In order for an app to receive a high number of downloads, it has to stand out. In the current app market, unless an app has been featured in the “Recommended” section by the Apple editors or has secured a rank in the Top 10 through tens of thousands of downloads, the chances of it succeeding are slim. Organic discovery or search is one way to get your app seen by thousands of people, but there are several other things you can do to optimize your app store listing that you may not realize.
You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your app, so how you do you make sure people see it? App Store Optimization (ASO) is a surefire way to boost your app’s visibility in the app store. ASO is the means of optimizing varied elements of an app store listing to achieve a higher ranking in an app store’s search results. Think of it as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but for apps. In the optimization process, apps are assigned rankings by employing keyword search, where a certain app may end up boosting its rankings, just by having a lot of iOS users look it up through search. As a result, this would reflect in the number of installs of that particular app, which is the ultimate goal.
Surveys have shown that the majority of users discover apps by searching for them directly or using related keywords in the app store. Data indicates that app discovery via keyword search accounts for 63% of iOS apps and 58% for Android, which proves that search is the most important method for app discovery. That being said, it’s essential that companies and marketers who have their apps in either the App Store or Google Play should pay attention to the specific words that are more likely to be searched by users, and optimize their app accordingly.
Now that you have decided to hire a mobile app development firm and launch your app in the app store, you need to optimize your listing as much as possible. The optimization efforts in the app store are what will ultimately drive conversions. Here are some of the factors to take into consideration:
Identify what keywords you’re going to use prior to submitting your app to the app store. This will help drive more traffic (views and downloads) in the long run. The following criteria should be kept in mind when identifying keyword(s):
Audience: Who your app tailored to? Is it millennials? Business professionals? Stay-at-home parents? Identify your demographic. Imagine you have an app that caters to a parent who wants to regulate their child’s computer and TV-viewing habits. What words would that parent search in the app store if they are looking for an app about monitoring their child’s screen time? Think from the perspective of your target audience.
Competitiveness of the Keyword: How competitive is your keyword? Is it a popular search term that bigger or older companies with sizeable budgets have monopolized? This will affect how well your app ranks among a sea of more popular and well-known apps.
Search Volume: How many individuals are looking for apps using the keyword(s) you selected? Don’t use unfamiliar words in order to differentiate or leverage your app from your competitors. Make sure your keywords are the ones that are used in regular, everyday conversation.
Use online tools to enhance your keyword research:
Your app name or the title needs to include the main keyword(s) that you have previously identified in the keyword research phase. Doing this will ensure that you rank better in the app store for those keyword searches, and “broaden the number of keywords you can potentially rank for”. Additionally, keep in mind that since the first 25 characters get displayed in the search result, they are the most important.
Here’s where you talk about your app. How is your app helping your users? Why should they download it? It’s also important that you know what app store you are submitting your app to, either iOS, Android or both. Here’s why:
Your app’s icon is the first thing your target audience will see, once they’ve found your app in the app store. Make sure it stands out. If it fails to catch the viewer’s eye, your app will ultimately suffer.
No company-large or small, new or old, niche-specific or expansive- should underestimate the power of visuals to market an app. Screenshots sell your app. They show a potential user what your app can do for them. Your video preview feature needs to also fulfill the same goal as your screenshots to capture the user’s attention and ultimately result in a download. Both Google Play and the iOS App Store offer video app trailers.
All efforts you spend optimizing your app store listing shouldn’t go to waste, which is why it’s important to track and test the effectiveness of your store listing. While you can’t easily test all ASO efforts, you can test your app’s icon, screenshots, and video preview. This is because the app stores only allow you to edit certain elements of your app once the submission process is complete.
The goal is to drive the Click-Through Rate (CTR) as well as the Conversion Rate (CVR). The CTR is when users click on your app and the CVR are the ones who actually download your app. Here are few things that any marketer or company with an app can test:
Icon: Test various versions of your icon. Does the use of blue as your icon’s background convert better than pink or black? Does your icon reflect what the app does? It has been found that simplistic icons convert far better than an overly intricate or complex design.
Screenshots & Video Preview: Just like your icon, you should experiment with your app trailers on both iOS and Google Play platforms, respectively. An analysis of various apps has shown that vertical screenshots convert better than the ones in landscape do. Identical results have been seen in the video preview feature.
TIP: App File Size directly impacts your downloads. The smaller your app file size is, the faster, easier, and more frequently it will be downloaded. Smaller file sizes are easier to download even when the wifi connection is poor. Speed plays a critical role for app downloads. User’s don’t want to wait longer than they have to for an app to download. A typical user is likely to lose interest if your app takes too long.
As for keywords, the best way to test your keywords is to try new ones to boost your ranking, which will help drive traffic to your product page.
For companies, being familiar with ASO is imperative or else your app will be buried in either the App Store or Google Play. These ASO strategies are a cheap and effective way to ensure that your app gets seen in the App Store and testing will help amplify these efforts. For users, ASO is just as important. If your app store listing promises something other than what your app delivers, it will result in a poor user experience with high deletion rates.