Early this morning, an app developer friend of mine forwarded an unsolicted email that he recently received titled “[Your App Name] Got a Score of 5 out of 100!”and asked me what I thought of it. I replied “Spam?” and he wrote back and said this…
“I thought so too, but I’m pretty impressed with their interface so far, although I haven’t played with it enough to determine if they offer anything that App Annie doesn’t. They also got funding recently.”
Since I hold this friend in high regard, I had to check it out for myself. Keep in mind that I already use quite a few tools so I have a high bar on new platforms claiming to make a difference in this very competitive game. My primary tools (platforms) are Flurry, AppAnnie and AppFigures although I use a few additional (highly recommended) iPhone apps like Appster and Apphop.
The platform is called Mobile Action. The user interface is intuitive and I was able to create an account and start adding a couple of my apps in seconds. I decided to start with my Fast Camera app which has been downloaded over 7 million times. On the first screen, you input your app’s name to search and select the correct app from the results list. The next screen shows all of the keywords your app ranks for so you can add those, add additional keywords, delete some or connect to your iTunes account. You click next and they show you a keyword popularity score for each of your relevant keywords, how many other apps rank for the same keyword and your app’s current rank. You also get an overall visibility score. Fast Camera received a D- 34 out of 100 which is odd considering it ranks #1 for the term “Fast Camera” but perhaps they get more sign-ups by giving out D’s and F’s up-front than they would by giving out A’s and B’s where appropriate. They even gave Camera+ a C (63 out of 100) and it is the best selling Camera app of all time ranking #1 for the word “camera” and much more. You can add additional apps in the same manner if you have more than one. It’s not clear whether these are all based on the U.S. store and wasn’t clear to me where you could change the country for the keyword rankings.
After establishing keywords and competitor apps, you move on to Competitive insights although the most important part of that dashboard requires a premium subscription (estimated downloads). There is also a review analysis screen but that appeared to be non-functional or broken. I chose my Fast Camera app and set the custom date range to April 1, 2014 through today and it didn’t show any reviews. (We have a lot of reviews)
Next you move on to their “Action Plan” sheet which is probably the most helpful part, even for an experienced developer. Sometimes we just need action steps to walk through one by one (like finishing your LinkedIN profile) and statistics without recommendations are typically useless. There is also a Trends section and a Promotion (Campaigns) section but I haven’t gotten into those yet.
Overall, I would recommend any app developer to at least sign up and check this out. The keyword rankings are useful and if you walk through all their recommended action steps one by one, it will make a difference. I’m not recommending you give them access to your iTunes account unless you develop your own sense of trust with the company. Remember, these companies make a LOT of money on the intelligence data and if you have high-ranking apps with lots of paid sales and/or free downloads, giving them access to your reports for free gives them another key data point they can use in their predictions models.
Full disclosure: Because I liked what I saw and decided to upgrade to the Premium paid subscription, I contacted the company and was offered a reduced subscription price for writing an honest review of this platform. They were not shown this blog post before publishing and did not influence it’s content in any way.