Top Ten for “Radio News,” “Shortwave” on Google Play


1 Radio News just rocketed up the results for some key Google Play searches – Radio News (#6) and Shortwave (#3).

We are back in the top ten with our new version 2 (hourly news on-demand AND live news) like we were with version 1 (on-demand only) of 1 Radio News last year.

In fact, it was discovering that our app was actually being found by people searching for “radio news” that inspired us to invest in version 2.

To our surprise, the act of upgrading our app caused us to fall way down the search results.

Yikes, near the bottom of the 250 listed for “radio news” on some days. Far better app … far worse exposure. Hmmm, what to do?

So we invested a bit in online ads (Google display network app install ads – ads in apps) to try and build our install base with the new version.

Ironically, we found that ads in the wrong countries cause a high uninstall rate. Why? Google install conversions doesn’t mean people will keep the app and based on the stats, some nations generated had uninstall rates of 80% while others had 30% (those weren’t necessarily ad driven installs).

The churn was probably hurting our ASO or App Store Optimization even though we did climb the search results week on week and break into the top 50 for “radio news.”

So we poured through our analytics and figured out which countries have the highest install retention rate and repeat users. We focused ads on high retention countries for a few weeks.

We love you Somalia and South Korea!  Clearly you want radio news on your mobile!

We would target ads to Iran too, but Adwords won’t let you. 🙂

(We fully expect the overall retention rates to fall in countries where we advertised for the first time, but it is too soon to check the numbers.)

We also tweaked our short description to include the term “shortwave.”

Why? In addition to being called a shortwave app by the media and picked up by shortwave blogs, we found that while few people clicked on our “Shortwave radio on mobile” ad, they converted to installs at one of the highest rates. Ads with many clicks but few installs are costly – meaning the wrong people liked the ad but they didn’t actually like our product once they reached Google Play.

Last week we decided to stop paid ads to see how our app is settling in with only organic installs.

What did we find? We don’t know yet. 🙂 Stay tuned.

Tomorrow we might drop waaaay down the charts. Two days up in search results heaven may well be temporary.

In fact, on the reverse search “news radio” (which people search nearly twice as much on regular Google) we don’t appear at all in the top 250. We’ve been as high as 67 in the last 90 days according to AppAnnie.

However, as we have culled lots of free advice on ASO, let us add some. Our sense is that uninstalls rates impact your app store search placement. Advertising free apps dramatically increases your uninstalls. That said, advertising introduces your app to new loyal users in new places. If they like your app, they will by word of mouth may bring in more users. Will our new users across a number of African countries we secured via advertising tell two friends? Time will tell.

While written reviews on our paid app with 10x more stations are glowing, people who find our app on the store seem to like it. In fact, of the top six apps for “radio news” our rating is the best at 4.3. Notably our Pro version is rated at 4.8 … but both have relatively few ratings.

Lastly, what about our “Pro” app?

We found out that despite lots of ad clicks, no one was enticed to install the app for money. No one.

If our free app really takes off, we envision shifting to in-app purchases for more stations, no ads, and some other features separately. As far as we can tell, the free app is the best way to advertise the simple Pro upgrade for now. In fact, we are often just in the top 20 for Paid app installs in the News and Magazines category (31 right now). This probably says a lot more about how few people buy apps in this category than the popularity of our app. However, if we break the top ten in the number of News apps sold, that will be something! Stay tuned.