Apple’s App Store contains over 2 million applications, whereas Google’s Play Store contains more than 2.8 million android applications. These apps are used by over 3.8 billion smartphone users daily, and the figures are multiplying each day. These numbers may seem to be daunting to an application publisher or an application developer because their ultimate goal is to get their application recognized by a maximum number of people.
So what is the only thing that you need, to not only make your application stand out in the congested space of competitors but also make it rank high in an app store search?
The answer to this question is to have a strong grasp on App Store Optimization or ASO. With the increment in the number of smartphone users and downloading of apps, it is essential to prioritize your task of App Store Optimization (ASO) to make your application stand out in search results. This strategy enables your app to be seen by maximum potential users.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
App store optimization or ASO is a mobile SEO. It is a method of using multiple strategies to optimize mobile applications to get them to the top of the search results in an app store. It is similar to search engine optimization or SEO.
The Main Goal of ASO
The goal of App Store Optimization (ASO) is to drive maximum traffic to your mobile application at both the platforms and to increase organic app downloads. The secondary goals of ASO include the increase of positive reviews and ratings of the application and brand exposure, an increase in the engagement of users, and the addition of marketing channel diversification.
The App is more likely to be seen or downloaded when it maintains its top position in the chart or gets featured in the store. Here, ASO comes into play and allows the app developers to achieve the top rank in the search result.
The algorithm of App Store Optimization (ASO) just like search engine optimization (SEO) is not certain and is subject to changes. Therefore, it is necessary for experts to keep themselves familiar with the rules of ASO to maintain their position and ranking on application stores.
The Role of Keyword Optimization
To master ASO, it is essential to have a good understanding of keyword optimization to use those specific keywords which are used by the users to search for the relevant applications. When you have a better understanding of the keywords that are mostly being used, you will have a more considerable apprehension of your potential customer’s language.
With keyword optimization, it is also important to have an excellent grasp on Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO. Conversion rate optimization is a technique to turn more visitors into customers. Having a good command over CRO will make sure that the maximum number of people download the app when they open the app’s page on the store.
Why is App Store Optimization (ASO) important?
App Store Optimization is your secret weapon to increase the visibility of your app and raise organic downloads without spending a huge amount of money.
ASO is not a one-time thing; it is a continuous process which will require you to work each week on improving your strategies to make it speak volumes. With thousands of applications releasing each day, most of the publishers do not use ASO, which gives you an edge over them.
Brittany Armour from ClearBridge Mobile said that “ASO will help ensure that your app gets seen in the App Store and will help amplify your other marketing efforts.”
The most common method of discovering an application is through the app store search or Google. According to statistics shown in the Forrester App Discovery Report, 67% of the apps are discovered through app store searches, leading to an increase in the number of downloads.
On the other hand, if the app is not optimized, it might not appear in the relevant search results with a risk of losing thousands of potential users.
How to do App Store Optimization (ASO)?
1. Keyword: To improve your search ranking, you need to make sure to include the right keywords in your subtitle (App Store) or description (Google Play Store). You need to have thorough information about which keywords are being used by your targeted audience.
Do your research to hunt for the best keywords that are relevant. You may also use ASO tools to look for quality keywords. Remember:
● Always add the keyword with the heaviest search traffic in your title. According to the test conducted by MobileDevHQ (now renamed to TUNE), adding a keyword in the title can improve your app’s search ranking (for the keyword inserted) by 10.3%.
● Use the keyword, used in the title, in your subtitle or description at least 5 times but make sure not to overdo it to avoid keyword stuffing which might get you penalized.
● Keywords with higher traffic and a lower number of apps will be the best for improving your app’s ranking.
● Try to make use of words instead of phrases, commas instead of spaces to separate keywords, and digits instead of spelling out the numbers.
2. Title: When selecting an app name or a title, make sure it reflects the core keyword and gives out the direct information of what the app is about. Spend a good amount of time in research before coming up with the title because it will be the first impression to your potential users.
Create a unique, searchable, and keyword enriched title. Add URL-friendly characters in your app name and avoid using special characters.
Apple’s App Store and Google play store both handle the title differently. So your approach to an app name will differ from each other when you are making an app for either of the stores.
● For the App Store, the character limit for an app name is 30 characters, so you have to be efficient in choosing a title. Furthermore, it also provides a subtitle for a brief description of your app. Use this space wisely because the content in this field will be indexed in your iOS App Store search.
The subtitle is also restricted to 30 characters. Avoid using blank spaces and bullet points to save space. The subtitle should be very catchy because it appears right below the app name, making an impact on the potential user whether to download the app or not.
● For Google play store, the character limit for an app name is 50 characters, so make sure your title is concise and effective. The Google play store provides you with a short description field with a character limit of 80 characters and a long description field with a character limit of 4,000 characters.
Repeating the keywords here multiple times is the key to make it to the top search results. Use bullet points and spaced-out-sentences so that it is easy to read.
3. Downloads, Ratings, and Reviews: The total number of daily downloads makes a huge impact on your ASO. The app with more number of downloads will stand higher in the search result. To increase the volume, you should work on getting positive reviews and maximum ratings because an app with high ratings and more positive reviews also stands higher in the search results and attracts more audience.
To ensure high ratings and maximum positive reviews, ask nicely. Don’t beg for the review! Encourage the user to leave a review, and most importantly, wait for the right time.
4. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): Make use of CRO to convert maximum visitors into customers. You can do this by:
● A better app icon, which can increase the download volume as it is the first thing a user sees. Use good colour schemes. Keep it simple but impactful.
● Use screenshots images wisely. StoreMaven says, “A better version of your first two screenshots will increase your conversion rate by 25%”. It is imperative to put the most impactful images in the first two screenshot images and always use high-quality screenshot images.
● A preview video will increase your download rate by 23%, according to StoreMaven. Making a video is a bit difficult but it can lead to tremendous results.
To attain fruitful outcomes in ASO, you have to be consistent. You need to update your strategies from time to time, keeping an eye on your competitor. ASO is a revolutionizing strategy as it has been underestimated for a long time. Many publishers on both the App Store and Play Store neglect this feature to top the search result on these platforms.
ASO not only helps in pushing your name to the top of the search result but also convinces the visitor to become your app’s regular user. For such, it is quite mandatory to use attractive images on the front and make the description catchy. There is no exact method to understand the algorithm for ASO, but following these simple strategies and steps can help you grow and get noticed.