With developers pushing more than 1,000 apps to Apple’s App Store per day, competition in driving organic downloads has never been higher. App Store Optimisation (ASO) has become an essential step when releasing an app to maximise your audience.
ASO is the process of enhancing the visibility of a mobile app in an app store such (Google Play / iTunes) through optimisation techniques, similar to search engine optimisation (SEO).
Below are our recommended steps for executing ASO on your app.
KEYWORD RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION
Like SEO, you must have a refined keyword list that you focus on which you’re confident will be driving qualified traffic to your app. A common mistake in ASO (and SEO) is choosing too many keywords that dilute your search strategy or selecting keywords that are too competitive or don’t have the corresponding search volume. Given the small real estate for optimisation, pick your top 3 keywords and focus on these.
App title: the keyword selected here should drive the highest amount of quality traffic. Choose this word carefully as changing your app name will negatively affect your ASO strategy.
App Description: your selected keywords will need to sit in your app description.
Once the user has found your app, your description is a crucial step in the user actioning a download, therefore focus on the user experience and quality of your content as opposed to over optimising (i.e. keyword stuffing).
Make sure you look at what keywords your competitors are focusing on before making selection.
Your icon says a lot about your brand’s confidence. Users are much more selective as to which apps they have on their devices, so pick an icon that simply looks good, reinforces your offering, doesn’t write the name of the app and most importantly stands-out in the sardine can of apps on your device.
As opposed to taking basic screenshots of your app, use this real estate as an opportunity to sell your concept. 23% of users abandon an app after first download (2016), and one of the main reasons for this is their failure to understand the proposition. McDonald’s new Monopoly at Macca’s app tackle this issue head on by describing the steps to take using their app, qualifying the user before they’ve even actioned a download.
Figure 1: storytelling via screenshots
With the boom in review websites across multiple industries, customer feedback has become an important cog in the buyer’s decision making process. Reviews are equally important when downloading apps, with Google Play making it highly visible on their interface. Ensure you highlight the positive reviews and respond to the negative ones within 12 hours. Not responding and or deleting unfavourable comments is not an option.
Category selection is vital, influencing your ranking and the quality of traffic you drive to your app. With the magnitude of apps available, Apple introduced subcategories into the App Store which provide the opportunity to rank for very specific categories. Before selecting your category, look at the level of competition in that space.
You will automatically exclude a large portion of potential buyers for your app by charging a fee for download. If this is non-negotiable, select a price that reflects the value your user will be receiving. It is suggested however you monetise via in-app purchases or through other means.
ANALYTICS AND REVIEWING YOUR ASO
It’s essential you track the performance of your app. If you fail to gain traction on your selected keywords, perhaps a rethink is in order. Furthermore, test different creative and content to see how this affects your download (click-to-install) conversion rate.