Creating a successful app is a multi-faceted process. Developing the app itself is only one part of the equation – a substantial portion of the app’s success is contingent on a mobile marketing strategy. Considering the plethora of apps available, you will need to effectively market your app in order to get it seen and installed. App Store Optimization (ASO) tackles the entire funnel of your mobile marketing strategy. Read on to learn how ASO initiatives can help your app get discovered and downloaded.

Visibility/Keyword Rankings

In essence, the goal of ASO is to help improve organic performance and overall visibility in each of the app stores. In contrast to user behaviour on other platforms, users searching for apps typically have a specific goal or app in mind. On iOS, around 70% of users download directly through search. Optimizing your metadata to be discovered in search and is crucial to being found in this area of high activity from engaged users.

For both the App Store and Google Play Store, keywords play a vital role in App Store Optimization efforts. Since users are more likely to search for core feature or brand related keywords, it is important to incorporate these related terms in your metadata. Targeted keywords should be always be relevant to your audience and contain a combination of high search volume and hyper-relevant low search volume terms. The search results for these keywords should include your top competitors to ensure that you are reaching the right audience. 

By continuously optimizing your metadata and utilizing the right terms, your app will populate for users who are more likely to download. As your app gains installs over time, you simultaneously build relevancy with the app stores through their indexation processes. When the App Store and Google Play Store deem your app highly relevant for the keywords you are targeting, you can be ranked even higher in the search results, hereby further increasing your visibility.

Conversion Optimization

Although proper keyword optimization can help improve overall app visibility, this is not a guarantee that users will install the app once found. Therefore, it is also crucial to keep conversion optimization in mind when creating a mobile marketing strategy. Creatives are a large component of conversion optimization and can be the deciding factor when it comes to users choosing between similar apps. 

On both app stores, the creative elements you can optimize are your icon, screenshots, and preview video. For iOS, the first three screenshots are visible in the search results and should ideally include your core features. For Google Play, the app icon has a heightened importance when it comes to conversion, because it is the only creative element visible in organic search results. 

Considering that app store users are more likely to make quick decisions, it is important to ensure that creatives are appealing and indicative of the app’s key functionality. Research current creative trends displayed by competitors, use clear examples or in-app images that highlight core features, and utilize concise text callouts that help provide necessary information. By combining all of these strategies, you can ensure that your app feels familiar to the user yet unique enough to encourage downloads. 

Keyword and conversion optimization work in tandem to improve organic app performance. When more users download your app with the help of attractive creative elements, your conversion rate increases. This increase signifies that your app is gaining traction and could result in Apple and Google ranking your app even higher in terms of organic visibility. By doing so, more people will see and potentially download the app, thereby creating a compounding effect.

App Store Optimization can assist in the success of your paid marketing campaigns. With thousands of different apps being uploaded into app stores every day, paid marketing efforts can help supplement ASO and give your app a boost to stand out from competitors. 

When taking advantage of paid, your app is placed directly in front of your targeted demographic. This helps to effectively generate traffic, which in turn increases organic visibility and improves keyword rankings. Although you need to decide which ad campaign is the most suitable for your app, some campaigns can help stimulate the store’s algorithms and assist in merchandising your store listing faster. This is favorable for ASO, since you are able to quickly gain more data on the performance of your metadata and adjust your efforts accordingly. 

Keep in mind, implementing metadata and creative updates are important first steps to launching effective paid campaigns. Unoptimized store listing metadata and creative assets can prevent paid from functioning efficiently; Apple and Google may not index your app for important keywords you want, because it does not know how to “read” your app; you may also get taps but no installs due to unoptimized creative sets not compelling users to convert, leading to a higher cost per install. Another potential outcome is that your app may be served for keywords that are irrelevant to your core features or brand, again since the stores’ algorithms don’t understand how to index your app. It is most beneficial to consider paid marketing efforts when utilizing ASO, and vice versa.

Overall

Developing an amazing app is just the first step- getting users to find it and download is not something that will “just happen” after that. ASO can help put your app in front of users who are actively searching for the features it has, or another app with similar features, leading to a build up of an active, engaged base of users over time.

App Store Optimization is crucial to ensure an app’s long-term success. By continuously optimizing keywords and updating creatives for conversion, an app can have greater longevity through increased rankings, and improved visibility and conversion rates. In combination with paid marketing campaigns, ASO has the potential to directly target key demographics and increase downloads for relevant users who are likely to continue using the app. 

By effectively optimizing your creatives and metadata, you can guarantee enduring results for your app’s growth and organic performance. Both the App Store and Google Play Store have unique guidelines and barriers for success, ASO efforts should be a part of every successful mobile marketing strategy.

About the Author

Gummicube Co-Founder & CEO, Dave Bell

Gummicube is a global leader in App Store Optimization with more than 11 years of experience optimizing and marketing apps. We offer the leading enterprise ASO technology and agency services, providing support to clients around the world. Our company is trusted by thousands of enterprise brands and leading startups including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bethesda, SWEAT, GrubHub, McAfee and many others.

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