You have spent a great deal of time and resources making sure your app is just right. So how can you be successful and make sure people can find it? Three words … App Store Optimization!
App Store Optimization (ASO) is similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) however, instead of driving traffic to a website, it’s focused on driving traffic to your app by increasing rankings in app store search results. Think of ASO as app store SEO.
Competition is fierce! The app ecosystem is growing daily, counting more than 1.2 million apps in the apple app store, therefore dedicating time to App Store Optimization is crucial. You could have created the best app ever, but it doesn’t matter how great your app is if customers can’t find it.
That being said, ranking highly on the app store charts is possible. By optimising your app correctly it can be done. So I wanted to provide you with some inspiration by sharing a few apps that have been successful and highlight elements they have completed well.
Be successful: Be like these apps!
- Paypal - Send and request money safely
The Paypal app is one of the top finance apps. How did they get there? Well, keywords were a big help here. Not only is there keywords in the app title but also in the app description. Keywords are important in ASO when done correctly.
“Repetitive and/or irrelevant use of keywords in the app title, description or promotional description can create an unpleasant user experience and can result in an app suspension.” In other words, DO NOT keyword stuff your titles and descriptions. Apps that use keywords in their title have a 10.3% higher ranking, and this has obviously worked well for the Paypal app.
- NY Times - Breaking Politics, National & World News
The NY Times app ranks highly for the news category. One of the components of ASO that the NY Times app does well is regular updates.
You don’t have to wait until you have a major change! One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of developers are guilty of is waiting for a “big” release or a big update before applying an update. 8 out of 10 times companies aren’t updating their app until there is a major change, and therefore sabotaging their app store ranking.
Regularly updating with minor changes like “bug fixes” is better than not updating the app for months, however, do mix it up a bit and be sure to announce little update nuggets every so often.
- WhatsApp Messenger
Something that WhatsApp do, which is great for improving your ranking on the app store, is localising their app store pages. Now I’m not necessarily talking pure translation. For example, a keyword or title could mean something completely different in German than it does in English. Make sure you localise all elements of your app store page, from app name to the writing on your screenshots. If you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. A case study conducted showed how a developer increased his downloads by 767% through localising his app.
WhatsApp Messenger app have localised their app store page for many different languages. Hence why it ranks highly on the app store chart for the social networking category for many countries.
- Youtube - Watch Videos, Music, and Live Streams
YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch online videos. The YouTube app ranks high on the charts for the photo & video category thanks to the optimisation of their app store page correctly. One element that they do particularly well is screenshots.
Even though screenshots may not have a direct effect on search rankings, they do drive downloads.
Linking or connecting the screenshot has been seen to increase scroll rate and YouTube do this well as shown above.
- Pandora - Music & Radio
As mentioned in a previous point, even though screenshots, do not have a direct effect on ranking, they can have a huge impact on your downloads. Having the ability to sync your app across devices is a major selling point, so show the user. Pandora does this well by showing screenshots of the other devices / platforms available.
Above is an example of what Pandora screenshots look like on the different devices available.
ASO is all about trial and error, but when you get it right it can really increase your app's visibility and download rate. So why would you ignore it? Use keywords, regular updates, localisation and as many variations of screenshots that are relevant. Get your app seen by the right users. Learn from the apps mentioned as they have all invested time into ASO and their high ranking shows the time hasn't been wasted. Be successful: Be like these apps!