As App Store Optimization Heats Up, MobileDevHQ Goes Free, Launches API

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A company helping mobile developers optimize their app store listings for better discoverability, MobileDevHQ, is this week making its basic set of tools free for app marketers while branching out further into the enterprise, with the debut of an API. The API will provide the service’s high-end customers with programmatic access to Top Charts and Search Ranking data, which can then be pulled into internal dashboards or used for custom analysis.

MobileDevHQ, for background, first launched its ASO (App Store Optimization) toolset for developers in the beginning of 2013, after spinning out from earlier efforts which saw the service branded as AppStoreHQ, reflecting its then focus on its app store search and discovery platform. But the real business which emerged over the months that followed involved helping developers better understand the current ASO landscape – like what keywords to use, what competitors are doing in terms of keywords, app titles and descriptions, and other choices that impact rankings.

This is an increasingly important area of focus for app store marketers, as search position and rankings play a bigger role in getting an app found by an app store’s end users. And no company, no matter how notable or buzzy, is immune from having to pay attention to this area. For example, when Jelly, the new app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, launched this month, it was so low ranked for the keyword “jelly” that it was virtually impossible to find via an app store search. (This has since improved, thanks to downloads, reviews and getting an App Store featured listing).

search_ranking_1-1480373d66499c231ad07063e65891dcToday, MobileDevHQ CEO Ian Sefferman says his platform has seen over 30,000 sign-ups to date, and while the company won’t disclose the number of enterprise customers, he would say that the number has increased by 100% over the last couple of months.

Going forward, MobileDevHQ is making both its “indie” plan a free plan, as well as the “Professional” plan, which was previously $125/month. (Indies are automatically upgraded to the Professional tier.) This allows app marketers to access the tools need to track multiple apps across regions on both iOS and Android, as well as access the Keyword Research tool, with the ability to view up to three months of historical data. Plus, MobileDevHQ has removed the earlier restrictions around how many keywords and number of competitors which can be tracked, making the service more useful overall.

Those who were already paying for the Professional plan are now getting bumped up one tier to “Publisher” for three months at the same price as before. When the trial wraps, they can then decide whether or not they want to continue paying or drop back down to the free service.

Most importantly, the company is launching an API for app store marketers, which offers access to ASO reports, Top Charts, and search rankings. The REST-based API is included with all enterprise plans, and can return results in either JSON or XML.

mobiledevhq-computerThis was one of the most requested features by enterprise customers, says Sefferman. “They are often using a dozen or more different services and this allows them to bring back that data into a single dashboard to get a holistic view of their performance: Top Charts rank, Search Ranking, competitive intelligence, downloads, revenue, paid vs organic performance, and so on,” he explains.

The company also claims that its average user increases downloads by 20% after using its toolset, which highlights the importance of proper ASO.

The decision to make most services free was touted as being due to the growing enterprise customer base, but MobileDevHQ is also operating in a very competitive space – the company is one of many services targeting app marketers today, where competitors also include Mobile ActionSearchMan, Appnique, App Promo, Appcodes, and many others.

More details on the product and sign up is here on the MobileDevHQ website.