More and more companies today are creating mobile apps for their companies, and while most downloads will come from loyal customers, you want your app to be found organically in the app store. In other words, you want to optimize your app for the app store algorithm, and it works very similarly to SEO. Creating an app can help make the mobile experience more intuitive for your customers and future customers, so you want to be able to showcase that app in the app store for anyone looking for your business or a service like yours.
The moral of the story: App store optimization, sometimes called ASO, is becoming a crucial aspect of mobile, and fortunately it’s easy to implement a strategy once you know how it works and where to get started.
Top App Optimization Techniques and Tips Not to Miss
It’s first important to keep in mind that getting your app to rank can be tough because of big brands purchasing installs through advertising networks (very similar to SEO). Indexsy created a great infographic explaining this problem, which you can check out here, and explained that app store optimization is the only way for smaller brands to compete (again, just as with SEO).
Below are 7 optimization tactics that you can use to help your app rank with the algorithm associated with the app store, both iOS and Android, on mobile:
Understand your audience.
Part of understanding your mobile audience is looking at analytics. If you don’t yet have enough data to come up with a conclusion about your app (which you likely will not for several months), then look at your mobile audience. After all, these are the people who you want to optimize for/ you want to find your app in the app store.
When looking at your visitors, always make sure that you are keeping your desktop and your mobile visitors separate. If you visit your Google Analytics and go to your visitors tab to look at these numbers, just make sure you’re selecting “mobile” and learning about your audience that way. Once you know where your audience is coming from, why, and who they are, you can begin to better optimize your app with the proper keywords, design, marketing, etc.
Use the SensorTower for Keyword Research.
This is a great tool to help you see which keywords will be most successful for your app. You always want to be thinking about what people may type in the app search bar and then look at the volume and competition of these phrases and keywords. All you have to do when you use this tool is fill in your app’s URL to get recommendations about which keywords you should use. It will tell you how often that keyword is being searched, your current ranking, and even competitor information.
Spend Time on Your Images.
Any type of visual is going to be very important if you want to stand out from all of the other apps out there. This will help show the quality of your app as well as give you a chance to make an impression even before someone clicks. Using your logo as your icon is a great way to use your brand reputation to your advantage, but consider changing it up if the words are too small to see, the colors are too bland, or the picture is too large to decipher. If this means changing your logo slight, it’s worth it.
You should also offer screenshots of the app right away because these screenshots will show up in the results page of the app store. The first 2 screenshots will be your most important, so spend some time making sure they really exemplify what the app is all about; almost like an advertisement. Do A/B testing for your images so that you really know what’s working.
Ratings and Reviews are Important.
Just as with SEO, we’ve never actually been told that ratings and reviews affect your position in a SERP for the app store. Nonetheless, they will show up if someone discovers or searches for your app. Ask your users to rate the app to help you stand out from the rest in any given category.
Don’t Forget: You Must Still Market Your App.
Aside from just optimizing the app itself, it’s still important to get off the app store and market your app. Go to your social media accounts and your blog and start posting about your new app. It’s also a great idea to put a button on the homepage of your website where users can easily navigate to the app. If it is ever relevant, even link to a place where visitors can download or check out your app. The more publicity you can get, the better.
Of course in order to optimize an app you need to actually have an app created for your company. This is becoming more and more crucial and mobile becomes more widely used for research and browsing (according to Search Engine Land data, more searches now take place on mobile over desktop), but that doesn’t always mean it’s the right choice for your business. Visit this article to learn more about the pros and the cons of creating a mobile app for your company.
For more detailed information, I highly recommend checking out this article from App Freak. Once you get a handle on ASO (or if you have any questions), let us know of any other tactics or tricks you used to help your app rank in the comment section below.