A Fundamental Guide to App Store Optimisation (ASO)
Ever find yourself constantly repeating the phrase, “There’s an app for that”? That’s because there probably is, whatever that may be.
Luckily for developers, and also for you and me, apps can be made for absolutely anything. The only problem is that with all these different apps coming to the marketing, getting noticed can difficult.
Launching an app is tricky and that’s why implementing App Store Optimisation (ASO) can go such a long way. Make sure your app attains the best possible results, by reading our basic guide to improving mobile app ranking within the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.
What is App Store Optimisation (ASO)
App Store Optimisation (ASO) is the process of improving a mobile app’s visibility in an App Store to ensure it reaches as high up the charts as possible, resulting in more traffic and installs on mobile platforms.
Why is it so important?
Optimising your app is just as important as optimising your website. You want users to see you before they see the competition. First impressions count.
How do I optimise an app through App Store Optimisation?
There are many best practices to ensure your app is truly optimised within an App Store, here are the most important aspects to take into consideration:
When a user searches for an app, your app will appear in their search results based on keywords and key phrases that have been used. To get the best out of your keywords field:
- Use commas instead of spaces as they are counted as characters, meaning there will be a reduced number of keywords to use within the 100 character limit.
- Reduce connector words such as a, the and of because they are generic and have little impact. The only time to use them is if you have a specific key phrase and it wouldn’t make sense without it, for instance, Fundamentals of Blogging.
- Don’t repeat keywords if you are using two separate phrases that use the same keyword. For example, ‘Social Media Marketing’ and ‘Marketing Automation’ should read ‘Social Media Marketing and Automation’.
- Don’t use names for numbers, for instance, if you used ‘5’ the App Store searches the word ‘five’ on top of this.
- Use your strongest key phrases in your App Title as the more relevant the term, the higher the conversion.
When creating the title for your app, establish a memorable and informative name as this is the first impression your users get of your company. This also needs to include your strongest keywords as it increases the exposure rate of your app, which can be difficult as the Google and Apple Stores require different character limitations, 30 for the Google Play Store and 75 for the iTunes App Store.
Your app’s description is extremely important as it enables users to learn about the functions and features of your app, with a character limitation of up to 4000 for the long description. The first three lines of your description are critical as they attract users to click the ‘Read More’ section.
The logo of an app is one of the first aspects a user notices, as it gives them an idea of what the app is all about. You risk losing a potential user based on the imagery and design of your logo.
Making sure your app falls into the correct category is crucial, as this influences your ranking within that specific area. Choosing the right category also allows users to easily find you when making a relevant search.
Screenshots are similar to icons as they don’t have a direct effect on rankings, however, their visuality does increase traffic and downloads. You can upload up to five screenshots for an iOS app and up to eight for an Android, however only the first 2-3 will be shown to users, so ensure you select the ones that have the most benefits.
You need to speak your user's language, literally. 72% of people prefer to use their native language when shopping even if they are fluent in English, meaning developers should adapt their apps to conform to users in specific countries. Localising your app doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are many services that translate your title, keywords, description and screenshots to suit the languages of your intended audience.
Keeping it Updated
Keeping your app updated is extremely important as it improves a user's experience and increases the ranking in the app stores. Regular updates and constantly improving apps are viewed to be more customer-centric and correspond to better reviews, which, in turn, increases installations as 85% of users want to install an app that has more positive reviews and higher ratings.
Misconceptions in ASO
Many developers believe that certain aspects are or aren’t important within the optimisation of your app. These include the misconception that changing your App Title often adapts to high-ranking searches. Once you pick a title you should stick with it, as constantly changing the title may actually harm your ranking.
Another misconception is that if your app is on the app store, users will definitely find it. For apps to become recognised you need differentiation from your competitors. This will result in downloads and downloads will result in your app getting recognised. Therefore, simply being on the store without any optimisation doesn’t mean to say you’ll get acknowledged.
Getting the Most Out of Your App
Optimising your app in an App Store is vital if you want to see an increase in results as it ensures users will choose to install your app on their mobile device over another and gradually get you to the top of the charts.
So do I need to follow this guide?
Essentially, yes. You want to optimise your app the best way you can if you want to see an increase in traffic, installs, and app ranking within the Store. Choosing the strongest keywords to get the best out of your keywords field, creating a memorable and descriptive title, engaging your audience through an informative description and capturing a user’s attention with the aid of a creative logo, are all part optimising your app through ASO.
Speak with one of our digital team to ensure you get the most out of your App Store Optimisation, we’re always happy to hear from you.