Imagine this: you’ve come a long way from thinking about a startup concept through to iOS-based app development, and your product’s final release is close at hand. If this was just the first step in your business in the field of IT, or the first ever experience of launching the software in the App Store, you’d probably think that the most you can do to promote the solution efficiently is to employ advertisement; however, that’s the least you can do. In fact, the employment of ads is only one of many app store optimization tips. ASO works similarly to SEO but is applicable only within the App Store.
What is the difference between ASO and SEO? In simple terms
So, how is the ASO strategy different from the SEO? As you may know, SEO is a whole complex of methods, the purpose of which is to boost a website’s ranking in search engines. To put it simply, the primary goal of SEO is to make the website appear within the first positions on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search results. What about app search optimization? Putting an app at the start of the search list is only one of its numerous objectives. Successful ASO occurs when as many people as possible can seamlessly find, download, install, and use the application. According to practice, the fact that the solution performs properly, doesn’t lag, and is useful to your target audience (TA) as a whole is not enough to satisfy all of the users’ needs.
We’d like to present the ten most efficient App Store optimization techniques, below. Try them out, and they’ll help you significantly boost conversion of the created software and make it more recognizable.
Tip #1: Choose proper keywords
“Keywords? Well, that’s SEO” – you might think, and you’d be totally right. SEO will be a frequent term in our app store optimization guide. Thus, initiating the ASO, you must find out which keywords and key phrases would correlate the best with your solution’s topic. The main keyword/phrase will be the purpose of your product. For instance, if the solution’s primary feature is the calculation of calories, the keywords will include “calorizator”, “calories”, and “counter”. The app based on augmented reality that can be used as a guide, in its turn, will include such keys as “AR”, “guide”, “travel”, etc. The properly formulated keys are the things that improve the solution’s visibility in the marketplace.
Having come up with several keywords, you’ll have to test them with the help of special software tools such as, for example, SensorTower’s Search Rankings feature. The next thing to do would be highlighting those words that have the highest Traffic indicator and the lowest Difficulty indicator (although, it’s fair to say that, if your app is already popular enough, the latter mustn’t concern you too much). Have you done that, already? Excellent! The synonyms of these highlighted words must be analyzed in the same manner.
Then, exclude the words which you decided to leave for the app’s title (we’ll talk about the title in tip #2). You’ll get a dedicated list, as a result. It must be shortened (plurals replaced with singulars, or vice versa, depending on which shows a higher rating) until the keys placed down the line separated by commas comprise no more than 100 symbols, excluding spaces.
That’s it! You’ve done a great job, and the list of keywords is ready.
Let’s move on.
Tip #2: Come up with a title
We’ve figured out app store keyword optimization and we hope that you made sure to save some highly rated words for the title. The length of the title must comprise 25 symbols at most, and it must necessarily include the solution and purpose. All in all, adhere to the “simple and informative” concept and you’ll make it.
Tip #3: Localize your app
Did you know that the greatest share of iOS-based devices users are the American, European, and Chinese populations? Here are the illustrative infographics for you.
So, how do you use this fact to your advantage, in practice? Very simply. Localize the solution according to various user geographies. Otherwise, even the weakest competitor who localized their software would get more downloads.
Surely, you must provide a version of the product in English. Our tips aren’t that obvious, though, so go ahead and start working on the Chinese version, as well. The main thing here is to take the localization process responsibly and not use online translators (that’ll get you a good share of incorrect results). This procedure must also concern your keywords (good thing many Chinese words consist of one or two hieroglyphs, which means that you’ll be able to include plenty of them in 100 symbols).
Tip #4: Formulate the app’s description
The most common mistake in formulating the app’s description is an abuse of the keywords. Ideally, no more than 2-3 should be used at a time. Sound like it won’t be enough? Hear us out, then: keys in the description aren’t ranked, at all. The description is important not for the App Store’s search engine, but for your potential users.
In the allowed 255 symbols for introduction, you’ll have to briefly define the essence of your product and inform the TA about its usefulness/specific nature. Too many keywords would make the description unreadable and confusing. The following 3-4 paragraphs must include an open description of the key features (3-7 general functions) and a few words about the product’s awards and achievements (if it has any).
Tip #5: Create an awesome logo
A good copywriter wouldn’t be able to solve all the tasks related to ASO. You’ll also need the help of a good designer who would develop a modern, minimalistic logo directly associated with your software’s topic.
Considering a bunch of prepared concepts, we’d recommend choosing the one that would feature the most efficient marketing techniques, including perspective colors and full absence of shades (shadows can fit an Android-based solution’s logo, but won’t be efficient on iOS due to Apple’s flat design politics; the best decision would be to develop a neutral design for both OSs). Working on this aspect, remember that the visual content is simpler to perceive than text and the first thing your potential users will see in search results will be the app’s icon.
Tip #6: Choose the most informative screenshots
Screenshots are a very important part of the software’s presentation. They ultimately describe what the users are about to download to their smartphone. The first screenshot will either engage or push away your TA, so be thorough in choosing the best option. It mustn’t, for instance, demonstrate the menu or, what’s worse, the in-app purchases page.
Tip #7: Shoot a trailer
Shooting the trailer isn’t a cheap affair, but it would be fair to say that it will pay off in no time because, lately, the information presented in video format has been eagerly perceived by users. In order to create a really awesome video, you’ll need some of your software’s veritable users ready to share their positive user experience on camera. We’d also strongly recommend including only the most impressive graphics and the most “speaking” frames that would eloquently represent the functionality. As a result, you’ll demonstrate the strong artistic side of your team (which is especially important for the promotion of gaming and other entertaining software).
Tip #8: Work with feedback
Even the most unpopular apps get feedback. If your App Store product gained some negative reviews, it’d be very important to work through each one of them. What does this entail? First off, get hold of yourself and politely respond to each review. Got a review that says: “This app is total #$?#”? Not a big deal – keep calm and respond with something like: “Dear Mr. M, why do you think that way? What made you react like that? We strive eagerly to provide the best service for each user and satisfy all your needs.” In turn, the positive reviews should be listed and the most detailed ones among them should be highlighted. Never ignore user feedback.
Tip #9: Define categories
The definition of the category is another important aspect of ASO. The category must not only correlate with your app’s topic, but also be utterly relevant. We’d also like to note that, with the iOS 8 release, every category is subdivided now, which allows for precisely clarifying your software’s specifics. What’s the result? A distinctly delineated target audience most likely to buy/download your app.
Tip #10: Do pricing right
It’s pretty difficult to objectively set the price of an application. Its development could cost several tens of thousands of dollars (and the ads campaign could cost even more). Of course, there are plenty of free apps which compensate the costs over time, due to advanced monetization methods (IAP, Premium versions, advertisements, etc.). On the other hand, if your product is one of a kind (e.g. it helps to obtain some unique type of data), you can ask for as much money for it as you see fit. All in all, if your product is of the paid kind, you’ll need a clearly defined price. So, dedicate some time to calculating your “perfect” price.
App Store optimization strategy: what you shouldn’t do
In addition to our app store optimization best practices, we’d like to present a bunch of “don’ts” that should be memorized. Familiarize yourself with them before employing the tips above.
- Forget about spaces. When enlisting keywords, separate them with commas.
- Don’t use nonexistent words. They won’t be ranked in search engines, for sure.
- An icon is strictly an image, not text. The text wouldn’t be visible on the mobile device’s screen, anyway.
- Don’t abuse keywords in descriptions. They won’t be recognized by search engines.
- Don’t write technical descriptions and don’t mention the software tools used by developers. Hardly anyone will see the sense in that.
- Don’t use embellishing phrases in the description. For instance, a sentence like “this application revolutionized the world of gaming software” is a no go (unless you really pioneered the 3D video game niche).
- Don’t forget about the “What’s New” section in the description. Include a report on bugfixes and UI innovations: users will appreciate your trying to constantly develop.
- Don’t use special symbols. The use of ★ and ✓ is restricted.
- You can customize existing keywords only with an app update. So, pick them with the most responsibility.
- Don’t forget about international diversity. People from many countries across the world might want to use your app, so pay close attention to its localization.
As you can see for yourself, the ASO procedure isn’t that simple. Standard copywriters and designers would hardly be able to handle such a task, as these individuals would primarily influence your software’s competitive ability in the App Store. But, what can be done if one can’t afford the help of real experts? The answer is simple. You’ll find the most sufficiently-skilled experts in the team that have already launched and lead many iOS-based solutions to the “top”. In fact, many of these professionals work in our team of staff. If you wish to turn to our services, just contact us.
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