Attract the Right Customers: An App Store Optimization Guide
October 26, 2023
What has been updated from the old blog: New sections are added on the best practices to increase app’s ranking in both play store and app store. Also, how these practices lead to targeting the right audience.
Summary: From a myriad of apps available in the market, we need to properly optimize apps to stand out and reach the right audience. This app store optimization guide will help you get the visibility it deserves and explain the key ASO factors, differences between the Apple App Store and Google Play, and emphasizes the need to continually refine ASO strategies for maximum app visibility and downloads.
In today’s crowded digital market, with so many mobile apps available, it can be challenging to make your app stand out. Whether you’re launching a new app for your business or improving an existing one, your main objective should be to attract the right users.
This is where the magic of App Store Optimization (ASO) comes into play. In this user-friendly guide, we’ll break down what ASO is and demonstrate how it can act as a magnet to get an ideal audience straight to your mobile app.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
To explain in simple words, App Store Optimization (ASO) is the art and science of fine-tuning a mobile app to secure a higher ranking in search results. Picture your app as a hidden gem nestled within a sprawling digital marketplace. In this crowd, ASO serves as the master key, to make it more visible to potential users.
The primary aim of ASO is to generate traffic towards your app’s page within the app store, which, in turn, leads to more downloads. However, it’s not as easy as it seems. To truly excel in ASO, a profound understanding of the target audience is required, particularly the keywords they type while searching for apps similar to yours.
Difference between ASO and SEO
Although ASO and SEO are confused to be similar, they do possess their own significance. ASO boosts mobile app visibility in app stores, while SEO enhances web content visibility on search engines. They both improve visibility but on different platforms.
|ASO (App Store Optimization)
|SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
|Mobile apps in app stores
|Websites on search engines
|App stores (e.g., Apple App Store, Google Play)
|Search engines (e.g., Google, Bing)
|App-related keywords and phrases used by potential users
|Web-related keywords and search queries used by online users
|App name, keywords, app ratings, reviews, downloads
|Website content, backlinks, page load speed, user experience, and more
|App description, title, keywords field, and app preview videos
|On-page content, meta tags, headings, images, and more
|Installs, retention rates, in-app engagement, and user reviews
|Organic search traffic, click-through rates, bounce rates, and conversion rates
|App submission and approval process by app store (e.g., Apple’s review process)
|No approval process for website content
|Requires adaptation to the unique requirements of different app stores (e.g., Apple App Store vs. Google Play)
|Focuses on universal search engine ranking principles
|May include localization efforts for different regions and languages
|May involve local SEO for businesses targeting specific geographical areas
|Targets mobile app users and app enthusiasts
|Targets online users searching for information, products, or services
|Utilizes app-specific elements like app previews and in-app purchases
|Focuses on website elements like schema markup and rich snippets
|Emphasizes app downloads and in-app actions (e.g., purchases or registrations)
|Concentrates on website conversions (e.g., form submissions, purchases)
Google App Store vs Apple App Store
To improve your app’s visibility and success, it’s important to adapt your ASO (App Store Optimization guide) to the specific requirements and ranking factors of different app stores. While many app stores exist, the main focus usually revolves around the Apple App Store and Google Play due to their widespread usage.
It’s vital to acknowledge the differences between these two major app stores, as they have a significant impact on your ASO marketing efforts. Both platforms require app reviews and approvals before you can launch your apps. The approval process duration varies, typically ranging from 24 hours to over a week, depending on the app’s complexity and size. To ensure a precise app launch or update schedule, it’s recommended to submit the app at least a week before the intended release date.
Furthermore, the Apple App Store has two unique features not found in Google Play: the keywords field and the subtitle. Conversely, Google Play provides a short description field, which is absent in the Apple App Store.
Differences also extend to the factors that influence app rankings and featuring on these platforms:
Apple App Store Ranking Factors:
- App name
- App subtitle
- App URL
- Installs and engagement
- Reviews and ratings
- App updates
- In-app purchase titles and descriptions
Google Play Store Ranking Factors:
- App title
- App short description
- App long description
- Installs and engagement
- Reviews and ratings
- In-app purchase titles and descriptions
- App updates
Why is ASO Marketing Strategy Essential?
Before we dive deeper into the app store optimization guide, let’s delve into why it is of paramount importance. According to Google, an astonishing 40 percent of apps are unearthed through app store searches, rendering app store search the most favored method for discovering and downloading new apps.
To put it simply, if you’re not harnessing the power of ASO marketing to improve your app’s search ranking, you’re essentially missing out on your app’s overall discovery.
In a competitive landscape where hundreds of thousands of apps compete for user attention, it’s perplexing that many brand owners still relegate ASO to the back burner. However, for those in the know, ASO is the ultimate secret weapon.
By dedicating a portion of your weekly schedule to enhance your app store optimization best practices, you can wield substantial influence over your app’s ranking and, consequently, its overall triumph.
How to Elevate Your App’s Ranking: ASO Made Easy
Now that we’ve understood the significance of ASO, let’s dive into the fundamental strategies that will help allure the right users to your app.
Primary ASO Factors
1. App Name/Title: Your app’s title is like its first impression online. It’s important to choose a title with a keyword that many people search for. However, be careful about changing the title too often, as it can make it harder for people to talk about your app as it becomes more popular.
2. Keywords: Do some research to find keywords that are important for your app and used often by your intended audience. Make a habit of updating these keywords to keep your app visible.
Secondary ASO Factors
1. Total Number of Downloads: While exerting complete control over this factor is beyond your reach, it still wields significant sway in ASO marketing. A higher number of downloads, particularly recent ones, can propel your app’s ranking skyward.
2. Ratings and Reviews: Positive ratings and reviews are the lifeblood of ASO marketing. Encourage contented users to leave favorable ratings and reviews, and engage with those offering negative feedback to promptly address their concerns.
App Description: Make Every Word Count
An app’s description is like a virtual stage to convince people to download it. With only 252 characters, every word matters a lot. Focus on explaining your app’s features and benefits clearly, without extra words. Try different descriptions to see what your audience likes best through A/B testing.
Keyword Metadata and App Subtitle
In the app stores, take advantage of the keyword section by inputting relevant keywords separated by commas. This helps improve your app’s discoverability. To maximize its effectiveness, opt for keywords that aren’t already in your app’s title. Make the most of the short 30-character subtitle to include descriptive keywords that provide a precise overview of your app’s functionality and purpose, further enhancing its visibility to potential users.
App Reviews and Ratings
User reviews and ratings are not just indicators of your app’s quality; they also exert a tangible impact on its ranking. Uphold a stellar rating to attract a greater influx of users. Solicit reviews within the initial 72 hours of a user’s engagement with your app, and extend responses to both favorable and unfavorable feedback.
App Downloads: The Decisive Metric
In the big picture, the number of downloads is the most important. App stores use download rates to rank apps. Having an attractive app preview video and appealing screenshots can boost the number of people who download your app. After people start using your app, it’s essential to keep them interested because keeping users over time can help your app show up better in app store searches.
Retention Rates: The Hidden Catalyst
Retention rates, though not extremely high, matter for mobile app rankings. Different industries have different three-month retention rates, but it’s important to keep users engaged after they first download your app. The longer your app stays installed and used, the better its chances of ranking higher in app store searches.
Embarking on the Path to ASO Success
Much like the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ASO represents an ongoing journey that necessitates vigilant monitoring and periodic adjustments. The keywords that emerge as the optimal choice for your app may not be apparent initially. Nonetheless, diligent research and astute optimization will enable you to unlock ASO’s boundless potential.
In an era where making a mark amid a sea of mobile apps may appear like a task, ASO best practices equips you with the tools to actively surmount this challenge. Devote your time and effort to this ASO guide, and you can erect a steady conduit that channels users toward your app, effectively drawing in the right customers and cementing your app’s long-term prosperity.
To wrap it up, app store optimization strategy isn’t a mere buzzword; it’s an indispensable strategy for any app developer endeavoring to captivate and retain the right audience. The time has come to explore your app’s full potential in the bustling digital marketplace, all thanks to the might of App Store Optimization guide.