What Is ASO And How App Store Optimization Techniques Work?
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What is ASO?
While SEO can rank your websites in search engine results, ASO also known as App Store optimization aims to achieve the same goal for your mobile apps in app stores. In other words, ASO understands the methods, techniques, and levers with which a mobile application can appear in the top positions of results when a mobile user searches for an application.
With the latest developments in mobile connectivity, the number of people using mobile applications and the number of smartphone users is increasing every day. In addition to word of mouth and promotions, users mainly discover new mobile applications directly in the app stores, in particular on Google Play and the App Store. As a result, the need to optimize new applications for higher rankings in these stores is becoming increasingly important.
The application store algorithms take into account several criteria for the classification of mobile applications. Among these, there is the quality of the development of the application, the optimization of the keywords and, above all, the number and quality of reviews and comments. These are all elements on which you need to work to increase positive exposure, whether you design the app yourself or hire an app development company.
Therefore, good SEO techniques must be implemented. To achieve the desired results, application optimization must include the following features:
- Create app-specific usefulness such as information, mail, etc. and providing answers and solutions to recommendations/problems.
- Have an innovative concept: compare it with your closest competitors to determine the weaknesses of others that you are ready to take as an advantage with your application.
- Beautiful and ergonomic design.
- Perform regular updates for better performance and better user experience.
- Good speed of use
- Be stable and reliable without bugs.
How does App Store Optimization work?
ASO is a skill that emerged precisely to help app publishers to use the levers that improve the visibility of their applications and therefore the downloads. The editors were quick to grasp the importance of this form of natural classification and soon they influenced the emergence of the first ASO agencies.
But how exactly does ASO work? It is based on the same model as the SEO, except that it is of a less complex nature. The practice of ASO requires a return to the basics of natural optimization, in particular with regard to keywords, but other criteria also come into play.
Ranking criteria via ASO
The main difficulty for mobile applications is that the ranking criteria are not the same for each mobile market and that they evolve regularly. In terms of ASO, we will note significant differences in the criteria of the two main competitors on the market – The App Store and the Google Play Store – as we read in this article. We also note that Google’s algorithm is more precise and more advanced than its counterpart, which would not surprise SEO specialists!
ASO works with criteria of two types:
Formal criteria: These factors depend entirely on the publisher of the app. They are quite similar to what is practiced in SEO, such as:
- Keyword optimization: In the title, in the application description and in the field of keywords/tags, a strategic formulation is required that acts as a relay with the algorithms of the store.
- Updating the store page and the app: The older an app is, the less likely it is to maintain a high ranking unless regular updates are offered.
Interaction criteria: It is the interaction between users and applications that allows the App Store algorithms to evaluate the quality of the product and to choose to move it forward. These interactions can take many forms:
- The Rating: Under 4 stars, your application will literally be in a bad position.
- The download volume of the application
- Difference between the number of uninstallations and the number of installations.
- Statistics resulting from the use of the application such as the number of active users and how much time the user spends on the application.
When examining these ASO ranking standards, two things can be noticed: first, the successful positioning of an application on a mobile market depends on a combination of control (the selection of relevant keywords) and a chance (if the app will work and get downloaded enough times to get to the top spots).
Some smart ways to increase app downloads
Encouraging users to download the application must be actual and therefore must meet the ranking criteria of Apple and Google, which are very different in their approach to optimization. For example, Apple has a less complex and simpler method of optimization. Both, however, place good and repetitive use of keywords in the foreground with respect to ranking requirements.
Ensure optimization of keywords
After choosing the keywords with the strongest “download intent”, start entering the keywords in the title and description tags. However, be careful not to over-optimize these fields, as both Apple and Google have often punished excessive use of keywords. Choose a short title, with the main keyword to generate traffic so that the application is easily identifiable by the application stores.
It takes great effort and hard work to create an app that users will want to download. The weight of the application is also an important element in ASO because mobile users do not like complicated and energy-consuming applications. As a result, they will be less likely to download applications that require a large storage space and significant download times.
Point to high-quality images and visuals
The images and visuals of your application reassure users and influence their decision to download the application. First of all, create an attractive icon that catches attention. Use neat graphics with beautiful colors and don’t overload it with text; the image should reflect what the application does and be functional – show how the application is used. Don’t forget to add screenshots. Incorporating a short video is also useful to illustrate what the application does.
Get feedback and user ratings
User ratings, comments, and feedback are essential to assess the sustainability of your application on application platforms. Therefore, good grades guarantee a good ranking, while negative votes (less than 4) indicate that the application is not good enough for the average user, limiting the number of downloads.
Their opinions play a decisive role in encouraging users to download the application. Don’t be discouraged if you have negative comments. This will allow you to fix the bugs and make the necessary improvements to the product.
Above all, don’t hesitate to inform users as soon as a problem is solved. The immediate and continuous management and support of user problems create trust and reputation in the App Store.
A good tip to evade negative reviews and ask users to give a 5-star rating is to send constructive and helpful replies to comments from users who have a problem with the app. You should also ask customers, collaborators, subscribers for opinions and reviews and ask honest feedback immediately after launching your app in the app stores. With the first positive feedback launch, the app ranking will increase rapidly.
Promote your application
Paid advertising campaigns, offered by Google, will be useful for promoting your app on social media, Google and other apps, which in turn will increase the download speed. Some promotional tips for your application:
- Add a banner or a link to the company website.
- Create pop-up incentives on the mobile site.
- Publish sponsored posts and articles on social media.
- Send emails to potential users to announce the launch of the app.
If you decide to go with search engine marketing, it is very important to use certified AdWords consultants for this type of promotion in order to get the desired results.
The frequency of updates is a determining factor. In fact, applications that perform regular updates are more reliable in the eyes of Apple as well as Google. As a result, they are better indexed. This good practice can also serve as a reminder for users who use very little of the application and could delete it.
If these techniques are well optimized, increase the visibility of the application, which positively affects the number of downloads of your product.
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