ASODigital Marketing

App Store Optimization (ASO): What Is It and How It Works

By December 10, 2018 September 25th, 2019 No Comments

Since the birth of Google (and other mainstream search engines), marketers have found themselves in a sea a of new marketing styles, one of which being Search Engine Optimization. Nevertheless, the innovative digital landscape is evolving, and with over 2.9 million apps flooding on the play store (similar figures on the App Store), the dawn of a new era has arisen – the art of App Store Optimization (ASO).

We often hear people complaining that after heavily investing in the development of an app, it quickly vanishes from the app store upon release, being placed below all other apps in only a matter of weeks, even days. To tackle this problem, on November 3rd, 2009, an app developing genius named Mr. Johannes Borchardt introduced the world to the concept of app store optimization at a seminar held in Berlin. The concept behind app store optimization is to increase the visibility and engagement of an app and its interactions on the app store.  

50% of people engaging with apps have been shown to invest time on the app, or play store, 1 or 2 times a week.

The breakthrough concept is quite simple in theory and the logic behind it is standard practice across most marketing plans, both online and offline. The more visibility and engagement you have with an audience the more likely they are to download or potentially purchase your product, service or app.  

Now that we have the basis for the concept that is App Store Optimization, lets take a step forward and deep dive into its importance for marketers.  

Why is ASO Important?  

  • Search is the leading contributing factor of app discoveries and downloads. According to research, over 60% of apps are found by people searching for specific keywords on the app or play store.  
  • Estimations from studies carried out by some of the world’s leading universities have shown the average person spends approximately 3.2 hours daily on their mobile phones and, of this time, 90% or more is spend on apps.  
  • 50% of people engaging with apps have shown to invest time on the app or play store 1 or 2 times a week. This is enough reason to make sure your app is visible without any other necessary explanation.  
  • Are you sure your app will be noticed on the app or play store? This is the number one question publishers and developers should keep on their minds, as studies point to the fact that 83% of apps are filtered out from the search results within one week of publishing. This means that, unless you utilize ASO techniques, your app will be invisible and most likely a waste of your investment.  

By now you should understand that ASO is not just important, it is a necessity for the success of your app.  Let’s take a closer look at the fundamentals of how this technique works.  

Key elements 

Keywords  
  • It might sound obvious but, without being focused and accurate with keywords, it will be difficult to utilize ASO successfully. To break it down – you might know exactly what your app does and how it should be categorized but are you certain that you know the key terms that should be associated with it? 
  • If the answer is no, do take the time to do a proper research using all the online tools at your disposal to make sure your keywords are on point for your targeted audience. Once you have these locked down, it is of the upmost importance to use them in the name and description of your app.  
  • A clear example can be seen below. A search for war games shows this game on top, clearly displaying “war” in the title and “war games” in the first line of description.

app store optimization

App Logo  
  • The logo has the same fundamental reason for being there throughout the history of marketing techniques and approaches.  
  • A logo is a key identifier for your brand and gives an image association to your product or service.  
  • In the app store environment, this is more important than ever as it is the key contributing factor to what is going to be noticed, regarding your application, when a potential consumer might interact with it.  
  • Be sure that your logo is bright and visually stimulating and if possible relative to the industry.  
Description
  • Like with any product or service, the description of your application is your company’s opportunity to divulge to potential consumers exactly what the benefits of your application are and why they should use it.  
  • Along with this, the description is a key component in you ASO strategy as it is an ideal way to add additional keywords.  
  • Make sure that the USP of your application is stated in the description, even more than once, to enhance the consumers reason for download. Eg: Download Now For Free.
 Screenshots 
  • The screenshot of the application is your company’s opportunity to give the potential consumer the wow factor as this is where they have a change to get a sneak preview of how different pages of your application work. It is critical that the end user is provided with a correct and interactive preview.  
  • The Uber application has been noted to be one of the top applications available on the market that invest heavily in this element.  

In modern society, the idea of tried-and-tested is more important than ever and potential consumers are significantly more likely to download your application, and continue to use it, if they have seen its value for other users. 

 Competitor Research 
  • Like any business, your competitors are both your arch enemies and your best friends when discovering the best way to market your business or service.  
  • The first thing to investigate from an AOS perspective is the type of keywords they are using. Once you have researched this, check the type of volumes these keywords have with keyword planning tools. If deemed applicable, and correctly audience targeted, copy these keywords to optimize your application. Remember to not copy the exact text being used, only the relative keywords from the context.   
 User Reviews 
  • In modern society, the idea of tried-and-tested is more important than ever and potential consumers are significantly more likely to download your application and continue to use it if they have seen its value for other users. 
  • Simply put, reviews are the digital marketing concept of “word-of-mouth.” The reviews are also fundamental to understand your users’ needs and continuing to develop your application going forward. This is an innovative industry, you must be seen to be innovative at all times.  
  • It has also been proved that just like any traffic source, the app stores consider reviews when displaying applications. For this reason, positive reviews are essential in maintaining market dominance.   
 Application Size 
  • Like the vast majority of digital products, the size of your application plays a strong contributing factor on whether your application will convert successfully on the app stores.  
  • Always keep in mind that an application larger than 100 MB is much more difficult to download on 3G or 4G connection and usually requires Wi-Fi.  Make sure to optimize the size of your application and to generate a lighter version which can be downloaded on weaker network connection.