ASO – App Store Optimization is a process of improving the reach and downloads of a mobile app in app store. It include the process to rank higher of your mobile app in an app store’s search results. The main aim of ASO is to improve app’s visibility; increase downloads and drives more traffic to your app’s page. Like SEO, the exact ranking algorithms for ASO are no known as app store optimization is still a young and evolving field.
How to drive more traffic to improve app’s download?
Let’s start by breaking down the various components that will help you to improve mobile apps download-
- Keyword research – Apple App Store gives you 100 chars to define your keywords where as in Google Play Store you’re given 4,000 characters to describe. You should optimize your app with good and relevant keywords so that user can find it easily. You need to carry keyword research your keywords to maximize your organic traffic. You should keep in mind three factors during the research – Relevance, Competition and Searches. Cover your app description with relevant keywords and useful terms and write for customers/users not for search engines.
Important Tools – SensorTower, App Annie, MobileDevHQ, AppTweak, SearchMan, Mobile Action, Appcodes, App Annie, Gummicube
- App description – After keyword research, App description is another crucial point that helps you to reach to your targeted customer base. App description is considered as a call-to-action for potential customers. Create useful, information and keyword rich description in simple and concise language so that your customers can actually read and know about the app and decide whether or not to install your product is human.
App description should be full of energy and relevant keyword that meets customer’s needs and catch immediate attention towards your app. Try to put most important information there like about the app, benefits and features.
What to avoid?
- Keyword stuffing (spamming)
- Grammar errors
- Too technical description
- Fake/false information
- App logo/ icon – The first impression of your app is your logo/icon. For both iTunes store and Google Play Store a logo is very important for your app marketing. Design a logo that make some sense about your app and explore your app in brief.
What to remember while create an App logo/icon?
- Create an eye-catching & simple icon
- Create a cool 3D effect
- Don’t use words
- Make your icon consistent with your app
- Be unique & don’t copy
For iOS icons size – At least 1024×1024 pixels
For Google Play Store Size – At least 512×512 pixels
- Screenshots – App screenshots are not a ranking effect but they do drive more downloads. Screenshot works as description of your app for those who often do not have to read through the whole app description. They show about your app design as well as its feature/functions graphically. You can upload up to 5 screenshots in iOS app where as Google Play Store allow up to 8 screenshots.
How to optimize your app screenshots?
- Show how your app looks & works
- Describe app’s main features & functions
- Screenshots in the correct language
- Use the right dimensions
- Video trailer/tutorial – Like screenshots Video trailers also essential that allows users to see what your product does and how it works. Videos are one of the most visible assents of your app that improve your downloads. A video can be to show what’s unique about your app.
Before starting to work on your video, you should keep in mind following points –
- Don’t make it like an ad or promotion
- Don’t forget to make it device specific and device resolutions
- Do not use too much text in the video; show how your app works etc
- Keep it short, between 20 to 40 seconds
- Include app name, logo or Icon
- Competitive research – Competitor research is one of the best marketing strategies. There are millions apps on the App Store available so it’s crucial to monitor what your competitor is doing. Understand your customer and competitor. ASO start with Competitor research; you can get better keywords idea from your consumer query and competitor research. Thus, you should constantly make sure how competing apps are ranking and how to take action to win over users.
- Reviews and 5 starts rankings – Review and rating section is one of the best app store feature or technique for app marketer for ASO. If your app is new then users must be afraid to pay or install it. But, if your app is new, but much liked by users then defiantly they’ll download it. But, how to know the app is liked? There are two clues; downloads and reviews, where reviews are unavoidable factor that can change the user’s decision. So, ask your user’s to put honest reviews about the app.
What an app marketer should know about Review & Ratings?
- Highlight positive reviews
- Positively and politely deal with negative reviews
- Ask your users to review for each app update
- Listen to what your users are saying
- The right app name – The most important thing to know about the app name is it should be memorable, catchy and informative. For best ASO results and branding you should include relevant keywords as part of your title. Both Google as well as Apple has strict character limitation so you should choose the close enough or keyword rich App name but it does not mean to do keyword stuffing. App store allow 255 character limits for your app name, but only 25 characters will appear in an app store search listing page.
Here are some tips for naming your app –
- Choose a unique & easy to memorable name
- Start with brand name
- Use relevant keywords in title
- Make it short and sweet
- Put most important keywords in first 25 characters
- Category – Choosing the right category for your app is another important tactic to optimize your app for app store. Choose the most relevant category and sub-category for your app which will help to improve your ranking for that specific arena.
- In Apple App Store you can choose a primary and a secondary category for your app.
- In Google App Store you can choose category as well as an app type (game or application) in Google Play.
- Analytics – It’s most essential to analysis your ASO efforts to get better results and improve downloads. But, App analysis is not just to increase the number of downloads but also to learn how, when, where and by what kind of audience your app is used. You can get sense about the app and user’s reaction or app success. By monitoring your app, you can know a lot about your users and if there is any need to improve your app or game.
Some of good App analytics tools are –
- Flurry Analytics – Link
- Price – FREE
- Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Java ME
- Google Universal Analytics – Link
- Price – Free
- Platform: iOS, Android
- Apple App Analytics – Link
- Price – Free
- Platforms: iOS
- Mixpanel – Link
- Price – FREE & Premium Plan start from $150
- Platforms: iOS, Android
- Countly – Link
- Price – Free
- Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry
- Localize your app listing – App store now accessible from several countries and developers should benefit of this and prepare app for global audience to reach new users. Aside from English-speaking world, user’s like to use or prefer their native language when shopping. So, an app should always be ready to go beyond the English version/language.
Now both Apple and Google App Store allow you to localize your app listing and to localize your app, you need to adapt it to a country and its language. You can get idea about users from App analytics like region, language and country.