Simple Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves using certain strategies to try to improve your website’s ranking on Google (and other search engines). App store optimization is a similar process, but is focused on improving an app’s ranking in app store’s like the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
- ASO vs. SEO
- Why App Store Optimization Matters
- Paid vs. Organic App Growth
- How People Find Apps to Download
- How Does ASO Work?
- App Store Ranking Factors
- How To Write a Good App Store Description
ASO vs. SEO
App Store Optimization uses many similar tactics to SEO to help make an application easier to find in the iOS or Google Play app stores. Rather than trying to get a website to show up on the first page of Google, ASO focuses on increasing app visibility in the app store to drive more downloads.
There are also differences in the algorithms and ranking factors that Google and Apple use to rank apps compared to ranking a website. Experienced SEO professionals can apply their skills to ASO with just a little bit of resources.
Why App Store Optimization Matters
App store optimization is one of many strategies for driving app installs. However, what makes ASO stand out is that it can provide a massive return on the time and effort you and your company spend on it. If you use ASO to make your app stand out in the app store, you can potentially see exponential growth in the amount of installs your app gets.
According to Statista, there are 2.87 million apps available in the Google Play store and 1.96 million apps in the Apple App Store. Getting your app to outrank your competition can be difficult, especially in competitive segments and app types. The average app user has 36 apps installed on their smartphone, which means although the space can be competitive, there is still a massive opportunity to get your app installed on people’s devices.
Paid vs. Organic App Growth
Paid App Growth
Paid app installs are the most effective way for getting consistent growth quickly after publishing your app. If people aren’t searching for your app specifically, and you aren’t seeing organic growth right away, you can use ads to gain traction.
It’s important for app developers to establish a user-base early on to allow for testing and analyzing how users interact with your app. Paid apps can also help you gain momentum, generate buzz, and gain some reviews/feedback from your users.
Organic App Growth
Organic app installs are the direct result of your app’s representation in app stores, on social media, and in publications and media. The main benefit to driving a lot of organic installs is obviously that these installs are “free” and continuous. These installs are driven by word-of-mouth, app store searches, or direct traffic to your app or website.
According to Branch.io, over 90 percent of global app installs are organic (as opposed to paid). App store optimization can help maximize the unpaid installs that a company gets for every paid install that they receive.
For most apps, the majority of installs come from organic sources. One of the best ways to get more organic installs is to implement ASO best practices so that when users are searching for you and your competitors, you are giving your app the best chance to show up first.
How People Find Apps to Download
- Browsing App Stores
- Word of Mouth
- App Store Recommendation
- Read About Them Online
- Through Search Engines
- Saw an Ad for Your App
How Does ASO Work?
App store optimization works by indicating to Google or Apple (or whoever is hosting your particular app store) that your app is the best app for whatever a user is looking for. Simply getting a lot of installs or a lot of 5-star reviews isn’t enough to make your app show up when people are searching for it.
If you’re trying to get your app to appear in user searches, you need to consider their intent and what they are looking for. You should take that into account when naming your app, writing a description, and filling out the keyword field in your app store submission.
App Store Ranking Factors
Each of these factors plays a role in how the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store decide if your app is relevant to what a user is looking for. It’s important to optimize each of these to maximize your apps exposure.
- App Name
- App Description
- App URL
- App Subtitle
- Keyword field
- In-App Purchases
- Rating and Reviews
- Update Cycle
- Downloads and Engagement
- Some Hidden factors
How To Write a Good App Store Description
Include Testimonials and Other Social Proof: People will be more likely to install your app if they see that others have had positive experiences with your services. Quotes from users and publications can be valuable.
Present Your App’s Value In The First Few Sentences: Descriptions should include a clear statement of the value that your app provides for users. If your description doesn’t make this clear, users may move on an install another app.
Use Keywords Naturally: It’s important to include relevant keywords in your description, but they need to be used naturally. Keyword stuffing will make your app’s description unclear or difficult to read. Talk about the category of app your app falls into, but don’t add unnecessary keywords simply for ranking purposes.
Test New Variations: You should test variations of your description to see if adding new elements or making tweaks can lead to more search impressions and downloads.
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