As more and more smartphones coming into the market because of increasing awareness, interest and hence demand by the audience, we do see that app stores are getting flooded with new and advanced apps on a daily base. According to app figures, as of Dec 2016, there are in total 2.81 Million active apps in Appstore.
You would be surprised to know that as of the year 2017, we see 2400+ new apps being released to Google Play every day.
We can now find apps in all categories like lifestyle, magazine & newspaper, shopping, social networking, and utilities. You think of an app and most probably you find an app out there in the app store.
Now the question comes to mind is how do people find an app from the app store when there are plenty of them. With the help of the number of downloads, reviews as some of the key metrics, app store shows apps which are most preferred by the audience. How a new app can manage to make a place in the app store for it to get more impressions and hence downloads. Even if you manage to have a good impression in the app store, how are you going to make sure that your target audience finds you trustworthy over other similar apps and download your app? You do not want people to download your app and delete it immediately because of x reasons and give a negative review or low rating, do you? Neither does the audience wishes to do that as it involves using a lot of mobile data and of course considerable time.
Though Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play hosts millions of app, the number of apps actually getting installed and used is very low. According to Techcrunch nearly 1 in 4 people abandon the mobile app after their first usage.
With all these challenges in mind, how does someone make sure to get more downloads for their app with regular usage? One of the ways to do so is through App Store Optimization!
What is App Store Optimization?
App Store Optimization is the process of optimizing your mobile app in order to rank higher in the App store’s search result resulting to more visibility to your app in front of your target audience. The more your App gets the impression, the more there is a chance of users downloading your app.
The user views your app listed in the app store, visits your app’s page and reads and analyses if this is what they are looking for before taking an action. In many case audience compares two or more similar app with regards to features, usability, reads out reviews, version history and check out developers website (If any).
Before preparing your strategy for ASO, first of all, you need to understand what are the type of Mobile App and which type of mobile app is yours.
Ways to get more downloads for your Mobile app through APP Store Optimization (ASO)
Know your customer and competition – First thing first you need to understand your buyer persona. Try putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself questions like
- Why will someone download this app
- What queries they will be searching for in order to get the relevant list of apps
- what are the keywords my competitors are targeting
- What language do my customer use
- Why would a customer prefer me over other competitors.
Keywords – Research on keywords your target customers would be looking for in the App stores. Going ahead with ASO strategy without proper keyword research and considering that the list of the keyword you prepared is good to go is a big NO NO. Many a time being SEO Expert we see that the main reason for a particular app not getting more downloads is because they are not visible for the keywords which customers are looking for.
Title and description – Title and description play one of the important role for a website or an app to appear in the listing. Most of the time developers somehow update the title and description few days prior to app launch as they are mostly concerned about the app launch and the bugs. It is important that app marketing team work on title and description of the app simultaneously if possible. Always try to place the keywords in the title and write a descriptive description with all the other keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword.
Make sure you do not over optimize the content with the keyword. Spend time researching your keyword and do not change your title often to include different keywords as this can be detrimental.
App name – If the app is all ready then probably there is not much you can do but if it is still in developing stage consider checking your App name again. App name should be relevant, short and easy to remember. It is a good idea to include leading keyword as a part of your title.
Small size app – Everything comes with a price so is the space of the app. The heavier your app is the more there are chances of users not downloading your app or deleting your app first the moment they see less memory space on their smart phone.
Links from websites – Like SEO for websites to get more traffic, links from websites to your app download page does boost up the number of downloads as app store consider it as one of the ranking factors. Also, this leads to referral traffic to your app page resulting to more download.
Category – Be very careful while choosing the category in the app store. The category helps potential customer a better sense of what the app is related to and hence improve your ranking in Apple and Android play store. Choose the category based on what is most relevant and considering the level of competition.
App indexing – Do not forget to index your app in Search console. For this probably you might need the assistance of your developer as they need to give authority for the indexing ( they have the credentials to log in and link to ). You need to have a very supportive developer or else this might get challenging (If you know what I mean)
Here is link to help you understand how to do app indexing by webmaster
You can also use Firebase for App indexing
App logo – Make sure you have an impressive logo.
Screen shots and video trailer – Add screenshots of your app pages which you think your users will be interested in. Also, consider adding app usage video too on the app page. This definitely helps in more downloads
Observe your competitors – Observe what are the unique thing your competitors are providing. What feedback users are giving and try to fill the loop hole of your competitor by adding features your competitor is missing. Track the keywords for which your competitors are ranking for.
Download factor – More app downloads help app appearing in app store app suggestion list. It also builds trust in user as they see more downloads
Reduce uninstalls – Observe the behavior of your app user and make sure that you take all the steps to reduce app uninstalls. Instant app uninstalls will surely get your app bad ranking in search results.
Rating and review factor – Like search engines, App store also uses an algorithm to rank the apps. The utmost importance is given to the user who is seeking the website on the search engine or app in the play store. Search engines love to show results which are most relevant to the user query. Search engine tries to make sure that user gets what they are looking for. Hence the more positive reviews your app gets the easier it gets for you to achieve your desired download targets. Make sure you reply to reviews, especially the negative ones. Do not try to buy reviews as it might lead to unlisting your app.
List in other app stores too – Apart from Android and Apple app store, there are many other app stores where you can list your app as they have their own audience which can drive you more downloads and the best part is most of them do not charge you for listing.
Marketing your brand and app – Utilize social media channel to the fullest not just by posting features of the app but also by engaging with the targeted audience. Focus on social media post which makes your target audience reshare the content. Refrain from bombarding your target audience by posting self-promotions only as you do not want people to just unfollow you.
Update your apps frequently – Consider updating your app once a month. Customers love to use apps which take reviews into consideration update their app with latest features or fix the bugs. Of Course getting the old users download the new app is a bit of work. Push notification, updating “what’s new field” in your app store page and maintaining good reviews for your new version can be beneficial.
Measure and optimize – Measure the performance of your app on a weekly basis. Track what are the keywords for which your app appears on app stores. Closely address the reviews you get and optimize your app description, screenshots accordingly
Notification: Continuously remind your current users of your app by sending them tips or other relevant notification they might be interested in.
Download the list of App reviewers and increase your reach and downloads.
Here is the infographic to summarize all the points listed above.