Your Quick Guide to App Store Optimization
Globally there are billions of mobile app users, and this number is increasing with each passing day. According to a report by Statista, in the second quarter of 2020, there were 2.7 million apps on the Google play store and 1.82 million apps on the App store.
The abundance of apps in the Google play store and App store makes both of them a potential and scary place for businesses to run. But despite the amount of competition, a brand can still find a suitable place to thrive, they just have to build suitable strategies for their app to stand out.
So, the main question here is: how do you survive in a crowded field of competitors? And more importantly, how do you get your app rank high in an app store search and make sure that it stands out in in-app store searches?
The answer is using strong App store optimization strategies for Google Play and App store.
Understanding App Store optimization
App store optimization is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of your app in the app stores and hence increasing the app conversion rates. The major app stores are App Store for iOS and the Google play store for Android.
There are various techniques to increase the ranking of your app in app store search results such as focusing on click-through rates (CTR), working on keyword optimization, app titles, icons, screenshots, and app ratings.
The main goal of App store optimization is to increase app downloads, but the supplemental goal can include:
- Increased brand exposure
- Increase in reviews and ratings
- Consumer engagement
- Additional marketing channel diversification
According to Statista.com, 270 billion apps were anticipated to be downloaded in 2017, and this is an exponential increase from 224.8 billion downloads back in 2016. When compared to the decrease in social media growth over the past few months and mobile device users globally, ASO might be the tactic you need.
The effect of ASO on mobile app growth
As mentioned before, more than 5 billion apps are available for download on app stores, and your app surely would be facing a lot of competition.
And if you are new to App store optimization, this might be a more familiar approach to your online business marketing than you would initially infer. ASO is quite similar to search engine optimization (SEO) and you would get to know more about ASO in the upcoming sections.
Talking about App stores, they are in effect, closed search engines that rely on:
- Easy app content discovery
- App ranking algorithms
- Brand scales
- User value signals such as ratings, reviews, and much more
One of the basic mantras for app growth is: More Revenue = Happy clients.
Hence, app development companies that focus on generating greater ROI from app stores are primarily targeting key performance indicators such as the following to increase app visibility in the app stores:
Similar to what it is in SEO, optimizing app visibility is a long-going and evolving process. When we build an app, the main goal is to increase traffic. With a proper commitment to ASO, and a constant effort to track and measure performance and results, one can easily stand out in the App Store and Play store.
How is ASO done?
Coming to the main question of this post: How is ASO done?
Well, there would be a million different ways, from which experts would choose the best suitable for their app. But here we are going to discuss a few common ways for ASO:
Keyword optimization is where ASO starts, but the Google play store and app store have different algorithms, which means that the keyword optimization techniques for both of them would be different.
App Store: For App Store, you can add up to 100 characters for your keywords, so you need to choose wisely. With this in mind, you should carefully utilize all the character limits and research your keywords accordingly.
Google play store: The algorithm used by Google play store takes an approach more similar to SEO. In this scenario, you are given up to 4,000 characters to describe it is natural, customer-facing language. A recent study by Sensor tower shows that the optimal time to repeat a keyword in an app store is five.
As we know, each app is different and so is the app store. Each app store has its algorithm to determine how the apps rank for a particular search. To make your app rank, you would have to tweak your approach to get downloads from android users in comparison to iPhone users.
The best trick to ASO is conditioning your app by using the relevant search terms or keywords in your metadata.
Now you might wonder, what is metadata? Metadata consists of the following five elements of your app:
- Title of the app
- Key string
- Promo Text
Everything surrounding ASO starts with your app’s metadata and if you want to make sure that your app stands out, metadata is what you have to target and optimize.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Adding app store screenshots is the best way to tell your app’s story and convince users to download your app. Most SEO strategists tend to ignore this aspect of your ASO strategy, and this could be one of your greatest mistakes.
Adding app preview videos
It has been noted that about 85 percent of the US respondents watch videos online and over a half of video content is consumed on the mobile phone. You can leverage the power of video for your App Store page to provide prospect users a better insight into what your app can offer them.
App previews in the iOS app allow users to upload 30 second long videos to display the features and benefits of your app.
Tip: You can show recordings of your in-app experience, to make sure that your mobile app UX looks good, and also do provide your prospective audience with what you are looking for!
This App store optimization technique would help your App store page rank higher.
Organic vs. Paid discovery
Organic vs. paid discovery would always keep its place in the app store optimization discussion. This is somewhat similar to organic vs paid search for websites and SEO.
Simplifying both components for your better understanding:
- Organic- This refers to App store optimization (ASO)
- Paid- Search Advertisements such as Apple Search Ads
Both of these components work side-by-side. Paid discovery is a better and faster way to provide your app in front of your potential users. Once you pull the ads off, your app’s visibility would drop. This is why ASO is equally important! App store optimization is a long-term investment. This technique displays your app in front of users even when you are not running paid advertisements.
Writing suitable App Description
The app description is an important part of the app’s metadata. This provides the users with information and a short description of what your app is about and provides an overview of its main features.
The App description is not only relevant for the users but also the app stores’ ranking. The optimized description is especially important for Google play.
Apple will not index keywords from your iOS app description. But you can’t still ignore this metadata field. Use this opportunity to further show people the benefits and value of this app.
Here’s the checklist for your app description:
- Easy to interpret
- Clear, concise, and easy to understand
- Include keywords
App Store Optimization is an ongoing strategy. You can’t just do it once and forget about it. You need to come up with new ways to improve ASO if you want to get more app downloads.
It is nearly impossible to have a successful app without a proper ASO strategy in place. These days you are competing with millions of other apps on the Play Store. For iOS apps and android apps, the only way to stand out is by leveraging app store optimization. Using a mix of organic and paid strategies by skilled mobile app developers is the best way to drive downloads in the short-term and long-term alike.