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Benefits of app store optimization (ASO) in 2023

Benefits of app store optimization (ASO) in 2023

Design Process
5 min

Did you know that more than 6.5 ml people have mobile devices? They regularly download mobile apps for everyday tasks like ordering pizza, getting from one place to another, pumping up the press, or even having a romantic meeting. 

Following the global trend, new developers permanently try to find their place on the market among 1.64 ml apps in the Apple App Store and 3.55 ml apps in Google Play. ASO App Store Optimization, put in simple words, is the way to make the app more visible to your relevant users. So let`s figure out how this works. 

Arounda team has been branding and developing mobile applications such as Velonto for five years now. Velonto is one of our cases. In this article, we combine our practical experience and the up-to-date ASO recommendations to answer the questions:

  • What is app store optimization about?
  • How does ASO help you get more downloads?
  • What are the main and secondary ASO factors?
  • How to do app store optimization?

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)? 

App Store Optimization, or ASO for mobile applications, is very similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for websites. When you type the keyword or phrase in the search line, the Google search engine lists the most highly ranked web pages. Similarly, app stores find the most relevant apps by keywords, reviews, number of downloads and upgrades, and other ranking factors. Both ASO and SEO work to drive more traffic to your resource and get it to the top of the search results.  

In practice, ASO covers a large spectrum of actions. These incluse keyword research, app title, description, and URL optimization, visuals design, backlinks, and A/B tests. Together, they build an app store optimization strategy. 

Like with SEO app store optimization is an ongoing process of continuous improvements to grow organic traffic and user base. ASO implies tracking and measuring KPIs such as Click-Through Rate (CTR) to go from one milestone to another in the evolution of your app visibility.  

App Store Optimization Advantages

The demand for new quality services is growing. Statista predicts that app market volume will increase by 9.27% by 2026. But even the best app will get few downloads if it lands on the 999th line of the search results.  

App store optimization helps developers achieve better visibility, improve appeal to the users and turn views into downloads. These are some of the significant ASO advantages:

  • organic traffic growth
  • relevant users who later become loyal customers
  • lower user acquisition cost due to improved search indexation 
  • increased conversion rates
  • more downloads
  • revenue growth

The Basics Of ASO 

Now that you know why app store optimization is important, let's see how it works practically? 

Fortunately, App Search has fewer factors than Google Search. Basic app store optimization considers the main and secondary factors influencing app store search algorithms.  

Main ASO Factors

The following factors impact your app indexation and visibility, so we pay attention to them in the first turn. 

Keywords optimization

App store engines analyze keywords to find the most relevant app for the user’s search query. So it`s crucial to insert the optimal keywords into the app's title, short and long descriptions, and URL where the search algorithm surfs in the first turn. 

The first step in choosing the keywords is the app store keyword research. This way, you discover which word your target audience uses more often. You can check out your competitors manually or use external tools like AppTweak or Apple Search Ads. ASO tools can supply metrics such as keyword volume, keyword difficulty, number of competitors, top competitors, long-tail variations, etc.

Keyword volume and keyword difficulty are the most significant factors to rely on. The keyword volume defines the popularity of the keyword among the users. And keyword difficulty shows how hard it will be to rank your app into the top 10 app store search results. 

Ranking

Rankings are among the parameters that sophisticated algorithms of the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store track. Of course, the formula is not linear, but higher ranks result in better search outcomes.  

The App Search algorithms are tied to app titles, developer names, and the app category. Furthermore, Google Play and App Store algorithms also rely on:

  • review scores 
  • review volume 
  • the number of downloads 
  • click-through rates 
  • app quality (measured by usage and discard rates, and crashes)
  • update frequency 
  • brand scale and more.

Visuals

When the user chooses an app, the first visual impression from the app icons, screenshots, and preview videos is essential in your mobile app development.  

The app icon should be clean and appealing at first glance. We recommend investing time in it as if it would be your most crucial visual hallmark. 

The first three app screenshots are also visible on the app store's first screen, but the emphasis lies on the first one. Unlike icons and screenshots, video elements are optional. Nevertheless, they also attract attention and improve performance.  

Backlinks

The typical strategy mistake is to underestimate the role of the website and not integrate SEO and ASO capabilities. Instead, we suggest you see a website as a locomotive that pulls people's attention through the search funnel to your app store. So remember to put the backlinks between your site and the app.   

It’s always good to interlink your app store with social media, LinkedIn and Upwork profiles, Quora resources, as well as Dribble, Clunch, and Behance platforms. 

Secondary ASO Factors

In this section, we focus on the internal app elements which influence the ranking and the performance in app stores and give tips on how do you do app store optimization.    

1. App Title

Give your app a good name. It might require the investigation of your competitor's titles as well as measuring, prioritization, targeting, and running A/B tests. Select the keyword with the biggest impact to beckon the algorithm. We recommend keeping the app title the same because otherwise, you’ll slow down the indexation and confuse users.   

2. App Description

Writing your app descriptions, we take into account both searching machines and users who read the product page. Therefore, the aim is to implement as many significant keywords as possible and yet deliver readable easy-to-understand text. 

Remember that users will see around 250 first characters on the app snippets and have to click  “read more” to view the description. Most people don`t do that! So make sure that your first three lines are convincing.  

3. Keyword Metadata

App metadata covers all texts, including titles, subtitles, and descriptions, as well as all visuals, such as icons, screenshots, and videos. Keyword metadata is a set of keywords that describe your add best. 

In Apple App Store, you can enter 100 keywords separated by commas. For example Property,Real Estate,House. And the main task of keyword optimization is to choose the natural ones that will match the users' search query.  

4. App Subtitle

The essential part of app metadata is the sonorous title, polished keyword set, and informative description. Next comes the subtitle, which is right below the title on the product page. This snippet has a limit of 30 characters, so it has to be concise.

5. App Reviews and Ratings

App ratings are scaled from 1 to 5 stars. This is the quantitative measure of your app's reputation. At the same time, reviews are the text fields with qualitative feedback from users. App ratings and reviews are the core trust criteria for users and factors that both Google Play and App Store algorithms consider.

App ratings are extremely influential. This social proof marker is before the users' eyes in search results, top charts, and featured pages whenever they see the app. Most people won’t even read the title if the rating is lower than 4 stars.   

App reviews often help with decision-making. People trust reviews no matter if they recommend or criticize the app. Another nuance is that they don`t get deleted. These user comments are forever with you. That is why we recommend you build a framework for gathering regular engaging reviews and replying, especially to the negative ones.  

6. App Downloads

When you question how does app store optimization work the number of app downloads comes to your mind instantly. Downloads show most convincingly how popular the app is and make a significant factor for search engines. The volume of downloads through the latest period also matters. If the app stops evolving, the newcomers who perform at a higher speed might outrank it. 

Conclusion

App Store Optimization is a powerful lift to improve the app visibility and recognition in Apple App Store, Google Play, and other app stores. However, implementing ASO best practices such as keyword optimization in the app title and description and working with visuals, reviews, backlinks, and A/B tests, requires a long-term strategy, experience, and research tools.

A commitment to ASO will inevitably result in higher conversion and an increase in downloads. Arounda team has witnessed this result in Gigzi and Bold cases as well as other startups and SME clients. 

If you need expert advice on ASO strategy, product branding, or mobile development, we are here for you.  

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