ASO Best Practices 2022: 5 Tips To Help you with ASO
Organic User Acquisition
Table of Contents:
- What is App Store Optimization?
- Why is it important for your app?
- ASO trends to watch for
- What are the best ASO practices for apps?
- Final Thoughts!
As an app creator, the greatest achievement you can get is having your apps downloaded and used by people. In a 2022 report by Statista, more than 3.5 million apps were available for Android users on Google Play. While Apple users had more than 2.22 million apps.
So, the biggest issue that most app publishers are facing today is not app building or app marketing but rather how to make their apps more discoverable. This is why in-app store acquisition tactics like App Store Optimization (ASO) are such a powerful tool. It helps increase an app’s visibility in the app store and if correctly done, will attract quality users for long-term success.
But the problem plaguing app publishers today is not investing in apps or engaging with the audience. The main issue they face is how to help people discover their apps in the first place.
Enter App Store Optimization (ASO)
What is App Store Optimization?
App Store Optimization refers to the improvements made in an app’s visibility to engage users and increase conversion rates. Additionally, ASO focuses on the Click-Through Rate as well. To optimize for CTR, you need to convince people to click on your app. But before that, you must ensure that your app is visible. The typical CTR optimizations include your app:
- Ratings and reviews
When trying to understand your app’s ASO, multiple factors can impact your app’s visibility in the app stores and affect organic downloads. Depending on your brand’s goals, and KPIs, ASO should include:
- Keyword research to optimize metadata with closely related keywords
- Optimized creative assets such as icons, screenshots, videos
- Localizing the app’s product pages to include worldwide languages
- Implementing a review strategy that ensures a consistent stream of positive reviews
- Increasing the app’s visibility with featured stories
- Monitoring app store changes and keeping updates on competitors' apps to improve visibility
Why is it important for your app?
Getting more app downloads and growing your user base is among the most important KPIs all app publishers need to target. With millions of apps available online and more being added every day, ASO helps improve visibility in all available placements on app stores. Some reasons why ASO is becoming so important for app publishers:
ASO helps get your app noticed:
Most people find apps by searching for them on the app store. Unless it is a specific app that people already know about, you need your app to rank better than your competitors. Google Play and Apple App algorithms index keywords used in an app’s title, subtitle, description, and in-app purchase titles. This is where ASO keywords come in.
ASO helps get your app in front of international audiences:
The spread of technology has made it possible for everyone to connect globally. This means that when an app is optimized for multiple countries, it reaches a broader audience, and more people can find the app in Online Stores.
This can be done by improving your ASO for each location. This includes translating and optimizing key app elements such as keywords, icons, titles, screenshots, and descriptions. Also, you need to look at design elements and the utility of search terms.
ASO helps your app from being removed from App Stores:
App stores are essentially app curators who want to provide their customers with the best. This is why, if any app has high retention rates, good reviews, and frequent updates, App Stores will feature them first. In 2016, Apple cleaned out its Apple Store and removed all dead apps that were of low quality or copies. So, prioritizing ASP helps keep your apps safe from removal.
ASO does not only include adding relevant keywords. It also involves communicating with users to request reviews, adding regular upgrades to improve design and functionality, and increasing retention rates organically.
Helps cut User Acquisition Costs:
As app publishers, spending resources on paid user acquisition and ignoring organic user acquisition is unfavorable. Users that come from paid channels do not stay long-term. Why? Because an ad pushed them to install the app. Soon they may realize that your app is not required leading to uninstallation. This will also hurt your app store ranking.
A well-executed ASO strategy brings your app to the front of people who are looking for it and interested in it. These people will not download your app but will use it frequently and even recommend it to their friends and family. Because of this, your user acquisition costs will decrease while active user earnings will increase.
ASO trends to watch for
App Store Optimization is always changing, and for app developers, this is a great opportunity to help make their apps more discoverable to potential users. Let’s take a look at 5 ASO trends to watch out for in 2022:
Evolving Google Play:
App publishers who developed only Android apps will know that A/B testing has been a reality in the Google Play world. But, there have been some recent changes in the Play Store recently. In 2021, Google announced big updates that immediately impacted ASP and downloads.
- Shorter and clearer names: App names can be only 30 characters long and cannot have any promotional words, emojis, or insinuate any performance features. This update helps make the app more discoverable for users.
- New safety or privacy labels: New privacy section to list what apps can do with user data or information. While privacy labels have not influenced the download pattern of apps, it is a feature you need to look into as users are now looking at these labels more closely with the increase in data selling and fraud.
- Localization + per-device rating: Ratings are slowly becoming some of the most important factors for ranks on Google Play. With the latest update, Google shows ratings by country instead globally.
Apple Search ads to become more competitive:
Last year Apple released its new App Tracking Transparency policy, and immediately, it became the only ad network that offers great returns on ad spend. With a system where bidding decides the costs, as demand increases, costs rise. High prices mean lesser return on investment, so app publishers start looking for alternatives.
The best alternative is Organic discovery - App Store Optimization!
As more app creators moved their ad budgets to Apple Search Ads, costs increased, and ASO became a bigger factor than paid ads. But, this meant more keyword competition.
Pay Attention to Keywords:
When planning your strategy for ASO, one thing that both Apple and Google have in common is the usage of keywords in your app's metadata. Metadata is another name for the title and areas where you can add text. Apple’s metadata includes the app title, subtitles, and keyword list, whereas Google’s includes the title and short and long descriptions.
You need to include words to highlight what your app offers so that the algorithm can place it in relevant searches. As easy as this sounds, keywords are highly important in 2022. But, not just any keyword - the Right Keywords matter. This is where ASO tools are important. Whether monitoring trends or looking out for relevant keywords, having the correct data helps evaluate essential keywords for downloads.
The second aspect is where the keywords are placed. Apple’s algorithm emphasizes words that appear at the beginning of the title. This has been the effect for quite some time, but in recent trends, the placement maybe even more important. It also offers more weight to the keyword list.
Page conversions are critical for Growth:
Users' attention spans are becoming shorter, and competition is bigger. So, when you put these two together, you can see when someone lands on your app page, there are just a few seconds to turn them from a viewer to a downloader.
So, the odds of getting it wrong are much higher than getting it right.
But Apple has finally released its in-store A/B testing tool, which lets developers test for screenshots, icons, videos, and aspects that impact the view-to-download conversion rate. This is the most critical change in the Apple Store, as while improving your ASO, you also need to improve your conversion rates otherwise, your competitors will have the upper hand.
On the other hand, Google Play Store has had these tools for quite some time now, which are highly beneficial to app publishers.
Know your Audience Thoroughly:
Shortened attention spans may seem like a problem, even with thorough A/B Testing, but it could also be an added advantage if your app page is customized for specific users, and the odds of a view turning into a download increase.
The Apple Store is now offering a way to do it with Custom Product Pages. The concept is simple: create a customized version of your page, get a special link, and then use that link to promote your app outside the store.
Google also has this feature, but it is limited and not as customizable as Apple’s.
What are the best ASO practices for apps?
Having an ASO strategy:
Before you start keyword research or writing titles and descriptions, you must have a proper ASO strategy. Know who your target users are, what they are looking for, the type of communication they prefer, and what your competitors are doing. Map out a strong strategy so that the process becomes easier.
Select relevant keywords:
Research is easy, but selecting the right keywords is hard. The visibility of your app depends on those keywords, so you need to research what the target audience is looking for, and add the most relevant ones to your metadata.
Writing suitable titles and descriptions:
The first thing a potential user will see is your app title. Having a creative title that is hard to remember will not help increase conversions. Keep it simple but memorable. Also, remember that you only have a 50-character limit for Google Play and 30-character limit for Apple. So, take full advantage of it. Include short titles with relevant keywords to make it catch.
You have the app description to add more relevant keywords and your features to attract potential users. Be sure to capture the most compelling features and benefits of your app so that users will immediately want to download your app post reading it.
Optimizing conversions with A/B tested icons, screenshots, and videos:
Your app’s creatives help sell it visually to potential users. When scanning the results of a query, users decide within the first 2-3 seconds whether they want to click on your app for more details simply by looking at the screenshots and icons. If these are tested and optimized to grab the user's attention, it reflects on your conversion rates.
This is why it is always recommended to A/B test your creatives. Check which colors work better, or which font gets noticed more, and then run with those.
Localize your app listing:
Localizing your app is a must for app publishers that want their app to be internationally available. This means translating it into multiple languages and making functionality adjustments so that it appeals to people from different cultures.
Localization helps increase app visibility and expands the reach globally. The broader your audience to whom your app is presented, the greater the download options.
App Store Optimization is very important for your apps to stand out from the crowds. Without ASO, your visibility decreases and gets lost in the hundreds of other options. But, keeping track of the latest trends and updates from app stores and optimizing for ASO regularly can be taxing. If you have multiple apps in your portfolio, sell them online!
Also, check out KalaGato, one of the best places to sell your app online. It helps sell your mobile app quickly and easily within 30 days. When you send a query to the team, you get a response in 72 hours, an offer in 2 weeks, and deal closure in under 30 days. Selling your app here saves you the time and energy to invent more apps!
1. What is an ASO strategy?
ASO or App Store Optimization is a marketing strategy used to increase the organic visibility of a mobile app on an App Store (Apple or Google).
2. What is the goal of ASO?
An ASO strategy's goal is to improve an app's visibility and make it stand out from its competitors so that potential users can view the app organically.
3. How can I improve my ASO?
You can improve your ASO by:
- Using relevant keywords
- Optimizing title and description
- Adding icons and screenshots
- Adding videos
- Building backlinks
4. How do you measure ASO success?
You can measure ASO success by tracking these KPIs:
- Visibility in stores - keyword ranking, visibility score, keyword impact
- Conversion rates
- Ratings and reviews
- Organic installs
- Features in the store
5. What is the difference between ASO and SEO?
The main differences between ASO and SEO are:
- ASO is for apps, whereas SEO is for websites
- ASO allows you to do a soft launch, whereas SEO does not
- ASO tracks Conversion rates, user ratings, impressions, organic downloads, and revenue, whereas SEO tracks Organic traffic, conversion rate, keyword ranking, page visitors, CTR, revenue
- Results for ASO campaigns can be viewed faster than SEO
- Paid traffic can affect ASO but does not affect SEO
- Search terms for ASO are more specific than SEO
- App stores tend to favour new apps, whereas Search Engines favour the most relevant
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