The general perception about App Store Optimization is that it’s basically SEO (search engine optimization) for apps. If you were under the same impression you were correct, as it may be the ideal way by which you can explain the concept to a person who is unfamiliar with the topic. However, the math under ASO is much more complex than that and dare I say, a more interesting practice than SEO.
Similar to online marketers who use SEO to rank their websites higher in Google’s search results, app developers make use of ASO, which is essentially a series of techniques that will ideally place their app on the top of the app store search results.
As opposed to SEO, App store optimization is not about getting as much page traffic as you can, but about conversion.In ASO, the aim is to make your app be discovered by users who are willing to install and use it on a regular basis.
Here are the aspects that we think are the most important pieces in ASO:
1. Research your Keywords
Before you actually decide to publish your app along with the selected keywords, make sure you do your homework well. Research about the demand, difficulty and how many of your competitors use them. When searching for the best keywords, analyze both the singular and the plural version of the word, see which one performs better and stick with that.
When you’ve your keyword list ready, include your top keyword into your app name. Make it a rule to avoid using any prepositions as keywords.
2. Use a Descriptive Title
Think about all the things your title has to cover. It should hint users towards what the app can do, while improving the overall ranking. It is known that including one or more keywords in your title can improve your overall ranking by at least 10%. This obviously varies depending on the store you’re planning to publish in.
Google Play and App Store have different algorithms that handle keywords, so you should adapt your title accordingly when optimizing for Apple or Google stores.
3. Make an “Iconic” Icon
To succeed in this crowded store ecosystem, an app icon should be more than a tool that lets users know what the app is capable of. It should have an attractive design, appealing to users on an artistic level. A popular way of doing that is by surrounding your icon with a frame, helping in achieving a 3D effect.
4. Make the Most of Your App Description
There’s no question that you should use keywords in your description to achieve the best ranking possible from Apple and Google’s algorithms. But in the end, it’s a real person who will decide on downloading and recommending your app or not. That’s the reason why stuffing an app with keywords is a very bad idea.
Regular users won’t analyze the amount of keywords you include. Their only care is that the app won’t abuse any of their sensitive information. Informative and smart written content in the description will increase your conversion rate, so pay attention when writing your app descriptions.
5. Choose the Right Category
Many developers have the dilemma of their app fitting into more than one category of an App Store. So how do you tackle this kind of problem? Well, there are two roads you could take:
- Go with the category that fits your app the most.
- Choose the least competitive category so that you will increase your app chances to rank higher.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go with a category that has no relation with your app whatsoever. On the App Store, you probably won’t get that far with a wrong category. Apple has a long manual review process so you will get rejected right from the start.
6. Don’t Neglect the Screenshots
Don’t look at your screenshots like they are just a simple feature list. That is inefficient and will limit your chances to climb the ranks. Avoid using simplistic in-app screenshots but instead, use them to tell a story and make it attractive. Consider using a specialized iOS screenshot tool to make them look as clean as they can get. You’d be surprised with the results, and on top of that, it will save you a lot of time you would have spent editing them yourself.
7. Video Trailer Promotion
We strongly advise you to pour some of your resources into creating a unique video trailer. It should not only be about what the app is capable of doing but must also showcase the creative nature of the people behind it. Think about something that will keep viewers entertain while feeding them information about your product.
A curious thing is, Apple is more permissive with approving videos that are unique, so don’t be surprised if your promotion video works wonders on the App Store.
8. Keep a Close Eye on your Competition
By far, the best way to learn the do’s & don’ts of the app store is by carefully watching what the competition is doing. It will help you spot the keywords you might have missed and take steps in updating your app page. It’s always good to know what the current standard is so that you can learn from their mistakes and become a better publisher.
9. The Pricing Issue
It’s our honest opinion that deciding on the price of an app is one of the hardest issues you can tackle. You might think that will the multitude of free apps, putting a price on your app is crazy. That might be the case on Google Play Store, but on Apple’s platform, there is a chance people will still throw money at you. It’s all about knowing your product.
Don’t set a price tag if you don’t have faith in your app capabilities. However, if you think you’re sitting on a gold mine think it through. If you fail to produce a notable revenue with a paid plan and thinking about going free, make the most out of it and you might feature in “Apps Gone Free“.