App Store Optimization (ASO) are measures to increase the amount of App-Downloads via Google Play or Apple’s App Store or other portals that offer smartphone and tablet-apps. ASO can lead to an increase in the popularity of an app and also optimize the branding. In 2012 Sarah Perez already called the ASO the new SEO on the blog Techcrunch.
With the increasing competition of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android the number of available Apps has been growing exponentially since 2009. There are more than 1,000,000 Apps in both, the Play Store and the App Store, furthermore there are Apps by Microsoft for the Windows Phone, as well as Blackberry Apps. So in total there are more than 2,500,000 Apps available worldwide. In this mass of applications a single one can get lost in the shuffle easily so the users don’t recognize it. Because of that, not only the number of apps, but also the competition between app-developers and producers increased.
In general, each company that develops their own app can promote it with mobile marketing. Some companies e.g. Yell.com use advertisements in radio and on TV to promote their App. So in addition to classic media advertisements, companies can promote their app on the website, in the newsletter or with order confirmations, accounts etc. At the same time, word of mouth is an important way to make a brand or an app more popular. E.g. the popular photo service Instagram got developed out of an app which is now owned by Facebook.
The central contact point to market apps is the App store like it’s called by Apple or the Play Store from Google. The position of the app in the SERPs often decides if they get downloaded or not. This position can be influenced by many factors. It cannot be said how app indexing with Google influences the ranking in the Play-search.
One of the main goals of App Store Marketing is to generate conversions. In the case of an app, a conversion can be compared with a download. Otherwise the download leads to other goals in App Store Marketing:
For the goals above it’s important to increase the visibility of the app in the particular App store.
The methods of ASO are pretty similar in all App Stores. The following aspects can help to influence the position of an app in the search results of an app store in a positve way:
Especially important for Google Play are the following factors:
In order to increase the conversion the following methods are used with ASO instead of a Call-to-Action like many websites propagate:
ASO offers SEOs the possibility to expand their competences on mobile applications. Especially Fullservice-SEO-agencies could add ASO to their portfolio. A successful App could also lead to an increase of the traffic for the desktop version of a website. With the spread of mobile devices optimizing, the apps will become an important factor for all SEOs.