With around 500 million applications in Google Play and App store combined, relatively new applications have to face a strong competition to be visible in the search results. No matter you have developed and deployed the best app out there, if it’s not found by the users, it won’t churn out the profit you had expected.
So, how do you ensure your app wins the market, gets massive downloads and maintains a retention rate? That’s rightly doable with effective App Store Optimization. Here is a quick guide to simplify the subject for you.
What is App Store Optimization?
App Store Optimization is the process of optimizing your mobile applications to rank them higher in store search results. The higher rank your app receives, the higher chances of your app being downloaded by the right target audience.
With robust mobile app development approaches, the optimization process too attracts audience and this is the audience that eventually turns into your customers.
Why is App Store Optimization Important?
App store is the biggest marketplace and discovery channel for your application. Research suggests that 40% of app searches start on the app stores. This means that if you’re missing out on ASO, you are losing the first 40% chunk of users.
From logical standpoint, if users get their desired application suggestions on the first page, they are less likely to bother and check more results on the next page.
Secondly, websites that affiliate or review applications offer become the distribution channel for applications. Also, these websites are most likely to feature applications that perform well on native app stores. So ineffective ASO also affects your chances of being featured by review websites.
App Store Optimization – Best Practices
In addition to generating external traffic like website SEO and social media marketing, here are 6 best practices to perform for effective app store optimization.
1. Choose the right app name.
And when doing so, make sure to give another thought to your target audience, your competitors, the primary goal of your app, and any unique features that you are introducing. Remember your app name can be 30 characters only. I recommend users makes the best use of these 30 characters without planning to go overboard, stuffing it with keywords.
2. Use relevant keywords.
When writing the description, make sure to use only the right keywords that are super close to your app’s category. Creating descriptions requires different approaches in Google Play and App stores.
In Google Play store, the developer gets to write a 4000-charcter description and so it works like modern SEO. Users look for keywords and the search results appear based on the relevance of keywords. Titles, sub titles and main descriptions can be shortened depending on the device your app listing is being browsed or viewed on.
In the App store, you can add specific keyword tags. App name and sub-titles in App store are 30 characters long.
You can get keyword suggestions from the search bar of the app stores. Just type the primary word and you’ll find a list of related keywords. Some appreneurs choose to use tools like Appannie and Ahrefs to find their domain keywords.
3. Provide accurate information while listing your app.
When making an app store listing, make sure your provided information is correct to the dot. Correctly chalk down what your app does with its important features. You can choose to provide the data collection disclosure, top users’ reviews and awards your app has won. Also, if it is a paid application, mentioning the prices in universally acceptable currencies like dollars may be beneficial, especially if you have introduced different pricing packages.
4. Use relevant images.
In the preview sections of the app, you can choose to upload videos and screenshots of your application. While doing this, make sure to showcase the most specific and relevant features of your app. for example, if you are releasing a pill reminder, it is ideal you show a calendar with names of pills, instead of a guest signup or dark mode feature. For an investing app, show screens where users can preview different stock values.
Store bots take signals from user behavior on app listings. If users stay on your page for long sessions and end up downloading the app, it signals the algorithms that users are generally liking your app listing and making a decision to download this. This gives your visibility a boost and your app a chance to win the first 10 results.
5. Respond to user reviews.
Reviews play an important part in establishing brand loyalty. But reviews also directly impact your app listing’s performance on the store. when users leave a positive rating, ensure that your leave a positive reply. Similarly, if a user reports an issue or complaint or query as a review, do respond and provide a solution if you have already. If the issue is new to you too, make sure to tell them that your team is working on the issue and would get back to them once it is resolved.
6. Localize your app listing.
This is one of the best advices you’d ever receive about your app listing. Firstly, look at the target audience and reconsider your description and figure out if they’d be able to understand your description.
For example, if your app is for ADHD audience, would they be able to read and understand a very long description – mind this!
If your app is for French learners, would users be able to understand complicated French words?
Localize your listing with language and region. if your app is for USA, mention that. If your app is not geo-restricted, make sure to use the world ‘global users’.
While external promotions from websites and social media also help increase visibility, nothing can beat the organic ASO. If you too want to yield desired results from your app in terms of profitability and reputation, make sure to optimize it for relevant keywords, consider your target audience, and most importantly, keep updating the description for new features and updates.