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By now the term SEO (search engine optimization) is familiar to everyone as the process of improving your website’s visibility in search results by including relevant keyword in the site’s content. But one acronym that many may be less aware of is “ASO” – and if you’re in the app market, or considering entering into it, it’s one you should be aware of.
ASO stands for app store optimization and in principle is similar to SEO in that it concerns making sure you have the right keywords to connect you with your target audience in the app store. But ASO goes much further than that, and covers elements such as app name, category, customer reviews and price (i.e. is it free to download or not).
There are several reasons why getting app store optimization right is so important for app developers. First, over the last six years or so, the app market has seen explosive growth and is now hugely competitive. Second, research from Forrester suggests that over half (63%) of all apps are discovered through app store searches (although word-of-mouth and recommendations also rank highly), meaning it’s important to make sure you are thinking from your target customer’s point of view at every descriptive point of your app.
Here are our top four insights for getting ASO right:
Consider the apps that you have downloaded and use regularly, especially those that are not part of major brands. Is there anything in their name, icon design and app store page that made you choose them over a competitor? This can help hone the features of your app you want to highlight. Space is ultra-limited so it pays to be clear and succinct, using screenshots to help tell your story.
There are some great free tools out there, such as App Annie and Sensor Tower, to establish the top keywords in your category as well as identify emerging trends. These insights can also help identify which keywords you need to avoid. It’s about finding a careful balance between appearing in a search and achieving market differentiation.
After highlighting how important keywords are in ASO, it’s also important to note that, just as with SEO, the meaning can’t get lost in the content. Make sure that you inject some personality (whether it’s a sense of humor, authority or whatever speaks to the target market of your app) into the app description.
If you are planning for your app to have a global reach, it’s important to take the time to translate the description content for key markets. This can significantly improve conversion rates and download figures with foreign language markets, as no one wants to use an app they can’t understand.
If you’re entering the app market and would like more insight into how we can help build your ASO strategy, as ever, please get in touch.
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