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How to Optimize Organic User Acquisition and Conversion Rates for Gaming Businesses in 2021

We all know that the gaming industry is highly competitive, and standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. So, how can gaming businesses effectively optimize their organic user acquisition and conversion rates in...

We all know that the gaming industry is highly competitive, and standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. So, how can gaming businesses effectively optimize their organic user acquisition and conversion rates in 2021? In this article, we will explore some valuable insights shared by MY.GAMES and ASOdesk at the WN Conference. So, let's dive in!

Understanding the Power of Non-Branded Traffic in Different Game Categories

When it comes to increasing the number of installs, relying solely on App Store Optimization (ASO) is not enough. To truly succeed, you need to aim for the top charts, similar apps, and suggested apps. But before diving into organic traffic, it's crucial to choose the right game category and develop a solid strategy for promoting your game.

During the speech at the WN Conference, Artiom Tkachuk emphasized the importance of understanding the number and percentage of non-branded searches across different gaming categories and countries. The more non-branded traffic a category has, the easier it becomes for a new game to advance in search results.

According to the research conducted by MY.GAMES and ASOdesk, here are some key insights:

  1. Family, card, word, racing, and board game categories have a significant percentage of non-branded searches in multiple countries. These categories offer great opportunities for organic growth as they are not overcrowded with strong brands.

  2. On the other hand, action, adventure, strategy, and simulation categories have a higher percentage of branded traffic, making it challenging to rely solely on ASO for promotion. Brand development, including social media promotion, advertising, and blogger collaborations, plays a crucial role in driving installs for these categories.

To make informed decisions about game categories and organic traffic, it's essential to analyze and adapt your strategy based on local preferences and trends.

The Key Role of Organic Installs and User Acquisition Channels

To create an effective ASO strategy, it's important to understand which traffic sources matter the most for your game. Based on the data from 25 MY.GAMES games, it was concluded that search traffic is a priority traffic source for the App Store, while for Google Play, explore traffic takes the lead.

In the App Store, 66% of installs come from search, while on Google Play, it's only 27%. This insight highlights the need to optimize your game for search queries on the App Store and focus on getting featured and appearing in top charts on Google Play to drive organic installs.

To ensure a positive outcome from working with all traffic sources, MY.GAMES recommends following these ASO and Explore Traffic optimization strategies:

  1. Textual optimization and search rankings should be a priority. Experiment with different variations of keywords, update your metadata every 2-3 weeks, and focus on improving the Google Play view-to-install conversion rate.

  2. Add seasonal and situational keywords to your semantic core to take advantage of current trends and events. Keeping an eye on ASOdesk's Trending Searches report can help you identify popular queries and add them to your keyword strategy.

  3. Refresh the graphical elements of your application page regularly (every 2-6 weeks) to ensure your game stands out from the competition. Add new visual elements that attract attention and engage potential users.

  4. Focus on keywords that rank well for your game and strategically place them in the title, subtitle, icon, and screenshots. Experiment and find the right combination that helps you achieve higher rankings.

By implementing these strategies, you can improve your game's visibility, search rankings, and install conversion rates, ultimately leading to more organic installs.

Mastering Explore Traffic for Increased Visibility

Since 73% of traffic on Google Play comes from Explore Traffic, it's crucial to understand how to work with it effectively. To get your game featured or reach the top charts, follow these general tips:

  1. Prioritize the quality of your game. A great user experience and regular updates without any bugs are key factors in gaining visibility.

  2. Pay attention to ratings. App store editors typically prioritize games with a score above 4-4.5. Work on improving your game's rating by responding adequately to user reviews.

  3. Optimize screenshots and videos by showcasing the main features of your game in the first two screenshots. These visuals play a significant role in attracting potential users.

  4. Utilize seasonal creative strategies to get your game featured in special compilations related to holidays or events. This can significantly boost your visibility and organic installs.

  5. Follow platform recommendations, such as the launch checklists for Google Play developers. Staying on top of these guidelines can improve your chances of getting featured.

  6. Adapt your game for different countries by providing localized versions. The more localizations you have, the higher the chances of getting featured globally.

By implementing these tips, you can optimize your game's exposure in Explore Traffic and increase your chances of being featured, reaching top charts, and attracting more organic installs.

Leveraging Similar Apps to Increase Traffic

Another invaluable tool for increasing traffic on Google Play is leveraging the Similar Apps feature. To take advantage of this feature, follow these simple tips:

  1. Determine how Google categorizes your game using the API GNL (Google Natural Language). This tool helps you understand how Google categorizes your game within all Google categories and allows you to adapt your text to the desired category.

  2. Create similar visuals to those of your main competitors. Google's algorithms not only analyze text but also visuals. By creating similar visual features, you can boost your game's positions in Similar Apps.

  3. Focus on improving ratings and reviews, as they heavily influence your visibility in Similar Apps. Additionally, the overall volume of installs impacts your visibility. Constantly work on improving these metrics.

By following these tips, you can increase your game's visibility in Similar Apps and attract more traffic.

The Synergy Between ASO and Paid User Acquisition

Paid traffic is a popular method for boosting game visibility and attracting more installs. However, an effective synergy between ASO and paid user acquisition can significantly enhance the results. Here's how:

  1. Add recognizable characters to your ads. This helps users distinguish your game from others and ensures they receive the right message.

  2. Increase the relevance of your ASA (Apple Search Ads) ads by adding the same keywords to your metadata. This improves the performance of your ads and reduces costs.

  3. Create different sets of screenshots tailored to different keywords. This increases the conversion rate (CR) and can be done by uploading up to 10 screenshots to your app store page.

  4. Adapt your app page for the keywords you want to target. After launching advertising campaigns, the number of installs affects your keyword ranking. Hence, it's essential to work on increasing impressions for more keywords.

  5. Maintain close communication between ASO and ad managers. Collaboration and sharing information ensure that the content in ads matches the information on the application page.

  6. Keep relevant keywords in your metadata to maximize the K-factor. This helps improve organic growth and maintain search positions.

It's essential to avoid certain actions that could negatively affect your ASO and advertising results:

  1. Maintain communication with UA (User Acquisition) teams to avoid misunderstandings and be aware of any changes that could impact ASO, KPIs, and installs.

  2. Continue using creative sets that have shown good results in paid campaigns. Incorporate similar ideas into your screenshots to maintain consistency.

  3. Avoid displaying misleading ads. While they might show short-term success, it's crucial to monitor essential metrics such as retention rate, daily active users, and monthly active users.

By aligning your ASO and paid user acquisition efforts, you can maximize the visibility and effectiveness of your game's promotion.

The Power of Game Localization

Localization is an excellent strategy for increasing game downloads. Consider the following factors when choosing languages for localization:

  1. Prioritize markets with the highest revenue market share rather than just download share. It's essential to focus on markets where users are more likely to pay for your game.

  2. Popular languages for localization, known as FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish), are vital for international game growth. If you are just starting to localize your game, FIGS languages are the best starting point.

  3. If your game is already localized in FIGS and you're looking to expand to new markets, consider languages such as Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Turkish, and Polish.

In addition to translating the game, consider visual asset localization. Pay attention to local competitors' visuals, follow category trends, and personalize visual elements to appeal to your target audience. This can significantly increase your conversion rates in different markets.

A case study with the game Hustle Castle demonstrated the power of localization. After creating a new video specifically for the Japanese market, search installs quadrupled.

Essential KPIs for Gaming Applications

To measure the effectiveness of optimization, it's crucial to analyze the right key performance indicators (KPIs). Here are the most important KPIs for games in the App Store and Google Play:

Indicators for the App Store:

  1. Keyword Ranking: Measures the success of your keyword updates.

  2. Search Installs by Country: Indicates the effectiveness of textual and visual updates in each market.

  3. Search Conversion Rate (Search CR): Measures how well your metadata contributes to user engagement.

  4. Browse Installs: Helps evaluate the effectiveness of being a featured game.

  5. Reviews and Ratings: Impact search page and product page conversion rates, especially for new games without a strong brand name.

  6. Apple Search Ads Conversion Rate (ASA CR): Measures the performance of your ads and helps lower costs per tap (CPT).

Indicators for Google Play:

  1. Tracking Search Positions: Measures the effectiveness of textual metadata updates.

  2. Search Traffic and Explore Traffic CR: Evaluate the effectiveness of your graphics updates.

  3. Total Organic Installs by Country: Measures the effectiveness of ASO optimization in each market.

  4. Categories & Similar App Visibility: Shows the effectiveness of full description optimization and visual asset optimizations.

  5. Reviews & Ratings: Impact install conversion rates and visibility in Featured, Top Charts, and Similar Apps.

  6. 1d Retention Rate: Helps understand how well new creative strategies engage users.

By considering these KPIs, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your ASO efforts and make informed decisions for future iterations.


Optimizing organic user acquisition and conversion rates in the gaming industry requires careful strategies and data-driven decision-making. To summarize our key takeaways:

  • Choose game categories with a significant percentage of non-branded traffic to increase your chances of organic growth.
  • Understand the power of search traffic on the App Store and explore traffic on Google Play and optimize your game accordingly.
  • Regularly update your textual and visual optimization, experiment with keywords, and stay on top of current trends.
  • Utilize explore traffic, get featured, and focus on improving ratings and reviews to increase visibility.
  • Leverage Similar Apps and work on improving ratings, installs, and overall app quality to gain more visibility.
  • Align ASO and paid user acquisition efforts to maximize the effectiveness of both strategies.
  • Prioritize game localization based on revenue market share and cultural preferences.
  • Measure the right KPIs to evaluate the effectiveness of your optimization efforts and make informed decisions.

By implementing these strategies, you can increase your game's visibility, attract more organic installs, and optimize conversion rates. Stay informed about industry trends, adapt your strategies, and keep experimenting to achieve long-term success in the ever-evolving gaming industry.