Apple and Google continue to gain new users daily, and mobile app developers are taking advantage of the influx of users. App stores mainly operate off user searches, making app stores the largest channel of discovering mobile apps, installs and downloads. The best way for measuring and adjusting and app listing is called App Store Optimization, and it provides key considerations for optimizing any mobile app.
Developers need a unique way to market and create visibility for their apps in the stores, and without optimizing an app listing, they risk the possibility of not being seen at all. Here are specific reasons why ASO is important, and how utilizing these practices help developers optimize their apps better.
To better understand how to properly optimize an app’s listing, developers need to understand how Apple and Google index apps in their stores. Neither company has revealed specifically their indexing and ranking algorithms, but ASO providers have created their own app store intelligence platforms to aid developers. By studying this data, it becomes clear that there are ways to improve indexing and ranking by adjusting an app’s listing.
Keyword Relevancy and Metadata:
One of the first steps developers need to take in improving their app’s listing is to include phrase-building keywords that help expand an app’s visibility in the app stores. Keywords should be placed throughout an app’s title, description, screenshots and video, otherwise known as its metadata, to successfully optimize and build relevancy.
Choosing the right keywords to focus on will build out the foundation of your optimization. In general, users search with 2-3 feature-based phrases. Using an app store intelligence tool that utilizes real mobile data, you’ll be well on your way to having your app be discovered in the app stores.
For the iOS App Store, Apple gives developers a space of 100 characters (including commas) to target those keywords. Google Play, however allows an endless number of keywords, but developers should narrow down their matrix to those that will be the most relevant ad unique to their app.
2) App Title
An app’s title holds a lot of weight in regards to how an app can rank for certain keywords. Choosing the right keywords will help developers boost relevancy for their essential terms and build targeted terms in the app stores. The title needs to be catchy enough that users are encouraged to read more about the app.
An app’s title is also essential for conversion. If you’re using features in your title, consider featuring your most popular feature first.
3) Screenshots and Video
While the title and description are important, screenshots and video do what they can’t by visually showing users what the app will do and its core features in action. While the title and description create the biggest visibility for an app, the screenshots and video need to contain keywords to continue building relevancy and convert users.
Developers also need to keep in mind that users are the ones searching in the Apple and Google’s stores, and every part of the metadata needs to be targeting keywords or phrases that users might use to help build relevancy for those searches.
4) App Descriptions
The description, which is 4,000 characters, needs to focus on the app’s core features and functionality. Both pieces are incredibly crucial to build relevancy for the chosen keywords, and to help the app become more visible in the app stores.
Improving iOS App Descriptions:
An app’s description is part of its metadata and relies heavily on the use of relevant keywords. For an iOS description, the first five lines are the most important because only five lines are displayed before a user must click “more” to continue reading. iOS app developers should also keep in mind who their target audience is and tailor the description toward the target demographic for the app. Within every description, there should be a short, concise feature list that helps the audience understand the core features and how the app will benefit users. There should be a call to action that encourages users to download the app, and in this space, developers can use it to provide a support email, company page or any applicable privacy pages.
Throughout the entire description, however, developers need to use relevant, targeted keywords. Developers need to consider that every app description needs to be void of any typos or grammatical errors. Within that character limit, keywords need to be used correctly and naturally to avoid the dreaded term keyword stuffing, which is frowned upon because it feels obviously placed and forced.
Improving Google Play Descriptions:
Google has two fields to describe an app: Short Description and Long Description. Both descriptions are used to determine what an app can rank for.
The short description can only be 80 characters long, which limits the number of phrases and keywords the app can target. Developers should use this space to focus on the app’s core features. The Short Description is the first line of text a user will read and highlighting those features could affect conversion.
For the long description, developers need to have full coverage of relevant keywords and phrases to fully optimize an app. Create a description that is feature-forward and naturally emphasizes the relevant keywords and phrases. Google Play app developers need to think about their target audience and create shorter sentences and paragraphs that creates a smoother, easier read.
How ASO Helps:
ASO has become the new standard for mobile app marketing and it is proven to help create visibility for apps and convert users. If developers do not take the time to optimize an app listing, there is the possibility of the app not being found by users when they search in the App Store or Google Play.
By focusing on specific keywords and phrases, it builds relevancy during user searches and apps can index and rank better through the app stores. ASO practices teach developers how to improve their metadata (titles, description, etc.), which will help to convert more users in the long run.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.