A Guide to App Store Optimization
Virtually every game or application on our smartphones comes from the application store. Every developer of mobile software who wants to reach the largest possible audience should publish their work on Google Play and the Apple App Store. But how to make sure that the app don’t get lost among other productions?
In this article:
- What is App Store Optimization?
- How to Improve App Positioning?
- How to Use Mobile App Analytics?
- Other Ways to Improve App Positioning
What is App Store Optimization?
App Store Optimization (or ASO) has a lot to do with SEO - the goal of both is to make our creation appear as close to the top search result as possible. That can be achieved by creating an attractive store page for your app.
How to Improve App Positioning?
Simply put: by making the app look useful, relevant to what we are looking for, and trustworthy. The ASO consists of several factors: selecting keywords that match with phrases often searched by users and taking managing the contents of app's store page. So what needs to be done to attract crowds?*
While building a store page, the following are essential:
- The name of the app - it's good to keep it short and memorable.
- App description - choose keywords and try to repeat them several times. However, it is vital that they are not put there out of nowhere and naturally blend in with the entire text. Try to divide the description visually: use bullet points, paragraphs, and the like. It is also worth spending time translating descriptions into languages other than English - automatic translation leaves a lot to be desired. It may negatively affect the visibility of the app in other countries.
- App classification - selecting appropriate categories and app classification directly impacts where and to whom our creation will be recommended. These categories determine the effectiveness of the keywords we choose. No one will look for an online shooter in the "for kids" category. Or for a photo editing tool among time management applications.
- The number of installations - unfortunately, we have no direct influence on that. However, we can support ourselves with marketing and advertising the application outside the store. Applications with a large number of installations are naturally much more popular than those with single downloads.
- User ratings and reviews - high ratings are a sign of high quality. We can increase their number by occasionally prompting users to rate the game or app. However, do not do this too often, as it can simply irritate users. It is also essential to respond to reviews to show that we are actively engaging with the community.
- App icon and screenshots - the icon should be distinctive and eye-catching. With screenshots and video previews, we should aim to present how the application really looks and focus on its strong points, rather than showing a beautified version with nothing to do with reality.
How to Use Mobile App Analytics?
App stores offer developers useful tools that collect various statistics of the use of our app. This data can provide a lot of valuable information that may indicate non-obvious problems with our product. Some of them are:
- Length of a single session - how much time do users spend in the application? Does a particular activity take them more or less time than expected?
- Active users - how many people who downloaded our application regularly run it? How many people use it every day, several times a week, or once a month?
- Audience - allows you to confront the assumed target group with the actual one and adapt the content and methods of monetization to it. If the app is popular in Spain, then we should consider translating it into Spanish.
- Tracking specific activities - allows you to determine what percentage of users launched the application for the first time, clicked on an ad, or completed the first mission in the game. For example, if many users did not get through the tutorial and uninstalled the game, maybe we misinterpreted some mechanics?
- Intervals between sessions - how often the average user starts the application. Apps are used more frequently when launching and executing the base loop of activities takes a few minutes tops. This way, the users know that they can put the phone down at any time, and they will lose nothing. If the frequency of sessions is not satisfactory, perhaps we should consider how to speed up these basic activities.
- Returning users - how many people uninstalled the application and returned to it after some time. This shows us what news got our audience interested the most and allows us to choose the best direction for the further development of the application.
Other Ways to Improve App Positioning
Contrary to appearances, the positioning of the application does not come down to clever tricks or tricks. ASO is just one of the methods of improving your app visibility in the store. The key is to create a positive image and provide something that your audience needs: an application that makes everyday stuff easier or an exciting game to play while waiting for the bus.
Other ways to improve the app positioning are, for example:
- Marketing - it is worth taking care of at least a minimal promotion of the application to increase the awareness of its existence. App stores offer the possibility of recommending apps to people browsing the catalog - this is a reasonable solution, since which place is better to promote a product if not the one where you can get it right away?
- Active development and support - mobile software is like a living organism - should constantly evolve and develop. Taking care of frequent updates shows that the application is alive, and should there be any problems, someone will answer the questions that bother the users.
- Caring for the quality of the base product - the most important thing is that the game or application is well designed and polished. If the product itself is not good, no marketing will help it in the long run.
As you can see, improving positioning in app stores is not as complicated and complex as it might seem. Minor modifications in descriptions, honesty, and a solid product are enough to build a good image and gain users' trust. With these few simple tips, you can now make informed decisions before putting your creation out into the world. So head out to conquer the app stores! :)