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What Is App Store Optimization And Do You Need It?

Written by: Terry Tateossian, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

App store optimization (ASO) is the process of increasing the visibility of applications within app stores. ASO's goal is to help users find applications easier and improve brand recognition and conversion rates for businesses.

Why is ASO important?

There are 3.5 billion smartphone users globally- an incredible market potential for businesses investing in mobile applications for their products and services.

The average American spends 2 hours and 55 minutes daily on their smartphone. In many cases, mobile-friendly services are the only way to get the attention of users.


And a personalized account on a mobile app is the perfect tool to reach your target audience


Why Do You Need a Mobile App?


If you haven’t yet considered the opportunity to grow your business with an app- you might want to start looking at options.


Your business can benefit greatly from a mobile app. Being at the fingertips of potential and current customers helps create more personalized services that in return influence the quality of your relationship with clients.


Here are 3 more business benefits to keep in mind:

  1. Mobile Apps Boost Brand Awareness

  2. Mobile Apps Add to Your Value Proposition

  3. Mobile Apps Instantly Connect You with Customers


Apps are useful when you’re trying to raise awareness of your brand and are looking for new avenues to do so.


Along with a more client-centric service, apps can help you build a better relationship with customers by creating loyalty programs. They encourage and reward people for using your products and offer meaningful experiences on a convenient platform


Apps add to the value of your service by providing an instant connection with you any time customers need it.


Now that we covered how and why mobile apps are beneficial, let’s look at app store optimization and how it can help you ensure your products get in front of your prospects.


What You Need to Know About App Store Optimization

App store optimization (ASO) refers to the efforts of brands to rank their products higher on app stores like Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Samsung Galaxy App Store, for example.


Both ASO and search engine optimization (SEO) have similar approaches when it comes to optimizing your content. Both count on keywords, backlinks, and conversion optimization tactics to rank higher in searches.


The difference between ASO and SEO is first in their use- ASO is for apps and SEO is for websites. Then there are the different ranking factors that place them in different optimization categories.


When it comes to the promotion of apps, app stores are responsible for a significant portion of the popularity of the app.


In fact, statistics show that most users learn about new apps from their family and friends- about 51% of them.


But the rest learn about them by browsing app stores- 48%, checking recommended by the app store apps- 34%, or through seeing in-app ads - 33%.


App stores are an important factor for the success of any app, however, optimizing your product on these platforms is not always an easy job.


There are over 5 million apps available to download on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, alone.

Number of apps available in leading app stores as of 1st quarter 2021


This means that competition in the app stores is tough, so to optimize your app content and get ranked at the top of search results you should focus on improving your app name, app title, app icon, app screenshots, and app rating, among other things.


Here is a deeper dive into the strategies for optimizing your application.


Tips on App Store Optimization


The goal of your app store optimization is to help users find, click on and download your apps.


When you start optimizing your app you need to focus on the following tactics:


Imaginative & Easy-to-remember Titles


Apps need to be memorable and unique, so people don’t have trouble recalling them and getting lost in the many similarly called software.


You can either choose an unrelated but striking title that is easy to stick in the audience's head but add an instant description of what it is like, for example, Brave Privacy Browser.


You are introduced to the name of the app that doesn’t have a direct connection to the service, and in addition, you are explained what the app is supposed to help you with.


Or you can just come up with a title that immediately tells the user what this app is about like MyFitnessPal


App Store Keywords


Similar to SEO you have to optimize for keywords relevant to your app and the search intent of users.


If your app helps users learn a new language in an interactive and fun way you should communicate that through the keywords you optimize for.


It’s also important to be well informed about the specific rules of the app store you’re listing your app on, and follow them so your content doesn’t get penalized.


In Apple’s app store one of the recommendations says you should avoid using special characters like # or @ unless they’re part of your brand identity.


Positive Ratings


Needless to say, users' reviews will affect how you rank and how easy it is for users to find you.


App stores usually rank apps with the highest positive ratings on top of their search results.


To improve users’ ratings you should make sure you provide direct and continuous support for your app and encourage users to share feedback.


Luring App Icon


The first thing to draw people’s attention to your app is its icon. It’s the visual representation of your service and the most influential tool you can use to communicate what your app is all about.


So make sure to check that box in your app optimization by creating icons that instantly communicate your message and still are beautiful and impactful.


Apple recommends you stick to simplicity and provide only one focal point on your icon while keeping your icon corners square and unintrusive.


App Screenshots & Videos


Other important visually impactful information you can include in your app description are screenshots and videos. They perfectly demonstrate how your product is structured and how customers can use it.


The more information you provide the more confident users will be when downloading and installing your app.


Take Grammarly for example. They’ve created a straight-to-the-point explanation app video that shows users what to expect from their product.

This is also a great way to avoid bad reviews in the comment sections, as you would have provided extensive information about your app prior to users downloading it.


The Right App Category


Users sometimes browse apps by categories, which makes it important for you to add your app in the right category and get the search traffic you would otherwise not get.


Is your app related to entertainment or business? Is it educational, book-related?

Whatever it is, make sure you add the appropriate category.


In Google’s Play Store, you can choose both a category and subcategory, so your app is even more discoverable.


On the other hand, if you’re wondering between two categories you might want to try adding the one with less competition.


Apps Foreign Languages

If your app needs to attract global audiences you should consider developing different language versions.


That will ensure your service delivers the most personalized attention to your customers and make them happy.


Advertise Apps on Your Website, Email & Social Media


Following the above tips will give you good app store optimization but you should also promote your app out of these platforms.


Information about your app should be available on your website, social media, and email newsletters. Omni-channel ads will help you reach even the most inactive internet users and introduce them to a service they might benefit from.


Should a Startup Invest in a Mobile App?


From startups to big enterprises mobile apps hold the potential of establishing a brand as a leader on the market. Apps can reshape a brand’s image, push its growth, give it a competitive advantage, and become another revenue stream.


Not to forget, mobile apps deliver top user experience, full personalization, and availability at the users’ convenience.


Mobile apps are especially helpful to businesses that are just taking off and need to attract the attention of customers right away.


The most fundamental benefits of mobile apps for startups are

  1. Brand recognition;

  2. User engagement;

  3. Revenue;


Three big reasons for any startup to look into that opportunity.


To Wrap Up


With the ever-increasing number of mobile users globally, mobile apps are becoming an essential part of any brands’ marketing strategy.


They deliver immediate and extremely personalized experiences. Apps are a potent marketing tool that can turn any obscure business into a booming, revenue-generating machine of supreme service delivery.


To thrive in an environment of an exceedingly competitive market, however, brands need to be ready for app store optimization.


Follow our tips and reap the benefits of developing a successful mobile application to propel your business ahead of your competition.


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Terry Tateossian, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Terry Tateossian, Founding Partner of Socialfix Media is a fourth-generation entrepreneur who is recognized as an Inc. 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies, Forbes’ Top Women in Business, Fastest Growing Women Presidents by WPO, and 40 Under 40 Business Leaders by NJBIZ. Terry has been featured for outstanding leadership and career accomplishments in numerous industry publications as an engineer, a thought-leader in technology, and an innovator in the field of marketing. But her favorite and toughest earned title is being “Mom” to her 2 children.

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