App Store Optimization – A Crucial Slice of Mobile App Marketing

There are over 6 million mobile apps in the major app marketplaces of Google Play & Apple iOs Store with more country specific Apps getting launched daily. Hence, getting your app discovered is one of the foremost challenges facing mobile app publishers today. A recent Study by Appentitive shows that most Apps are discovered through Search on an App marketplace during general browsing.

 

What is ASO or App Store Optimization?

“ASO is the process of optimizing mobile apps to organically rank in top positions in an app store’s/marketplaces Search results or Category results.” The higher your app ranks in an app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers. That increased visibility tends to translate into more download of your app in the App marketplace or leads to higher traffic to your app’s page in the App store/marketplace.

The goal of ASO is to drive more traffic to your app’s page in the app store, so searchers can be guided to knowing more information like app description, app ratings, app user reviews etc. which will lead them to downloading your mobile app for use.

ASO relies on some similar SEO activities like Researching Keywords, using the keywords and other app info intelligently along with user related aspects like ratings, reviews, page links, app content optimization and

Why is ASO important?

According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This makes Search, in the app store, the most used method for discovering and downloading new apps.

What are the mechanics of ASO?

Let’s start by breaking down the various components that can affect your ASO:

Main Factors:

1. App related

2. App Marketplace related

3. External to App & App Stores related

Their prime factors are as follows :

1. App Related Factors :

* Title – It is a crucial line of text which provides a quick snapshot to the Searcher about the App and it’s functionality to the Searcher. It must be expertly written with good research into thee likely key phrases important to the app domain.

 * Keywords – Most of the App Stores/Marketplaces follow the keywords variables to categorize and sort the Apps available with them. This categorization into categories like finance, art, business etc. and user centric ones like “newly launched, most popular ones, best free apps, most downloaded apps’ etc….is done wrt the keyphrases and keywords factors with some linking to  other App factors. A SEO expertise is required to research and apply the keywords for best ranking of the Apps.

 2.   App Marketplace related Factors :

* Total # of Downloads– Your number of App downloads are extremely important to ASO, but as said the more the App is seen, the more it is likely to be downloaded by users.

* Ratings and Reviews – Also important to ASO as these bring in the quality and user liking of the App wrt content, user interface, app experience, App speed etc. This is similar to CTR, Bounce Rate & Page Speed factor for usual SEO Search.

 3. External to App & App Stores :

* External links to App Pages

* Links to apps content pages

* Links to Apps Brand Page

* Social Media optimizations

* Digital PR to maintain App updates

* App technology

Benefits of ASO :

Most Mobile Marketing Researchers and Experts have brought forth the benefits of ASO.
Ian Sefferman, the CEO of MobileDevHQ, says :

“ASO is having dramatic effects on our client apps. For those who put the time in to understand, iterate, and test, we’ve seen many apps increase their downloads by a factor of 2x-10x, and an increase of revenue by a similar, or bigger, rate due to the increase in engagement of users earned by ASO. ASO is not a simple process, and you might not see the impact overnight, but if you’re willing to invest in it, the outcome can be incredibly worthwhile.”

So ASO helps in promoting Apps, popularizing them, putting them on users mobiles and keeping them visible against new apps.

How Long Does ASO need to be done?

ASO is a process that needs to be monitored and constantly tweaked over a period of time. Your optimal set of keywords rarely is the set that you first opt to put in the app store.

Today, Developers often pick keywords and write descriptions at the last second during an app’s submission process thus leaving most apps hidden as no optimization is undertaken and the likelihood of discovery quite low.

An Experts inputs to the ASP process helps in researching the proper title, keywords and description to the App pages as well as promote it organically on App Stores/Marketplaces.

More and more Apps are published every day, and the constant stream of new ratings, reviews, and downloads for them can affect your search rankings if your Apps pages on the App Stores / Marketplaces are not optimized for rankings. 

Hence ASO is an ongoing process than a One-Off activity and it’s benefits to App Publishers are multifold in promoting the App organically to it’s users.