Once you’ve put in the hard work of building and developing an app, you want to make sure to get the marketing step right so that it is a success. Part of this marketing strategy is to perfect your app store optimization (ASO) plans. In this article, we will look to explain what ASO is and how you can best use it to promote your app.
App Store Optimization – What Is It?
The practice of ASO is where you help your mobile app to rank higher in the app store’s search results by optimizing the key words and content. Developers need to get this right so that their app ranks highly and gets seen by a bigger audience and more potential customers, which should lead to more traffic and downloads.
It is a similar process to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as it is an easy and straight-forward way to help your audience find your app. Like SEO, the ASO process is ever evolving, so developers need to stay posted with the latest hints, tools and algorithm changes.
Getting the Most From Keywords
Because the App Store does not monitor the App Description for keywords, you need to make the most of the keyword field, app name and IAP Display Names. It is possible to optimize the Publisher Name as well, but only before you have published the app.
“The keywords and the key phrases that you choose to write in those fields will influence the search results where the app will be shown, so it is an important consideration,” says Jason Yang, a business writer at Draft Beyond and Last Minute Writing. “You need to make sure that the words are chosen to reflect the purpose of your app and the needs of your audience.”
Select Relevant Keywords
One of the first tips to choose great keywords is to keep them relevant and make it simple. The algorithm is impacted by how well your keywords convert, so if you pick keywords that are not relevant and do not convert, then the app store will lower your rankings.
You may start with a large, extensive selection of potential keywords, but once you have to craft your ASO then you will need to select the very best of them, and be clever with how you use them. Ideally, you should not reuse any keywords, so be sure to select the correct fields to use them in.
If you do not immediately see results, you might be tempted to start making changes to your keywords. Frequent changes can impact your conversion rates, and this will lower the rankings in search results.
Use Commas to Separate
“One mistake we often see is that people use spaces rather than commas to separate keywords,” says Jane Wilkinson, a project manager at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. “Because the developer is worried that the App Store will mistake the keywords for one long string of letters without spaces, they use both spaces and commas. Not only is this unnecessary, it can also lower the amount of characters available for optimization, because spaces are counted.”
So, for example, you would write your keywords as “game,children,phonics,fun”, rather than “game, children, phonics, fun”.
Choose Less Competitive Keywords
Most people will choose to download apps that are in the top 3 search results, which is why it is so important to rank high for your search terms. Therefore, it is so important to choose keywords with less competition when you can. These will be less visible, but the focus on ranking over search volume will help you to achieve downloads. It is better to rank first for a low-volume keyword than to rank tenth for a higher-volume keyword. Make sure when selecting keywords to only use the names of brands that you own, since using keywords that include your competitors’ brand names will violate the terms of Apple’s Guidelines.
Track Your Keyword Performance
You’ve chosen your keywords and started using them as part of your ASO strategy, but now you have to remember to keep watch on how they are performing. Once a month has passed, you will be able to download the metrics from the app stores to find out how well the keywords are ranking.
Some of the most important data that you will need for your campaign can be found on your developer dashboard in the Analytics Section. This will enable you to measure how successful your keywords are being. You will be able to monitor visibility changes by filtering the “impressions” metric via source type “App Store Search”. Any changes that you make to the keywords will take a few weeks to adjust before you will see them in the reports.
There are external factors that can have an affect on the number of times your app is seen in search results, especially if you are running external marketing campaigns, like TV ads.
Think About Plurals
Some people say that plurals are not useful on keywords, because the algorithm combines the results for singular and plural. This means that there is no difference between them.
In practice, if you go into the search results and type in singular and plural versions of keywords, you will see that there are differences. The algorithm is not as simple as that. We would suggest that you use both singular and plural keywords and treat them as separate. You can then review the competition and traffic to make decisions going forward as to which keyword will be more successful.
Keep Keywords Short
If you can replace a longer 10-character keyword with two 5-character keywords, then you will have a more options to rank for within the search results. When you have more keywords, there are a lot more options for key phrases.
It is more important, however, for the words to be relevant, so be sure to remain focused on that rather than the length. If you are having to choose between two very relevant words, then you can use the length as a tiebreaker.
You can even separate the long-tail keywords into separate words and then use the components separately and the algorithm will unite them even if they are placed in different fields. For example, you could place “sleep” in the App Title and “meditations” in the keyword field, and your app will then start to be seen in the search results for “sleep meditations”.
Do Not Use Connecting Words
Generic words, such as “the”, “a” and “of”, will not have an impact on your keyword results. I know it is tempting to think that they could create random key phrases with other words, but you would be better placed to use those characters to add more relevant words.
The one exception to this is where you are looking to target a highly specific keyword that needs a connecting word for it to make sense. So, a search for “lord of the rings” will not appear in the results without the “of the” words.
Similarly, make sure that you use the digits for numbers rather than spelling them out in full. This will give you more space to add another keyword.
If you have two separate key phrases with a matching word in them, there is no need to repeat the word in the second keyphrase. For example, if you are targeting both “educational phonics app” and “year 1 phonics”, you can write this as one list, “educational,phonics,app,year,1”
If the word is included in the app name, then you don’t need to repeat them again in other fields, which means that you will have even more characters to use. Try not to duplicate keywords across fields, as this is not going to help your app be seen more.
Use Your Strongest, Most Relevant Keywords in the App Name
Your App Name is where the algorithm places the most weight, so this is where you should choose to include your best keywords and phrases. Make sure these words are your strongest, most relevant words to improve conversions.
For key phrases, make sure not to separate them with other words. For your App Name, the order of the words is really important. The more exact the match with your user’s search query, the higher the app will be positioned in the rankings.
Add Extra Numbers With Left Over Characters
Once you’ve finished your ASO, you may find that you have a few characters left over that you have no use for. If that happens, add an extra number in there. If you have words like “top” or “best”, then this number will combine with those words to help build specific phrases like, “best 3 phonics app”. It is better than leaving the space blank, as you are utilising all space and may just create an extra key phrase.
The optimization of keywords in app rankings is something that developers will need to pay close attention to and will evolve over time. The tools and advice in this article will help you to choose the right words, use all characters that are available to you and get the best ranking results that you can for your new app.
Ashley Halsey works as a writer for both Nursing Assignments Writing Service and GumEssays. She works on a number of writing and editing projects across the country. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her two children.