Mobile app creation can without exaggeration be compared with launching a rocket. Numerous tasks and stages are necessary to achieve success: you need to take into account hundreds of small details, draw an ideal design and write thousands of lines of the code. Unfortunately, some of these stages are neglected, which in the future reduces the effectiveness of promotion and development. Below we will describe one of these stages, which is low-cost and at the same time highly effective. We will talk about App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO is often compared with search engine optimization (SEO), while in fact, these concepts differ. ASO is a set of measures and solutions intended to increase mobile app’s position and visibility in the App Store and Play Market organic search.
ASO has two sides. The first one is hidden from users’ eyes and seeks to increase the app’s position in the search. The second one is a part of mobile app’s brand identity, which seeks to interact with users and enhance conversion of the mobile app’s page. To some extent, these sides intersect, to be more specific, they intersect in their name and description. Let’s take a look and see how it works and why you need it!
Upon its publishing, a mobile app becomes available to millions of gadget users, who frequently resort to searching for necessary resources and materials on the Internet in order to solve particular tasks. A search for mobile apps is not an exception. App Store daily processes hundreds of thousands of queries worldwide, and your application may be found among those queries.
How does it work? The App Store search engine needs to have an idea of an app in order to display it upon relevant queries and receive organic settings. The page is indexed in the first two weeks after publishing. The system takes into account certain features, including title, subtitle, category, key words, description. Based on the received information, the system compiles a list of words following which the app can be displayed in search results. If these parameters are neglected, it is not only hard for the system to conceptualize an app in an appropriate way, but the app itself loses a chance to be found by users.
How to make ASO properly? ASO starts with key queries analysis. The purpose is to create a mobile app’s semantic core in the App Store search engine. Keeping in mind the abundance of information, it is essential to find relevant queries which will further be used in title, subtitle, key words and description. This is how we select for the app those queries that are in demand among users and used most frequently during the search. The analysis is carried out for each country and each language separately. We use various tools and services, including ASODesk, AppFollow, AdvertMobile, SensorTower, etc. Each service provides details analytics as to queries, competitors, category- and country-based rating and so on. An important parameter is a traffic indicator showing the frequency with which users employ this or that query. Key queries come in three main types: low-frequency, moderate frequency and high-frequency. Each of these types is used depending on the App Store promotion strategy. During the analysis, we collect the following indicators for each query:
- the number of competitors;
- promotion complexity (depending on the previous two).
App Store allocates 100 characters for key words. We know a couple of tricks, which make it possible to increase this number. For instance, you can use neighboring locales (additional languages) and indicate key words in the title and subtitle, which is mandatory.
It is also very important to choose a category where the app is published and to analyze competitors. The purpose is to identify major competitors in the App Store and analyze the words by which they are ranked in the search engine. This stage enables you to detect competition inside the category and have a full idea of competitors: ASO quality, key words, feedbacks, traffic channels, the number of settings etc. This research helps expand the potential semantic core and gives us an opportunity to analyze queries relevance to the mobile app, as not all queries can be target-oriented.
Here is an example of how ASO affects page viewing in the App Store. The number of views of the NYMF mobile app in the App Store search engine increased after a subsequent update, whereby our team had changed key words:
One other project also benefitted from our ASO, and the number of views of their mobile app in Japan increased. For this project, we analyzed key words and competitors, chose the category and main key words, which we later indicated in the title and subtitle.
The other side of ASO is user’s visual interaction with a mobile app page. This page should display a clear message, which depends not only on text, but also on design. If users do not see or do not find what they have been looking for on the app page, they are very unlikely to download the app.
As we mentioned before, page design in the App Store is a part of brand identity. A mobile app page is a brand landmark, which should be unique and attractive. In the App Store search engine, users will see an icon, a title, a subtitle and screenshots. The icon is not supposed to be complicated; on the contrary, it is better to choose something simple, but eye-catching and recognizable. Screenshots are a sort of an app «preview»; taken together, these options generate a full idea of the app’s functions and facilities.
Moving to the page, users read through the app description (in this case, first 200 characters are very important, as the rest of the description is hidden and can be accessed by clicking «More») and in-app purchases.
Each of these elements should complement each other and fit into the overall concept of the project.
For Android-powered mobile apps, ASO is done in the same way, yet, there are certain differences. The Play Console does not contain the Key words field. The Play Market search engine analyzes the title, brief description and full description and on this basis gets key words and conceptualizes the app. That’s why, for Play Market-based ASO, it is essential to make descriptions with sufficient key words inclusion.
We strongly recommend doing ASO for your projects, as it will significantly increase promotion and advertising effectiveness 🚀.
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