App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of increasing the visibility of an app or game in an app store with the goal of increasing the number of organic app downloads. App Store Optimization for iOS and Android is in many ways reminiscent of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that has existed for several decades and consists of choosing the right metadata and assets (icon, screenshots) to rank higher in keyword searches, and those who came to the Stora users page downloaded the application and became its users.
The following resources are currently used in ASO marketing:
- Application name (keywords included)
- Keywords (available as a field only in the App Store, but for Google Play it’s still better if you have a semantic core that describes your application’s functionality and create a description based on that)
- Subtitles (only available in the App Store)
- Description (only indexed for direct search on Google Play, but obviously affects users of all stores)
- Promotional text (only available in the App Store)
- In App Purchases
- Developer name (only works on Google Play)
- Screenshots (separately for smartphones and tablets)
- Average rating and reviews
- App size (indirectly affects the decision to download, since on iOS only applications up to 200 MB can be downloaded over the mobile network, on Google Play – up to 100 MB)
- updates and news
- Web links for the application (as an SEO element).
The origins of ASO marketing for iOS and Android
As the application market becomes more competitive, the ability to find the right audience for your application, present your application in a way that the user will want to download and use has become more and more important.
For the most part, users learn about new apps through searches, tops, and features in the app stores, which means you need to be on the first places wherever possible. This is how App Store Optimization was born – different ways to improve the application’s position in the search results for the required request and maximize conversion.
The rules ASO is based on are very simple: if you don’t rank in the top three of the results for the queries you need, then you’re invisible. If you’re in search results but your icon, name, or rating isn’t appealing and people don’t want to tap on it, then you’re losing the lion’s share of the audience. If they typed anyway, but didn’t like your description, then you lost another part of the downloads.
Your job as a marketer is to maximize each step to bring organic users from the app store to your app. ASO is a comprehensive approach to working on the content of a mobile app page on Google Play, the App Store and other app stores. ASO’s goal is to increase page views and increase conversion to downloads.
What are the benefits of App Store Optimization
In general, the task of App Store Optimization is to increase the application’s position in the search results. This is extremely important as users select applications using the store’s search function. And the position of the application in this edition is influenced by the number of downloads. That said, the relationship works both ways here: the more downloads, the higher the application is in the search results, and the more downloads it has.
This results in further advantages of ASO, namely:
- ASO allows you to increase the “visibility” of the application in the App Store and Google Play, which directly affects the effectiveness of advertising and increases the number of downloads.
- ASO methods help to draw the attention of the target audience to the application, who are interested in downloading and using it;
- All of this will ultimately lead to an increase in the number of organic app downloads.
How do I get high positions in App Store and Google Play search results?
For an app to rank high in App Store and Google Play search results, it must meet a number of criteria. These include:
- Correct application name;
- correct description;
- Correct selection of keywords;
- The presence of built-in purchases, as well as user reviews;
- Regular update schedule;
- application performance;
- The number of regular downloads and analysis data about the system.
These criteria vary slightly depending on the mobile app store. And it is important that the downloaded application meets all these nuances.
Possible errors in ASO optimization and useful tips
There are a number of common mistakes to avoid when optimizing ASO. Let’s name the most common of them:
Limit keyword usage to branded terms only. It is important to include both brand-related and non-branded keywords in the semantic core, which also correlate with the activities of the company and with the tasks of the application;
A mistake with serious consequences – not paying enough attention and importance to the ASO and attracting inexperienced specialists to such a promotion. Of course, in this case not only the advertising budget will be wasted, but also the efforts of the developers themselves will be leveled if the application does not reach its user due to such a bug;
Ignore competitive analysis. In the ASO business, you cannot develop an advertising strategy without looking at the competition. Earlier we wrote that the competition in the mobile application market is high and therefore you need to differentiate yourself from competitors by understanding your advantages and features of your product compared to them.
Expect fast and excellent results from ASO. ASO advertising is a process that has to be started once and constantly maintained. This is the only way to achieve a consistently predictable result, which of course will not occur in a short time.
The main idea is that a mobile application, no matter how advanced, unique and useful it may be, cannot find its user without the right use of advertising tools. Therefore, ASO cannot be ignored when working with mobile applications, but on the contrary, you need to use these methods and entrust such a specific task to professionals.