5 Steps to Identify Your Mobile Game's App Store Competitors

by Game Marketing Genie, on 01-Oct-2020 14:15:30

App stores are flooded with applications of all sizes from companies around the world. The numbers show that there are around 2.8 million apps on Google Play Store and over 2.2 million apps on iOS App Store. As such, you need to make sure your app makes an impact after you launch it. However, the chances of your application making it without any help is minimal. To be seen by your target users, you need to get your app optimized for the store you’re launching it on. 

App store optimization (ASO) is the process of enhancing your app to increase its visibility in app stores and accelerate its conversions. A study by Startup Grind shows that 0.01 percent of apps come out successful. This means that out of every 10,000 apps that are launched only one app makes it and the other 9,999 apps don't.  You need to see yours to be that one in 10,000. Let’s take a look at different ways to identify your competitors and outpace their marketing efforts to help your app succeed.

1. Find competitor apps

Finding your competitors is the first step in your competitor analysis framework. But how do you know who your competitors are? You might think that shortlisting them is like finding a needle in a haystack. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide. Run through the following items to figure out who your competitors are without any hassle. 

  • Look for apps that fall in your niche or that are similar to yours in use. These are your direct competitors. 
  • Check for apps that have a similar target market as yours. Through this, you can understand both your competition and audience better. 
  • Keep an eye out for apps that share similar features to yours. When shortlisting these applications, you don’t have to focus on their unique selling propositions or what makes them different; but what makes you similar. 
  • Always watch out for those apps that don’t have anything common with you but fight for their share through the similar keywords you’re betting your app on. Those who fall in this category can be termed as ASO competitors. 

You can perform these checks using the app store’s search engine. To understand your competitors better, you can also reach out to app store optimization experts that provide app store optimization services to make sure everything is done professionally.

Mobile phone with apps on screen

2. Review app store rankings for similar apps

Now that you have found your competitor apps, it is time for you to analyze them for deeper insights. The intention of reviewing the app store rankings for apps that are similar to yours is to help you make better strategic decisions by analyzing their features and performance. This allows you to keep track of where you may have missed out on your app’s development as per the industry trends. 

Start by analyzing the outstanding apps in your niche who are your direct and biggest competitors. Every app store has its set of metrics through which it ranks an application. You’ll want to identify what is making these apps get mileage, and apply a similar tactic to your own listing.

As you analyze the leading apps in your field, and later move on to the other categories of competitors, you will open up your understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. This information helps you get a bird’s eye view of your niche and industry as a whole that is not directly available in the market. 

As we’re talking about the Google Play Store and Apple’s iOS App Store today, we will look at what elements each of these platforms consider. 

Man looking at graph

3. Competitor keyword analysis

As indicated previously, every app store uses certain metrics to check if it can rank an app higher or lower. Keywords are one of the fundamental elements that rank apps higher. 

For instance, you need to be cautious about how you draft your gaming app’s title. Research has revealed that apps that included a keyword in their title are likely to rank 10.3 percent higher than ones that didn’t. But you may have a doubt as to how you can incorporate a keyword in the title when you already have a defined brand name. The iOS App Store allows 30 characters for your title, whereas the Google Play Store allows 50. You can integrate your targeted keyword or keywords into your app title following your brand name. If you think that it may affect branding, but it won’t affect your app adversely at all. 

Here is a research report that shows the percentage of apps being ranked in the app stores after incorporating their keyword in their app titles.  

Keywords in app titles


Once you’ve integrated your most targeted keyword into your app title, you can concentrate on the remaining keywords. You need to check what keywords your competitors are using that are making them rank higher in these application store search results. 

Shortlist certain keywords that are prevalent in your niche and look out for competitors who show up every time that keyword is searched for. Furthermore, you also need to check how much money they are spending for their app rank in the search results. This helps you to decipher if their campaigns are simple test campaigns, moderate, or aggressive campaigns. Check if they are using your brand’s name as a keyword to market to ensure you come out on top. 

Apple Mac keyboard

4. Conduct competitor analysis 

Competitor analysis is to compare and contrast the differences and similarities between your app and your competitors’ apps. Every app has its own strengths and weaknesses. By being able to find the assets and liabilities of your competitors', you can educate yourself on what elements to embrace and the ones you need to avoid.

You need to consider their images, descriptions, keyword usage, and more that are considered by app stores to calibrate your app’s ranking. If you don’t level up your app’s visuals to the industry standards or surpass it, the chances of your audience avoiding your app are high.

Google and Apple have all different processes of reviewing an app. Let’s take a look at these metrics in detail. Apple’s app store ranking metrics include app name, URL, subtitles, keyword field, in-app purchase, ratings and reviews, updates, downloads, engagement, and more. Whereas, Google’s Play Store includes app title, short description, long description, in-app purchases, ratings and reviews, updates, downloads, engagement, among other things. Though it is not a cakewalk to get a hang of all these metrics and strategies that your competitors use, there are a few that are available at your reach. Let’s take a look at them. 

The download count of an app makes its ranking, also known as the download velocity. If the download velocity of an app is high, app stores rank them higher. Additionally, check your competitors' reviews. Reviews are one of the best ways to understand the good, bad, and the ugly of an app. The highlight of the reviews section is, that data is available at your disposal for no cost at all. It helps you understand what your target audience is looking for, their pain points, the elements they like, and more. This shows you the impact it created by providing a quality experience to its users. 

People looking at graphs

5. Check out other resources

There are other resources that are available right at your disposal if you look around enough. With the internet at your fingertips, you can accumulate all the information that you require in terms of business. 

Checking out your competitor’s social media accounts is one of the best ways to understand their strategy and business goals. Additionally, you can research for any recent news articles related to them that have been published, or check for any specific industry reports published by them. You can also study their audiences as well. Running through all these resources helps you gain insights into the comprehensive strategies they’ve been employing overtime and helps you get a bigger picture. 

Coupled with all these strategies, you also need to analyze the industry trends. Study what the opinion leaders in your industry have been talking about and recommending to enhance the growth of app across this mega billion dollar industry. You can update yourself with these trends and transformations by also attending networking events, conferences, and associated webinars to extrapolate the most so that you can create a better app and provide a high-caliber and unrivaled gaming experience to your audiences.

Person searching on Google

Fulfill your quest with mobile game marketing

Mobile game marketing is your key to the quest for success! Take control of your new game and make its marketing matter with the help of our insider tips in Mobile Game Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Success.

Now that you understand what app store optimization is, it is time for you to put it into practice. If you’re not using ASO, then you’re missing out on chances for your app to succeed. 

If you are not confident about implementing the best ASO practices for your brand by yourself, you should reach out to an app marketing agency. You need to always remember that the crux of identifying and studying your competitors is not to imitate them but to provide an exceptional gaming experience. The team at Game Marketing Genie can help you by crafting and offering excellent app store optimization services, taking care of the entire process from start to finish.

Let us help you increase your brand’s visibility in the app stores and drive your conversions - contact us today!

Topics:Mobile Game MarketingApp Store OptimizationVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyApp Marketing StrategyDigital Marketing

Book in a free consultation