There are over 4 million applications available in iOS and Android app stores and over half of mobile users use the search feature in Google Play or App Store to find the apps they want to use. How do you ensure they find yours? ASO (App Store Optimization) could be your answer.
It’s a mobile world we live in. An average user spends almost 3 hours on their mobile device every day and more than half of the users check their phones or tablets several times an hour. We track our health and sleep cycles with apps, we diet with apps, we listen to music or play games with apps. If there’s a problem a mobile user wants solved, there’s an app for that! But getting users to pick your app above the rest is the challenge.
Just like with SEO and quality content, app search engines will prioritize quality applications: solving a specific problem, failure-free, and well-designed. Before localizing your application and sending it out to the world, you need to make sure that it checks all three boxes. Of course, there are updates that you can use to iron out small issues, but the more there are, the less users are prone to download and use your app.
Understand your target market
In both App Store and Google Play, apps are divided into categories, and within those categories are paid and free types. Your first step to optimizing your app for ASO is understanding which category your application falls into – and who will be searching for it. At this point, you also need to ensure that the visual content that appears in the app store is enticing.
“Visualize your app as a literal storefront. When you think about yourself walking down the main shopping street in any country in the world, if you’re walking down the street, what is the trigger from a store that makes you want to go in? The name of the store, its aesthetic?”
Principal Product Manager, Speechify
The rest is simply- SEO basics with some exceptions. Search Engine Optimization and App Search Optimization have a lot in common. If you know the basics of SEO, then you understand ASO – the idea behind both is quality content.
Title, description, metadata, and keywords – sound familiar?
Fine feathers make fine birds, right? You have only a few seconds to grab a user’s attention. Take a moment to think about what your app does or what problem it solves and – most importantly – use your keywords. Using keywords in the title increases your chances of download by 10%! Whether your app has reached a global status, or it's part of your expansion goals, with your target audience spanning several languages and locales, then your keywords need to be localized, not translated. Understanding the competitive landscape and the search terms that users speaking different languages would use can put you at an advantage.
Now, the description of your app is a different story. While it might be ignored by the app store’s algorithms, it will not be ignored by the users. But use it wisely! Instead of focusing on optimizing the content, try to use that space to explain the features and benefits of your app. It might seem like there’s a lot of space to use, but only 2% of users will click on the “more” that appears under the truncated snippet of a description. That means you have just over 200 characters to make a user yours.
App stores also give you the option to add metadata keywords: use that space to add new keywords that you have not used in the title already. The iOS app store provides yet another chance to use keywords: in the subtitle. This one should be short (you have only 30 characters!) and descriptive. Use that space for an additional set of keywords that you haven't used already, but remember every keyword used should be relevant to what the app offers.
Users must love you
Think about it – have you ever downloaded a shady looking app with one-star reviews? Why would you? User experience is important, and it affects your app’s conversions. You can use push notifications to ask your users for reviews – but instead of making it a time-based notification, set it to be sent out once your user completes an action within the app – goes through a level or sends a message. Once is enough – 77% of users will use an app within the first 3 days of downloading it before never using it again.
Bad reviews happen, and they might be because of an error that has since been removed or a bug that since been fixed. Don’t be afraid to respond to one-star ratings and use that space to build a valuable relationship with your users and gather feedback.
Launching your app in the new markets
Do you have a successful app and want to enter new markets? Argos Creative Services can help you launch your app in the App Store and Google Play by localizing the content of the app and providing international SEO.