With the increasing use of smartphones, the mobile app industry has seen a surge like never before. According to Statista, there are over 3 million mobile applications available in various app stores and this number is increasing every day. By increasing numbers of apps, the competition is also increasing and it is getting tougher for app owner to increase the downloads of their apps.
As shown in given chart, most of the app store are already occupied with plenty of application in all different categories. To increase the numbers of downloads, it is important that your app should be displayed in relevant search query entered by users. In this article, i will explain ASO (App store optimization) techniques to improve the rank of your application in app store. This is not a rocket science; it is very basic techniques and can improves the downloads of your app.
The developers of mobile app generally believe that their only job is to create an app and to make it available on the app store. But in this world of marketing, there is a complete checklist to be followed by developers to ensure maximum users downloads their app. The team of developer and marketers who follow the complete checklist of app development end up benefiting the most. Developing a mobile app is a 2 phase process including Pre Development and Post Development. While the Pre Development Phase involves developing the app idea and structure, pilot testing and including development features, the post development stage involves ASO and to maximize downloads through this technique. There are multiple app store platforms available today including Apple Store, Play Store, Windows App Store and other customized stores like Samsung Apps and Amazon Apps and your ASO should ideally target all these platforms.
Below is the ASO (App store optimization) checklist that should be followed by the developers to maximize the popularity of an app:
- Keyword Research
- Competitor’s Monitoring
- Relevancy in Application Name
- Screenshots of the App features
- Application Preview by Video
- Relevant Application Description
- Review & Ratings by end users
You will be surprised to know that most of the developers hardly focus on given points and end up complaining no downloads! Following 7 techniques if adopted properly can meaningfully impact the ranking and success of the apps and these tips can act as a wonderful guide for ASO:
#1 Create a Perfect Icon that beautifully describes your App
The logo of your app is what interests the searchers first. Hence it is advisable to design a logo that is recognizable, clear, in sync with the purpose your app serves and actionable. An icon needs to express the app beautifully in a confined space and it should represent your entire app perfectly. Take YogaCurious as an example, it has wonderful design that immediately attracts the searcher and makes him download the piece of Application by just looking at the logo.
#2 Pick the correct Keywords
Using the right keywords for app makes a lot of sense especially to target right users who may download your application. Keyword optimization is an important technique in ASO where you can create a list of relevant keywords using keywords research tool. There are various keywords tools available online which helps to analyzing keywords or in choosing better keywords. Competitor’s research is also important factor while deciding keywords for particular app. Once the keywords are finalized, optimize the App name, App title and App description using relevant keywords. Make sure you don’t do keyword stuffing; it annoyed users and considered as a bad practice.
#3 Define the App Title that fits your app perfectly
The app title should represent the application theme and try to include targeted keyword that has better search volume. Research suggests that having a keyword in your title will increase the chances to get better search ranking of your app for that keyword. Thus it is clear that the app title holds significance in improving the ranking of your app.
#4 App screenshots and displays
The screenshots explain the functions and purpose of your app. It is important to keep a few things in mind while including screenshots of the app. It’s important to include the main screen which basically captures what the app will do. The screenshots should also cover a considerable slice of content to communicate the features with the users. A few apps like ShareApp have kept it simple with their screenshots and convey what their app is useful for without keeping any distractions. By educating visitors, you are making them aware about your app functionality and will help them to make download decision.
The developers can also explain the setup process of the app and its different working features. Apple’s Healthbook app displays its menu to explain how it works in more details. It is also a good idea to share any deviations that your app has from the traditional functionality. Google’s inbox is one such app that sways away from traditional email apps and it shows this adequately through screenshots. It is also a good idea to include additional text along with the screenshots to explain the functionality and features of the apps.
One can use SketchtoAppStore tool to design amazing screenshots for iPhone/iPad apps to grab user’s attention.
#5 Optimize the App Description
The first few lines of app store description is what the users will read first and hence it is important to put the main information on the top which could be a sentence about why your app is better than other similar apps. You can also mention a specific award that your app received.
In main portion of App Description you have to list main features or benefits of the application. One can also describe some of the features in depth or details to provide deep information to app users. You could also add quotes from user reviews, by highlighting them from their source.
It is important to choose the right category in the app store while uploading your app. It is always a good idea to put the app in the social networking section in the app store as the users here would know how to use your app better than, say the books section.
#6 Encourage users to give reviews or ratings
Application reviews and ratings are one of the most important metrics considered by app store to give better search position to your app. Whenever you develop any app, put your customer in mind and accordingly include the features. If they love using your app, ask them to share their reviews through push notifications. Most of the users are kind enough to share their reviews if they really love your app. Be ready to improve your application based on customer’s feedback, it will help a lot.
#7 Engage with your users to retain them
To retain the users who already downloaded your app is a great technique as far as app marketing is concerned. You will be surprised to know that, about 25% of the downloaded apps are not used twice. It is important to keep posting updates with additional features and functionality will keep user engage.
Review your App Analytics time to time to make better future strategies. Now App Store provides App Analytics tool which describes complete analytic module to define upcoming plans and strategies to increase app users. There are various analytics tools available in the market so choice is all yours. Here is the screenshot from Apple app analytics dashboard represent visual information about the performance of app.
Apple App Analytics Dashboard
Customer Life Cycle for ASO
While working on ASO, understanding of customer life cycle of application users will help a lot in defining the strategies at different stages.
Following are the stages of the customer life cycle for the app users:
- Reach – The purpose of your application is to reach maximum people and the offering should be marketed in such a way so that the people and businesses that your market is targeting will get to know about your app. It is a measure to increase awareness of your Application. Here you can use paid and social media marketing activities to increase the reach of your app. Google adwords is one of the most popular platform which offers Mobile App Install campaign specially designed to increase the reach of your app.
- Acquire – It is important to understand the potential user’s requirements to create a product or a service that these customers would want to purchase. It is important to create a personalized communication that will convert the potential lead to customers who will pay for your services.
- Develop Relationship – Build a relationship with your app users once the first purchase is made. This is an important exercise to ensure that your customers are satisfied.
- Retain – It is important to convert one time customers into customers who continue to avail your services. Thus it is important to take feedback from your customers to make them come back by improving your products and services.
- Advocacy– Satisfied users are not just loyal but they also become advocates of your brand in their social circles and friends. This helps the business meet potential customers through the existing customers.
Implementing this customer life cycle and managing it well would help the app developers to improve customer’s experience. Eventually it will help increase the usage of the app and ensure customer retention and word of mouth for your app.
The process of ASO requires a vital understanding of the target customer base which also includes an understanding of competitor’s limitations and exact requirement of the audiences. Like every other marketing activity, the main purpose of ASO is to acquire and satisfy customers for a long term association. The team along with the app developers should try to ensure maximum customer satisfaction to the point that their app starts to spread through word of mouth.
If you are an Application developer or Application owner and needs help in App store optimization? Contact us now to discuss your requirement.