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The Ultimate App Store Optimization Strategy (ASO) for 2023
Published on December 22, 2021
Launching an app is no joke, as competition is fierce for all verticals. According to International Business Times, the App Store receives over 1,000 app submissions every day. Studying your competitors is essential when developing your overall app store optimization strategy. According to App Radar, a whopping 70% of mobile users utilize search to find new apps. Furthermore, 65% of all downloads occur directly after a search. App store search is quite evidently the most common method for discovering new apps.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
App Store Optimization, also referred to as ASO or App Store SEO, is the process of improving app visibility within the app stores and increasing app conversion rates. It is the process of optimizing a game or application, to maximize its visibility within the stores using Search (when users search) and Explore (when users browse), to extend traffic to listing, and to enhance conversion rate to get the utmost volume of organic downloads. The higher your app ranks in an app store's search results, the more visible it is to potential customers.
App store optimization also requires a crucial understanding of your target customer base, including the keywords your potential customers are using to find apps similar to yours.
No matter what percentage of app store optimization strategies you are taking, you would need good app store optimized content to have the users click on the final download button. The smallest but most thorough changes made on Appstore can make a clear impact on the app's ranking and its visibility in the store. ASO specialists and mobile marketers found that the majority of people find apps while browsing on the App Store or Google Play store. Which makes keywords, ASO descriptions, the title, etc. ranking factors of the app store optimization checklist.
Deep understanding of how App Store Optimization works
The concept behind App store optimization is simple. The higher you rank, the more exposure your app will have to potential new users. It is of prime importance to understand your users to use these insights while preparing your ASO content.
The main objective behind optimizing your content is to increase listing traffic and organic downloads. To put it simply, App store optimization = traffic+conversion.
The discovery of apps is directly related to the ratings of the app. For ratings to be high, the quality of the app is a deciding factor for the same, making it very important to optimize one's content.
Asking users to leave a kind review at the right time is also important. This also helps determine the pattern of how users are finding your app and engaging with it.
In short, App store optimization(ASO) improves business and helps generate more downloads at a lower cost.
Understanding how different app stores work
Apple App Store and Google Play Store are the two main app stores. It is not optimal to prepare the same strategy for both the stores. Although keywords are primarily important for App store optimization in both stores, the valuation for each is done differently. It's important to master each store and its specificities so that you can optimize your apps and games and apps properly for each store.
App Store Optimization - Essentials
Regardless of the app store you are working on, it is essential to follow a certain set of rules that comply with app store optimization in general.
Let us break down each factor that should be considered while doing Application Store Optimization (ASO).
1. Working on the right title for your app:
Your app title on Google Play Store can be 50 characters long and 30 characters on the Apple App Store. Using keywords in the app title that have the strongest ranking weight is the first step in app store optimization. Use words in your app title that are relevant to your app, that is easy to read, simple and unique.
2. Keyword research for your app:
Performing research to identify the best fit keywords is the second step in app store optimization. To help you determine what keywords your app should be found with, the following aspects need to be considered:
- Main features of the app or game
- App category
- Benchmark the competitor apps
- Synonyms describing the features
- Commonly used terms in the app category
Not all AI recommendations are bad. For your first set of keywords, various App Store Optimization tools are available. For example, App Radar provides tailored keyword suggestions.
3. Write your App Description:
Framing your app’s description is the third step in app store optimization. The app's description should focus on targeting the customer base. It should spur potential customers towards downloading the application.
Even with the 4000 character limit for your long description, keep in mind that you only have 252 characters before the rest of the description gets truncated with the "More" link. Keeping that in mind, keep your pitch short and sweet to make sure that the user knows your app is worth downloading.
Keep an eye out on word count to avoid keyword stuffing in case you plan on repeating keywords for the Google Play ASO, as it may lower your positions in search results. Make sure that the long description is within the 4000 character limit, is informative, easy to understand, clearly structured (bullet points, emojis), and includes keywords (especially with Google Play).
4. Prepare App Screenshots & Videos:
The fourth step in app store optimization is to convince your users that are on your app page to download it. Screenshots and videos primarily play a huge role in conversion rate optimization.
- Your strongest messages must be put across in the first two screenshots. App screenshots and videos give you an opportunity to demonstrate the functionality of your app or mobile game to the user.
- Each screenshot must talk about a single feature on the app. Adding a short caption text on a clean background in your screenshots will work in your favor. Screenshots capture attention. Use them to tell people how your app can help them.
- With Dark Mode taking over the stores, make sure that your screenshots are clearly visible on the dark background.
- Make sure your CTAs are readable and catchy, without the need to zoom.
Screenshots and Videos are great means to highlight your app's best features to someone who is yet to use your app. Depending on what works best for the app, some developers choose to use videos to just show the app, while others create a marketing video with captions and music.
5. Getting the right App Icon: A/B testing:
A/B testing is the fifth step in app store optimization. This is used to compare and test two options to analyze results. The visuals and creative assets need to be tested, to see which works better than the other. AB testing allows you to test two variants and see which option receives more clicks. Once you get this information, you can accordingly decide which colors or characters your users would prefer.
Google Play native A/B tool is a great tool to compare how different sets of icons and screenshots perform. Do not apply Google Playtest results to the App Store. Instead, run a Search Ads campaign to test current vs new screenshots.
6. App Listing and Localization:
Localization is another important for app store optimization. This is the practice of adapting your app listing and visuals to appeal to target regions. Using existing metadata, keywords, or screenshots, you can translate them into other languages. This is done to give customers a more personalized experience. There are App Store Optimisation tools, localization, and translation services for the same.
Do not forget to translate CTAs in the screenshots when localizing your app page. In case you plan to cater to a local area or market, it is essential to modify the content as per the localized market. Changes in the communication of the brand, audience language, screenshot captioning, etc will need to be made so that it becomes easier to reach out to the local audience. Adoption and conversion of your app will boost, as more customers will be able to find the app in their native language.
7. App Ratings & Reviews:
This is the final step in app store optimization. The better the rating, the higher the app ranks and its relevance in the app store. According to App Radar, 80% of mobile users read at least one review before downloading an app. Which makes it essential to respond to the review. Potential users like to see developers who care about user feedback and who take user feature requests into consideration.
App users tend to leave reviews if they enjoy an app. Developers can encourage users to leave a review within the app itself through app plug-ins.
Future of App Store Optimization
Developing a mobile app with the best possible features is definitely important for an app publisher. But, performing app store optimization is as important as development as this process allows developers to show their app to more people. The higher the impressions of the app, there is a higher chance of download. App store optimization started way back in 2008 and it has been prolific ever since its inception. This strategy has helped several app publishers to increase their app’s download rate. So, if you are an app publisher looking to up your user acquisition game, connect with our ASO experts who will help in optimizing your app.