You may have heard of SEO – Search Engine Optimization. But have you heard of ASO – App Store Optimization?
ASO is specifically what increases the visibility of your app in the marketplace. The higher its rank, the more users will find your app when they search.
There are quite a few factors that affect your ASO:
Positive reviews: The more positive reviews an app has, the higher its rating will be. When users rank an app highly, it will also be ranked highly.
Keyword relevance: Apps with popular keywords in their title and description may see more downloads.
Revenue: Apps with a good record of revenue generation will get more visibility from the app store.
Backlinks: If you can include backlinks to many relevant pages, you can improve your app ranking.
Social proof: Your app’s popularity across social media platforms can affect its app store ranking – especially on Android. Shares and +1’s on Google+ can determine whether users notice your app or ignore it.
App starts: The number of times users actually open your app also has a significant impact on ranking.
Retention: The number of people who uninstall your app vs. the amount who keep it within 30 days also affects rankings. To ensure retention, cater heavily toward your target audience in the app description.
Taking all of these into account can dramatically alter the way your app is perceived by the general public, and how it’s treated by app store algorithms.
Your App Icon
Your app icon is the first thing someone sees in the app store, so the design you choose is critical to your success.
Make sure you use a design that serves as a clear representation of your app. It should provide as much of a clue as possible to what users will find after they install it.
With that said, you should keep the app icon as straightforward as possible, and not too flashy. Simplicity is best – you don’t want it cluttered and confusing to the eye.
Social Media Activity
The social media platforms where apps tend to get the most attention are:
Don’t only post information and promotions concerning your app to these platforms. Create conversations and engage with your fans. Social media provides an opportunity for customers to feel a personal connection, through interaction with their favorite brands.
Name and Describe Your App Appropriately
If you want your app title to stick in people’s heads, the name needs to be unique and appropriate.
Don’t use names that are already in use – Search extensively before you settle on a name and click 'Publish'
Keep your app name short and sweet, easy to spell, and memorable.
Do your best to choose a name that reflects what your app is about.
While app stores give you a 225 character limit, you should only use around 25 of them. That’s all that shows up in a search result, so be sure those characters are used wisely.
Your description, on the other hand, is where you need to be most strategic about ASO. It works similarly to the meta description tag for a website but isn’t searchable on the app store.
Use Eye-Catching Photos and Videos
One of the most important aspects of your app description is your collection of photos, screenshots, and videos.
Sharpen Your Keywords
Say you have a finance app called “Modern Finance.” When choosing your keywords, you’ll want to include the word “finance” as many times as possible in any relevant copy or descriptions found by search engines.
What other terms do you think users are searching for when looking for the need that your app fulfills? Take the time to perform keyword research to see which words tend to get the most traffic.
Ask for Reviews
If you can draw positive reviews from fans of your app, you can see your downloads increase exponentially.
Reviews that declare your app a valuable download or say it provides a great user experience are “testimonials” that let other users know your app is worth downloading.
As a Sandbox Commerce customer, your dedicated Customer Success Rep works with you to provide ongoing guidance, tips, and strategies to maximize the results of your new app.