Your mobile app is now live in the app store. Now what?
It’s only useful, informational or enjoyable if it’s found and downloaded. As imperative as it is to have a mobile app that really connects with your users, app store optimization and marketing for that app can prove to be a bigger hill to climb.
With over 1.2 billion mobile app users, that figure will increases annually. The notion that your newly developed app is “one of a kind” may be reasonably thin. Whether it’s Google Play or the Apple App Store, there are millions upon millions of apps for users to search and download. And while your traditional marketing and promotion are crucial for downloads, applying search engine optimization tactics to your mobile app store page can improve the bottom line. This is known as app store optimization, and with some applied strategies deriving from SEO, it is imperative for success.
Using Keywords in App Title and Description
One of your biggest advocates when it comes to search engine optimization or app store optimization is keywords. Researching and implementing the right keywords in your app title and description not only gives potential users a breakdown of your app, but is necessary for your app to appear when someone directly searches for those associated keywords.
Do we suggest implementing your keywords as much as possible? Absolutely not. Just like the evolution of SEO, ASO is no different. It’s important to include your keywords within your title and description, but you should refrain from keyword stuffing or spamming. While the Google Play or Apple App Store may not issue penalties or have advanced algorithm updates like search engines, the overall effect looks spammy to potential users, and may deter them from downloading.
Visual is essential. Logo and Screenshots
No surprise here. It all starts with the logo. Whether you're a brick and mortar store or a mobile application, your logo is one of the first visuals that resonate with customers. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Angry Birds all have established and creative logos that are visually appealing to their brand. Over-complicating your logo will pressure users into thinking that your mobile app may be too complex. Likewise, not spending enough time and creativity into your logo may reflect a juvenile app with low capacity for usability.
The same goes with screenshots. Screenshots of your mobile app provide potential users with visual proof of your mobile app’s design, functionality, and appealing nature. Your screenshots should highlight your best features of your app that will assist in downloads and positive reviews.
Much like keywords, researching and selecting the right categories for your mobile app to be filed under are necessary for app store optimization. Your mobile app has a purpose, but can also house secondary categories that users are searching for indirectly. If you’re unsure what categories your mobile app falls into, initially try to highlight your customer personas. What type of audience is your mobile app geared to? By describing your target audience, it may open up some categories for your mobile app that initially were hidden.
App Reviews and Downloads
When users are searching for a new mobile app or game, research is the number one advocate.
The numbers don’t lie. The more app downloads you have, the better chance you have of gaining new customers. While the number of downloads may not be substantial when first launching your mobile app within a dedicated app store, positive reviews and ratings will assist in converting downloads.
Testimonials are one of the most under-rated marketing utilities, so positive app reviews shouldn’t be taken lightly with app store optimization. Listen to what current customers have to say within your reviews, pay attention to potential bugs, and be communicative with customers to make sure your mobile app delivers to their needs. Potential customers will absolutely take into consideration what other users have experienced with your mobile app, which could lead to a make or break situation.
While app reviews are not a direct correlation to app store optimization that you can control, it’s a vital piece of customer service and social listening on what your customers are saying about you.
While link building is a vital aspect to SEO, App Store Optimization fairs no different. The number of QUALITY links (see how we stressed quality) that point to your mobile app page within an app store are a direct correlation to a rise in rankings. Do not think for a second that paying for links does not apply to app store optimization. Not only will it potentially involve penalties in the future, it brings no real value to your numbers.
Word of mouth is obviously number one when it comes to downloads, but social media platforms play a major role. When others take notice of their friends posting to their social media platforms via a specific mobile application, and will be a catalyst in awareness.
While Facebook is the go-to for your marketing presence, Google+ is imperative if your mobile app is Android based. With Google+’s integration with direct search engine results as well as +1’s, you can count on traffic coming from search engine results based on your mobile app’s Google+ presence.
While app store optimization may not be as defined and complex as search engine optimization, there are many similar dynamics at the core. According to Conrad Kozuch of Jax Media Team, "If users can search for your product, there are things you can do to make sure they find it.” Your app store optimization like any other strategy of marketing will take time and consistent effort; success does not happen overnight.
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