Berenika

Creates useful online content on the spot.

16 July 2018

The Fundamentals of App Store Optimization (ASO)

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Even the best mobile apps won’t end up successful if no one’s there to use them. The aim of App Store Optimization is to avoid exactly that, by creating and optimizing relevant content about your app in an app store.

If done right, App Store Optimization helps your app to be discovered more easily. The higher your app ranks in search results, the more visible it is. Increased visibility, in turn, means more traffic and hopefully - more downloads. It all seems pretty straightforward, but there are many factors influencing this process. Basically, your app can be judged by its visibility, attractiveness, and quality - and knowing that we’ve created a conversion funnel to help you understand the logic behind ASO.

App Store Optimization Step by Step

The bitter truth is that creating nice images and optimizing app descriptions won’t help you much if the content is not convincing enough and/or your app is mediocre. Therefore, before you decide to dig into ASO, make sure your product is worth the effort. Once you’re certain - it’s high time to optimize your app in order to rank higher in app stores and get noticed. And here’s how to do it properly.

1. Visibility & Adequateness

Obviously, the higher your app ranks in an app store, the better. When it comes to ranking factors, though, not all of them are under your control. You can easily optimize the app name, icon, description and visuals, but the rest depends mainly on your app’s quality. We’re talking about ratings and reviews or installs volume, for example. Actually, there's a whole list of factors that matter if you want to rank higher in app stores:

APP STORE RANKING FACTORS

But what also counts at this stage, is your competition. No matter how well-optimized your content is, your brand new app may lose against some of the seasoned competitors, depending on the app store category. Good news is that you can always try creating your own niche or invest in marketing & PR activities to spread the word about the app and boost your App Store Optimization efforts. To help you do that, we will cover the best ways to promote an app on our blog.

2. Attractiveness

Once a user decides to click on your app, you have to make sure they are here to stay. What’s important to realize is that Google Play and App Store are quite different , especially when it comes to displaying your app. Although the ranking factors do not differ as such, there are some things to keep in mind when optimizing your content.

As you can see, there’s a lot of text to be optimized. This is when relevant keywords come in handy. Choose wisely - they should not only refer to your app, but also to what your target group searches for. It’s not that easy, though. Take into account the ratio of the search volume to the competitiveness - the lower the competition, the better. Don’t aim for very popular and inadequate words or phrases and make sure your app can be found for a decent amount of keywords, but without repeating them thoughtlessly. The main phrase should be included in the title (or subtitle) and used at least 3 to 5 times in the description.

Unfortunately, Apple and Google don’t provide actual information on keyword searches in app stores, but there are tools that estimate the competitiveness of keyword phrases. For starters, use Google Keyword Planner, SearchMan or AppAnnie. There’s a lot more to take advantage of, that’s why we will list the best ASO tools here, on our blog.

Apart from using the right keywords, listen to your users. Check how the app is described in the reviews, display achievements and provide social proof (i.e. “Over 15,000 users have already downloaded the app”). The whole product page has to be consistent and convincing, so make sure to include proper images and videos.

3. Quality

As mentioned before, App Store Optimization works only if the app is engaging, useful and well-designed. Simply because user feedback is an important factor when it comes to ASO. Good ratings and positive reviews usually imply a quality app, but there are other relevant indicators, such as user retention or crash rate. If the app is stable and serves its purpose, it should be good enough to rank higher with a little help of App Store Optimization. Proper app development, however, is a completely different story. Luckily, we can help with that as well.


In many cases, you will come across a simplified funnel, which puts an emphasis on getting discovered and then trying to convert. There’s much more to ASO than that, though. But why is it worth optimizing your app store presence in the first place? App store search is the most popular way to hunt for apps. A user wants to download an app and is actively searching for it, thus it’s much easier to convince them to choose yours. Invest in App Store Optimization and make your app stand out. And if you still have doubts, turn to specialists.

Berenika

Creates useful online content on the spot. She speaks English like Barack Obama, has a mind nimble like a gazelle and an appropriately controversial sense of humor.