Ever heard of the term "App Store Optimisation" or ASO for short?
App Store Optimisation (ASO) is a crucial part of mobile app marketing, and there are several technical strategies that app developers can use to improve the app's visibility and rankings in app stores. In this blog, we'll go deep into the world of ASO, exploring the technical strategies that can help your app rise through the ranks and stand out from the sea of apps in the marketplace.
To optimise your app for the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, firstly, here's what you need to do:
- Use ASO tools to find keywords that are relevant to your app. Focus on those with high search volumes and low competition.
- Check out the keywords your competitors are using.
- Consider using long-tail keywords, which are longer, more specific phrases that visitors are likely to use when they’re closer to making a purchase.
For example, “Exercise app” may be a tough keyword to rank in. Rather, you can focus on long-tail keywords such as “Exercise training app for sprinters”, which would have comparatively less competition.
Here's a quick way to make your app more visible: add your primary keyword to the title. Using the research from the previous step, you can find the long-tail keyword that resonates most with what your app does. This will make it more likely to show up in search results. Just make sure the title is clear and concise—too many keywords can make it look spammy.
For example, MindMeld - Stress Relief for All Ages covers the primary keyword in a concise way.
It's important to have a detailed and informative description of your app that includes relevant keywords and key phrases. But don't do keyword stuffing in your description, because that can make for a bad user experience and might even violate app store guidelines. Instead, write a natural and engaging description that provides value to potential users. Remember, your app description is often the first thing people will see when they're considering downloading your app, so make sure it's good! Also, consider where you place the key information, if it is too long users won’t read it all - they are looking on a phone while they are on the go after all! Try to include the most engaging reasons why a user should use your app in the first paragraph so they know right away.
Using the right keywords in your app's metadata and keyword field is a key part of App Store Optimisation (ASO). Do your research and use relevant, high-traffic keywords that your target audience is likely to search for. Keep in mind that the keyword field has a limit of 100 characters.
Note - this only applies to the Apple App Store, Google Play Store does not have a separate keyword field
Increase Installs Using Custom Store Listings:
Create custom store listings in the Google Play Store to target specific audience segments. For example, listings targeting users in different countries, or promoting specific benefits of your app.
App Category and Subcategories:
Choosing the right app categories is key to reaching the right audience and increasing your app's visibility. App categories are broad classifications of apps based on their main purpose or function, like Games, Education, Health & Fitness, Beauty, and so on. App subcategories are more specific divisions of apps within a category, like makeup, hair, and fashion for the Beauty category.
So, if you have a game app, you'll want to choose the "Games" category as your primary category. You might also want to choose a secondary category, like "Action" or "Strategy." This will help people who are looking for games find your app.
When choosing app categories, it's important to think about what your app does and who your target audience is. Choose categories that are relevant to your app and that your target audience is likely to search for.
Here's a simple app store optimisation hack: create a captivating and unforgettable app icon that embodies your brand and the core functionality of your app. Make sure it's visually appealing and sets your app apart from the competition. And don't forget to make sure it is optimised on all devices and platforms.
App Screenshots and Videos:
Show off your app's features and benefits with high-quality screenshots or explainer videos. These images give potential users a sneak peek of what they can expect from your app. You should also create a promotional video that shows how the app works and what it can do for them. If your audience can see what to expect from the app in a dynamic preview, they're more likely to download it.
App localisation is key to expanding your app's reach and user base. Translating your app's title, description, and keywords into multiple languages will help you reach a wider audience. Did you know that only 6% of the world speaks English as their first language, while 75% of people don't speak a single word of English? Localising your app makes it accessible to non-English speakers and enhances the user experience by providing content in a language they are comfortable with.
It's super important to keep your app up to date. This helps fix any bugs, add new features, and improve the user experience based on feedback. In addition to the technical updates, you can also highlight new features and improvements in the release notes as a great way to keep users informed and engaged.
App stores prioritise and feature apps that actively engage with their user base through regular updates, positive reviews, and responsive development teams, making it a mutually beneficial relationship that enhances the overall user experience and app visibility in the marketplace.
App Size and Load Time:
The size of your app and how long it takes to load have a big impact on how users experience it. Large apps can take up a lot of storage space, which might make people not want to download or keep them installed. Similarly, long load times can make people leave your app and find the information or tool elsewhere. So, if you want to improve the user experience, it's important to optimise your app's size and loading times.
Privacy is a huge deal for any app, and it's especially important for App Store Optimization (ASO) in 2023. Apple's "nutrition labels" for privacy give users a clear and concise overview of how an app collects data. It's crucial to fill these labels out accurately to build trust with your users and comply with Apple's guidelines.
Remember, a strong commitment to privacy can improve your app's reputation, increase user trust, and ultimately improve your app's performance in the App Store.
App reviews and ratings are super important for ASO, which is how you make your app stand out in the app store. Positive reviews are like social proof, and they can help your app rank higher in search results, so more people will find it. Also, responding to user feedback, whether it's good or bad, shows that you care about your users and want to make your app the best it can be. This can lead to higher user retention and trust. The insights you gain from reviews can also help you optimise your keywords, and addressing negative feedback promptly can turn unhappy users into loyal ones. All of this helps your app's reputation and makes it more likely to be recommended by the app store algorithms.
Different app stores have their own unique guidelines and rating systems. Google Play star ratings are based on the current reviews and ratings an app receives on a 1-5 scale, while the App Store's ratings represent an average of ratings over an app's lifetime, with the ability for app creators to reset the average rating. It's important to understand the nuances of each platform to optimise your app's visibility. Tailor your review management and optimisation strategies to suit each platform's specific requirements.
Effective Responses to Reviews:
When it comes to reviews, good or bad, it's important to engage with your users. Thank them for their positive feedback, and let them know that you appreciate their support. Encourage dialogue by asking questions and responding to comments. This will help you build a community around your app.
Negative reviews can also be helpful, as they can provide valuable insights into how you can improve your app. Identify common complaints, make the necessary changes, and let your users know about the updates. This will show them that you're responsive and committed to excellence. In some cases, this proactive approach can even turn a negative review into a positive one, and show your dedication to user satisfaction.
User reviews are a goldmine of keywords and phrases. Analyse reviews to identify keywords that users frequently mention when describing your app's features. Incorporate these keywords into your app's metadata, description, and marketing materials to enhance its visibility in search results.
Don't forget that ASO is not a one-and-done thing. It's an ongoing process that requires you to regularly review and refine your strategies based on changing trends and algorithms in the app store landscape. Staying up-to-date with the latest ASO techniques and tools is essential for maintaining and improving your app's visibility and performance.