App Store Optimization ASO is the optimization of mobile applications in stores enabled for their acquisition, with the aim of appearing in the first search results of users in said application stores or markets , that is, in Apple's App Store for iOS Google Play for Android from Google, Windows Marketplace for Windows Phone from Microsoft, etc; in order to achieve the highest possible visibility, leading to a greater download of applications.
It is called SEO for mobile applications and it is about ensuring that when users search for the keywords we want, they find our applications in the first positions of the results lists of these application stores, generating a greater traffic to the application download landing in the application store and thus achieving a higher conversion of users thanks to their application downloads and updates.
The objective of the ASO is to attract more qualified traffic to the application page in the different application stores, so that users can download it
According to Forrester, in a study on the consumption of online technology, 63% of applications are discovered through searches made by users in the application stores . In other words, it is the most used way to discover new applications.
The application market is constantly growing , thousands of applications are downloaded every day in the different application download stores and you will have to compete with a good number of high quality apps, so it is necessary to invest resources in optimizing these markets to improve your ASO and gain visibility , positions in search results and be closer to success with that application by having it as high as possible in the results ranking.
The use of mobile searches grows year by year, surpassing even that of desktop searches, in fact we can see in ComScore data that in the 10 most visited properties, 34% of its visitors are users from mobile devices, most of them from applications . In addition, for online stores, 78% of users access through a mobile application, 44% if we talk about users who do so through tablets.
In the graph on the left we see the growth of mobile and tablet users. On the right, we can see that in the 10 main domains in the United States, 34% are visitors from mobile devices and the increasing preponderance of navigation via application in them compared to traditional browsers.
In online stores, of the users who access through mobile, 78% do so from an application and not from a browser, while on tablets, 44% of users choose to enter these eCommerce through your applications.
If we have convinced you to work the ASO of your mobile application, now we will indicate the main elements that you should take into account:
The title must include the name of the application as well as the keywords by which we want the user to find us when searching for applications in stores or markets . It must be descriptive, attractive and clearly give us an idea of what the mobile application is.
By having different application stores and each one having its own rules when establishing the different metadata , we will have to act and work the application differently in the different markets :
App Store, for iOS : we have 255 characters for the title , so we must include both the name of the application and the keywords for its correct positioning. It should be natural, clear and convincing writing .
Google Play, for Android : we have more restrictions, since we only have 30 characters for the title , so we must be very precise, descriptive and include the most relevant keyword to the application.
Windows Marketplace, for Windows Phone : as in the first one, we have 255 characters with the same recommendations, except that it offers us the possibility of reserving several names for an application, with which you can have names focused on different keywords or use them if you run the application in different languages for users of different languages.
In the case of the App Store or Windows Marketplace , which is not in Google Play for Android, there is the possibility of including a keyword section, having 120 characters in the Windows application store, to include up to 8 words; and 100 in the App Store , which recommends the use of more specific keywords than the generic ones already used in the title or name of the application.
Of course, it is essential to carry out a search for keywords or keyword research , to detect the search volume of those words, the relevance of them with respect to the application and the user and not to repeat those included in the title. Enter them separated by commas without using spaces.
It is practically the same as the description meta tag for URLs in SEO, that is, it is about including a clear and precise description of the app, which includes synonyms or forms of construction other than the keyword, relevant to the user and above all convince him to download the application . It is the most commercial part and where we have more space to predispose the user to download. It is always important not to abuse over-optimization , since all application stores penalize it and can lead to the expulsion of the application.
It is important to note that the first two sentences are the most important in the description, the most visible.
App Store : it is not taken into account to position the application in the search results, but it is essential to use it as a commercial tool to influence the user's will to download it.
Google Play : we have 4,000 characters for the description. Windows Marketplace : the limit is 2,000 characters and has an important real weight in the positioning.
The demand of the current market, as well as the need to differentiate itself and add value, make a good job of the icon necessary, so that it is also relevant, very attractive and constitutes a call to definitive action. It is usually the first image and interaction that you have of the application, and it is the main brand image, so you must be creative and show what our application is . Do not disdain the design of it.
Essential for branding or brand enhancement, using the same icon in all application stores.
As a differentiating note, in the Windows Marketplace there is the possibility of having in addition to the main icon, 3 promotional icons for highlighted areas of the application store.
It is an important factor because application stores value developers and both their age and the applications in which they have participated, make them an element that adds value to the positioning of the app in which they participate. It is important that the developer's name includes keywords.
It is important to categorize the application to place it in the optimal categorization that the application stores perform.
App Store : you can include the application in a main category and a secondary one . Include it in both as long as it is relevant to those categories.
Google Play : choose the relevant category.
Windows Marketplace : the application can be included in a main category and depending on the number of existing applications, in a subcategory.
One of the most attractive utilities for users is to be able to see the screenshots, since they will be able to see what they will find in the application later.
Use the most impressive images that best define your application , capture the user's attention and sell your application through the image that you transmit.
App Store : we uploading 5 captures image of the application. Google Play : we can include 7 screenshots . Windows Marketplace : there are 8 captures that we can add from 3 different resolutions.
In the Android application store, you can add a video promoting the app or explaining how it works. In the rest of the main stores, it is not possible to do so.
All application stores give us the possibility to include the URL of the developer and the company to which that app belongs .
It is recommended to include it, so that the user can see the origin and can even generate traffic to our website to be more relevant and provide the information they need.
Both in the App Store and in the Windows Market we can include the URLs of the brand and the corresponding technical support , while in Google Play it is possible to include the links to the brand's social networks .
When it comes to positioning the application in the search results of the application stores, not only the On-Metadata factors influence, but also those that correspond equivalently to Off-Page SEO, the Off-Metadata factors.
The application stores take into account the number of downloads the application has and is possibly the most relevant factor for the platforms when it comes to positioning it. It is what takes the measure of the real success of the application, whose main objective is to be downloaded, that is why it is the most important.
The number of downloads of the first days is essential , as this will determine its rapid positioning and with it a greater number of downloads, again feeding back the positioning. Due to this, it is advisable to use all the means and channels available to the brand to be able to get installations in the first days of launching the application in the different markets .
All app stores take user ratings into account as a ranking factor for the app in search results. All ratings follow the same pattern of 1 to 5 stars, and those that receive the most positive ratings rank better.
Note that the purchase of positive evaluations is not allowed in any application market . In fact, in any of them both the purchase of these valuations and those received in an unnatural way are penalized.
They will always consider relevant to users and therefore will have a better position in the search results, those applications that have had many ratings, these being high scores, 4 or 5 stars, since they will determine what they like and download, being much more relevant than those applications with negative or very few positive ratings.
They are taken into account when positioning , the greater number of positive comments the application receives, the more we help it to position itself. If we check the applications from the top of results, they usually have a lot of comments.
The application stores, just as they measure the downloads that are made to give a positive value to the applications, they measure the uninstallations, that is, those that once they have been downloaded end up being uninstalled.
It is convenient to have an optimal ratio between downloads and uninstallations so that they are considered as relevant and satisfactory applications for the user and do not penalize us in the positioning.
The linlkbuilding or the generation of external links that our applications naturally recommend , is also being valued by the application stores, in this case in Google Play, that by belonging to Google, receiving in its main search engine links to the application, will be taken into account for the positioning of this. Likewise, their applications can be valued with the +1 of Google+ . The more +1 the application contains, it will be an unequivocal sign of its quality, since the user recommends it publicly.As with ratings, link buying practices or +1, are penalized by Google Play .
To drive these Off-Metadata factors, we must develop a marketing strategy in which we can invest time and money. We must not neglect means at our disposal such as online advertising of the application, whether in Google AdMob, on social networks with Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads or through Affiliate Marketing for applications. EMail Marketing actions, BIDI codes, Geomarketing, etc. together with the use of more traditional media such as advertising in the press, television, app reviews, press releases, will help to favor these determinants by driving fast downloads, ratings and opinions and improving the uninstall rate of applications.
We have been able to see the ASO in the main application stores , we remind you that there are others such as the Amazon Appstore, Aptoide, F-Droid, SlideMe or MoboMarket.
Focusing on the 3 main ones, we therefore have to try to work on both types of factors, taking care of those on which we can act directly , with a good title , a selection, after studying, of optimal keywords according to our objectives, a attractive description that encourages downloading, having a prominent icon in design that is itself a claim, enhancing the predisposition to download with some screenshots of the application, or videos on Google Play, incredible for the user, and always without forgetting fill in all the data like developer names, urlsto the application or brand and its technical support or correctly categorize the application .
At the same time, do not neglect the "external" factors that we can influence with our strategy, achieving a large number of downloads , especially at the beginning of the launch of the application, with an excellent quality that gives us positive comments and evaluations and a Low uninstall rate demonstrating the quality of the application. Do not forget also the +1 of Google+, the generation of links in the search engines towards the download of the application or the work of generating its popularity.
Are you optimizing your apps in the app stores? Are you developing an ASO strategy to achieve your goals?
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