After putting a great deal of effort to create a wonderful mobile application and publishing it in the application stores, it will be time to get users to download and use the application as intended. The best way to do this is by using app store SEO, also known as ASO (App Store Optimization).
ASO will ensure that your application has what it takes to achieve a higher ranking in search results of app stores such as Google Play Store (Android), Apple Store (iOS), and Windows Store (Windows Phone). By using this type of optimization, you improve the visibility of your applications. This increases the number of downloads due to the fact that 13 in every 20 downloads come from app store searches.
The following is a checklist of 10 most effective ASO strategies to help you boost your mobile app downloads.
1. Know Your Audience And Competitors
An effective app store SEO starts with a good understanding of how people are using your application. Also, a deep understanding of your competition is one great thing to consider. All these can be done through thorough market research.
Make sure you know the right description for your app, language your customers are using, reasons why a particular user would want to download your app over your competitor’s, your competitive advantage, keywords your competitors are using, and how easily and quickly you can compete against such keywords and also similar applications that are already in the market.
A good strategy to your ASO starts by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. This will help you understand clearly what they want so that you can be able to improve the discoverability of your applications and drive more traffic.
2. Choose The Right Name For Your Application
A good name for your application should not only be unique but also able to include within the title, the relevant keywords. This strategy is known to play a crucial role in improving ASO, and recent research conducted by Tunes.com found out that applications that used a title keyword were able to rank 10.3% higher than those that did not include relevant keywords in their title.
You are allowed to use 255 or fewer characters in your title and this gives you an opportunity to include a variety of keywords or phrases. But his should be done with caution to avoid stuffing keywords in the title since this would create a less impression to your target customers. The name should be kept short and nice to guarantee that people will find it easily in the app stores.
A good way to associate your application with the selected keywords is to include non-essential keywords after the name usually preceded by a vertical bar or dash. An example of such titles include Amazon — Easy made shopping and Pandora — Free Radio & Music.
3. Choose And Place Keywords Wisely
Search engines consider keywords the most important factors in both ASO and SEC). In-app store optimization, there is a way to handle keywords in different app markets. For instance, Play Store does not include a keyword field but gives you a good opportunity to explain the keywords in the searchable description field where you are allowed to use up to 4000 characters to use.
Apple provides a keyword field which gives an option of putting only 100 characters. Obviously, this is where you need to carefully choose the relevant keywords. A good deal of research is needed to find the best keywords for your app. alternatively, you can use tools such as TheTool and MobileDevHQ to find good keywords.
The best place to put your apps is in the description and titles. When using keywords, you are advised to use digits rather than spellings, to avoid using prepositions and conjunctions as keywords, to use words instead of phrases, and to use commas instead of spaces. This will ensure that your app will stand out for discoverability and increase the number of downloads.
4. Create A Captivating Description
The description of your application should be able to bring attention, evoking interest, and admiration in a way that is powerfully irresistible. Avoid writing the description for the purpose of the search engine, but rather for the purpose of your customers.
Additionally, it should be written simply with an easy to understand language. It should also be considered as a call-to-action to your consumers. Ensure to include all the necessary benefits the application offers, and convince the users to download it after reading the description.
Ensure you grab the attention of your readers by directly communicating the purpose of the application within the first few lines. Also, treat the description as a living document since you will need to keep changing it after every app update.
5. Place A Unique Icon For Your App
When users are browsing through many different applications in the app stores, the first thing that catches their attention is the icons. App stores have a different approach to how they render icons in terms of geometry, size, and color scheme. It is therefore important to talk to your designer and see if they can build an icon that would perfectly align with the requirements of specific app stores.
The correct dimensions are 1024×1024 pixels for the iOS icons, which will be resized further the Apple OS in various sizes. These include 75×75 pixels for the title bar, 66×66 pixels for the navigation, and 180×180 pixels for the app. On the other hand, Android requires an icon size of 512×512 pixels.
What is more important is that your icon should be clear about what the application does. There is no need for creating icons with complex logos and words. This would confuse most customers and fail to download your app
6. Localize Your Application Listing
The research found out that 72% of consumers prefer using their local language when doing shopping regardless of whether they are fluent in Spanish or English or not. This shows the need for adapting the language and communication of your brand to what the customers want. This goes beyond the English speaking world.
The best way to deal with your customer is by speaking to them in the most familiar language, probably the one they use at home. Fortunately, there are various services provided by both Google and Apple to translate languages. This means that your keywords, app titles, screenshots, and description can be translated into various languages spoken across the world.
Localizing your application improves readability and discoverability of your application to many different customers globally. Moreover, not only does it increase both the conversion and adoption rates of your apps, but also the international market base.
A good example of such a strategy is when the Supercell translated the screenshots and description of their most popular game, the Clash of Clans in order to capture the large market in China.
7. Include Videos And Screenshots
This is arguably one of the best ASO strategies to ensure your app stands out in the application stores and improve their visibility. They do not have a notable effect on the rankings, but drive customers to download your apps- Images bring what you have talked about in the description alive and make customers see the actual structure of the application before downloading
Apple allows a maximum of about 5 screenshots. In Android, the first 3 images will be presented on page load on the gallery section. Make sure that the first few screenshots speak a lot about your apps and are able to convince customers to browse more images or even download the application
8. Make Frequent Updates
Most people like to see the change in everything that does not seem right. In this case, customers want applications that are improving constantly based on their feedback. Frequently updated applications are not only seen as more customer-centric, but are regarded as of high value by application stores.
To make the update available to the market seems child’s play. But enticing customers to download the update can seem very challenging. This is where marketers need to develop other strategies to help sell their updates to customers.
Some of such strategies are updating the description and “What’s New” part in the app store, enticing them within the old app such as on the click of a button, or upon login, and maintaining five-star reviews for the update. The latest update should receive higher ratings and better reviews as compared to the previous apps.
9. Consider Outside Promotion To Increase Traffic
It is highly thought that both Apple and Google use product backlink and total page visits to identify your overall ranking and search. Generally, the more you drive the traffic in your listing, the higher these app search engines will rank you
How will you drive such traffic in the first place? One is by promoting your application through social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and etcetera, investing in online-advertising, and soliciting presses and reviews. Additionally, you can consider app indexing which makes your apps linkable and searchable on mobile web searches.
When customers click on such links, they are directed to your application where they read the requirements of installing the app and possibly download and use your app
10. Encourage Customer Reviews And Ratings
Most people install applications based on the number of ratings and also feedback from other customers. This means that applications with the highest number of positive reviews are more likely to be downloaded. App stores also determine your ranking using this criterion because they consider highly rated apps to be of great quality.
A research conducted by Moz.com shown a very high correlation between rankings and ratings. Also, application with an enormous number of positive reviews is found to dominate the top charts. It is therefore of great importance to encourage customers to provide positive reviews and full rating to your applications.
In this guide, we discussed 10 app store optimization strategies that will possibly increase the number of downloads for your app.