This crazy app world.
Apps are everywhere. They help us find our way, pick what food to eat and where to eat it. They entertain us, amuse us and connect us with our friends and family… For many of us, it is now pretty hard to imagine living without any apps since they have made our lives much easier. There are actually 41 apps installed on a smartphone on average. The app ecosystem is growing bigger day after day, counting more than 1.2 million apps in the Apple App Store. And it won’t stop there…
The recent trends clearly show a drastic shift from desktop and mobile web towards apps. New business opportunities therefore emerged but succeeding in the apps market is extremely challenging since it is highly competitive.
That being said, it is interesting to point that an average user will mostly find new apps to download by searching directly on the store. According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered by general browsing or search within the App Store . App discoverability should therefore be one of the main concerns of app launchers if they want to maximize their chances of being found.
App Store Optimization is inevitable
The Apple App Store is based on an algorithm that ranks all the apps according to various factors. It is therefore absolutely essential to work each of these factors weighting in the algorithm (eg: app publisher name, app name, keywords, app bundles name, reviews and ratings, etc.). For example, it is extremely important to match the most appropriate keywords to be found. The best keywords would be words with a high search volume, low competition and a high relevance at the same time. This discipline is called App Store Optimization (often referred as “ASO”) and it’s becoming increasingly popular.
But there is even more to do. App Store Optimization’s main objective is to increase an app ranking with the final goal of increasing its organic (non-paid) downloads. Therefore, there are other factors that can be improved to tract more users. For example, it is highly recommended to include several keywords in the app description because the iTunes app page will be ranked in Google. It is therefore an interesting way to gain in visibility and at the same time to increase the app general awareness. It’s also important to seduce and convince app users, although they are generally not fond of reading app descriptions entirely.
They rather prefer looking at app screenshots that should be professionally crafted, as their persuasion potential is very high. Even more persuasive: app previews. These short videos showcasing an app features have (finally) been allowed in the App Store along with iOS8. They are actually considered to have the highest potential to drive more downloads.
All these factors should be optimized the best way possible. It is however necessary to monitor and track every ASO efforts in time. The point is to evaluate the success of these changes and see what’s working and not working. It’s also important to monitor the competition and the overall App Store market to get valuable insights on new trends. App Store Optimization is therefore not a one-shot. It’s an ongoing process requiring a certain amount of work on a regular basis. We often advise to update an app every 3 months with new ASO elements and trending keywords.
Basically, ASO should be implemented in every app marketing strategies. The improvement of a lot of these factors can be done quite easily and at almost no expense. Surprisingly, many app developers or marketers often skip that part and just publish their app waiting for the magic to happen and thousands users to download their app. But it obviously cannot work like this.
It is also a mistake to think that app promotion through any kind of advertisement is enough to succeed. Even if the target is well chosen, paid acquired users will never have the quality of organic users. The ideal would of course to use both strategies: an app store optimized application coupled with an effective app marketing campaign.
Getting Started with ASO
There are a lot of different ASO tools on the market offering various services. Some of them are quite complicated and require a strong ASO understanding. At AppTweak , we focus on simplifying this whole process of App Store Optimization and generate a personal app marketing report instantly for any app of the App Store (also from Google Play Store). This report gives a global ASO score and points out the strengths and weaknesses of all the factors that are influencing the algorithm and App Store users. Recommendations are given to improve each of these elements.
It is also easy to monitor any apps trends and rankings for both global and its category thanks to a powerful analytics tool. Competition monitoring can be done very easily as well.
AppTweak also provide a strong native keywords dictionary (no automatic translation used) to help find the most appropriate keywords for an app in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Portuguese. More languages are coming very soon.
Image: Fiksu, AppTweak
About the author
Laurie is the content strategist at AppTweak. She’s in charge of the company’s blog, crafting articles on ASO and App Marketing, helping users increase their app downloads and rankings. She’s also at the head of the ASO University, teaching App Store Optimization basics via video tutorials, all available for free on the AppTweak blog. Follow AppTweak on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn