Everyone in business on the internet or any line of marketing is aware of the necessity of good SEO on your webpage and online content. By understanding your users and weaving the right relevant keywords throughout your content, you can help search engines find your web pages based on the terms your ideal customers type into their search box.
This is, in fact, the driving factor of many modern promotional techniques like inbound marketing, SEO copywriting, and optimization services that audit your website in order to better integrate your ideal keywords into existing content. All of this work goes to achieving a higher ranking in the search results of popular engines like Google and Bing. But what about app stores?BLOG: How to Boost Your Mobile Ranking with App Store Optimization #ASO #MobileMarketing Click To Tweet
There are thousands of apps out there, and unless you’ve thought of something 100% original, there’s probably functional alternatives to your apps just waiting to show up on user search results.
How aware are you of your app’s search result position in the app store, and is this something you’ve even considered at all? App Store Optimization, or ASO for short, is a major factor in the modern mobile market and yet only the deeply involved pros are actually working it.
Where once the most business-savvy thing to do was to simply have an app available for the growing mobile market, it’s time to consider the mobile landscape pretty well grown up and ready for some real company competition.
App Store Optimisation (ASO)
What is ASO exactly? It is very much like SEO, except for an app store. If you’re relatively familiar with SEO, you’re probably guessing that it has something to do with keywords and search rankings which is exactly correct.
Companies that once were the only one of their kind in app stores now face dozens of opportunistic clones so if you want to stand out, first you’ve got to get to the top of the list. This is done by matching your app listing assets to the standard rules of SEO.
That is, what the customer searches for are the keywords you need to embed in your listing details and (ideally) in the customer rating comments.
ASO is made up of 4 primary pieces:
- App Title
- Total Number of Downloads
- Ratings and Reviews
These four things have a proven track record of both increasing your position in search results and increasing the number of downloads and purchases by app store users.App Store Optimization is a major factor in the modern mobile market #ASO #MobileMarketing Click To Tweet
The Impact of ASO
Before you begin, it’s important to know exactly what you’re aiming for. The majority of app producers don’t bother to optimize anything about their app listing, often choosing both their title and keywords at the last minute while going through the upload process.
This results in apps that are all too likely to be on the second or third page worth of apps for customers to scroll through and as well all know, mobile is all about convenience. Customers are most likely to choose one of the first three apps, based on a combination of title matching, price, and ratings.
This means the competition is steep and, unfortunately, knock-off apps that bother to do their ASO homework are likely to rate higher than the apps of teams that worked hard to create a quality product because users will never scroll far enough to see it and ratings won’t accumulate to show its worth.
If you don’t want your app to end up in this category, but it looks like it’s going that direction, it’s time to work on your ASO.
Choosing Your Keywords
In order to build the search terms you’d like to embed in your title and pick for your keywords list, you’ve got to understand what your mobile users will be looking for.
If you have already done SEO research for your website, this process should go a little faster but it’s also important to remember that mobile searches are a little different.
They tend to be briefer and, because we’re only talking about apps, the words are usually actions or product titles instead of long-tail questions or phrases.
Therefore, you will need to choose keywords based on what your app does and how it will be recognized by your users.
Building Your App Title
If you’ve scrolled through a few apps in one of the major app stores, you may have wondered why so many apps seem to have overcomplicated names when the mobile platform is much more friendly to short-but-sweet naming styles. The reason for this, as you may have guessed at this point in the article, is that your title is your primary source of ASO for responsiveness to search terms.
As a great example, let’s look at an app called ‘Glow Draw’. This app doesn’t simply use its name in the title slot, but instead expands it into something much too long for any mobile screen to produce. Fully opened on an iPad, the title for this app is “Glow Draw – paint, doodle, colour on camera photos with light and share via email instagra…” and we’re sure it goes on from there.
Why don’t they care that the entire title can’t be read? Because the rest of the words are there for ASO, not actually for the user’s benefit.
Here you have a choice: clean brevity, rambling keyword stuffing, or something in-between. Ideally, you’ll be able to build a title that effectively contains the keywords you need in a simple, elegant phrase.
Building Your Keywords List
Every app gets to choose a few keywords that will influence which search results the app appears on. Because, unlike websites, apps are self-contained, the app store relies on these keywords and those embedded in the title to determine what the content of your app is about.
You don’t have to be quite as choosy about this list of keywords because they are not in your actual title, but you do want to select them with care as they will have a significant impact.
This is also somewhat of a tricky decision because of high-usage keywords, like ‘paint’ for instance, are too competitive so you’ll have to distinguish yourself further to appear when a user searches for the word ‘paint’ in their app store search box. In this way, ‘Glow Draw’ had it right because keywords like ‘doodle’ probably have a higher reward.
So here is your keyword challenge: to find keywords that are high in popularity but somehow low in competition. This is a challenge almost every SEO and ASO concerned marketer has struggled with, with varying results so we can only wish you luck with your own app.
Downloads, Ratings, and Reviews
Once you have done everything in your power to app-store-optimize your title and list of keywords, it’s up to viewers and users to boost you further. If you made it to the front page and got a few downloads, you’ve already got a leg up on other contenders. Every download boosts you higher in the ambient ASO rankings.
Then comes ratings, which naturally have an effect both on your page position and on user’s willingness to download your app. Some apps have thousands of downloads because they have great ASO and opening pictures but if the app is bad on the inside, it will get badly rated and then fall behind less optimized but better-made apps.Every download boosts you higher in the ambient #ASO rankings. #AppStoreOptimisation #MobileMarketing Click To Tweet
Finally, and this is something both cool and a little maddening, the keywords in your reviews actually factor in.
If you figure out a legitimate way to encourage your users to use the right keywords in their reviews, let us know! No doubt every mobile developer on the market will want in on that action but so far a good solution has yet to present itself.
For more helpful tips and tricks on mobile digital marketing, contact us today. Happy optimising!