The major app stores are home to more than 2 million mobile apps with getting their app discovered being one of the biggest issues being faced by mobile app publishers. The different methods to market your app needs to be understood if you are in the mobile app space. App Store Optimization or ASO is a vital technique which helps put your app first through search.
What is ASO (App Store Optimization)?
The process through which mobile apps are optimized so that it ranks higher in the search results of an app store is known as App Store Optimization or ASO. The higher the ranks of the app in the app store’s search result mean the more visible it is to its customers. This increase in visibility helps to increase traffic to your app page in the app store and more app downloads.
Along with the keywords used by potential customers to find apps in the category same as yours, ASO also needs to have a detailed understanding of your targeted customer base. The language of your customers is understood better by you when you know which keywords they are commonly using, so you can put in your own choices of keywords too.
Why is ASO Essential?
ASO is the largest discovery channel which is available for your app and not using it to increase the search ranking of your app means that you are missing out on a vital means to increase traffic. App store searches account for more than 63 percent of apps that are discovered by potential clients. Improving your ASO week after week will result in a better app ranking and overall success.
Mechanics of ASO
Don’t worry if you are fumbling around at how ASO works. ASO will depend upon a number of factors and it all depends on how good you’ve written your app description and created the app page. Some of the factors that play a factor are listed below:
#1. Primary Factors:
- Title – The keywords found in the title should be such that it contains the heaviest search traffic. Research the keywords to find the apt one and try to stick to it at all times.
- Keywords – You must know which keywords are important and used frequently by the audience to improve search rankings immensely.
#2. Secondary Factors:
- Total number of downloads – Though you do not have control over them, the number of downloads affect ASO largely.
- Reviews and ratings – Again difficult to control yet vital. There are methods to incentivize satisfied users to review and rate your app.
#3. Are the keywords in the title actually worth it?
Several tests reveal that apps which contain a keyword in its title rank 10.3 percent higher on an average as compared to those which do not have a keyword in its title. So keywords are actually of great value and must be placed in the title.
#4. In search results, does an app with higher ratings rank higher?
A random sample of keywords were taken in a test and categorized according to difficulty related to its result count to check whether apps with a better rating rank high in an search result or not. It revealed that apps which had a higher rating also ranked quite high for difficulty of keyword.
#5. Does a higher app store search ranking correlate to more downloads?
The number of times an app has been downloaded is only known to the app store and the developer. The number of ratings is used as a proxy for the number of downloads done as the download-to-rating conversion rate is mostly same in all apps. This stated that apps which have more downloads rank higher in the app store search rankings undoubtedly.
#6. Remember, ASO takes time
Being a process that needs to be regularly tweaked and monitored over time, ASO cannot be achieved instantly. The set of keywords put in first in the app store by the user is generally the optimal one. Along with tracking their own ratings, app developers also need to check their competitors ratings and should be willing to invest in ASO to get positive results in the future. With more and more apps being published daily, search rankings can get affected especially with the continuous stream of new downloads reviews and ratings. Experiment with and test your keywords to rank well consistently and increase traffic to your page.
Tips to improve ASO
Looking to improve ASO? While you might look at releasing your app instantly, it’s important that you play your ASO strategy right to ensure that your app isn’t lost into oblivion soon after launching it. You need maximum exposure and for that, you need to know how to improve ASO overall. Here are the tips that you need to know:
#1. Primary Factors:
- Title – Place your most relevant keyword in the title no matter how difficult it is. It helps improve app’s search rankings by 10.3 percent on an average.
- Keywords – Focus on your app too and not on ASO alone. Analyze keywords, track search rankings, choose better keywords and stay updated about competitors.
#2. Secondary Factors:
- Total number of downloads – To increase downloads, improve your ASO and market your brand to improve recognition and appeal. You can achieve this by creating social media presence and app store description to ratings, reviews and images.
- Reviews and ratings – As we have read earlier, apps with a high rating get ranked higher too. Allow customers to talk to the developer directly if they have a negative feedback while letting happy customers leave good reviews for your mobile app.
#3. The Right App Icon
Invest in the right app icon that can help your app stand out. Focus on the icon aesthetics and understand if it really tells what your app is about. The app icon needs to be in sync with the purpose of your app so that users can identify with it.
#4. App Screenshots
Don’t forget your app screenshot tells a lot about your app. Make the best screenshots available to view for the audience so that they know exactly what to expect. For instance, if you’re launching a game app, focus on giving screenshots during actual game-play rather than just menus. Give an array of screenshots so that users can understand what they will get after the download is complete.
It does take time to start the journey but if you play it right, you would have a steady stream of downloads all the time – without you worrying about customers and audience. Focus on having the right ASO strategy – it can do you a world of good.
Images: “App store optimization word text on the vector/Shutterstock.com“
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