With the ever-increasing use of smartphones, the mobile application industry has seen a surge like never before. According to Statista, as of the first quarter of 2021, there are close to 3.5 million apps available on the Google Play Store, and 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store and this number is increasing every day. But besides creating and maintaining the best features of the app, another challenge that developers face is presenting their apps to the right audience. Furthermore, with the increasing numbers of apps, the competition is also increasing, and it is getting tougher for the app owners to increase the downloads of their apps.
As shown in the given chart, most of the app stores are already occupied with plenty of applications in all different categories. To increase the number of downloads, it is important that your app be displayed in a relevant search query entered by users. In this article, I will explain everything about the app store optimization techniques (ASO) to improve the rank of your application in the app store. This is not rocket science; these are very basic techniques and can improve your app downloads.
ASO actually aims to increase the visibility of your apps within the App Store search engine, such as Google Play or the Apple App Store. With the increase in appearance, you can support other purposes, such as traffic in your online application and downloads.
The developers of mobile apps generally believe that their only job is to create an app and 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 download their app. The team of developers and marketers who follow the complete checklist of app development ends 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 maximizing downloads through this technique. There are multiple app store platforms available today, including the Apple Store, the Play Store, the 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 App Store Optimization (ASO) 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 about no downloads! To be successful with app store optimization, you need to be aware of the factors that affect it. Its main factors include optimizing your app’s title, subtitles, and description, choosing the right keywords and categories, encouraging reviews, and more. This guide will explore each of them in detail.
And by following these 9 App Store Optimization Techniques, you can definitely impact the ranking and success of the apps. So let’s see them one by one…
#1 Create a Perfect Icon that beautifully describes your App
The app icon is believed to be a screenshot of your app, and it is what the user will see before installing it. Icon design plays a crucial role in helping users navigate their interfaces. A beautiful, recognizable, and memorable app icon will have a huge impact on app recognition and success. The app icon also helps the user to know the instructions, features and functionality of the apps. Therefore, a large icon can increase the volume of your downloads, which is why it is very important.
Hence, it is advisable to design an app icon 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 Yoga Curious as an example. It has a wonderful design that immediately attracts the searcher and makes him download the piece of application by just looking at the icon.
#2 Pick the correct Keywords
Keywords play a pivotal role in the world of app optimization. It has also changed the perspectives of people and businesses all across the world. Keywords are one major factor in App Store optimization. As customers use different keywords to search in your app, it’s important to design and create an icon that attracts them and forces them to click and download your services. Additionally, this increases your chances of finding potential customers for your brand.
Using the right keywords for an app makes a lot of sense, especially to target the 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 a keywords research tool. There are various keywords tools available online which helps to analyze the keywords or in choosing better keywords. But poor keyword choices are one thing that ruins everything and makes you helpless despite doing good things. Keywords also help to understand the Competitor’s research. It is also an important factor while deciding the keywords for a 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 is considered a bad practice.
#3 Define the App Title that fits your app perfectly
The app title is a very crucial part of the app. This helps your user in recognizing the real brand and simultaneously this also helps them in making a distinction among other apps available on the market. Fresh thinking and creativity are the keys to the success of any app, so choose the title which is unique and easily memorable.
The app title should represent the application theme and try to include the targeted keyword that has better search volume. Research suggests that having a keyword in your title will increase the chances to get a 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. The length of the titles does not exceed 26 characters and five words.
#4 App screenshots and displays
The screenshots explain the functions and purpose of your app. Although the Screenshots in your depiction, like symbols, icons may not have a direct impact on search results, they are the only thing that helps you get clients to download. Pictures provide more information about what it is and revitalize your plain text, allowing potential customers to see themselves using your software before downloading it.
So it is essential to keep a few things in mind before including screenshots of the app. It’s essential to consist of the main display which essentially captures what the app will do. The screenshots should also cover a considerable amount of content in order to connect the features with the users. Some apps like Share App have made things easier with their screenshots and explained why their app is useful for users without maintaining any distractions. By educating visitors, you are making them aware of your app functionality and will help them to make a download decisions.
Developers can also explain the process of installing the app and its different features. Apple’s health book application displays its menu to explain how it works in more detail. It’s also a good idea to share any deviations of your app from traditional functionality. Google Inbox is one of those apps that takes a step back from traditional messaging apps and displays it appropriately via screenshots. It’s also a good idea to include additional text with screenshots to explain the features and functionality of the app.
One can use the SketchtoAppStore tool to design amazing screenshots for iPhone/iPad apps to grab the user’s attention.
Here are some useful app store optimization tips for choosing colors for screenshot layouts:
• Colors used in the design should represent what it’s like to use it
• Colors used in the design should fit the message of your screenshots of the application.
• Keep your color palette concentrated and avoid making your screenshots a jumble of too many distinct hues.
• Colors should be appropriate for the age of your product and appeal to your target audience.
#5 Optimize the App Description
The technique of enhancing mobile apps to rank better in an app store’s search results is known as app store optimization. The higher your app ranks in the search results of an app store, the more likely it is to be discovered by potential consumers. ASO is critical for getting more organic downloads and spending less money on paid downloads for your app. To get the greatest outcomes, the ASO strategy should be developed and implemented in tandem with the UA plan.
The first few lines of the app store description are 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 the main portion of App Description, you have to list the main features or benefits of the application. You can also describe some of the features or independent details to provide deep information to application users. Because your app is more easily findable and discoverable, app store optimization makes it more accessible.
ASO is mainly concerned with increasing the visibility of your applications within an App Store search engine such as Google Play or Apple App Store. Other goals, such as visitors and downloads to your web application, could be helped by increasing the number of impressions.
Thus, 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 the app store optimization to give a better search position to your app. When developing an app, always think of your customers and integrate appropriate functions. If they enjoy using your app, ask them to share their reviews via push notifications. Most of the users are kind enough to share their reviews if they really want to. Love your app. Be ready to improve your application based on the 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 the users engaged.
Review your App Analytics from time to time to make better future strategies. Now App Store provides an 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 the choice is all yours. Here is the screenshot from the Apple app analytics dashboard represent visual information about the performance of the app.
Apple App Analytics Dashboard
#8 Know your customer and your competition
Understanding how your customers use the app and information about competing apps can help you improve App Store optimization. Track your competition to find out which keywords they are targeting. This will help you decide whether to target the same keywords or a separate set of keywords for your unique value proposition. Equally important to understanding the market and customers are researching your competition to see which keywords similar applications to yours are targeting. You can then determine whether it makes sense to use these keywords or a separate set of unique keywords for your unique value proposition. Likewise, you need to decide how you want to engage with an audience.
#9 Your app listing should be localized
Localization is an integral part of optimizing the App Store, especially if the developer wants to expand their user base into new markets. When the localization is finished successfully, it will increase ASO’s probabilities of success, and therefore the method users in an exceedingly local market can receive the app.
By localizing your app in different languages, you can reach more people, rank higher on many popular searches, and stay one step ahead of the competition in local markets.
In addition, there are a plethora of low-cost translation or localization service solutions that can translate your app title, keywords, description, and screenshots into the languages of your wider segments. So before you localized make sure that your app provides the best experience for your international audience after downloading it.
Increase mobile app downloads with Paid Ads
Today mobile app marketers have access to a variety of user acquisition channels. And paid social media advertising is a great way to get tremendous audience exposure for a small investment.
PPC is a type of internet advertising in which marketers pay each time a user clicks on one of their advertisements. These ads appear when people are looking for things online using a search engine like Google, YouTube, Bing, or Apple search ads, especially when doing business research, which means that they are looking for something to buy through the sponsored search ad.
So if you want to increase your business reach through mobile app downloads then Paid Ad is the most convenient way.
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 platforms which offers a 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 like 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 competitors’ limitations and the 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 need help in App store optimization? Contact us now to discuss your requirement.