App Store Optimization:
App Store Optimization (ASO) is the technique of optimizing your app’s visibility in the app stores. Visibility is not just about standing out but it’s also about ensuring that people like what they see & engage into it.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
App store optimization (ASO) is the process of enhancing the visibility of a mobile application (like iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone app) in an app store (like iTunes is for iOS, Google Play is for Android, Windows Store for Windows Phone & BlackBerry World for BlackBerry). As search engine optimization (SEO) is for websites similarly app store optimization is for mobile apps.
App Store Optimization strategies is a never ending process that includes three main steps:
- Keyword research and optimization
- Conversion rate optimization and A/B testing
- Tracking and improving (+ localizing)
App Store Optimization is influenced by 2 main types of factors:
Factors that fall under the direct control of a developer and can be easily modified form Google Play Console or App Store Connect.
On-metadata factors consisits: App Name / Title, Subtitle, Keywords Field & Promotional Text (App Store only), Short & Long Description, URL / Package (Google Play only), Icon, Screenshots, Feature Graphic (Google Play only), Video and App Size.
Factors that cannot be controlled, but can be affected by developers in order to improve them. Off-metadata factors includes: no. of installs, velocity of installs, volume of ratings and reviews and the average rating.
The ASO Process
Below are the most important steps to take in order to do proper App Store Optimization.
1) Do Keywords Research
The best method to start an app store optimization process is to study an app and what one would want to offer their users and list the most relevant keywords for the same.
2) Keep an eye on the Competitors
There are about 1.5 million apps on Google Play and about 1.4 millions on App Store, you might have continuous competition – so it’s a good practice to get to know them. If there is an app that works very well, browse through that app’s description, screenshots, rankings and especially take a look at the reviews.
3) Knowing the Customers
Even though, everyone first thinks about ranking algorithms when hearing about ASO, one have to keep in mind that optimization still is about users! The app page should still be attractive for (potential) customers in order to download and use your app.
4) Optimizing app page
The app page is the crown of your app. Besides basic keyword optimization one should not forget about asset optimization. This includes optimizing screenshots, graphics and icon as these are deciding factors for the users to download or not to download an app.
5) Monitoring results
As already mentioned, ASO strategy is an iterative process. This means one should repeatedly keep checking whether any of the actions cause positive development or not. Specially, you should always keep a check on your keyword rankings.
The Pillars of ASO
The two equally important pillars of ASO are:
- Optimizing Keywords – Helps you achieve more organic growth through better discoverability in the app stores.
- Optimizing your app store creatives – Helps you increase install conversions for organic users and ones coming through paid acquisition channels.
Why Is App Store Optimization So Important?
One will never be able to achieve great results and turn the strategy to success without the implementation of some determining tools and factors. Always remember that one will have to compete with billions of already existing apps, as everyone is competing to rank higher. For this reason, app store SEO can appear to be your only chance to achieve recognition and stand out from your main competitors.
The updated reports states that customers majorly use app store search to find new applications. 63% of all users worldwide will engage with your application via the app store navigation system. The idea is to serve users some simple ways to discover and install a particular product.
The goal of ASO strategy is closely always app downloads, but additional goals can include:
- Increased brand exposure.
- Positive app reviews and ratings.
- Audience engagement.
- Additional marketing channel diversification.
Impact of ASO on Business
If you aren’t convinced yet that you need to work for more time to your app store optimization strategy then the following benefits will surely be enough to change your mind:
- Higher rankings
One cannot deny the fact that people will always prefer the apps that rank in the top positions. People give their best efforts to get the better rankings so that their app can be successful.
This method helps the apps to improve their visibility with keywords and other techniques.
- Organic installs: lower acquisition costs
One of the best things about App Store Optimization is that with a good technique your organic installs will increase and cost you absolutely nothing!
Once the app is optimized it will start ranking higher for different search results, increasing app’s visibility and organic downloads, all in the time keep your acquisition costs low.
- Get your app shown to relevant users
The key word here is relevant. There is no point in having an app seen by people who aren’t interested in looking for it, so this is where ASO steps helps.
If one isn’t using the same keyword that the target users are searching for, or the app’s description doesn’t explain well what the app does, or even if one has chosen the wrong category, all these factors reduce the chances of getting your app in front of the relevant user.
App store optimization helps in increasing the credibility. As your ranks will get higher, it will quickly show in the category of top apps.
Therefore, app store optimization helps you to rank higher & faster, and builds trust for the app. People always give preference to top apps rather than the ones ranked in the bottom.
- Increased revenue
If one constructs the app in any way, like from ads, subscriptions, in-app purchases etc., then ASO will benefit you in terms of increased revenue from all the extra downloads you are getting.
These additional download & increased revenue help your app with a much more durable future.
Also pumping your entire budget into paid marketing techniques at the very start may give you a burst of new users to begin with, this is not a long-term fix.
Top ASO Companies
- The ASO Project
- Redbox Mobile
- Yodel Mobile
- ASO Agency
ASO techniques is a continuous step of tracking and testing. Hence, it’s important to achieve the ranking of the keywords and get more downloads with proper ASO strategies. ASO may not be the absolute solution for all app problems; but, it is for sure a great way for developers and entrepreneurs to find their own market and increase app downloads.