Enhancing mobile apps for a better placement in the app store’s search results is known as App Store Optimization (ASO). It aims to boost an app’s exposure and encourage organic installs.
According to Business of Apps, up to 70% of app installs could be generated through ASO. With a marketing force so tremendous at your disposal, it’s paramount to leverage it and stay up to date on the latest ASO trends. Increasing competition, changing algorithms, user behavior changes, and new app store features should be kept in mind with ASO.
To blast your app to success, let’s explore our top 5 tips for your ASO in 2023.
1. Your words: Use relevant keywords for your title and description
Just like in SEO, keywords rule ASO. Keyword research should be #1 on your homework list if you want your app to chart well in the app stores.
First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the different rules in the app stores in terms of character and character count. The Apple App Store allows for 30 characters for your in-app purchase name and 45 characters for your app description. As for the Google Play Store, the character limit is 30 characters for your app name, 80 for your short description, and a fantastic 4000 characters for your full description. Both stores advise not to use emojis, emoticons, repeated special characters, and all caps. Misleading symbols in app icons are forbidden too.
Upon doing keyword research, take inspiration from the top apps and find out what terms users usually search for. Always go for the keywords with the best numbers especially when comparing singular versus plural keywords. Use words rather than phrases, commas rather than spaces (for keyword separation), and digits instead of spelling out numbers. Moreover, avoid having prepositions and conjunctions.
Next, for your app description, the best practice in 2023 is to put your primary keywords in your description five times. Be careful not to overdo it though — keyword stuffing = spamming = penalty from Google! Stand out by having your app description speak volumes about your app: what your app does, what solutions it provides, how it can provide value to a user, and if it’s worth buying for its price.
Lastly, if you are yet to launch your app, make sure that your app’s name has been carefully made with ASO in consideration. To do so, you can combine your brand, a catchy name that would stick in people's heads, and a core target keyword. This strategy helps the app store algorithm connect your app's relevancy to keywords people are searching for and will improve your app’s better ranking chance by 10.3%, per Apptentive.
2. Your app’s coverage: localize it and have multiple versions
2023 demands nothing less but an inclusive world— and your app is no exception.
First off, localize your app. App localization will make your app more accessible to users across multiple countries and time zones. From having the option of different languages to being mindful of the cultural distinctions of your target audience, there are many ways to make your app inclusive and available for diverse communities. Moreover, if your app's growth becomes stagnant in one geo, releasing it to other markets could be one of your best options moving forward.
Another must is to develop different versions of your app for multiple devices and layout. By designing your app to work well on diverse screen sizes, testing on varying devices, optimizing app performance, adapting to various input methods, and taking advantage of device-specific features, you can provide a better user experience and improve your app's ranking and overall performance. Users are more likely to gravitate towards an app that they could use on other devices beyond their smartphones.
3. Your app’s design: enhance its icon, screenshots, and video preview
What's not to love about a great-looking app? Propel your app to shine against the competition by enhancing its icon, screenshots, and video preview on the app stores. As your visual representations, these three key elements tell your app's story and showcase its features.
Small as it may be, your app’s icon makes or breaks. We’ve been told not to judge a book by its cover — unfortunately, the harsh truth is that some people do judge an app by its icon. When done right, however, its added value can spark interest and encourage increased app installs and usage. Hire a talented graphic designer who can create a simple yet high quality app icon. Not only should it look good on different types of backgrounds, it should also be eye-catching with less text and more symbols/letters.
Coming second here (and second to app ratings as well), screenshots play a pivotal role as to whether a user downloads your app or not. It should be able to tell your app’s features from the get-go: what users can expect and what they can experience. Place your best screenshot first, with a sole focus on one app feature per screenshot. Experiment with portrait and landscape orientations to see what would work better with your audience. Real-life imagery is also favored by users versus other types of graphics.
Finally, a video preview should not be underestimated. Wyzowl’s 2023 video marketing statistics showed that 96% of their study participants turned to videos to learn about a product or service. If you don’t have a video preview yet, the time is now! Most users will run through your video preview on auto-play and audio on mute: ensure you have text overlays to still capture intrigue in this situation. As you can only show recordings of your in-app experience, you must see to it that your mobile app UI/UX is stunning and that it matches your user expectations.
4. Your audience: improve their user experience and encourage positive reviews
Don’t forget the most important player in this journey: your users. For without them and their favor, there is really no point for your app… unfortunately.
Beginning with a fundamental understanding of your users, who they are and what they are looking for, will always take you miles ahead. Sometimes, it’s humbling to keep in mind that what works for you may not work for your audience. While your team finds your current visuals amazing, it may not be the same thoughts from your audience. For this aspect, time and continuous testing of what’s good and not are essential.
An uncomplicated way to boost your user experience is by keeping your app up-to-date. As with everything, continuously improving and updating your app will keep your users engaged and interested. The app industry is almost peaking on its maturity, and discerning users demand nothing less than near-perfection. Nowadays, it's best practice to update your app regularly by fixing bugs and performance issues, adding new features, updating the user interface, following with platform changes, and responding to user feedback.
You can also create a positive image for your app and increase user loyalty through reviews. Not only do reviews help your app’s visibility and ranking in the app stores, they also pave the way for your app’s sustainability and longevity. Feedback from your users promotes trust, improves your app’s performance, and strengthens your relation to your clientele. Send a push notification (so long as you have permission!) to entice your users to review your app. You can also use in-app pop-up notifications or, perhaps, offer a reward in exchange!
5. Your performance: re-evaluate frequently, use app store analytics, and research your competitors
To come full circle in this process, let’s come back to you. Yes, you. By this point, you have done most of the hard work — the best thing left to do is to re-assess. After some time, it’s ideal to look at your app, re-evaluate, and make changes based on your data.
A myriad of ASO analytic tools are available to give you a clear view on your overall app performance: Mobtimizers, Gummicube, Favoured, SplitMetrics, Moburst, ConsultMyApp, AppTweak, yellowHEAD, and more.
Numerous metrics could be accessed to pinpoint what is working, which areas need improvement, and so on. Take a look back to your ASO efforts. Have your keywords been effective? Is your icon compelling enough? Do your screenshots reflect your latest version? Have you ranked higher since? Implement your changes subtly and take it one step at a time. Slowly but surely, you can get a closer look at the issue and safely execute your plan to resolve them.
Additionally, keep an open mind by researching and learning from your competitors. Identify them, analyze their keywords and app store listings, track their ratings and reviews, and stay abreast of their latest changes. In identifying opportunities for improvement through your rivals and peers, you can stay ahead of the competition and win the game.
A successful strategy stems from multiple ASO techniques, taylor-made for your app and its audience, operating concurrently and in harmony. Starting off on the right foot by following the best practices for ASO will give a wave of organic traffic to your app and will help for better conversion on your paid user acquisition. If a favorable first impression is created through ASO, an increase of up to 35% in your download conversion rate is anticipated, reports Storemaven. Get in touch with the experts from Tempr. to find out the finest ASO strategies for your app today.