Okay, so you designed and launched an awesome app – just like Facebook and Whatsapp. You felt that everyone will love your app. You hoped that it will make 1000s of downloads everyday and go blockbuster.
But, alas, I have some bad news for you.
There are around 5 billion applications in mobile industry and many more are planning to enter the market.
Besides, there is a competitor, offering a similar product, that might steal the show from you in a while.
How will you deal with such situations? How to ensure that your app gain higher visibility? How to make your app go viral?
Well, there’s a fix and it’s called App Store Optimization (ASO).
To help you out with the same, I have created this mobile App Store Optimization guide. In this guide, I have covered the benefits of ASO, best practices of this marketing strategy, and the best tools to consider in 2020.
So, shall we begin?
Let’s start with figuring out what is App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization (ASO) – Its Definition and Importance
App Store Optimization, in layman language, is a mobile application marketing process by which you can enhance your app discoverability in App Store and get a bigger slice of mobile market revenue. It can be considered as SEO for mobile apps, provided it helps developers in making their app able to beat the competition and rank higher on the App Store.
This process, though often overlooked, provides the best mobile app developers with a myriad of opportunities and advantages, such as:-
More Organic App Installs
One of the biggest advantages of Google Play Store and App Store optimization is that it increases organic app installs. The marketing strategy improves your app ranking in the search option of App Store/Play Store, which further make it easier for users to find and tap on your app when searching for similar application. This, in the long run, enhances the chances of higher app installs.
When it comes to how to optimize your Google Play Store app (or App Store app) for the right keywords, the ratio of users looking for a similar application increases. This eventually improves the chances of gaining relevant traffic – rather than getting even those users fall onto your app page who were looking for some other type of app.
Lower Acquisition Cost
Now, when the relevant users reach to your application, it becomes much easier to convince them for downloading and using your app. This implies, the effort and cost involved in turning users into customers reduces.
Again, the Google Play app search optimization helps to earn higher revenue – especially when you are relying upon the following mobile app monetization models:-
- In-App advertising
- In-App Purchase
With this attended to, it is likely that you will be excited to invest in ASO strategy and ensure higher outcomes.
But, hang on.
Before we jump into the mobile app marketing world and determine how to improve mobile app ranking in Google Play Store and App Store, let’s have a look into what are the components of ASO and their impact on the overall strategy.
Note: While there are various On-meta and Off-meta components of ASO, we will focus only on On-meta components in this mobile app store optimization guide.
ASO Elements to Consider for Better Search and Conversion Results
App icon is the foremost thing noticed by the users in an app and thus, is an important factor in ASO strategy.
The app icon, as per top mobile app marketing company, can increase app downloads by 560%. But, this is possible only when you take care of the following rules while designing your app icons:-
- Choosing elements that describes your app’s prime functionality.
- Not adding text into your app icon.
- Considering the size and specification guidelines for app icons as curated by Google Play Store and App Store.
- Focusing on the latest trends while developing app icon.
App title, also termed as App name, is one of the basic components of ASO that brings a direct impact on the search and conversion rate.
The app name, as per the renowned app marketing agency, helps the users to get a hint about the app type, category, and functionality.
For example, when talking about ‘eBay: Buy & Sell – Find Deals’, the app name itself describes that the application is for buying and selling items and find relevant deal about them. Now, when someone looking for a platform to buy or sell something will read this name, they will realize that this is the right platform for them, which eventually means higher user acquisition.
Now when talking about what to consider while deciding the app title, there are various factors that can boost the mobile app ranking in the Google Play Store and App Store, such as:-
- The character limit for app name on both App Store and Play Store is upto 50 characters.
- Adding the prime keyword into app title is helpful. As per our App marketing experts, placing the right keywords in your app name can boost its position by 70-90 places in the Google Play and iOS App Store search algorithms. So, do not overlook this practice.
- The right way to introduce keywords in your app name is as follows:-
- Brand name: Keyword(s)
- Keyword(s): Brand name
- Brand name – Keyword(s)
- Keyword(s) – Brand name
Keywords, i.e, the words/phrases users enter the search bar of the Play Store/App Store, also bring a significant impact on the app’s visibility, search rank, and traffic. So, it is necessary for all the mobile application development services providers to look into finding and adding the right keyword in different elements, such as title, description, keyword field (available in App Store only), etc.
App Description, as the term says, is an app page section that describes your mobile app. That implies, it highlights what problems will your app solve, what features/functionalities will it have, who will be the right users for your application, what benefits will they get, and more.
Now, when talking about what is the strategy to rank an app on Play Store/App Store in terms of type of description to be added to your app page, there are three rules you should follow:-
- Avoid keyword stuffing. Or better say, add only relevant keywords such that it does not affect the readability.
- Consider the guidelines set by App Store/Play Store for writing a description. For example, Apple App Store allows you to show only 2 lines of app description above the ‘More’ button, which implies you have to write catchy and keyword-rich content in the first 100 characters itself for gaining higher results.
- Make it presentable. The more bullets, font styles and emojis (allowed only in Play Store), the more readable your content be. And hence, more will be the chances of gaining positive responses.
Screenshots are another important factor that you must not miss out when performing App Store Optimization. These screenshots helps the users to get a visual idea of what type of elements and features will be available in your application and therefore, increase the chances of conversions.
But, to make this possible, it is required that you add the most important app screens at the first three positions. This is because even though 8-10 screenshots can be added to app page, it’s the first three app screenshots that are displayed on the screen by default.
Besides screenshots, you can also add promo videos in your app store page. This video will give users a walkthrough of what and how your application will make their needs fulfilled. And hence, will increase the chances of engaging them.
While promo video is considered as an optional thing in case of App Store, it is observed to be a vital element in Play Store. So, it is good to make and add a 15-20 seconds of video onto your Android app page such that it talks about the prime functionality of your application – rather than showing your brand’s logo for the first 5 seconds.
Localization, the process of localizing the app content as per the region and users you target, is one of the best strategies to increase app user engagement. So, it is good to focus upon the practice of localizing your app content, but while following different rules specified in mobile app localization guide such as, focusing upon the culture and beliefs of the target audience rather than simply translating the content, and localizing your app for all the possible languages.
Ratings and Reviews
Knowing the fact that app users trust the ratings and reviews shared by other while deciding if they should install your app or not, focusing on Ratings and Reviews is also important.
Now, when talking about Ratings and Reviews, one of the finest ways to improve the numbers is to look into the issues shared by your users and fixing those errors timely, along with making a proper communication.
While following your mobile app launch checklist is good, updating your application at regular intervals is also important for enhancing app search/conversion rate. This is because when you update an app more frequently, you target the bugs and errors found in your app which eventually improves the user experience and reduces the negative ratings and reviews.
Besides, it gives App Store/Play Store a hint that you focus on delivering better opportunities to your audience by updating your application timely. This encourages the mobile app stores to consider your app on higher ranking in the search bar.
Though a part of SEO strategy, Backlinks also play a pivotal role in improving the ASO of your Android mobile app. They let the users and search algorithm know about different sites and platforms where you have shared information about your application and in this way, enables you to improve the credibility of your app.
While this would have given you a hint of how to get your app ranked in the App Store/Play Store via ASO, let’s have a detailed look of what elements to consider in Apple App Store vs Play Store ASO Optimization:-
Now as you know what components must be considered when crafting an ASO strategy for your Android or iOS mobile applications, it’s the best time to look into what practices can improve your app search and conversion rates.
So, let’s turn towards the next section of this mobile App Store Optimization guide, i.e, practices/tips to make your ASO strategy more effective and hence, improve your application ranking and download rate.
10 Practices to Make Your ASO Marketing Strategy Effective
Understand Your Target Audience
The very first mobile app marketing tips & checklist to consider while planning and implementing your App Store Optimization strategy is to understand your target user base.
That implies, selecting a group of people based on factors such as age, culture, qualification, gender, and location, etc. and determining their response. And hence, ensure that you do not start off on the wrong foot.
Pick the Right Keywords at Right Place
As stated above, choosing the right keywords and adding them at right places can improve your app ranking and acquisition rate. So, look forward to investing your efforts into building an App Store keyword optimization strategy by following rules like:-
- Pick the right keyword based upon your app category, type, and features.
- Consider the keywords that apps ranking in your niche market are using.
- Localize your keywords for better outcomes.
Make Description More Presentable
When focusing on adding a description to your mobile app store optimization strategy, look forward to following these mobile app SEO best practices:-
- Make your description more presentable using bullets, signs, and emojis.
- Writing short and simple sentences.
- Highlighting the USP of your app within the first two sentences.
- Add an email address for support.
Use Significant Screenshots
Screenshots not solely make your app page appealing but also increasing the chances of users understand your app purpose and thus, convince them to help you to how to get more downloads for you Android and iOS app. So, look forward to focusing on these practices:-
- Employ all the available slots for showing screenshots.
- Put the most important app screen on the first slot.
- Add minimal text to screenshots.
Make Lighter Apps
The app size, one of the ASO offmeta factors, is a perfect answer to what is the strategy to rank an app on Play Store/App Store. It increases the chances of users downloading your application and using it – without worrying about the app memory consumption or feeling irritated on slow app speed.
Consider Ways to Gain Positive Reviews
Though it is nearly impossible to have no negative review, it is advisable to bring more positive reviews on your app page. And for this, you should look into the best practices to improve positive reviews, including Referral marketing.
Localize Your App Effectively
It’s true that app localization can improve your app ranking by 200%. However, you do not need to localize your app for every country and place for this. You can earn higher app downloads and revenue by focusing on two or more important locations. So, consider this factor is one of the best methods to improve mobile app ranking in Google Play Store or App Store.
Run A/B Tests for Better Insights
Another tip to ensure that you gain the best results from ASO is to invest in A/B testing. That implies, testing and measuring the metrics of every change you make into the ASO strategy and thus, refining the results.
Perform Competitive Analysis
One of the important app store SEO techniques to ensure that you gain maximum response is to perform competitive analysis. The analysis will help you to determine what type of keywords, description, and other elements your competitors have invested in, and thereafter, come up with a perfect answer to the question, “how to get more downloads for your app.”
Iterate Every Few Weeks
Lastly, keep repeating this process at particular interval of time to make the best profits of the changing trends in the app industry.
Now when talking about performing keyword optimization, conducting A/B test, or investing your efforts into competitive analysis, various tools can be taken into consideration for enhancing your App Store Optimization strategy.
So, let’s wrap up this mobile App Store Optimization guide by looking into the list of best ASO tools.
Best Tools for App Store Optimization to Consider in 2020 (and Beyond)
App Annie is one of the finest tools for performing app analytics. It provides Android and iOS app developers with a complete set of tools to compute, test, and optimize keywords based on your focused market and app type, and thus, enjoy higher app visibility and downloads.
SensorTower is an impressive ASO and intelligence platform that provides developers and marketers with efficient insights and tracking facilities to check and improve their app visibility on the Google Play Store/App Store.
Besides, it also offers the opportunity of keyword translation which helps to localize your keywords in simpler ways and thus, target your audience with better chances of success.
Another mobile App Store optimization tool that you can consider for driving higher visibility and downloads is RankMyApps. The tool helps Android and iOS mobile app promotion services providers to optimize the app marketing copies more efficiently and effectively – right from app name to description, keywords, category, icon, and screenshots.
Reflection.io is a one-stop shop for tracking and monetizing ASO. The tool comes with a web-based interface and two different plans to provide developers with the opportunity to track around 10 apps, in addition to gathering market intelligence and app data to upgrade their ASO strategy.
As the tagline says, App Radar makes App Store optimization easy. The tool helps app developers and marketers to gather real data and find out relevant and ‘highly searched’ keywords, optimize the app metadata and above all, receive AI-based keyword suggestions to ensure faster and effective results.
StoreMaven is yet another impressive AI-based tool that enhances the process of A/B testing and provides you with better possible results.
So, that’s all about how to get more downloads for your mobile app using ASO strategy.
I hope going through this mobile app store optimization guide will help you to plan and rock your mobile application marketing strategy. But, in case, you still have any queries or need advice, feel free to contact our experts.
A technocrat and an entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and Chief Delivery Head at Appventurez. Skilled in object-oriented programming (OOP), iOS Development, Design Principles, Data Structures, and Swift, he has served different organizations as Tech Lead.
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