Editor's Note: Nick Rojas is a freelance journalist who has written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. Today he joins us to discuss App Store SEO techniques that can increase your downloads and app revenue.
App Store Optimization (ASO) is an essential element for growing the success of your mobile apps. If you're bringing a new app to market, or need an ASO update, you can certainly increase your downloads with a little App Store SEO.
Publishers and developers often believe that their latest app is the perfect new utility, game, or source of information for the public. But in truth, there's probably already an app like yours in Google Play or the Apple Store. It may not be half as good as the product you've developed, but with an extended history and presence, it will be more easily discovered by users.
In fact, there are more than 6.5 million apps ready to be installed across the major app stores. According to Think with Google, the average number of apps a mobile user has in his or her smartphone is 36, and only 26% of them are used on a daily basis.
How do you get your app to stand out among millions, and achieve daily use with your audience? Apply these app store SEO tips, and you'll be well on your way -
1. Have an Eye-Catching App Icon
Icons are often a second thought when it comes to marketing an app, but this is a tremendous mistake. People are motivated by images, and your icon is often the first exposure they will have to your product. So what better way to entice mobile users than putting in the effort to design a catchy icon?
Tayasui Sketches Pro is a great example of an app with an eye-catching icon. Not only is it powerful and interesting, but it's relevant to the app's function. Users browsing an app store will quickly recognize what the app does, and why it might suit their needs.
2. Make the Most of Your Title Tag
The second most valuable app store SEO tactic is a title tag that sells. To maximize rankings with ASO, you want to ensure your app title is as enticing as your website’s <title> tag.
First, make sure your branding is front and center. This includes your app name, followed by a short description with your top keywords. For the Apple App Store you will have 30 characters to work with by fall of 2017. Google Play allots 50 characters.
Photo Editor Movavi makes good use of their app title. They ensure their branding is first with primary and secondary keywords, “Remove Objects & Enhance” following it up. Those keywords should link up with photos for user search queries.
3. Develop a Robust App Description
The biggest mistake many app publishers make when bringing a new app to market is not having a robust description that tells potential users exactly what they need to know. Like website SEO, you should make your above the fold content descriptive, following it with an information-packed, authoritative description below.
Terpy is a good example of how to offer a service, fulfill a need, and build trust. You want your title to lead app store browsers to your app, an icon that makes them click, and a description that makes them install.
4. Use Actionable Graphics
If you browse an app store, you may notice a number of apps with simple screenshots showcasing their features. This is great, but you should take your images one step further by creating actionable graphics.
To improve your install chances and increase your user base, take screenshots of your app in action, then add arrows, text, and other exciting, actionable images to highlight certain features.
SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition combines compelling text with eye-catching images. This gives potential users a better idea of how they can navigate and use the app, essential for increased installs.
5. Take Keyword Optimization to the Next Level
Like SEO, keyword optimization for your app is a very important element of ASO. In fact, keyword optimization is slightly harder for apps since you have limited space to place them.
For instance, a user may only see the first 600 or so characters of your description on their mobile devices. Another key factor in ranking when optimizing app keywords is that the first 167 characters are the most important, according to Mobile Action.
World of Tanks Blitz shows 220 characters above the fold and uses some very good keywords. In fact, the keyword “award-winning” nets in upwards of 1.7 thousand searches per month in the U.S. alone.
App Store SEO Keyword tips include . . .
- Find keywords with a large monthly search volume
- Ensure you are not trying to rank with keywords big companies are already ranking for
- Make your top keywords a priority
- Don’t use spaces between keywords; instead commas instead
Bonus Tip: Always Track Your Analytics
It's vitally important to track your app analytics, just like you would for your website. With the use of mobile SDKs you can implement services like Google Analytics for your app to keep track of important KPIs. You can also maximize your ASO efforts with SDK services for analytics, marketing, and more.
It does well to remember that ASO also serves profit benefits - the more users you have, the more in-app ads and purchases you can use and make. Employing the above app store SEO tips and tracking them via analytics will ensure you get the installs, user base and funds that your app deserves.
Learn more with these related OMI classes:
Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.