How to do App Store Optimization? A step by step guide
In the Google Play Store there are approximately 1.3 million Android apps and almost 1.2 million apps in the Apple App Store. Worldwide these apps are used by nearly two billion smartphone users and the number is growing every year.
These numbers are mind-boggling, especially for if you’re a developer with a new app and want to get it noticed. So, how can you stand out among your competitors? More importantly, what can you do so your app ranks high in app store search results?
The answer to this lies in your App Store Optimization strategy for the Play Store and App Store.
App Store Optimization
You are going to need a solid App Store Optimization strategy if you want to see your mobile app rank higher in app store results, making yourself seen by more potential app users.
App Store Optimization or ASO is just like Search Engine Optimization used by internet marketers so their web pages rank high in Google search results. ASO is used by app developers so they can get their app to the top position in app store search results.
You will definitely want to increase the ranking of your app to get it seen by more people and receive more downloads. Below are seven steps to take advantage of App Store Optimization so your app can rank higher.
1. Start with a descriptive title
Not everything can be said in a single name, especially when we are talking about the name of your app and the ASO, but we can try to say as much as possible.
Through a good name you not only help to identify what your app does for potential users but you also improve your ranking. In fact, by adding a keyword to the title of your app you will increase your ranking by at least 10%.
However, both the App Store and the Play Store handle their keywords and titles differently. So the process in which you are approaching your title depends on whether you are marketing for Apple or Android users.
2. Use your keywords wisely
Keywords are an important factor in both SEO and ASO. Just like the title of the app, the way you handle keywords differs very much between the App Store and the Play Store. With Apple you need to choose wisely as there is a 100 character limit for all the keywords. However, with Google there is no specific keyword field.
If you want to get the best App Store Optimization, you must try and put your most important keywords in the description at least five times. But you need to be careful because if it’s overdone, your app might get penalized if you stuff your description with keywords, and your rank will also drop.
Before you publish your App Store Description with the keywords you’ve selected, it is important that you do some research regarding the traffic, difficulty and demand of those keywords, and how many other apps are using them. There are a few App Store Optimization tools, such as MobileDevHQ and SearchMan that can assist you in finding the best App Store keywords. Finally, below are a few other tips through which you can pick the keywords best suitable to your app:
- Try to put the top keyword in the name of your app
- Use words rather than phrases
- While researching for the keywords try to find singular versus plural and choose the one which has the best numbers
- Try and avoid prepositions and conjunctions as keywords
- To separate keywords apply commas rather than spaces
- Instead of spelling out numbers use digits
3. Describe the app well
The description of your app is like your website’s landing page for both Apple and Android apps. It is important that the description of your app and the page within the app store should be considered as an essential part of your App Store Optimization strategy.
You have to start by assuming that your users know very little about your app except its name. Think what your customers would use it for and it will become easier for you if you write it down in bullet points, such as:
- What does your app do?
- What are the problems that it solves?
- How does your app make the user’s life easier?
- Why is it worth the price?
4. Add an app preview video
Nowadays, most of us watch videos online, and over half of the video content is watched on mobile. Videos have become a powerful tool in digital marketing. You should also use the power of video for your App Store page to provide the potential users with better insight into what your app can offer them.
There are many people who will view the video but will mute the audio. So it is also important that you have a text which will explain important sections or features that you are showing.
5. Pick the Right Category
In both the App Store and the Play Store placing your app in the proper category will not only be helpful for the users who are browsing apps by category but it is also the best practice for helping your app rank well.
If your app fits into more than one category then there are 3 ways in which you can approach this problem:
- Firstly, you must pick the category that will best describe your mobile app
- Next, it is better to check how many apps there are in each of the categories, your app can get a better ranking if you choose the least competitive category
- Lastly, look at the estimated app worth (EAW) of those near the top of the categories.
6. Focus on the icon design
There is a direct relation between downloads and rankings. The more people download your app, the more popular it becomes. Its rank therefore also increases.
It is important to know how to design an engaging app icon. You need to choose carefully as you will only get one image to show to the app store audiences that your app is worth their time.
7. Encourage positive reviews
It will have a huge impact on your App store Optimization efforts if you encourage positive ratings and reviews both in the terms of quantity and quality. However, the reviews need to be from honest people who have downloaded the app.
There is another way to get reviews of your app and that is by sending your users push notifications and encouraging them to review the app.
Your app might be successful with lots of downloads and visibility only if you pay immense attention towards your App Store Optimization strategy. If you follow the steps that are provided here, you may have a chance of improving the ASO of your app.