In the business of mobile app marketing, the single most important goal is to get found in app stores. Without optimizing your app for app store search engines, you can only go so far. App Store Optimization is the process of optimizing your mobile apps to be at the top of search results in app stores.
Why do you need App Store Optimization (ASO)?
In a report by Forrester published on TechCrunch, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This means 6 out of 10 times, your app is most likely to be found through searches users do on app stores. Wouldn’t it make sense to dedicate some time and energy to ranking high in these search results? This is why you need ASO. Ankit Jain of Google reported that “For the average app, search actually makes up the vast majority of installs.”
So if you’re ignoring ASO, you’re missing out on the largest discovery channel for your mobile app on app stores. When your mobile app ranks higher on an app store’s search result:
- You get more visibility,
- Which will translate to more downloads,
- More downloads mean more loyal users/subscribers,
- And ultimately, more profit.
How does App Store Optimization (ASO) work?
In a wider picture, ASO consists of two broad parts. These parts have individual elements that make them whole.
The main part
- Title: The title of your app must contain the main keyword of your app’s description so that users searching for that keyword are more likely to find you. This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but many app developers don’t know this. If your app doesn’t have the main keyword in its title, it has a lesser chance to appear at the top of search results.
- Keywords: Keywords cannot be overemphasized. You need to understand your target customers and the language they use to search for apps in app store. Specifically, your type of app. This means investing more time in keyword research. Make use of these keywords judiciously in your app description.
You have little control over this part of App store optimization. It includes:
- of downloads: It’s been shown that apps with a high number of downloads usually rank higher in search results. Although, this is not always the case. You will see why in the next bullet point. To increase your no. of downloads, your mobile app marketing campaign must step up.
- Ratings and reviews: 1-star or 5-star, these could make or mar your app. That’s why app developers must put a lot of time and research into developing an app that satisfies a target user a great deal. You have very little control over this, but there are things you can do to incentivize your app users to give you a high rating and good review. To prevent bad reviews, you can provide an in-app access for your app users to send their complaints directly to the developer so they don’t have to take it all out in the reviews.
How can you optimize your mobile app to rank high in App stores?
There are a lot of tricks in the books for this one. But you would want to save your energy and direct your efforts towards the most effective means available. The business of app development is as old as smartphone technology. And from the first days of the first 100k apps on Apple store and Play store, digital marketers stepped right on the job to optimize apps for app store searching. The art of mobile app marketing was born.
In 2017, these tricks (or, even better techniques) were updated by leading App marketing and intelligence firms like MOBILEDEVHQ and Sensor Towers. They carried out tests and surveys to better understand how the top apps gain their status. And today, we are going to show you what they gathered in app store optimization.
Improve your keyword research and use them accordingly
Include your best keyword in your title and the rest should be used to build up a very compelling app description. MOBILEDEVHQ carried out a research on 25 top ranking positions in app stores. They calculated the percentage of apps that had the keyword in the title versus those that didn’t. It turned out apps with the keyword in the title ranked, on average, 10% higher than those without keyword in the title.
Build a good app for better ratings and reviews
Mobile app marketing begins right from the development process. It’s impossible to market a bad app and get good reviews. People will chew you out. If it helps, beta test your app before putting it in the app store. Get honest reviews from testers and make sure your app is very ready for your target users.