Hurray! The application is finally built! Oh, wait, what about its sale?. Well, to be frank, the quality of the app is totally irrelevant.
That’s preposterous, isn’t it?
Does it mean that there will be no value of app-caliber? No, of course not. Product quality comes first but it doesn’t matter if nobody sees the work.
What is equally important is App Store Optimisation (ASO). ASO is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for mobile apps.
Just like SEO is an important factor for websites, ASO is the process of boosting mobile app visibility. It is valid for Google Play for Android, Windows Phone app store, BlackBerry World and the Apple Store.
Moreover, the approach is as hard as it sounds as it requires a crucial understanding of keywords, target customer base, and knowledge about similar apps of competitors.
It is about standing out in a large crowd. So what are you fighting against (and for) in the mobile app space? Here are some interesting statistics to help clarify.
- There are over 2 million mobile apps in the major app stores (Techcrunch).
- The global app economy will be worth US$143 billion by 2017 (VisionMobile).
- Mobile Application sales are a US$25 billion industry (WSJ).
- 16 to 21 per cent of apps are discovered through internet browsing.
- 63 per cent of apps are discovered through app store searches (Forrester).
- 22 per cent of downloaded apps are never used more than once (Localytics).
If you’re not using App Store Optimization to increase your app’s search ranking, you’re opting out from the discovery section of apps.
Correlating Customer and Competition
If you start asking the following questions then not only you are viewing the competitive landscape but also understands how your customers use your app.
- How would they describe my app?
- What would be the reasons for downloading my app?
- What keywords do my competitors target?
- Who are your customers and competition?
Let’s break down the various attributes that can affect your ASO:
The title and keywords can be modified and optimized regularly, which makes it a vital factor for ASO.
Title – Always keep in mind that the keyword placed in the title must be ‘The one with the heaviest search traffic’. Title also matters in the ‘Word of Mouth’ strategy (when it starts to gain popularity). Make the best use of the 255 character limit for app titles by using tools such as SensorTower, SearchManHQ, Google’s AdWords keyword planner, and AppCodes
Keywords – For better ASO, it’s important to understand the relevancy of keywords searched by the target audience. It is helpful to monitor competitors in order to realize how they compare week to week. Keywords can be used in the app title, description, promotional messages and when uploading the app.
Keep in mind that ASO takes time and will not show results in just a matter of hours.
Ratings and Feedbacks – Also important but difficult to control. However, there are ways to incentivize happy users to rate and review. Traditional marketing, pop-ups and incentivising are methods to remind users to rate the app.
Update frequently - The User always keeps an eye (before downloading) on when was the application last updated by the developers. That implies how much they are giving importance to upgrades and bug-fixing.
Name matters. It is an identity.
It is human nature to be attracted to a cool application name that resembles a badass chic product. In short, it should be informative, catchy and memorable.
Choosing the right name for the app is one of the biggest challenges of ASO. Some of the most popular apps (meaning excellent retention and engagement) on the app store are thanks to word-of-mouth and not by paid advertising.
The app name is crucial for that.
Even if it may be a smaller niche, if the app is built to help people study, it would do great damage to list it in the ‘Games’ section?
It happens many times when the applications is quite a unique genre, but the category is truly important for ASO. Thus, choose a category that fits the main function of the app.
Potential users don’t care about keywords. The app should be serious and smart but should not suggest otherwise. That’s why creating a baffling app description, is a terrible approach for ASO. It should be as simple as that.
Ex: For whatsapp (such a popular app), it is ‘Free Messaging app’, Uber is with ‘Reliable Ride in minutes’ and such many that directly reflects about the function of the application.
Screenshots & Video trailer
Use screenshots and video to tell a story.
The worst mistake is to make it boring and predictable as the whole mindset of the user is focused on the visuals. Instead of using simple in-app shots, make the most of these features by doing something unique that totally distinguishes it from other apps.
The goal is to leverage less than 60 seconds and 5-6 screenshots to lure the visitor into clicking the ‘Install’ button.
Do you really want to stand out? It will require an adroit Graphic Designer.
Why? Because the logo is the application’s identity.
It should be iconic, simple, stylish and stunning. When users scroll different options, the icon is the first thing they notice. Make it unparalleled.
So there you have it, some tips and tricks to overcome obstacles in showcasing the mobile app. Hopefully, they can act as some beginning steps to success.
Pratik Kanada is the founder & CEO of 360 Degree Technosoft, which makes app ideas into reality by providing unique design and development services across iOS, Android and Windows platforms.