Price Change: App Listings

Price Change: App Listings

We launched the Flippa Apps marketplace in 2013, and since then thousands of successful App sales have been completed through the Flippa platform, helping us become the largest Apps marketplace in the world.

To date, it has always been free to list an App, and while we remain committed to ensuring that Flippa is an open and easy to use platform for all entrepreneurs, we’ve also received your feedback on the drawbacks to our current pricing model.

This is why we are introducing a $9 App listing fee. We expect that introducing this change will help push low-quality listings away from the marketplace, and increase the exposure received by top quality offerings, providing a better experience for both Buyers and Sellers.

During the coming months, we plan to unveil many new exciting features in the Apps marketplace, and we hope this change will allow us to release even more features as we continue to grow and evolve.

If you have any questions or feedback about this pricing change, please contact our support team by emailing [email protected] – we’re here to help.

10 App Search Optimization Secrets

10 App Search Optimization Secrets

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran in the app business you should understand and value the benefits of App Search Optimization.

One benefit of App Search Optimization is that most organic downloads come from the App Store and Google Play searches. More than 65% to be exact, also, the organic downloads are free and the more people that download your app organically the better it will rank. Take note of keywords used in the descriptions in order to maximize downloads.

How to – App Search Optimization

There a number of informative articles based on App Search Optimization that can be found online. Considering I own 10 apps and have worked in the App business for 4+ years, I want to share the knowledge I have gained that has been tried and tested


    1. England (U.K.) affects all 147 stores except the United States and Canada. This is intended for the App Store and iOS apps. So, when you write a description or title, write it in English (UK) and English (US). Also remember to localize your app and translate it in as many languages as possible. The aim is to increase your apps popularity both in the UK & USA but to a broader more international marketplace as well.


    1. Besides Mexico, Spanish (Mexico) language now also affects the United States app market. Until March 2016, there was only Spanish (Spain) to use for the title and description – IOS


    1. Google Play now allows you to include emojis in App Title. This makes your app much more visually appealing to the potential users – Example. iOS still doesn’t support this though. – Google Play

Methods To Discovering New Apps

    1. Keywords in the title are significantly more important than the keywords used in the keyword field of your developers console. Aim for easy, logical wording consisting of 10-12 words. Don’t just throw random words in the title. Also, note that short titles for non-branded apps represents a serious waste of opportunity. Always use as many keywords as possible in the title. This point is intended for iOS users, as Google Play now limits the title to only 30 characters and has totally different ranking algorithm than iOS.


    1. Reviews Reviews Reviews! Do more reviews mean a better ranking? The answer is yes! Reviews are crucial for two reasons: boosting your app’s keywords and people are more likely to download apps with more reviews. So, try to get as many reviews as possible! Integrating a link in your app prompting users to leave a review is a must!- Google Play and IOS.


    1. My next secret is based on the importance of spelling. Surprisingly enough 50% of search google search queries are misspelled. We all noticed this and we have all done it. More details can be found in an article written by the head of search and discovery for Google Play Ankit Jain. He revealed 2 years ago in this article, so you can start look after popular misspelled keywords and phrases and add them into your description – Google Play


    1. Keep it simple and reduce the size of the apps. Small sized apps make more installs and in IOS, the apps that are more than 100mb can’t be downloaded via 3G and can only be downloaded via Wi-Fi. So yes, size matters. Try to make it lighter, but don’t reduce its features on Google Play and IOS.


    1. Release the app on Google Play before iOS. Google Play allows you to test the icon and screenshots in order to give you the most accurate preview possible before being published on IOS. Google has amazing tools for testing that goes under the name “Experiments” – Google Play and IOS


Google's Testing Tool: Experiments

    1. If you’ve done everything by the rules and the organic traffic is still not coming in, you need to try incentivized traffic to boost your ASO and keyword ranking. Below I’ve showed you an example of how it looks. You can use SuperSonic Ads which are very simple to Integrate and if you have some tracker like Appflyer you may not need to integrate it at all. Incentivized installs are not expensive. The prices go from $0.10 worldwide and you can seriously boost your apps traffic. This link will give you $120 extra for your first $100 – Link Google Play and IOS


Incentivized traffic to boost your ASO and keyword ranking through SuperSonic Ads

  1. In conclusion let’s recap the most important factors to consider in ASO.
    iOS: Title, Keywords, Developer Name, IAP Titles Rank in search. However, the description is not ranked.
    Google Play: Title, Short Description, Long Description, review, contact and basically synchronization of all pages is important. Also, google play apps can be boosted by link building, like website articles, social signals like google + and facebook shares, twitter tweets etc.

I have implemented all of these secrets on my recently launched apps that are available for both iOS and Android. I’m experiencing great results using these techniques and the years of experience I gained have proved to be beneficial. App Search Optimization is a necessity. Be patient, take your time and be vigilant but also remember you need unique, optimized, easy to read and interesting description and titles, you need to use the proper keywords and phrases so they can rank better and be visible. If you are new to these techniques, I recommend finding the right writer and ASO service company to assist you. If you however don’t have the budget, you can do it yourself, following these and several other relevant articles that are available online for free.

If you would like to learn more on ASO and different app marketing techniques, check out my website:

Cheers and happy optimization! ☺

A New Investor’s Guide, Part 2: How To Evaluate The Market Outlook Of An App

A New Investor’s Guide, Part 2: How To Evaluate The Market Outlook Of An App

Let’s say you find an app that has potential — what now?

At this point, you are only half way through. What about the market? Is there enough demand? What if the market is already saturated? How does this app perform among the competitors? These are all critical questions to consider when evaluating market conditions, prior to deciding whether to invest or not.

    1. Understanding The DemandApp Store and Google Play Store are two of the biggest app stores with more than 3 million apps. While some categories (games, photo/video, social networks, etc.) are already saturated and thus very competitive, others still offer many opportunities. This does not necessarily mean that investing in apps in the photo & video niché would be futile; however, make sure that it is not a clone of the hundreds of photo-filter apps. It is always worth considering an app that has a unique selling point or competitive advantage regardless of its category.Alternatively, if a non-competitive category app has captured your interest (for example a medical industry app) there are a number of methods to predict its success rate. Take note of descriptive keywords relating to the app, check their search volume and how many similar apps rank via Mobile Action Keyword analysis tool. Comparing and contrasting these findings will benefit you greatly along with checking the demand for similar apps on Apple Store and Google Play.Keywords, Search Score, Chance, Total Apps, Current Rank

      It is also a good idea to search these keywords and look for Apple or Google Play Search suggestions. If they don’t show up in search suggestions after inputting some part of the keyword, we can be sure that there is not really demand specific to this topic.

      Searching Keywords in Apple or Google Play Search Suggestions

      In our example, the app that focuses on “medical cases” may be not worth investing in since there is not really a demand in App Store.

    2. Understanding The CompetitionDetermining the demand for the app in question is very important, however, more often than not, the market is over-competitive.In this case, it is better to focus on competitors and their performance in the market to understand how much potential our app has to grow.Determining The Demand For The App

      While we are checking our potential competitors we should also seek the answers to the following questions.

      What is the apps’s daily download count and/or app ranking?

      This is the first question that helps us to understand how big our competitors are. This tells us how big the market is as well as how many downloads are needed in order to be able to compete with your competitors.

      Apps Revenue and Download Estimation

      How much revenue are your competitors making?

      If you know how much revenue they are making, then you can smartly plan your marketing budget and have a better idea about an expected return on an investment. It is, however, very hard to guess the revenue of apps that only have ad revenue.

      What keywords are ranking best?

      If you don’t have a marketing budget for advertising, you need to focus on organic user acquisition channels. 63% of users find and download new apps through search which makes ASO (App Store Optimization) the most critical organic user acquisition channel to focus on. To determine if there is any opportunity to grow organically, you need to find out what your competitor’s top five ranked keywords are, and how popular they are. Then you can have a better understanding of the keywords that you need to focus on, how to use these keywords strategically to gain more visibility at search results and how to get more organic downloads.

      ASO - Keyword Ranking Trends

      What do your competitor’s reviews look like? If their ratings are low, what do their users complain about?

      Reviews and ratings are probably
      one of the most critical data points from which you can learn about your competitor’s app since most users reflect their true experience. If they have any problems with your competitor’s app, they will write down every single detail about it which is a great opportunity for others to execute a faster solution than them.

      Mobile Actions: Review/Rating Trends

      What is your competitor’s user breakdown by country and which countries are most important to them?

      If you know the countries where your competitors are strong, then it is easier for you to determine the budget you will need to allocate for each country. A good strategy to grow your app faster can also be focusing on the countries in which your competitors are not dominant.

      For this manner, I suggest using Mobile Action’s all-in-one competitor intelligence tool that provides a competitor’s app visibility, downloads, revenue, rankings, keywords, reviews/ratings and audience geography for each country for both iOS and Android apps.

    3. Understanding App’s Position In The Market


After understanding app demand and checking a competitor’s position in the market, we have to ask the same questions about our own app. In addition, since we have access to Apple’s iTunes/ Google Play developers’ accounts, we should also focus more on the following details:

Carefully read user reviews to fully understand what they think about an app. This is a great way to find out if there are any technical problems with the app and/or what the reasons are for the user’s dissatisfaction with the app, beyond crash reports.

App Reviews: Beyond Crash Reports

Carefully read user reviews to fully understand what they think about an app. This is a great way to find out if there are any technical problems with the app and/or what the reasons are for the user’s dissatisfaction with the app, beyond crash reports.

Lastly, you should check App Store views to download conversion rates for the last couple of months. The conversion rate is critical because it tells you how the app actually performs in the App Store search results. If none of the app’s keywords rank in the top five, a low conversion rate could be one of the major reasons. After November 2015, Apple started to determine the keyword rankings in search results for apps based on the ratio of ap store views to download conversion rate. (To learn more about Apple keyword ranking algorithm changes, click here)

If app views to download conversion rate is 20%, it means that 80% of visitors, who somehow found and viewed the app page, didn’t download it. This is a big loss that neither the app nor it’s owner can afford.

App Category and Conversion Percentage

Mobile Action’s Apple App Store average conversion rate report says that shopping apps have the lowest average conversion rate with 31%, while ebook readers have a 44% rate. Find out what your app’s conversion rate is and keep it in mind when evaluating the app.

After Buying An App

Buying an app is only the first step of an investment. You need to take the right action and invest additional time and money to become more successful than the previous owner. You may need to hire a developer to regularly fix bugs, add a new revenue channel or improve product features. You may also need a designer for app design renewal, screenshots or an app icon. Keep all these additional costs in mind when calculating how much the total investment for an app may be.

Evaluating the product and market of an app by asking the right questions before investing helps investors minimize their risks and makes for better investment decisions leading to greater success upon acquisition.

This is a guest blog post written by Osman F. Kucukerdem. To read more about App Marketing, ASO and App Store, you can find him on Twitter and Medium. He can also be reached at [email protected].

A New Investor’s Guide, Part I: How To Evaluate An App’s Product Potential

A New Investor’s Guide, Part I: How To Evaluate An App’s Product Potential

This year it’s hard to ignore that web investors are pouring increasing amounts of time and money into apps as opposed to websites and domains.

Buying and selling apps is still a relatively new concept (Apple only started allowing the resale of apps in 2013), so naturally, investors will face something of a learning curve in getting started.

App Buying Guide for New Investors

Web investors cannot help but notice how much time and money users are funneling into apps, compared to other online assets like websites and domains.

Internet Usage (Engagement) Growth Solid

The most common mistake web investors seem to be making is approaching mobile in the same manner they approach web. Even though mobile and web have some similarities, both platforms have their own unique characteristics in terms of user experience, mainly user behaviors, key product parameters, development styles, and marketing strategies. Even today’s most popular app stores, Google Play and Apple App Store, show different characteristics in many areas.

Therefore, when you are evaluating an app and wanting to maximize your investment, asking the correct questions is vital.

This is one of a two part series highlighting two of the most important aspects of evaluating an app investment opportunity: Product and Market Evaluation.

Product Evaluation

When deciding whether an app is worth investing in, the focus should be on the product itself and its key parameters. If a product has major problems initially (it doesn’t matter how big the market or the opportunities are) you will spend most of your time trying to fix the problem. In the worst case scenario you may not even be able to find the problem or its source. Researching your key parameters and understanding the product is key to preventing possible problems down the line.

Try to avoid focusing solely on revenue or the total number of users when deciding on an app investment. We should always look for a clear and concise verification of daily/weekly/monthly numbers and trends to understand how much potential the app actually has. The total number of any parameter does not provide enough insight for an app evaluation alone.

Key Product Parameters

Before conducting an app evaluation be aware of platform differences. In general, Google Play apps tend to get more downloads; however, iOS apps make more money per user because of the app stores’ user profile and dynamics.

Another factor to keep in mind are the vast differences between game apps and non-game apps. Even though the lifespan of a game app is shorter, the potential to earn more money at a faster pace is greater than that of a non-gaming app.

1. Engagement

It is critical to know how often someone is using the app. Did the user download but not use it more than once? If they visited the app subsequently, how frequent were their visits?DAU (Daily Active Users) /MAU (Monthly Active Users) ratio tells us how sticky an app is. 20% for a game app and 10% for a non-game app are considered to be a good DAU/MAU ratios. Additionally, for Google Play, an Uninstall Rate is also a very good indicator in understanding an app quality. 40% uninstall rate is considered to be normal. Basically, by examining these two parameters an investor can easily determine how popular an app is with its users.

2. Retention

In order to assess the quality of an app, the most important data to look at is 1-day, 7-day and 28- day retention rates. Retention rates allow us to see how many users return in the given days after having downloaded the app. No matter how many users download the app everyday, if they do not come back, there will be no sustainable growth and revenue. That is why retention is one of the most critical product parameters.Retention rate can easily change depending on an app’s category and its platform. Appsflyer’s recent report shows what the average retention rates are based on the app’s category and platform.Retention Rate on iOS AppsRetention Rate On Android Apps

Since the retention rate is directly related to an app’s core value and design, trying to increase it takes time — in most cases, even longer than creating the app from scratch. That is why many successful game companies prefer to kill their game after a soft-launch if the game’s retention rate is below the industry average.

3. Financials

Revenue will always play a dominant role when evaluating an app. The most basic approach to valuate is to multiply a monthly revenue by 10-15 times. However, to gain a better understanding of the financial situation, app investors should also consider ARPMAU (Average Revenue Per Monthly Active User).Let’s compare two apps: the first one earned $1000 last month and on average has 5000 MAU. The second one earned $1000 last month with 2000 average MAU. Even though they make the same monthly revenue, the second app is more valuable than the first. Considering the ARPMAU of the first one is only $0.2, while the other one is $0.5.

LTV (lifetime value) is considered another strong parameter that big game/app developers look at to understand how healthy their financial growth is. However, I prefer to check ARPMAU on a smaller scale since measuring LTV is more complicated for many developers.If an app does not make any money, we can still evaluate by examining its engagement and retention numbers. If these parameters are strong, then there is opportunity to make revenue in the future. For example, apps that have not been monetized yet but have a promising engagement and retention rates can still be considered as good investment opportunities.

4. Performance

App Crash Rates are another important parameter to consider, as low retention and engagement could be a result of a high crash rate. Although crashes can be fixed (if you are a developer or have a developer on hand) they will cost the investor time and money. Therefore, a high crash rate affects the value negatively.Crash Rates Of Mobile Apps By eCommerce, Social, Business, Sports, Media, GamingAccording to Crittercism’s report, while the average crash rate for an eCommerce app is 0.4%, game apps have the highest average crash rate with 4.4%. In general, an average crash rate should be under 1% for an app to be considered healthy.

5. App’s Story

Apps that have already established a story are far more successful when the right investor steps in. Being featured by Apple or Google, having PR coverage, a website and/or an active social media presence are all advantages. For example, if an app has been featured on the App Store/Google Play a first time, it is likely to be featured again once a couple of updates are applied.On the other hand, apps that are younger than 6 months are generally riskier since there is not enough data to evaluate the above parameters. Apps that are reskinned and younger than 3 months are especially the riskiest.Lastly, take note of how many times the app in question has been sold before. If it has been re-listed by a previous owner or a new one, make sure you are aware as to why. Conduct your research, ask questions and think twice before considering it as an investment.

This is a guest blog post written by Osman F. Kucukerdem. To read more about App Marketing, ASO and App Store, you can find him on Twitter and Medium. He can also be reached at [email protected].

The 5 Essential Metrics to Gauge the Performance of An App

The 5 Essential Metrics to Gauge the Performance of An App

If you’re interested in apps, the question on everyone’s tongue is: what makes a good app? And how can you tell? In this post we’re going to outline the best ways to gauge the overall health and performance of an app, whether that’s someone else’s or your own. The 5 basic metrics you need to understand how an app is succeeding in the app stores are: its conversion rate, number of crashes, average rating, category rating, and download and revenue estimations of other apps. Let’s take a deeper look into what these mean and how to find them.

1. Conversion Rate

App Conversion Rates: App Store Views and Downloads
Ahhh, the holy conversion rate. What conversion rate really means is how often someone checks out your app on your app store page and decides to make the leap to install it on their smartphone. A high conversion rate is good, a low one, not so good. But it’s hard to say what “low” and “high” mean without context, so let’s break it down by category.
Conversion Rate by Category: Books being the highest and shopping being the lowest.
As you can see, our research shows that Shopping apps tend to have the lowest conversion rates – 31% – while Book apps have the highest, 44%. This means the competition will be much fiercer for anyone deciding to develop a Book app vs. a Shopping app. Regardless of the category, a high conversion rate is desirable for any app. You can try out these 4 strategies to boost any app’s conversion rate:

  • Update your app’s metadata
  • Understand your key demographic
  • Find the best channels to target your most engaged demographics
  • Monitor app ratings and reviews

2. Number of Crashes

If your app crashes a fair amount, it’s likely users aren’t going to stick with it long, and they’re going to let you know their troubles through your reviews. To keep tabs on if this is a problem for your app, recurring or not, do a regular (weekly or monthly) review analysis. Search through your app’s reviews and note how many times the term “bug” or “crash” or “glitch” comes up. Make note of these issues so you and your team can tackle them head-on.

3. Average Rating

The Sum of All Your Reviews and Ratings.
An app’s average rating is just what it sounds like – the sum total of all your reviews and ratings. This is hugely important metric, since good ratings are a #1 reason a user will decide whether or not to download an app. As we mentioned above, if an app has a low rating, a good starting point is to check out the reviews and see what users are having troubles with.

4. Category Ranking

The end calculation that combines users’ engagement with an app, the number of downloads, reviews, and more to create an app’s standing in its specific category.
An app’s category ranking is the end calculation that combines users’ engagement with an app, the number of downloads, reviews, and more to create an app’s standing in its specific category. Most apps aim to be in the Top Ten (Overall or in their Category), since those apps get more exposure and more downloads.

5. Download/Revenue Estimations of Other Apps

Comparing your app downloads and revenue to the competition
The app stores are certainly no vacuum. To compete in any marketplace, it’s important to know where you stand in relation to the rest of your competitors, which you can find out by gathering their download and revenue estimations and comparing them to your own. If you’re an app developer, you can use these to analyze how successfully your competition is monetizing and in which countries, or determine an accurate and reasonable budget for user acquisition strategies.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, checking these 5 basic metrics can help anyone, from developers to marketers to researchers, truly understand an app’s overall performance and gauge its success in the app stores. Give them a try!

This is a guest post by Mobile Action, the leading solution for driving organic app growth and analyzing app marketplace intelligence. With over 95k apps connected, Mobile Action will improve your app’s discovery, help you learn more about the app store, and find the right users. Use the promo code “appmarketers” for 1 month of Mobile Action free.

3 Things Website Investors Should Know About Buying Apps

3 Things Website Investors Should Know About Buying Apps

Buying and selling mobile app businesses is a relatively new concept compared to buying and selling other digital assets, such as websites and domain names. Since 2014, U.S. mobile users are consuming more of their digital media on their phones.  Mobile apps eat up more of our time than desktop usage or mobile web surfing, accounting for 52% of the time spent; however, mobile ad spend still lags behind mobile media consumption. There is a tremendous growth opportunity for the mobile app industry, which in turn indicates a great opportunity for mobile app investors and entrepreneurs.


If you are a website investor, you are already familiar with different aspects of a web business. Most of your knowledge about web businesses can be easily translated into app businesses.

Website Traffic vs. Mobile App Usage

For most types of web businesses, traffic is always the most important aspect to look at when measuring the performance of a website. The quantity and quality of traffic can directly impact the bottom line of a web business.

Most websites have Google Analytics installed so that traffic can be easily monitored. Data such as Page Views, Sessions and Unique Visits can give you a pretty good idea of how well the website business is performing. Similarly, any apps listed in Apple’s App Store will receive usage tracking data from Apple. You can always verify an iOS app’s data by asking for the access to App Store Analytics from the app seller. There are also many other great app analytics tools out there such as Flurry, App Annie, Sensor Tower that provide more in-depth app usage insights. Most analytics platforms allow their users to share analytics data with others. Using Apple’s App Store analytics as an example, types of data sets such as Downloads, User Sessions and Active Devices give you pretty intuitive numbers that can measure the “traffic” an app gets. Average Session Durations and Retention Rate are also very good indicators of the app user’s engagement. Retention Rate tells you how many people are still using this app after a particular amount of time. We usually look at Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30 retention rates. In regards to Android apps, research shows an average 30-day retention rate of 9.55%. 

SEO vs. ASO (App Store Optimization)

Most apps get downloads through organic searching of the app store, social media, press release and paid ads. According to Forrester Research, 63% of apps are discovered via app store search. That’s why App Store Optimization (ASO) for apps is as important as SEO for websites.


Different from SEO, ASO is not all about keyword rankings. Once someone finds your app through a keyword search, you also need to make it visually appealing, so they download it. This means having compelling screenshots, a beautiful app icon and other elements that will help convince a person to choose your app over your competitors.

There are some good free ASO tools out there that could help you understand an app’s keyword rankings. App Annie gives you top keywords an app is ranked for in the U.S. store. Sensor Tower’s keyword research tools give you much more in-depth information on an app’s suggested keywords, each keyword’s search volume and difficulties to rank for those keywords.

Mobile Action gives you many more recommended actions on how to improve an app’s visibility in the app store, and it helps you track that app’s visibility score over time. Many apps with good usage data but low downloads have a lot of room for growth with proper ASO effort.


Example of SensorTower’s Keyword Suggestions


Example of Mobile Action’s ASO Recommended Actions

Website Business Models vs. App Business Models

Most websites are monetized with one the following business models: Content/Advertising, Ecommerce, SaaS (software-as-a-service), Digital Product/Service.

Most indie developers’ apps are monetized with advertising, in-app purchase/subscriptions and app download sales. That revenue could easily be verified through App Store/Google Play Store Sales Reports and ad network income reports.

Google AdMob, Apple iAd and RevMob are some of the most popular mobile ad networks. Doing proper ad placement optimization can help increase mobile apps’ ad revenue. In-app purchases allow customers to download the apps for free and pay only for optional premium functions. More and more indie developers start to offer their apps for free for user acquisition purpose and monetize with in-app purchases.

In terms of costs and time required for running a website business, content websites usually require generating new content and doing SEO on a regular basis. Ecommerce sites deal with customer support and sometimes inventory and order fulfilment.

A mobile app business is similar to a SaaS web business. Once the app is up and running in the app store, there isn’t much work you need to do to maintain the app itself. However, sometimes you might want to update your app to fix bugs, to add new features and to adapt to new iOS versions. You can always outsource this work to freelancers for a low rate.

Buying and selling apps is a very new business. Apple just allowed developers to sell their apps in 2013. In general, the mobile app industry has a growing revenue trend compared to websites. The good news is, as a website investor, you can already apply some of your existing knowledge about websites to apps.

Given the emerging resources available, it is more than achievable for one to learn to identify apps with growth potential and to effectively increase their revenue. ASO, mobile ad placement optimization, developing new in-app purchase features, and user acquisition through your existing website resources are all good ways to run and nurture your app business.

As with any investment, there are risks – but there are certainly more rewards to be had with being an app investor.

If you have questions about buying and selling mobile apps or you have insights about growing app businesses that you want to share with me, please drop an email at [email protected].