Welcome to ASO Teardowns, a series where we dissect the strategies apps use to gain visibility on the App Store and Google Play for you to learn from.
If you've tried a diet before I bet you tried Lose it!, a calorie counter that launched right when the App Store opened up. Having been in the store for so many years has earned Lose It! quite a bit of momentum and prominence in search results, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need a good keyword strategy to remain competitive.
In this teardown, we'll look at what's right and what can be improved in its ASO strategy (hint, not much).
Lose It! gets overall ASO score of A
In this guide:
- Lose It! by the Numbers
- Analyzing the Overall ASO Strategy of Lose It! on the App Store
- Lose It! vs. the Competition
- Your Turn
Lose It! by the Numbers
Before we start examining, here are a few relevant stats about Lose It! on the App Store in the US:
- 📈 235K downloads in the last month
- 2️⃣0️⃣ in the Health & Fitness category
- ⭐️ 9K new ratings in the last month, 97% of those positive
- 👋 Audience is young and leans female
- 💰 Competes in two categories: weight loss and calorie tracking
A note on rank - We usually go for apps that are in the top 10 of their category, however, given the diversity and seasonality of the Health & Fitness category, we think Lose It!'s rank is just as good.
Analyzing the Overall ASO Strategy of Lose It! on the App Store
Now, let's look at the key components of ASO: keywords, to get found and send more people to the app's page, and visuals, to convert those people into users (aka. downloads).
For iOS apps, there are three areas Apple looks at for keywords: the app's name, subtitle, and keyword list. The first two are public, so we'll start by analyzing those:
- Name: Lose It! – Calorie Counter
- Subtitle: Food Tracker for Weight Loss
Strictly based on these, it looks like Lose It! is targeting the following keywords:
- Lose it
- Calorie counter
- Calorie Tracker
- Food tracker
- Lose weight
- Weight loss
- Weight tracker
Here's how the app's ranked in these, along with keyword insights:
Dieting and weight loss apps are always in demand, because who isn't trying to get in shape? The category peaks every January according to the Mobile Download Index, but for the most part is fairly popular year-round.
That means that competing over intuitive keywords such as "weight loss" and "calorie counter" is no easy task. That's why Lose It! targets them directly with its name and subtitle and not buried in its keyword list.
And it's working. The app ranks in the top 5 results for all the keywords it's targeting directly. Looking at how many downloads the competitors have, it could rank a rank or two higher for many of those. We'll look into that more below.
Beyond these keywords, the app also ranks in quite a few other popular keywords:
- Use the most popular keywords you're targeting in the app's name and subtitle.
- Apps with a generic word as part of its brand, like "lose," can combine that to get more keyword coverage.
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The keyword list is private and can only be seen by the developer and Apple's search algorithm, so we're going to have to reverse-engineer it. Based on keywords the app ranks in that aren't already in the name and subtitle, we believe it looks something like the following:
- Long-tail keywords are great for the keyword list and perfect for ones that are less popular.
- Using competitor names in the keyword list is very tempting, but if someone is already typing in a competitor's name, they're very likely only to download that competitor. Don't waste your characters.
The screenshots Lose it! uses are a great example of getting it right. A great mix of UI that's easy to understand at a glance with actionable captions and lots of contrast. Instead of a simple solid background, the screenshots have a slight design to them, which breaks up the monotony and makes them easier to look at.
- If you're not sure how to do your screenshots, copy these!
- Think back to your keyword list and use the most important ones as labels for your screenshots.
- If you show UI, make sure it's very clear what's going on at a glance and not dense with elements.
Lose It! is the first teardown we do that has a video. Already a win! The video is split into two parts, a quick intro that loops through the most important keywords like the screenshots. Then, it turns into a walkthrough of how to use the app to lose weight.
Although most users won't wait for the full walkthrough their first time around, those who are still on the fence after reviewing everything else that's on the page might, and are more likely to give the app a try.
- Use a video! There are very few cases where a video won't help or hurt downloads.
- Remember that attention spans are short, so opt for a fast-moving video, or split it into two parts like this one.
- Make the video actionable by reiterating your most important keywords and nudging the user to "get started."
Lose It! vs. the Competition
Lose It! takes on several apps, all with 100K monthly downloads or more. Here are the ones that come up most often for the keywords Lose It! is targeting, along with their performance, which comes directly from our app intelligence:
Lose it! sits relatively high up the list, yet when it comes to keywords, it's behind. Let's take a look a closer look at "calorie tracker," the most popular keyword in the set:
MyFitnessPal takes the top position even though it's not using the keyword in the app's name because it has the most downloads of the bunch, and by far. The algorithm is very kind to apps that have a large lead. But looking at downloads alone, you'd expect Lose It! to rank second and not third.
Lose It! has more downloads and ratings, and has been around for longer. So why is MyPlate Calorie Tracker ranked above it? That's a great question that likely has to do with MyPlate's clever use of localizations.
ASO experts know how to manipulate localizations to extend the keyword list, and we suspect MyPlate uses that for repetition, and that's how it tricks the algorithm into ranking it higher.
ASO has a lot of secrets, some dark and some just clever. This one is the latter.
Being around for a while doesn't automatically give you a good rank in the App Store. You have to compete just like everyone else. Lose It! has a solid keyword strategy, an actionable set of screenshots, and an App Preview video that's focused on conversion. It's a great example of how to do ASO right.
How's your ASO strategy performing? The key to success with ASO is to constantly make changes, and base those on data. Appfigures has all the tools you need to find and evaluate keywords, track performance, and monitor the competition. Get started