App Store Optimization
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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.
Strategies of App Store Optimization
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 App Store as a main source and central contact point
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.
Goals of App Store Marketing
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:
- Sales increase: if the App is fee-based
- Increase of brand awareness: if the App is used for branding
- Increase of popularity: if the App gets monetarized with advertisements
- Collecting of user data: to target the web offers and to address the users needs in a better way
For the goals above it’s important to increase the visibility of the app in the particular App store.
Important aspects of ASO
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:
- Number of downloads in a short period
- Congruence between keywords in the search requests and in the description of the App, as well as appropriate keywords in title and saved search words
- Amount of valuations for the app
- Amount of comments concerning the app
- Amount of Social Signals which refer to the app in the store
Especially important for Google Play are the following factors:
- Number of uninstallations
- Number of Backlinks on the site in the App store that offers to download the App
In order to increase the conversion the following methods are used with ASO instead of a Call-to-Action like many websites propagate:
- With the title, the description and the relevant keywords, users can get persuaded to download the app; so similar to SEO it is preferable to make a clear analysis of the relevant keywords in the run-up to set title and description
- The icon for the app is important for the branding effect; the more unique the icon, the higher the recognizition
- Screenshots show users the functions of the app before downloading it
- Like all offers online the price has a very important role if the app gets downloaded or not. In general, free apps have a higher chance to spread strongly.
- The selection of the correct category can have an influence on the downloads, too. Because of this, whenever an app gets launched in a store the category has to be chosen very carefully.
- Testimonials are the valuation e.g. the stars and comments. Quality and quantity are important for the potential users.
ASO and SEO
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.