App Store Optimization – The Secret Weapon of Mobile App Marketers

There is a lot of buzz surrounding app store optimization these days. But what does it really mean? What is proper app store optimization technique?

As of July 2014, there were 1.3 million apps available on Google Play and 1.2 million apps in the App Store according to Statista. As an app developer or marketer you know that you have to push hard or your app will be lost in the sea of applications. Everyone wants their app to gain traction so lets take a look at how ASO can help.

App Store Optimization

What is App Store Optimization?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is similar to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but for app stores. App store search engines work in a way similar to the well-known search engines that you use every day (Google, Bing), but their metrics are slightly different. Because of this, mobile marketers must be aware of all essential factors that can affect ASO.

These essential factors include:

  • Title: The title should include the strongest keyword. There are some great tools that you can use for keyword research. I personally prefer Sensortower because it allows me to identify the most searched keywords, compare difficulty ratings and check search traffic estimates. After you select the strongest keyword, place it at the beginning along with your app name. The title should be descriptive, clear and consist of no more than four words.
  • Keywords: Another useful Sensortower option is to undertake an analysis of your competitor(s) where you track their keywords and keyword rankings. By using this option it is easier to choose effective keywords and to develop a good keyword strategy. Keep in mind that your keywords can include up to 100 characters as this is the max allowed by iTunes. Be sure to make the most of those 100 characters. The keywords you choose should be short as long ones take up valuable space that could go towards an additional keyword. When using multiple keywords (which should be always), separate each with a comma rather than a space. Never use both singular and plural versions of some keywords like you would in SEO. In addition, your app or company name shouldn’t be used as a keyword.
  • App Description: Your description should be clear and informative, and it provides another place to emphasize your chosen keywords. While keywords will help you obtain a better app store ranking, a properly written description will increase downloads.
  • More downloads: Clearly more downloads results in a better rank position. App promotion campaigns or in app advertising are key strategies for gaining users. Another method of promotion I strongly recommend is to contact tech journalists or influential bloggers who can help you increase downloads by spreading the word about your app.
  • Ratings and Reviews – It is hard to get high scores or good reviews if your app sucks, but this is something you have hopefully considered prior to releasing an app. Some bug reports and bad reviews are inevitable, but don’t forget to say thank you to Android users and quickly fix all issues.

12Rockets’ Guide to App Store Optimization

Today, developers often pick random keywords and write descriptions just to fill in the submission form and then wonder why their app has remained hidden. It is true that you will have to invest some time and effort achieve the necessary ASO, but this is a relatively short amount of time compared to app development and can mean the difference between a smashing success and an app that never quite takes off.

Do your ASO research before releasing an app and you will have a consistent channel driving traffic to your app.