ASO and Fear of the Unknown

Marketing & Promotion
Posted 4/7/2016 12:22:18 PM by DAVID LOVELL, Matomy

ASO and Fear of the Unknown
App stores are densely saturated and constantly growing. With over 1,000 new apps added every day to Apple’s App Store alone, getting their apps discovered is a leading issue faced by mobile app developers today. 

One of the most important methods of maximizing marketing efforts for an app is App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO is the process of optimizing an app's placement in search results within the app stores. ASO shares some of the same core principles and similarities as SEO, such as keyword emphasis, diagnostic monitoring and continuous improvement. 

However, ASO is a relatively new phenomenon and is often overlooked by most app developers as they are only just discovering the power ASO has to help increase app store downloads and overall app distribution strategies.  

Matomy Media Group recently conducted a survey which found that 80% of app developers don’t use any ASO service whatsoever. In light of these remarkable results, we’d like to present some the basics of what makes ASO so important and easy ways to begin your own ASO process.

App Discovery

The building blocks of a successful ASO campaign should be considered early on in the development process. Your app logo, app name, description, customer reviews, and the holy grail of any optimization plan – keywords – should all be approached with your strategy in mind from the very beginning. ASO requires an all-inclusive approach that places importance on all the elements that drive marketing initiatives. 

Most apps are discovered through app store searches. ASO can help differentiate your app from your competition and increase app store ratings, visibility, and user traffic back to your platform. 

It’s crucial to design your app to be responsive to searches. Users looking for the right app will generally input terms of functionality they are looking for into the search bar. In fact, according to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through organic app store searches. This makes organic app store search the most used method for discovering and downloading new apps. Several vendors who implemented ASO campaigns witnessed their organic download rates double, with a 120 percent download increase. 

In a way ASO is a secret weapon – not directly visible at surface level but very powerful if the time and effort is invested early on and developed consistently. Being readily visible in the app store is one of the most difficult challenges facing mobile app developers. To avoid obscurity, it is important to be exactly where potential customers are looking.

ASO Starter Strategies 

Understanding which components go into good app store optimization will make sure your app stands out from the rest and also help people discover your app when they're searching through the app stores. Here are a few tips to get you started:

What’s in a name? Your app’s discoverability relies heavily on the name or title of your app. Make it easy for people searching within the category of your app to get to your app quickly by using effective keywords. If you’re not sure what words to use – research your competitor’s keywords.

Include engaging screenshots to your app listing. Users become excited to play and pay because they are now genuinely curious and eager to take the next steps.

Ratings and reviews are bittersweet. Apps with higher ratings rank higher. But be prepared for negative ratings and reviews. Make sure to treat every user who gives a bad review with as much care as you would to your happy customers. Listening and taking action on user feedback will both help improve your app as well as its visibility. 

And Yet…

It seems advantageous and yet the use of ASO services by developers is still quite limited. A reasonable explanation for this is that app developers are highly technical and solution-oriented people who focus on the immediate coding and design issues of a project. In doing so, the future steps such as marketing, and the overall distribution strategy are often left as an afterthought.

ASO done right needs to be monitored and constantly adjusted over an extended period of time. It is most effective when integrated into the early stages of the development process so that research and thought guide the overall strategy in the design and building of the app.  

Yes, this requires an investment of time - but ASO yields great rewards in traffic flow and visibility on the most prominent discovery channel available.  It’s an investment app developers can’t afford to ignore, because their app’s discovery depends on it.

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About the author: DAVID LOVELL, Matomy

David Lovell is Director of SEO & Business Development at Matomy.

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