It doesn’t matter how great or unique your app is, if you don’t make the right efforts to optimize it for the app store, it’s not very likely to get seen or downloaded.
Luckily, there are some best practices you can follow to make sure you maximize your App Store Optimization (ASO), even if you’re just a beginner in the world of digital marketing.
Related Article: Mobile App Marketing: How Apps Contribute to the Consumer Journey
1. Get to Know Your Audience and Competition
If you want to have an informed ASO strategy, the first step is having a clear understanding of the demographics, thoughts and intentions of your target audience, as well as an understanding of your competitive landscape.
Dig into consumer research and figure out what kind of search queries your target audience might be using to find apps like yours. This will be important for keyword optimization later on. Ask yourself questions like:
- How would my audience describe my app?
- Why would they want to download/use it?
- What language might they naturally use?
Having a clear understanding of what your competition is like will also make it easier to set yourself apart from them with a Unique Selling proposition (USP). You need to give your audience a reason why they should choose your app over others.
- What is my competitive advantage?
- What marketing strategies are my competitors using?
- What aspects of my strategy should be similar/different?
2. Keyword Optimize Your Title and Description
One of the most important factors that can affect your rank is your app title and description. Research has shown that apps including a relevant keyword in the title ranked 10.3 percent higher, on average, than those without a title keyword.
Some important points to remember for keyword optimization:
- You should find keywords that are highly searched for but not particularly competitive
- If your app can be used in conjunction with another popular app, include the name of that app in your description
- You can make use of helpful keyword optimization tools.
3. Use Screenshots and Videos
Visual elements like screenshots and videos don’t directly affect your search ranking in the app store, but they do encourage downloads, which can in turn affect rank.
For iOS, you can include five screenshots of your app’s features, while in the Google Play Store it’s eight.
Use your screenshots to complement your descriptive text and draw in potential downloaders who don’t like to read text descriptions. On Android, only the first two to three screenshots will show in the gallery, so make sure your first ones demonstrate your app’s biggest benefits so visitors are compelled to look at the other ones and download the app.
Screenshots and videos are usually used to demonstrate the customer’s experience while using the app, but you can incorporate some character art or graphic design elements to help the app sell. Just make sure your videos and screenshots represent the app’s most important features and highlight the latest updates. Also, always A/B test your screenshots to figure out which ones result in the most app downloads.
4. Optimize Your App Listing for Local Audiences
App marketing is quickly becoming a global game. Today, only 31 percent of revenue from apps is generated by North American customers.
That’s one reason why it’s so important to optimize your app listing for the various local audiences you want to cater to. Outside of English-speaking countries, 72 percent of people prefer to shop using their native language, regardless of whether they’re fluent in English.
App publishers should cater to local customer preferences by translating their app’s title, description, and screenshots into their relevant language. This is actually easy enough to do in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store, both allow you to localize your listing for customers in different countries.
This tactic will help improve conversions in international markets immensely.
5. Get and Maintain Positive Reviews
Positive reviews are an important element for any kind of marketing strategy, including ASO. Good reviews get you more downloads, which may also influence store rank.
Research about the top 100 ranked apps found that apps that ranked the best also had the most positive reviews.
6. Pay Attention to Platform Differences
The best practices for optimizing your app listing for the App Store and the Play Store are basically the same, however you should also pay attention to some key differences between the two and further optimize your app for each.
The App Store uses a 100-character keyword field where you include all the relevant keywords you want to be associated with in search. The Play Store, on the other hand, scans your app’s description to find relevant keywords, so you’re given 4,000 characters to describe your app.
App Store titles can be up to 255 characters, however they are typically truncated in listings after the 23rd character. Google Play titles are truncated after the 30th character.
Related Article: Launching An App? You Need These Tips for Promotion
Developing an app for your business is an important investment. It costs five figures on average to develop a good business app, so every hack you could use to make the app successful and maximize your ROI is in order. Ranking well in the app store can drive major success for your business app, if you know how to market it the right way.
Follow these six tips to jumpstart your ASO efforts today.