Optimize your Mobile Application in App Stores Same as SEO

Optimize your Mobile Application in App Stores Same as SEO

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What is ASO?

ASO is the acronym used for the English words App Store Optimization, that is, optimization of mobile applications.

It includes a variety of techniques that, despite not being as broad or complex as SEO, should be understood to give a boost to the positioning of your application in the different application stores.

Visit “Digitalmarketing” to get updates about techniques that are used to position applications in various application stores.

Some 21 million individuals between the ages of 16 and 65 have a smartphone in Spain and spend an average of 2:34 hours a day using this device. About 2 apps a month are downloaded on average and at least 9 of them are used monthly.

About 21 million individuals between the ages of 16 and 65 have a smartphone in Spain and spend an average of 2:34 hours a day using this device.

Mobile Applications

Applications, according to their purpose, are used by brands in multiple ways. For example, there are native applications that are developed exclusively as a purpose in itself: the WhatsApp messaging service or the game Candy Crush.

Join “SEO Communities” to get updates about how different brands are using applications for different purposes. You can also consult ”Dubai SEO” to know the use of these applications for several purposes.

Others aim to present the alternative to the traditional web, in a mobile-friendly version: faster and more usable. For example, we have the ASOS or Zara apps to buy from the mobile.

The Business Model of Mobile Applications

The main business models of the applications are:

  • To grow enough in volume of downloads and frequency of use to be purchased (for example WhatsApp, which is studying other business models after its purchase, such as offering it to major brands as a communication channel with its customers).
  • The advertising revenues within the same application.
  • Purchases of the application when it has a cost, such as Fintonic, or purchase of extensions or accessories for it (for example, for most gaming applications).
  • Affiliate income, such as Just Eat, where they sell third-party services and get a commission for it.
  • Direct sales through the application, as in the Zara or ASOS application, which connects directly to your e-commerce.

Therefore, it is important not only to promote the app outside the mobile universe but also within, positioning it in the mobile app stores using ASO techniques.

Mobile App Stores

The top 3 smartphone operating systems and their app stores

Mobile app stores are tied to an operating system. Thus, smartphones with Windows Phone have the Windows Store, Android devices have the Google Play store and Apple devices have the App Store.

During 2015, the figures collected spoke of 10 billion annual downloads on the App Store and 16 billion on Google Play. For the Windows Store, we do not have data. This represents an income of between 55 and 100 billion.

Mobile Application Stores, in addition to being an almost obligatory step for the acquisition of an app, are a place of discovery.

Many users discover applications through specific searches made directly in the app stores, according to the Forrester study, who estimates that search downloads comprise 63% of the total.

Mobile application stores, in addition to being an almost obligatory step for the acquisition of an app, are a place of discovery. There are a number of pro mobile app developers that build apps with builtin ASO features checked on it.

Although the ones in the image are not the only App stores that exist, they are the most important and for this reason in this article we are going to talk about the ASO for the Play Store and App Store and analyze the ASO factors that we can control.

Intrinsic Factors to the App to Consider in the ASO

These are the factors that we can control through the programming and design of the App itself or from the process of uploading to stores. Google Play and the App Store work differently and even have different fields on their tab.

Application Name

The name of the application should contain, as far as possible, a keyword that describes its main function. This will not always be possible for branding or other reasons, but it is a factor that is taken into account when positioning, so we must take it into account.

If we use the proper name of the application, we will have to invest much more money in advertising and make it known without having the positioning by related searches, as it happens with any new service or brand.

Don’t use the name of your competitor to improve your #ASO. Never use this practice because it’ll still be penalizing for you after removal from the app stores.

A practice that you should never use is to use the name of the competition to try to improve your #ASO, since it is penalized even with the expulsion from the app stores.

Keyword Field (App Store)

This field only exists in the App Store. It has a limit of 100 characters to enter the words that best describe the purpose or functionalities of our application. This field is not visible to users but it is an administration area for the app store.

For example, for applications like WhatsApp, the keywords could be: messaging service, free messaging, messages, chat, video calls, calls etc.

Brief Description (Google Play)

Google allows you to include an 80 character field to describe the application. This field can be seen in the first screenshot of the application in your Play Store. It affects the search and conversion ASO.

Brief description of an application in Play Store.png

Category

The category is a classification where you must include your application.

  • In the Play Store there are different categories for Games and others for Applications themselves.
  • In the App Store these are the existing categories.

Although this is not a factor that positions you, the more relevant and accurate the ranking is, the greater chances you will have of your users finding you.

Icon

The icon is a factor that helps the conversion (download). With an attractive, clean and updated design we will have more possibilities of attracting the attention of the users since it will give us a professional appearance and transmit our essence.

Screenshots or Screenshots

The screenshots help explain to the user what they will find within the application: its functionalities and the attractiveness of its design or ease of use.

They are also a factor that helps conversion. It must be taken into account that the first two captures are the ones that will be visible at first glance, and 60% of users do not slide any further. Therefore, it is important to use the most representative screenshots that describe your application at first.

Promotional video

The Play Store allows you to add a promotional video on top of the description that will automatically play as an interactive banner. This video is an ASO factor that directly influences the user’s conversion, being able to persuade them to download it.

Promotional video in the CaixaBank app on the Play Store

App Size

The size of the app is public data that users can see before downloading the app from Google Play. A large size can discourage the user from downloading the app for many reasons: long download time, expense of the data rate. Optimize the size of your application to increase conversion.

Extrinsic Factors to the App to Consider in the ASO

These are the factors that do not make up the construction of the app itself. That is, they are external factors, unrelated to the programming or design of the app, although they are directly related to them.

Downloads or Installations

The more facilities a mobile application registers, the more possibilities it has to rank better. An estimate of installations appears on Google Play, therefore this factor directly influences the conversion.

The more installations a mobile application registers, the more possibilities it has to rank better.

Installations Speed

The more installations an application gets, in the shortest time possible, the more it will climb in the Top Charts. It is not only important to achieve a high number of downloads but to achieve it in the shortest possible time.

In this regard, it is very easy to fall into short-term solutions that will not benefit us: well-publicized promotional actions that promise rewards such as advantages, discounts or the like will increase the number of downloads in a short period of time.

But it could also increase the number of uninstalls if we do not define. Either these rewards or not we promote them in the appropriate channels and we end up attracting users who are not within our target audience.

According to the 2016 Annual Mobile Marketing StudyWe uninstalled apps due to lack of use (62%), because they were not what was expected (46%) or because they took up too much space (39%). Uninstallations are a factor that also ranks negative so we recommend watching this aspect.

According to the 2016 Mobile Marketing Annual Study, we uninstalled apps due to lack of use (62%), because they were not what was expected (46%) or because they took up too much space (39%).

Engagement Users

One of the most important Off-metadata factors is the engagement of users with an app. If users repeatedly access an app, Google will take it into account to highlight it above others.

This should be taken into account when designing the app or launching successive versions. For example, incorporating exclusive or especially useful features for those users on the move, we will encourage recurring use of our App.

Average Score and Volume of Evaluations

The average note of an app (rating) is an off-metadata factor that mainly influences the conversion. A user trusts more in an App with a higher score. The rating is the result of the average of the set of ratings received.

Reviews

Reviews are a difficult ASO factor to control, but they also have a significant weight in the conversion capacity of your app.

If the average score received does not end up being decisive for a user who is watching to download it (convincing all other aspects), it is more than likely that they will use what others say to finish deciding.

Here it will be key to listen to what your audience says, provide support, and be open to incorporate improvements and / or rectifications whenever they are necessary and make sense, in order to maintain a good grade and image.

Mentions on Websites

This is an ASO factor relative to conversion. The references of third parties (bloggers and the media) serve to publicize the app and to offer arguments that convince the download.

Therefore, promoting our App on sites and applications with similar themes (finance) or complementary (leisure) can improve our positioning indirectly if it produces an increase in downloads.

Factors that Directly Intervene in the Growth of your App

In summary, of the elements explained above, we can say that there are two types of factors:

  • The factors that help the ASO or positioning of your app in the app store.
  • The factors that help convert, that is, that encourage the user to download.

This differentiation in turn has distinctions depending on whether we are talking about the Apple (iOS) or Google (Android) app store.

Factors that help ASO

On the App Store (iOS)

  • Name of the app
  • Keywords
  • Developer name and history
  • Number of facilities

On Google Play (Android)

  • Name of the app
  • Brief description of the app
  • Full description of the App
  • Developer name and history
  • Number of facilities
  • Ratings and user comments
  • Factors that help conversion

On the App Store (iOS)

  • Name of the app
  • App description
  • Developer name and history
  • Icon
  • Screenshots
  • Promotional video
  • App size / weight
  • Number of facilities
  • Average score and number of ratings
  • Ratings and user comments
  • Mentions on websites
  • On Google Play (Android)
  • Name of the app
  • Brief description of the app
  • Full description of the App
  • Developer name and history
  • Icon
  • Screenshots
  • Promotional video
  • App size / weight
  • Number of facilities
  • Average score and number of ratings
  • Ratings and user comments
  • Mentions on websites

Tools for Application Positioning Analysis

Some useful tools that will definitely help you with the ASO of your application in all phases. From the consulting phase to the results analysis phase. Do we see a few?

Tools for Building Mobile Applications Online

Now, there is softwares that can build the application for you and publish it on the app store. These apps offer you such services but they can’t do ASO for you. Here are the list of tools for building Mobile apps online:

  1. Buildfire
  2. Appypie
  3. Ibuildapp
  4. Appstylo
  5. Appsgeyser

Keyword Suggestions

To find the right keywords to optimize your description, name or the keyword field itself based on those searches that users use the most, we can use various tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • io (has a specific area for keyword research of apps)
  • Appnique (exclusive for apps)
  • App Radar (exclusive for apps)

Analysis and Measurement of Results

There are multiple tools that will help make the right decisions and evaluate the evolution of the positioning of our app compared to our direct competitors. Most of them can work analyzing data from the App Store and Play Store.

They compare the ASO factors of the applications that are public and in some, in addition, if we link our accounts in the respective marketplace, we can obtain non-public data such as the keyword field (unfeasible to analyze the competition).

Here we list some of them:

  • AppTweak. One of the most complete, it analyzes all types of data and stands out for its simplicity when comparing with competitors.
  • The Tool. From a Spanish firm, we would highlight this complete tool for its qualitative analysis of user ratings.
  • AppRadar. Again, this is one of the most comprehensive tools ranging from the consulting phase to analysis.

Do you APPLY the Story?

The ASO, like other disciplines of online marketing, is not easy to summarize in a post or a guide, but there are some sources where the information is expanded such as the ASO 2016 Manual, which I recommend you to consult.

But, ultimately, the best way to learn and gain experience is through practice and trial error. So I encourage you to apply everything you have learned in this article in your ASO strategy.

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