Your Comprehensive Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)

What is ASO & Why ASO is Important?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of increasing the visibility, ranking, and conversion rate of your app on the major app stores. Currently, two major app stores are prevailing for smartphone users – Apple App Store for iOS smartphones and Google Play Store for Android smartphones. As an app owner, you want to improve the app’s visibility across App Stores, increase downloads, and improve conversion & ASO helps you to do that. So, without any further ado, let’s get started with this app store optimization guide.

1. Use Relevant Keywords

Similar to SEO, keyword research is an important step in ASO strategy. For Apple’s app store, you only get 100 characters to fit in all of your keywords, and you must be wise in making the keyword choices. On the other hand, Google Play Store is generous enough to play with 4000 characters in your keywords section. 

Fit in your keywords as naturally as possible and keep a tab on the frequency of keyword usage. Weightage for your primary keyword should be more than for LSI keywords. It is also important to not stuff the keywords as it may result in penalizing your app and inhibits the app’s ranking.

2. Optimize Your App’s Title and Description

Your app’s title is the first thing any user will see on the search results page, and it also acts as a ranking factor for both the app stores. There’s an option to provide subtitle to your app that helps in giving context to your app and help the algorithm to understand your app further. 

As you have to befriend the algorithm without sounding robotic, you must handle the keywords with utmost care. Keywords have the highest weightage among all the other ranking factors, and you need to be wise in choosing the right keywords. However, there is a difference when it comes to the character limit for your app’s title. Apple’s App Store allows 30 characters; whereas, Google’s Play Store allows 50 characters.

When it comes to descriptions, both platforms offer a generous 4000 character limit. Google Play Store uses the app description to index and ranks the app; whereas, App Store doesn’t. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to write a meaningful description for iOS apps. The agenda is to deliver a message that truly emphasizes the capabilities of your app and how it touches the lives of your target audience without having to worry about the competition associated with keywords. 

3. Use High-Quality Screenshots

People only spend 7 seconds deciding whether to download your app or not. How your app store page (both Apple & Google Play) looks is a crucial factor in their decision, and high-quality app store screenshots are going to make a big difference.

According to recent studies, users spend not more than 7 seconds deciding whether to download your app or not. So, the way you are going to embellish your app store page and the lustrous screenshots used are an inevitable factor in influencing their decision. The study also revealed that they’re the second most influential factor in persuading your users to hit that download button.

4. Add an App Preview Video

85% of the U.S. internet audience consumed online video, and the duration of the average online content video was 5.8 minutes. Also, over half of the video content is accessed from mobile devices. So, you make the best use of videos to educate your prospects on what your app can do for them. 

Your prospects are more likely to view this on autoplay with muted audio. Therefore, you must ensure there are subtitles in place. Also, while explaining the crux of your app, leverage text overlays to have an edge. Try to keep the runtime of your video to the minimum and neglect the thoughts of including montages of happy, smiling people using your app. Both the app stores allow you to upload a 30-second long video to explain your app’s features and benefits.

5. Pick the Right Category

Choose the category that best fits your app on both Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This helps the users who browser apps by category. When you know your app can solve user pain points on multiple categories, feel free to include your app in the respective relevant categories. Here’s how you can identify categories for your app:

Firstly, go for the category that best fits your app’s purpose.

Secondly, check the number of apps listed in each category and go for the least competitive category that suits your app.

Lastly, analyze the estimated app worth of the apps on top of each category. List your app in the one with the lower number.

Also, one thing you need to be cautious about is listing your app in an irrelevant category. For example, listing your gaming app in the utility category is a blunder and will be rejected during the review of your app submission.

6. Maximize Organic Installs

Maximizing organic installs is a bit tricky and comes with its risks. The higher the installs your app gets, the better will be its visibility. That’s how the algorithm generally works. Though you have to work towards improving the app’s visibility, you also need to focus on the install rate. A visible app without garnering installs will not be visible for long.

In 2020, the average install rate in Apple’s App Store in the US market was 3.6%. Also, the install rates differ for each category. Shopping and finance have higher install rates; whereas, board games and magazines & newspapers show lower install rates. Therefore, work towards improving the install rates of your app.

Wrapping Up

If you want your app to do wonders in the app stores with lots of visibility, downloads, and income-generating potential, you need to devise an effective App Store Optimization strategy. Though Apple and Google do not share their algorithm publicly, there are certain best practices followed by the ASO community to improve the search ranking of apps.

All you have to do is to ensure that your app has a smooth & fast UX and is updated periodically. This helps you to generate more positive reviews on the store, which is good for ranking high. If you have not built your product yet, then it is the right time to hire skilled and reputed developers to build your app. We implement the UI/UX best practices in your app with a wide range of features to garner positive ratings and reviews. 
Siam Computing has a team of elite developers who specialize in helping companies develop mobile apps and take them to the market. Our team members are more than just developers – they’re specialists who work together to deliver a custom solution perfectly designed to achieve your specific objectives. Businesses love our work because of the in-depth market and competitor research with which we help enhance the user experience of the app idea. For more information, you can contact us or send your queries to hello@siamcomputing.com.

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