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What SEO is doing for Websites is ASO doing for Apps. ASO (App Store Optimization) is a process utilized to promote and optimize apps in order to rank higher in app store search results.

Big Data, a giant leap into the future of technology and Digital Marketing.

Ralph Rahal

Digital Marketing Solutions Consultant, Skillz Middle East

ASO will increase the exposure to your app in App stores like Google Play or iTunes Store as it will become visible to more potential customers. More downloads increase the traffic and by doing so, further improve the app’s search ranking. Increasing traffic is the ultimate goal for any App.

Why is ASO important?

To be seen or not to bee seen, this is the question. To make your App successful it requires a good rating on the App Store, popularity comes with the optimization of content and presentation and being authentic. According to the market research company Forrester, as seen in the graph below, up to 64% of app downloads are from general browsing on the app store.

ASO importance on Forrester Research

How to use ASO?

Here are the top main things to focus on:

1- Title 
The title is the most important and should always have a keyword with the heaviest search traffic. The choice of keyword is crucial to the brand and changing the title often to include multiple keywords is not recommended. Once the title is set, people will start talking about it and it would be much harder to find it in search results if the title keeps changing.

2- Keywords 
The keywords should not only reflect the brand but it must be relevant and used often by your target audience. Monitoring the searches your audience makes and testing different keywords your competitor uses are key, to avoid making common keyword mistakes. Use tools that can help you in your mission. In the infographic below a couple of those tools is mention.

Mobile apps are expected to generate $189 billion in revenue by 2020. The Apple App Store has 2.2 million apps available for download. There are 2.8 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store. 

3- Images 
We know that 98% of people are audiovisual instead of reading text. Yes, a good engaging App icon is key, but there is more. Clear screenshots of the app and what the app provides is essential to prevent bad reviews and/or bad ratings by users that were expecting one thing but are surprised with something else. Brand consistency should also play a role when it comes to look-and-feel, follow a brand theme to get an identity.

4- Ratings 
The higher the rating, the better chance the app has in ranking higher in search results. Having a clear, honest, and well-detailed description of what the app is and the different services it provides increases people’s trust in the app and better help people find it in search results. Any type of deception or alterations in the description with the aim of gaining more downloads will result in lower ratings and in some cases, the store would remove the app.

5- Reviews 
Similar to ratings, Reviews allows your target audience to express either their gratitude to a great app or reveal problems and/or errors they find while using the app. If either the description or the title has any form of deception to increase the number of downloads, the reviews will be filled with unsatisfied users. Furthermore, replying to each review will not only improve your app ranking, but it will also increase trust and loyalty in your users.

6- Total number of downloads 
The number of downloads is extremely important to ASO but it is very hard to maintain when the app first launches. Consistency is key, having a constant increase in the number of downloads is crucial to the success of the app.

7- Social Outreach 
Reaching out to your social media pages fans and followers should not be news to you. Furthermore, keeping your audience updated with changes and bug fixes should also be shared on your social media platforms making it easier for your audience to decide when to perform app updates.

This further improves ASO by increasing the potential of your app showing in online search engines as well as in the app store. Incorporating indexing APIs such as Google’s App Indexing API provides user-friendly interfacing that further enhances your app ranking.

Conclusion

Ratings, Reviews, and Number of downloads are extremely important to ASO but you don’t have control over them as you do with the Title, Keywords, and Description. What you can do, is influence the results, keeping in mind that your competitors will most definitely try to sabotage by making false ratings and false reviews.

Apps with higher Ratings rank higher in search results, so keeping your users happy and satisfied with the app is your best chance at getting to the top. Keep in mind that all this takes time, effort, and consistency.

Below is an infographic by Biznessapps.com elaborating a bit more on what and how important ASO is:

ASO-App-Store-Optimization Infographic

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