Most of us, no matter what we do for work, walk around with a world of apps in our pocket. From personal banking and messaging apps to work email and productivity applications, smartphones and tablets offer us the ability to interact with businesses and services in specific and unique ways.
Many individuals now expect this kind of shortcut to interaction with vendors and companies, and more companies are creating apps to meet this need. And while many businesses provide apps to their customers as a free add-on for interacting with their brand, many businesses’ whole plan is app creation for the purpose of revenue generation. In fact, 86% of the time that most people spend on their devices is interacting with apps, and when you consider that most apps are free to download, but include a subscription cost or in-app purchases, there is a huge opportunity to make money.
But in order for your app to be successful, you need to make sure people can find it and that there’s a compelling reason to use it. That’s where app store optimization, or ASO, comes in.
How are people finding apps?
People find the apps they download and interact with a myriad of different ways. From general browsing to “most popular” lists to recommendations from friends and family, there are plenty of ways to get the attention of audiences. But much like marketing any other product or service, understanding your target market is key.
What is ASO?
Neil Patel describes ASO as “the process of optimizing mobile apps to rank higher in an app store’s search results. The higher your app ranks in an app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers. That increased visibility tends to translate into more traffic to your app’s page in the app store. The goal of ASO is to drive more traffic to your app’s page in the app store, so searchers can take a specific action: downloading your app.” How can you put this to work for your business?
Best ASO Techniques for Mobile Apps
Here are a few ASO optimization techniques to pay attention to.
- App name: The app name or title is one of the most important parts of marketing your app. You want the name to be interesting and unique but you also want audiences to be able to find you in simple searches. You want to make sure that you are doing keyword research based on what kind of app you’re developing. You’ll need to make sure that you have an understanding of what users will most expect to see or be most likely to search.
- Description keywords: Keywords apply to your app description too. Sometimes researching your competitors’ downloads or interaction can help you analyze the effectiveness of your own brand’s keyword strategy.
- Downloads and popularity: One factor for how well your app ranks in the app store or in search is how popular it is – meaning how many downloads it’s earned. This factor isn’t entirely in your control, but improving your marketing will mean that downloads will likely increase and help your marketing and reach even more.
- Reviews and ratings from users: This is another ASO factor that matters but is harder to control. Unlike keywords, you can’t add or manipulate ratings and reviews. You can, however, encourage users to leave reviews or rate your app through app pop up ads or through incentivizing reviews – offering in-app credits for reviews, for instance.
Improving ASO should be a top priority for app developers. Even if you’re marketing your app through a website, with podcast advertising, digital marketing, or other methods, you can still increase app downloads and engagement by carefully considering these app store optimization tips and helping more people find your app organically.