Nine Secrets to App Store Optimization

Scott Dubois / June 29, 2018

App Store Optimization (ASO) is different than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), however most people admit they have no idea what it is or how to do it. The main difference between ASO and SEO happens after your potential users click on your app’s page. This is the end of the line for SEO but where the process truly begins for ASO. The purpose of ASO is to generate loyal users that install and use your app again and again. You don’t focus so much on generating traffic to your app page as you do to converting.

It’s pivotal that you pay close attention to the pieces that come into play when someone visits your app page. The list below highlights all of the critical aspects that can help you create an informative and creative user experience that converts.

1. App-Specific Keywords

These app-specific keywords function just like traditional SEO keywords. The goal is to get your app page’s content to focus on these relevant and popular keywords that can help lead new customers to your specific page. You have to walk a fine line between the difficulty level and the different traffic levels. Some keywords are well worth competing with, while others fall into the category of wasted resources.

  • Tip: Most of your page’s traffic is directly from a search term. Use tools like Sensor Tower and App Annie to help you choose the best keyword combinations.

2. Short and Sweet App Name

One of the hardest steps with ASO is picking out a catchy, memorable, and informative app name. You want to include your leading keywords as well. Google Play’s strict limitation on characters and Apple’s unpredictability make this a challenging and often frustrating task. Perform in-depth research of your app’s specific category and pay special attention to how certain keywords can influence your app’s ranking factors.

  • Tip: The app store will only display the first few characters of your app name. Focus on this area and make it short and sweet.

3. Describing Your App

Although keywords are powerful tools for getting the best results possible with Apple’s and Google’s algorithms, they can lose that human connection. Remember, potential customers will actually have to read your app’s description to help them decide if they want to try it or not. Make sure that your app’s description is clear, concise, and to the point. Keyword stuffing and confusing descriptions are very common mistakes people make.

  • Tip: For the most part, people who are considering your app don’t care or know about keywords. They’re looking for a smart and serious app because it can access their personal information. Make sure your description conveys this.

4. Research Your Competition

Keeping an eye on your direct competition is critical. One of the best ways to learn and monitor what you should and shouldn’t do is to keep a close watch on your competition. This can help you double check your keywords and incorporate any missing ones. Update your app page routinely with the new information that you learn from monitoring your competition.

  • Tip: It’s a good business practice to see and stay current on any standards. You can use this as a platform to go above and beyond for your app.

5. Perform A/B Testing

In order to measure how successful your ASO is, you have to be able to measure your conversion rate and see how it compares each time you make a change to your app page. You want to see how potential customers respond to A and then to B. There are several different tools that you can use to help with this, and you want to monitor this to ensure the optimization rate is always top-notch.

  • Tip: If your app is currently on Google Play, you can use Google Play’s developer tools to run A/B testing. Unbounce is another excellent tool to use to perform A/B testing. 

6. Capitalize on the Subtitle Field

A little over a year ago, a subtitle field below your app was introduced with the release of iOS 11. Apple confirmed that it’s a ranking factor. You’re able to add additional information as well as a catchy phrase in this area. It’s a good idea to add some important additional keywords in this area.

  • Tip: You don’t want to repeat whatever keywords you currently have in your app’s title. Apple already counts them, and you don’t want to double up when you could use this space for other relevant keywords.

7.   Expand Your App’s Localization

Anyone who develops or markets an app should speak in their potential customers’ languages. For example, the app store in the United States and the app store in the United Kingdom require different phrases or keywords to be relevant to the different audiences. If your targeted customers speak Italian, Spanish, or Korean, you should have these languages in your app’s description.

  • Tip: There is no such thing as one fits all when it comes to ASO. Include cultural references and local phrases as much as possible, so your app matches each separate area you want to gain customers from.

8. Ongoing Analytics

It’s important to note that your efforts to optimize your app are never truly over. You’ll want to periodically run analytics on your app page to ensure that it’s still functioning well. Routinely switch out your keywords or phrases and monitor your results continually. Change your app’s description any and creative content as well.

  • Tip: ASO is a trial and error business, especially at the beginning. Using tools like the StoreMaven and Apptopia can be extremely useful.

9. Take Advantage of Multimedia Options

Your multimedia options are anything that isn’t text. It includes things like your app’s icon, in-app screenshots, photos, and videos. A lot of the time, your potential customers can open your app page or download your app to get a better look at these items. You want to make sure that your showcase your app’s abilities.

  • Tip: Make your multimedia options straightforward and to the point. You also want them to stand out, especially your icon design. This is your customer’s first look at your app.

Think of your app as a storefront on a busy section of town. Now, take each part of this guide and apply it to your app to make it stand out from your competition. Focus on creating a straightforward and fun shopping experience for your customers, and you should see great results.

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