Mobile applications are a must-have for many businesses because they provide constant and convenient contact with consumers. However, it is not enough to develop a product, you need to promote it as well, and an effective ASO or App Store Optimization marketing tool will help you with this. So, we will tell you what it is and how to optimize mobile applications.
What is ASO
ASO is some kind of mobile app SEO. ASO is now considered a mandatory element of integrated marketing for app owners, as it ensures the growth of the application’s position in the ranking of stores for web queries and the growth of its views and downloads. As with SEO promotion, app optimization will bring organic traffic long after the work stops. However, specific ASO results are difficult to predict because they depend not only on optimization for keywords but also on correctly designed graphic elements.
In addition to organic downloads from store search, apps are installed after switching from contextual advertising. They differ in the number of returns. Usually, those who install the store search app (organically) are the most loyal audience interested in using it regularly.
There are some differences between Google Play and App Store promotion, but the basics of ASO are the same, and that’s where we’ll start.
ASO consists of several main stages:
- KPI determination before starting work.
- Application audit.
- Competitors’ analysis.
- Basic optimization.
- Conducting A/B tests with various graphic elements.
How do users search for mobile apps? By their names and keywords that describe the desired functionality. When a user enters a query in the search bar, search suggestions appear for them to follow. At the same time, the algorithms of search engines take into account most of the mistakes accidentally made while typing from a mobile keyboard, but not all, and this should be remembered. App title and description with relevant keyword phrases are key ranking factors.
The icon is responsible for the first impression of the application. While creating it, it is important to adhere to the standard sizes of store icons, not to use text (there is a name for this), to avoid small, poorly visible elements, as well as transparent elements, and not to use screenshots and photos as icons. Optimizing the block with screenshots used as a user manual will help increase download conversions.
To select keywords and phrases, we recommend not using the usual semantic collection services — Google Play keywords will be different from Google Search keywords. We advise you to compile a list of associative words and phrases independently. And only after that use the services to expand the list of keywords.
Application optimization in Google Play Market
We offer a list of recommendations for ASO in the Google Play Store.
- Name. Use a short title of up to 30 characters, taking into account the visible part on the catalog page. Add important keywords closer to the beginning of the title.
- Brief description. The maximum length of a short description is 80 characters. Here, describe the very essence of your application using keywords.
- Full description. The volume of the full description is up to 4,000 characters. It is worth placing a good interesting text here because if the user has reached this place, there is a good chance that he will install the application. A full description is one of the ranking factors in Google Play, so it is important to write keywords in it without spam — no more than 4-5 for the maximum volume. And the text with the most important keys for promotion must be placed in the first 167 characters of the description.
- Category selection. Choose the most suitable category for your product using logic and competitor analysis.
- Icon. Create an attractive icon according to the market manual.
- Screenshots. Use the maximum available number of screenshots — 8, and create a set of screenshots for each device. You can use special generators to create them.
- Promo video. Create and fill in a promotional video from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. It is also possible to upload videos for each language supported by the store. While creating a video, consider that the most important information should be placed in the first 5 seconds because very few users will watch it to the end.
- Localization. If the application is designed for different regions, it is necessary to translate the title, descriptions, keywords and screenshots into the languages of these regions. To do this, select languages in Google Play Developer Console and fill in all the required fields for each language.
Game or mobile application optimization in App Store
- Name. The proper length is up to 50 characters; the visible part is 30 characters, and it is necessary to write the most important information and priority keywords in this part.
- Full description. For iPhone apps, the full description is not a ranking factor, so you can write a good text to attract users, up to 4,000 characters. We advise you not to place a solid text but with a breakdown by lines.
- Keywords field. Its content is not available to ordinary users, but this is one of the important ranking factors in the App Store. The field is filled in the iTunes Connect account. You can enter up to 100 characters here. We advise you to use all available characters, write with commas and without spaces, do not duplicate requests used in the title or description, do not write the developer’s name and the names of other people’s brands, and place requests in order of decreasing importance.
- Category. Choose the most suitable category according to the topic and the choice of competitors.
- Icon. Create an attractive icon according to the standards accepted in the store.
- Screenshots. In the App Store, you can use up to 5 screenshots, and the most important of them are the first 2 (they are visible when you visit the application page). And if you use a video in the description, then only 1 screenshot is displayed.
- Promo video. In the App Store, you can place videos up to 30 seconds long and only for one region, so creating an animated video without text is recommended, with an attractive freeze-frame for the preview.
- Localization. To adapt the interregional application for different languages, you need to go to iTunes Connect, mark the languages, and fill in all the necessary fields.
Features of iOS and Android application promotion
Apart from app page optimization, there are other methods and tools for mobile app promotion.
Google indexing. Use it to increase downloads from search engine results. If an application is indexed and not installed by the user, it will be shown on request already with a link in the store. If the user has already installed the application and there is a page for it on the site, then the link in the search results will take the user to the desired site section. Instructions for setting up app indexing for both platforms can be found in Firebase App Indexing, and Firebase Analytics service will allow you to make timely adjustments and optimize your app.
Rating and reviews. In addition to application page optimization, it is also necessary to work with rating and reviews, as the rating also affects the ranking. To avoid the appearance of negativity in the feedback section, we recommend collecting feedback from users using a pop-up window. But it is important to configure it so that it does not interfere with the user’s familiarization with the application but appears after the performed action. In the appeal, use the question form to avoid irritation and rejection. While promoting Android applications, working with negativity is especially important since the authors of reviews in Google Play receive a letter with the developer’s response, making it possible to process the negativity directly and, as a result, get a higher rating from the user. While for iOS applications promotion, such careful processing of negative is not so important — in App Store, the rating is reset to zero every time the application is updated to a new version.
App size. Many users prefer not to download «heavy» applications, so we advise you to consider this option.
Updates and What’s New. They are necessary to make the process of product improvement visible to users. Sometimes those who previously uninstalled the application install it again after making changes and also indicate a higher rating.
Mobile application promotion is not a one-time event but constant actions aimed at maintaining the application’s competitiveness: regular introduction and testing of new elements/changes/improvements, tracking trends in the field of application creation, and monitoring competitors. All this requires time and financial costs, as well as the presence of a qualified performer.