App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization & Mobile Apps Optimization

App store optimization (ASO) is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone app) in an app store. App store optimization is closely related to search engine optimization. Specifically, app store optimization includes the process of ranking highly in an app store's search results and top charts rankings. ASO marketers agree that ranking higher in search results and top charts rankings will drive more downloads for an app.

Goals:-

  • Being found better by users in the app stores, due to the fact that App Store Search is the No. 1 source for people to discover new applications
  • Rank higher compared to competitors
  • Rank higher compared to competitors
  • Rank higher in Google´s semantic search for applications

Methods:-

App store optimization is a young and evolving field. Methods of how to efficiently optimize an app's visibility within an app store are still relatively unknown.

However, as the field is quickly becoming an important driver of app downloads for marketers; methods for App Store Optimization are beginning to be more widespread. App Store Optimization tools provider MobileDevHQ broke App Store Optimization into three distinct parts: finding the right keywords, ranking highly for those keywords, and converting visitors into users. Nevertheless, ASO is not limited to keyword related tactics only; it actually involves all Meta data available and accessible in the app stores, like icons, screenshots, description and update texts and others.

What are the mechanics of ASO?

Let's start by breaking down the various components that can affect your ASO:

Main Factors:

  • Title – The keyword placed in the title should be the one with the heaviest search traffic. Spend time researching which keyword that is, because changing your title often to include different keywords can be detrimental. As your app begins to rank higher and gain more reviews, news of your app will begin to spread by word of mouth. Changing the title can make it difficult for word to spread about your app.
  • Keywords – To improve your search rankings, you need to know which keywords are relevant and used most often by your target audience. It is helpful to monitor competitors in order to realize how you compare week to week.

Keywords – To improve your search rankings, you need to know which keywords are relevant and used most often by your target audience. It is helpful to monitor competitors in order to realize how you compare week to week.

Secondary Factors:

    Total # of Downloads – Your number of downloads are extremely important to ASO, but you don't have complete control over them.
  • Ratings and Reviews – Also important and difficult to control. However, there are ways to incentivize happy users to rate and review.

Apps with keywords in the title ranked on average 10.3% higher than those without a keyword in the title.

Do apps with higher ratings rank higher in search results?

An "easy" keyword results in fewer than 25 apps trying to rank for that keyword. "Medium" keywords are those that are included in 25-100 apps, and "competitive" keywords are those in 100+ apps.

Based on this test, there is a clear trend showing that apps with higher ratings also rank higher for keyword difficulty.

Keep in mind that ASO takes time

ASO is a process that needs to be monitored and constantly tweaked over a period of time. Your optimal set of keywords rarely is the set that you first opt to put in the app store.

Today, the most common approach to ASO is no approach at all. Developers often pick keywords and write descriptions at the last second during an app's submission process. In most cases, little or no research on keyword searches occurs before the app submission, leaving most apps hidden and the likelihood of discovery quite low.

According to "Lan Sefferman" The CEO of MobileDevHQ, Said: -

"ASO is having dramatic effects on our client apps. For those who put the time in to understand, iterate, and test, we've seen many apps increase their downloads by a factor of 2x-10x, and an increase of revenue by a similar, or bigger, rate due to the increase in engagement of users earned by ASO. ASO is not a simple process, and you might not see the impact overnight, but if you're willing to invest in it, the outcome can be incredibly worthwhile."

App developers need to consistently track their own rankings and the rankings of their competitors over time. More apps are published every day, and the constant stream of new ratings, reviews, and downloads can affect your search rankings. Keep testing and experimenting with your keywords in order to consistently rank well and drive more traffic to your download page. There are some quick tips on optimizing for your app in the Play Store API (Application Programming Interface):

On-Page Optimization

  • App Title: The foundation of any optimization is the title tag. This is very similar to a website's title tag. Make sure it is descriptive and clearly explains what the app does. Due to android being used by many brands and different screen sizes, it's hard to tell how many characters are optimal. The best strategy is to keep the app title as short as possible, so that searchers can read it in its entirety. Nothing kills user experience more than a lengthy title that gets truncated because it's too long.
  • App Description: Very similar to the Meta Description tag on a website. Clearly and effectively explain what the app is, what it does, and its benefits. Again, since there is no actual website, this content will be your primary leveraging mechanism to market your app. Hire a professional copy writer if you must. There is a 4000 character limit on descriptions – use it wisely.
  • App Icon: believe it or not, the actual icon of the app does make a difference. Look at all the large, popular brands (Facebook, Twitter). They all have one thing in common – an iconic logo/brand. Make sure your icon or logo clearly and creatively expresses your app.
  • App Type: Google divides apps into two main "types." They are "applications" and "games." Mark your app appropriately.
  • App Screenshot: Everyone likes to see what an app/software or game looks like. Humans are visual creatures, so use this to your advantage and display some eye-catching screen shots of your app in action.
  • Category: Properly define your product by a specific category. If your app has multiple categories, try to pick the most appropriate one.
  • App YouTube Demo: This is a relatively new feature in the Play Store which allows you to upload a YouTube video of your app in action. Use this as other sales pitch and highlight all the best parts of your app.
  • Leverage Google Plus: All apps have a Google Plus plug-in. The more pluses your app gets, the more visible it will be in the Play Store and maybe even get bumped to the front page carousel.

Off-Page Optimization

  • Overall App Ratings: This is an important factor for ASO. Not only from an ASO perspective, but also from a conversion perspective. If we see that 1200 people gave 5 out of 5 stars, we assume it must be a great app. Ratings are also a direct reflection of your app's performance – a great app will get great ratings. Keep in mind, front page placement seems to rely on a combination of reviews, ratings, downloads, and Google pluses.
  • App Reviews: just like ratings, reviews will certainly help in conversions. You want as many app users to leave genuine reviews of your app. The more favorable reviews your app receives, the higher the conversion rate. Also, make sure you pay attention to what people say! You should use app reviews as a feedback to continuously improve your app.
  • Total App Downloads: This certainly affects searcher psyche. The more downloads your app has, the higher the chances someone else will download the app as well.
  • Link Building: Welcome back to the world of link building! Because this is a Google product, The Google Play Store has access to Google's search indexes. This means links from popular and authoritative websites will certainly help.

Proposed 3-month ASO Roadmap

Activities Listed above are for 3 months and the same will be repeated for further in next months as well; but we would be using fresh stuffs every time while repeating these activities.

Activities and their quantities may vary as per the progress and requirement

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