
A few years ago, many companies made the mistake of investing in reskinned apps or games. Now, with various updates made by Apple and Google, their app store search engines are now seeing these as “spam apps or games”.
These are low-quality apps or games which tend to drop rankings in the app stores or disappear entirely. Google and Apple wanted app publishers to make that extra effort to develop a quality app or game.
6. Poor Choice of ASO Provider
Resorting to a low-quality ASO firm, or a company whose expertise isn’t in the ideal place to provide high-quality ASO results should not be an option.
You may end up losing everything since your company or app business rely heavily on your ASO strategy.
It is a must that you employ the best ASO firm or expert to provide the best practices for your app store optimization strategy.
7. Tough Competitors
App Store Search engine rankings are a zero sum game – take note of that. For any given keyword, if one app’s ranking improves, one other app’s ranking must go down.
This is part of why ASO services are ongoing, rather than “fly by night”. Your app is never fully optimized because your competitors are constantly improving their own apps. It’s a never ending climb to the mountain, and the only way to stay or be on top is continuous ASO effort.
8. Change in App Store Algorithms
Thousands of experts are employed at Google and Apple who are working to improve their app store search algorithm. This algorithm is updated numerous times each year (randomly, with most of the updates being significant and disruptive, while the rest are just minor in impact.
The point of the matter here is, when Apple or Google makes an update, the changes in ASO rankings affects those apps who are not in compliance, negatively. To avoid death by Google or Apple update, follow their guidelines as best practices, and engage only in legit ASO tactics (no “black hat!”).
So if you have not checked one or more of these items yet, get started right now. It can help get you back on the right path.