Posted Saturday, October 31, 2015 by SEAN KILLIAN, Enola Labs
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As the development of your mobile app progresses, you should start considering all the elements of your app marketing plan. The first place to start is your app store optimization (ASO) plan for the App Store. Why? Research shows that 60-70% of AppStore downloads come directly from search and discovery within the App Store.
I will focus on Apple products here, but suffice to say there is a lot of overlap in how to optimize your app for sale in both Apple’s and Google’s stores.
App store optimization has several critical components: Title, Keywords, Description, and Visuals.
The app title is fairly straightforward and typically is already decided on early- most apps will simply use their app name. Although there are thousands of examples of apps with obscure names that ostensibly have nothing to do with what the product actually does, it's really best practice to come up with a name that contains keywords directly related to that product.
For example, the Texas Historical Landmarks App provides you with detailed information related to the state’s 14,000 historical markers. Giving it a keyword rich name that is as descriptive as possible helps you in a couple ways. First, it provides a very clear and precise headline of exactly what your app does. This will be especially helpful when it’s stacked against search result competitors with less straightforward names. This alone can be the difference maker if you’re in a competitive niche with apps that outrank you.
Secondly, it frees up space in the allotted keyword character count Apple provides when you submit your app- currently 100 characters excluding spaces and commas. Finally, it sets you up for concise brand recognition down the line as you continue your marketing efforts and get your product in front of eyeballs both inside and outside the app store.
App Store Keywords
App store keywords are your next target. As I previously mentioned, you are limited to 100 characters (excluding spaces and commas). A lot of your keywords will come from common sense. Simply ask yourself what problem your app solves and what people might search for as it relates to what you provide. Using that as a basis of information, there are a few keyword and competitive research tools you can utilize to extend and optimize.
These include: Google keyword planner, Sensor tower and App Codes. Developers tend to gloss over these last minute details before submitting their app, however taking the time to research and come up with a well thought out keyword set will undoubtedly drive your app higher in AppStore rankings.
Next up is your app’s description. Unfortunately app descriptions aren’t going to do much for you from a search and discovery standpoint, so stuffing your description with relevant keywords will only turn potential downloaders off. The best descriptions are short and concise. Include a few sentences on your value proposition, bullet point your features, add any major accolades your app may have received and stop, you’re done.
The key here is not to overdo it. Potential downloaders are much more likely to gather the info they need from bullet pointed features or your app’s visuals.
The images for your app are right up there with your keywords and title in terms of importance. These are the hook the pull people in and convert them to downloaders. Step one is hire a professional. You’re only looking at a few hours of an experienced designer’s time and most people are going to decide a lot about your product based on these photos, so quality is a must.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Avoid words in the app icon image. Typically it’s confusing and often it looks unprofessional.
- Save the short descriptions (less than 5 words per graphic) for the app’s screenshots.
- The best app screen shot photos tell a story. They allow potential downloaders to completely understand your value proposition and your product features just by looking at your app imagery.
Wrapping it Up
These four elements of app store optimization will set your product on a path to sustainable downloads. After launch, make sure you watch your analytics and even more importantly, listen to your users. Both will give you a wealth of information that will allow you to make tweaks to your optimization efforts that will build upon your foundation.
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