ASO: App Store Optimization. What to Focus on?

ASO: App Store Optimization. What to Focus on?

Search Engine Optimization has been mastered by an impressive number of agencies and freelancers. However, doing SEO for mobile apps offered by Google Play and App Store turns out to be much more challenging. What to do to help your application reach as many users as possible? How to improve the number of downloads of your app? ASO is perfect for solving these issues!

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Table of Contents:

ASO – What Is It?

ASO (App Store Optimization) is the process of optimizing mobile apps available in stores such as Google Play, App Store, Amazon App Store or Windows Store.

When it comes to ASO, understanding the algorithms of each app store and the ranking factors that ensure your app is displayed high in the organic search results after users enter a specific phrase is the most important thing. The next step is about meeting the requirements and assumptions of the algorithms in a way maximizing the number of app downloads. In a nutshell: you’ve to do things that will encourage users to download your application.

Why Do I Need ASO?

Every month, more than 100,000 new mobile apps are offered only by Google Play. The average smartphone or tablet user accesses as many as 30 apps per month. What’s the conclusion?

The competition is IMPRESSIVE. A lot of effort is needed to make people see and download your mobile application. ASO will make it easier for you to expand your business online and improve the popularity of your app. Over 50% of mobile apps and games are installed after being found organically on Google Play and App Store.

The first impression counts – you have only 3 seconds to attract potential customers and encourage them to visit your app’s product page and consequently download it.

What can you do to make your app the one chosen by users? How to increase positions of mobile applications on Google Play and App Store?

ASO for App Store – What To Focus On?

ASO for AppStore

According to the report “ASO Factors and Trends: Expert Survey“, key ASO ranking factors when it comes to App Store Optimization are (starting with the most important ones):

  • App name that clearly indicates what functionalities are offered (a name with a keyword describing what the app is about is the best solution, e.g. Runkeeper) – maximally 30 characters
Tip: considering the rules of proper naming, the name itself shouldn’t be longer than 10 characters and the remaining space should be devoted to extra keywords – according to research conducted by MobileDevHQ it can improve your position in the search results even by 10%.
  • App subtitle which specifies how user’s life is going to change after installing the app (something like a brand claim – a kind of promise to be fulfilled by the app) – also up to 30 characters
  • Product specification that encourages to download the app and supports the scale of organic searches, just like all online store product specifications (see what an ideal e-commerce product specification should look like)
  • Keywords, separated by commas, that may come to your potential recipient’s mind when searching for an app exactly like the one you offer – maximally 100 characters
  • URL of the subpage of the mobile app (a subpage at www.apps.apple.com/us/app/your-app will definitely work better than www.apps.apple.com/us/app/qw53blso – do you see the difference?)
  • A number of installs – Mobile App Optimization works on the basis of a snowball effect: the more downloads, the better Google position, which translates into even more downloads, and so on.

ASO for Google Play – What’s The Most Important?

aso for google play

Just like in the case of App Store, the most important factors that affect App Store Optimization for Google Play include:

  • Mobile application name (up to 50 characters with spaces)
  • Short description of your application (up to 80 characters)
  • Application specification with an elaborate description (up to 4000 characters) where you apply a complete structure of H1, H2, and H3 headers as well as keywords that describe your mobile application, just like in a standard blog post or product specification on your website
  • A significant number of quality external links to your app product specification (the more, the better!)
  • 5 Google tags related to your application
  • Positive app ratings and reviews (the more, the better!)
  • Number of app installs (just as above :))
Tip: remember that a vast majority of users will only read either the first line of your app description or only a brand claim. We don’t fancy reading blocks of text online. Benefit from the power of the first sentence and display the possibilities of your app. Provide an answer to the question “why is it worth installing it?”.

What else can help you ensure the success of your digital product?

How To Increase The Number Of App Downloads?

The number of app downloads has a significant impact on its position. So how can you encourage users to interact and install your application? How to obtain extra ratings and reviews? First of all, start from increasing the engagement of your recipients – it’s the finest method according to 69% of respondents. How?
aso visibility optimization

In mobile app SEO, it’s helpful to:

  • Provide an app icon that encourages users to click on the link and refers to the type of the software,
  • Include 2-3 screenshots positively showing your app, its interface, and design. 60% of users will only scroll through the first two screenshots as part of their first point of contact with your app on Google Play or App Store. Quality print screens can guarantee even 25-35% more downloads so take your time to make them perfect!
  • Provide short, maximally 10 second long videos or animations promoting the app (once it was possible only in the case of Google Play, now it can be done also on the App Store). This can increase your app downloads even by 23%. A poster advertising the app (available only on App Store) is also a good idea,
  • Ensure frequent updates and refinements – if you have a few apps at your disposal and you know that one of them is constantly upgraded, you’re more likely to download it, aren’t you?
  • Analyze the price of your app – maybe the trial version should be available for free and the full version ought to be accessible only after installing the application and completing the trial period?
  • Ensure proper selection of application categories, so that it’s easier to find your app among similar solutions.

These are only the most relevant App Store and Google Play ranking factors. Meeting the above-mentioned requirements will allow you to improve the positions of your mobile application, increase its reach and number of downloads. Consequently, it’ll translate into greater revenues from app purchases and Google ads.

FAQ

Contrary to what you may think, ASO, meaning app store optimization, isn’t significantly different from typical SEO for product subpages or blog posts. Therefore, you need to remember about proper optimization of your app subpage, quality content (titles, H1, H2, and H3 headers, descriptions) as well as the layout and graphics of the app and its specification.

Many elements and ranking factors apply to both stores. However, it’s crucial to remember that metadata, content, product descriptions, app subtitles and titles should be tailored individually. Refine screenshots, graphics, and videos so that they meet the technical requirements of a specific distributor. Read our entry to discover more discrepancies between ASO for Google Play and App Store.

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Author
Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.
Comments (1)
  1. Didn’t know that there’s a way to impact the performance in App Store – better late than never. Thanks for the article!

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