App Store Optimization (APO) is the process of optimizing mobile applications to improve the ranking in an app store’s search results. The visibility of your mobile app will improve with the rank of the mobile app in an app store’s search results. It is one of the crucial aspects that can help you get installs on your app. If you want your app to rank on top of the search results then you have to optimize your app for the app store.
Most of the apps are discovered by searching directly in app stores using keywords. The process of App Store Optimization is exactly the same to mobile apps what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to websites with a major difference. The job of SEO is done as soon as the user visits the website but in ASO you need to convince the user to download the app once he is on the app page.
ASO is not just bringing the traffic on the app page but to convert the users to download the app. As ASO is new in the marketing world, there are no particular techniques and algorithms known to get guaranteed results. Still there are some tips and tricks that have been working really well in achieving higher ranks in the app store. Lets take a look at them.
Select right category: The app stores have various categories from which you have to choose the category for your app which should be a smart and correct decision as it will highly affect the ranking of your app in that particular category and gives an idea to the customers of what your app does. Choose the category that is most relevant to your app and the level of competition in that category should also be considered.
You should also check the category of the apps that are similar to yours as users now a days are quite aware of the categories. App store has recently launched a new feature of sub categories which helps the apps to rank in their specific categories. Also, choosing inappropriate categories can lead to penalty for your app as it is against the App Store Guidelines.
Select the right keywords: You should start form preparing a list of relevant keywords also considering the keywords that are being targeted by your competitive apps. Focusing on low competition keywords in the beginning will help in ranking in the top list of the keywords. Following that you can optimize further for more competitive keywords when you get good number of positive reviews and downloads.
Apple App Store has a maximum 100 character keyword field which directly affects the search results while Google Play Store gets the relevant keywords form the app description to rank the app.
Writing App Name and Description: While selecting a name for your app, go for a descriptive keyword that u think people will use for looking for your app. Using relevant keywords in the title helps in higher ranking of the app. For better results use the keyword differently in the app description as app description and graphics on the app page is what compels the user to download the app.
The first 2-3 lines of the app description should simply and concisely describe how will the app meet the user needs. Mentioning the unique features of the app in bullet points is also a good alternative as the user will be able to get the points clearly. Considering the other similar apps and using the idea in your app in the context of creating the app description is a great thought too.
Remember to change the descriptions very creatively with every new update of your app to delight and engage the users.
Complete App listing: The elements like app icon, screenshots of the app, etc play an important role as these help in convincing the users to download the app after visiting the page. App icon is a significantly important element as it is the first thing that user sees before reading anything else. It should instantly represent what the app is all about. The complexity in the visual of the app icon will lead in hampering the visibility on small screens.
Guidelines for the app icon should be followed strictly to avoid any issues. The screenshots that are to be used will not effect the rankings of the app but will help you to increase the downloads. Pictures and videos enable the users to visualize the working of your app and will drive downloads heavily. The pictures and videos should highlight the key features and the pages on which users will spend most of their time.
Encourage users to rate and review: Another important factor for ASO is ratings and review. App Store considers positive reviews and good rank as one the key validation for app’s quality and improves its ranking. Apps having good ratings are at the top of the app stores. So asking your customers to leave a positive review of your app by sending them a push notification is also a good practice to improve the rankings.
Sending them push notification after the user has used the app multiple times has the chances to get good review. Do not go for fake reviews as they are easily identified by app stores.
Wrapping it up, we can say that App Store Optimization is a process that requires constant monitoring. A lot of other factors need to be optimized at the same time in order to maximize the effects of ASO. Regular updates and improvements of the app will increase its app store presence. This will improve the app visibility and rankings, which will drive more organic downloads. We will be coming with more mobile app marketing techniques. Stay tuned!