App Store Optimization: The SEO of the future?

Image courtesy of Jhaymesisviphotography at Flickr.com

Although this is not an ostensibly obvious issue yet, the growing trend of Internet users to prefer more smartphone apps, rather than website apps (as well as the services provided by websites, including the free information that users search every second on the Internet) becomes clear little by little. The reason for this is simple: most part of the traffic online comes from smartphones and not from computers (laptops or desktops.) Many companies have understood this, some of them, several years ago.

Today, for example, people get more access to Google, YouTube, Wikipedia or the social media in general, through their phones. Users prefer to use the app from each of these sites because they spend most of the time away from their computers and permanently close to their mobile devices. This represents a tremendous change in the way people work on digital marketing today and, above all, the way of thinking search engine optimization (SEO) as the only alternative to achieve better visibility between users and potential consumers.

This does not mean that the important task of positioning websites in search engines is an obsolete practice that must be abandoned. No way. Traffic from computers remains an important variable as well as visits to web pages still. The important thing is to start considering that SEO is not the only battlefront now, since App Store Optimization has now the same relevance, and perhaps will have more notoriety in the future.

What is App Store Optimization?

In simple terms, ASO is the set of procedures and techniques tending to favorably position an app in the virtual space where users look for them, in order to have more downloads. Many people relate and confuse (especially when they do not understand the essence this type of optimization) with search online optimization, because App Stores are somehow search engines, in which users look for apps to meet their personal needs.

Read also: Maybe it’s time for you to get into mobile apps development and its positioning, by ReputationDefender

Of course, ASO also covers as many techniques, tips and trends as SEO with the equal aim of improving rankings. Let’s mention some of them.

The first thing to do, in order to reach the top positions in the app stores, is to carry out an optimization strategy, similar to the one you develop when you are working on your SEO. Some knowledge that you implement in the optimization of websites actually may be very useful when you find the systemic equivalences of ASO, particularly, when it comes to On-Data Optimization and Off-Data Optimization. On-Data ASO is, essentially, any strategy to position your app in Google Play and other app stores.

Image courtesy of Blake Patterson at Flickr.com

On the other hand, choosing some strategic keywords, a good title and writing a description that gives clarity to your potential customers or free users of your app, is basic to reach the maximum organic traffic possible. A useful tip: your app name should include itself a keyword.

Now, the digital marketing strategies to launch your apps should have the same rigor as the one you develop regarding your websites. After a thorough and deep study of your niche and its needs, prepare a good audiovisual content (for example, on YouTube) to inform people about your app, its benefits and how to use it. Be concise and catch the attention of Internet users that, we all know, is fairly dispersed. This audiovisual content, in addition to others, such as images, will be vital in the subsequent campaigns that you should develop in the social media. Take advantage of the customization of Facebook ads, which depend on the online activity of users, tracked by the algorithm of this social network.

You can also take advantage of new developments in Google, specifically Google Play. Currently, the algorithm is being updated every month (and in the future, perhaps much faster than that.) Thanks to these permanent updates, the apps world is taking on more relevance and prominence for this information giant. Little by little, you will notice more clearly that after a user builds a search profile on this platform, Google will offer related apps, especially if they are complementary.

It is very difficult to predict the changes that will take place in the future regarding an eventual almost exclusive role of ASO online, instead of SEO. However, it is important to analyze the trends of the present: it is the time of apps, and this involves a lot of work for the companies that look for more visibility about their services and products. It is no longer enough to develop permanent and updated strategies for positioning your brand websites. It is time for you to consider this new option, which offers so many possibilities and is just taking its first steps.

Recommended: How to Create an App for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone