2019 is bound to be a great year for many industries. If we keep predictions in mind, we are to see some major growth in businesses across various arrays which is to be the by-product of latest technologies, techniques and to-be hot trends which were on the rise last year. And being the advanced mobile app developers that we are, we understand how essential it is to not only develop a fantastic smartphone app for your businesses but also to present it in the best manner possible. We know that it is absolutely imperative for you to know a couple of tricks and tips which will help you in conducting better ASO(App Store Optimization). So with that in mind, we have created a list of all the tips that you will find helpful from an ASO point-of-view in the year 2019.
So let’s get on with it then!
ASO- What and Why?
App store optimization is the same as search engine optimization, only on the app store level. Just like SEO makes it easier for a web browser to find your site on the internet, ASO helps users and app stores in finding your app easily. ASO is the process comprising of a couple of tricks which help your app rank better on major app stores across the internet. Now the reason why we need ASO is the same reason why we need SEO for our website- there are too many fish in the sea, and it is easy to get lost in the school.
Basically, what a properly performed ASO does is tell an app store that you have an app, and that app is good and can really benefit its users. So what app stores do is they try to rank your app higher in the search results. Of course, there are a couple of other factors that influence this list, like the number of downloads, popularity, reviews, etc. But ASO is a major factor behind the app store rankings.
It makes no sense if you have created an app and people can’t find it, right? Statistics show that there are well over 2 million apps on both- Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, and this number contains apps of all types- from games to streaming to cab booking. So as you can see, it is a very competitive market and your competition will do everything in its power to squash others in the game. And your target should be the same. You need to make sure that you list as high as you can in the search results.
Facts- Very few people go to the second page of app stores searches to see what apps are listing there. The reason being the assumption on the users’ side that all the best apps will list on the very first page. So that should be your aim, to get your app listed on the very first page.
Keywords are your friends
The biggest tool that you can use to improve your ASO is keywords. Just like browsers, these app stores give a lot of value to keywords as well. So the first thing that you need to do is finding keywords for your app. There are a couple of tools that can help you with that.
Now keep in mind that you choose keywords that are relevant to your app. Don’t go choosing popular keywords even though they have nothing to do with your app.
After you have selected say fifty or so keywords, you have your initial pool of keywords. Now it is time to mine out the ones that you can actually use, it’s called KeyWord Optimization. To perform keyword optimization, you can use tools like Mobile Action, Sensor Tower and App Radar. What you need to do is filter out twenty-five or so keywords from your initial pool with high popularity and low difficulty.
Now once you have your keywords, it is time to put them to use. Both, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, have different places where you can put these keywords.
1. App Name
The first place to put keywords is the name of your app. When a user puts in a search string, both Apple App Store and Google Play Store go over their database and give priority to those apps who have the search string in their app names. So it is always a good idea that you add one keyword in the name of your app. But don’t overdo it though; you can’t stuff every keyword in the name. And as a matter of fact, Apple App Store only allows 30 characters in an app’s name while Play Store lets you put in 50 characters. So make them count.
Some great implementations of this scheme are: Google Maps- GPS Navigation, Amazon- Shopping made easy, etc.
This is another place where you can put in some good keywords, but it is only available for the Apple App Store. A subtitle is a text that usually follows the title of your app. It is a great place to be creative and explain the purpose of your app in a couple of characters (30 to be exact). Also when App Store will index your app, this subtitle will be visible to your users. So make sure you do your best with it.
3. App Description
This is where you cram as many keywords as you can while explaining the purpose and functionality of your app to your users. Google searches through your description in search of keywords so it is one of the best places to tell it that your app is relevant to a sector. There are two types of descriptions on the Play Store, the small description and the long description. The small description is 80 characters long and is visible to your users directly when they visit your app store page. And when they tap on the “Read More” link below this short description, the longer description opens which can be up to 4,000 characters long. This is where you tell your apps’ functionality in detail and put in as many keywords as you can.
Apple App store doesn’t go through your description to look for keywords, but make sure you fill this field out anyways because your users will want to know what you have to say about your app.
This is an Apple App Store field only. It is a metadata field which tells the app store how your app will be found by your users. It allows you to have 100 characters and asks you to fill it with your keywords. There are a couple of tips which you should follow while tackling this field:
- Use all 100 characters
- Use a comma after every keyword to separate it from others
- Don’t spell numbers, use numerals
- Don’t repeat any keywords
App Store Page Optimization
Once you have taken care of keyword optimization, it is time to optimize your app store page.
Now the aim of this step is that, from the moment your user lands on your app store page, he must be amazed. He needs to be so astounded by you and your app that he is compelled to hit that download button. You need to make him believe that you’re where his journey ends and that your app is the only app he’ll ever need for whatever purpose he needs it.
So to beef up your app store page, we have a couple of crucial tips for that.
1. App Icon
This is how your user will recognize you. Even before he reads your name, he will see this icon. Every time he will swipe through his app drawer, he’ll see your icon. Your icon is your identity, Ask yourself, when was the last time you read the name of an app on your phone to identify it instead of letting its icon work as its identity? So you need to make sure that your icon is as captivating as possible.
The design should be simple, relevant to your app and, all and all, should be beautiful. Don’t clutter it too much though, stick to basic shapes and give extra emphasis on the colors you pick. They shouldn’t be too tacky or bright, they need to be just right. Take some time to tweak it; you need to do this right at any cost because, as we said it before, it will become your identity.
Take them as the first glance that your users will have of your app. How it looks on the inside and what functions it can perform. So do your best to create an informative and captivating screenshot. Also, research shows that most people don’t swipe to check out screenshots other than the ones that are there when they land on the page. So make sure you put your best foot ahead when you create these screenshots.
3. App Reviews and Stars
They are a crucial thing for your app and will influence, as you can obviously guess why, your app’s growth. When you ask your user for reviews after he has downloaded your app, do it casually. Don’t start bombarding them with questions after just five minutes into using your app. Give them ample time to get used to it and get the hang of its functionality. Only then will they be able to provide yours with valuable input. Also, don’t beg for reviews do it with style and with subtly.
Have a look at the below image:
4. App Size
It is something you can’t really control but you should at least try that you keep the size manageable. Often it happens that an app is too big and needs to be downloaded with a stable WiFi connection. So in cases when a user is on the move and depends on his mobile data, he will not be able to download your app. So make sure that your app isn’t so big that it can’t be downloaded.
5. Update Frequently
It doesn’t work if you make your app once and then forget about it. In order to remain in users’ good graces, you need to keep giving them something new, you need to keep updating yourself to keep up with the market. But on top of that, updating an app also leads to better ASO. It is a statistical fact that apps that are uploaded frequently rank better on app stores. Take Instagram for example.
6. App localization
This means translating the content of your app in different languages, based on the geographic locations. Now getting an app translated is a complicated and big task, and to do it for a lot of languages is even stupider than it sounds unless you are some big business. So what you need to figure out where your app is in demand the most and get it localized for that place. For example, for an app in America, it makes all the sense to have both English and Spanish as its language. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense for it to be in French and Mandarin as well.