What is App Store Optimization?
The best part about starting a mobile business is that you are suddenly exposed to a brand new audience. But how do you reach the potential users through search? The answer is through App Store Optimization. ASO is the method of ensuring your app ranks and rises to the top of the Apple and Google Play search results. App Store Optimization is essential for gaining momentum in sales and customer acquisition for your app. Be aware that ASO is not just a short-term strategy, it's a long term approach for lasting impact and sustained growth.
1. Understand Your App's Customers
The key to app store optimization is a strong understanding of the value youre providing to your users. Often, this is the same as your company's web or physical storefront, but sometimes on mobile, these values are slightly more nuanced. Mobile apps are all about speed, quality, and efficiency, so your approach to ASO should reflect that. The more you understand the type of customer you are targeting on mobile, the better you can tailor your keywords to reach more people like them.
2. Building Your App
Odesso gives you a leg up on the App Store Optimization process, because our automation engine builds your app to be native and filled with naturally "sticky" features, such as business process automation or e-commerce. That means, your users are more likely to want to download your app on all of their devices and use them again and again. Additionally, Odesso's apps are kept up to date and compliant with the current and older versions of iOS and Android. The biggest benefit of Odesso is that it makes it easy and fast - thanks to our inexpensive monthly subscription plans. Rather than spending a lot of money up front, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to build a basic app instantly, so you can focus your time and money into acquiring customers. Additionally. Odesso offers one-on-one business consulting to help work out a mobile business strategy. If you are interested in a private consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org and describe where you need help..
3. ASO tools:
- A. Icon - The most important aspect to your app is the icon. This is what your users will see every single time they flip by it or open it, so it's very important to make something memorable, reference the app's primary use, and make it stand out. Some ways for making an icon look more eye-catching is by using a color gradients and shadows to make your logo pop off of the page or to make a smaller picture surrounded by a frame. One very effective method is allowing your logo to "break the frame" and spill over slightly, making a 3D effect.
- B. Title - The title of your app holds the greatest weight in terms of how high up you show in search. On iOS, you get to put 255 characters worth of words, so be sure to take advantage of that. However, you want to be tasteful and not take it to an extreme. Meanwhile on the Google Play store, you need to contain the title to 30 characters, so be creative.
- C. Description - The key to writing very captivating descriptions is by putting yourself in your customer's shoes. In the short description, above the 'jump' - it's important to have 1 or 2 sentences that very clearly and concisely describe what the app does and its most basic use case. Then below the jump, that's where you can get more in-depth and clearly spell out the features. On both stores, you have up to 4000 characters. You should use formatting to your advantage, things like bullet points, lists, and all caps can be use to emphasize your the most important thing you want your users to see. When reading the description, most people skim, so it's important that your most vital information jumps out at them. Note that Google scans your descriptions, so be sure to use keywords about 5 times or more to make it easier to find you.
- D. Keywords - Another very valuable tool are your keywords. While Google embeds them in the description, in the iOS App Store, you only get 100 characters to play with. That's why your focus needs to be on (a) Relevancy (b) Volume and (c) Uniqueness. The search algorithm is fairly unsophisticated section, with no benefit to typing like you would speak. You simply need to string together the most important key words that your potential customers might use. It's very important to make every character count. Be sure to separate every keyword with a comma (no spaces). For example, if you are a plumber, you might want use a keyword structure like "emergency,plumber,drain,repair" rather than "Our plumbers provide emergency drain repair,". It's also wise not to repeat keywords that are already in your title, and be sure that the most important key words are in the title, with secondary key words in the description.
- E. Category - Categories and subcategories are the first line of defense in getting users through the door. Choosing the right category not only displays you in the right place, but your ranking will be judged against those in that classification. Choose the right categories and subcategories based on what's most relevant and the level of competition and potential for making money revenue.
- F. Screenshots - Screenshots are similarly important, because they provide the user with a visual reference of how the app will look on their device. It also gives you the opportunity to make your page look more attractive by adding more text and images and reinforcing the features and benefits to downloading your mobile app.
- G. Video - A good way to engage with potential downloaders is to create a professional-looking video. It should be noted that it does not play a factor in app visibility, but it may drive more customer engagement and downloads once they reach your page. Because that's the case, you should create your video with the user in mind. Apple and Google approve videos that have more than just in-app footage, meaning you should be creative and make something that entertains and resonates with your customers.
- H. Localization - For businesses who want their apps to cross geographic borders, you should make your description and keywords reflect that. While some app stores, such as the US and Canada, use shared keywords, you should know that the UK App Store (as well as foreign language stores) require unique words. You should consider using slang and local jargon, depending where you want the app to perform.
4. Ratings and Reviews
An often overlooked, but extremely important part of your store is the customer ratings. People are much more likely to download apps that other people have downloaded. Increase your trust by collecting a lot of reviews for the niche, and maintain 4 stars or above. On both stores, it's important, because the ratings are front and center on the search screen. Ratings are tied directly to the app store, so make sure your customers and users are getting great value and service from your app, and they're more likely to rate your app higher. It's also smart to encourage your loyal and most impressed supporters to leave you a positive, personal rating.
5. App Discovery - Social Media and Beyond
As much as ASO can help optimize your app reach within the store, it's important to remember that it takes more to really excel in mobile marketing. You should also establish your business on the web, through social media, websites, press, reviews, advertising, and by being just about anywhere your potential customers might be. The more traffic you drive to your listing, the higher it ranks in search results. App indexing is a very effective strategy to drive traffic to an app's product page. That means, making the app linkable from a web or mobile search. Customers who see you indexed can click and go directly to a product page. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great ways to harvest and grow your user base. It also gives you an outlet to speak directly to your customers - giving them information and promoting your product. As always if you tweet or tag @OdessoOfficial, we will help you promote to our followers as well.
6. Track Your App's Progress
The app store is not a static place. App store optimization is a constantly evolving craft full of trial and error. Be sure to consistently tweak your ASO and track your installs and customer activity. Contact your Odesso representative or email email@example.com to learn more about our analytics programs. The more you understand how people are using your app, the better you can tailor your app store marketing efforts.