If you’re thinking about implementing a successful ASO strategy that will make your application be at the top of search engines and boost your downloads, you’re reading the right article.
An ASO strategy takes analysis to be developed and paying close attention to its implementation. It’s not just about developing a strategy, but about it being the right strategy for your niche and buyer persona.
Pay attention and take some notes down: we’ll be telling you everything you need to know to create an ASO strategy that brings the best results.
What is ASO?
ASO stands for App Store Optimization, and it positions your app in the best spots when a user searches in app stores.
This is key, considering that the current market holds more than 6 million available apps and that users usually only pick from those that appear at the top of their search results.
Of course, to turn it into a success, you need much more than to tweak your app’s name or make a list of keywords. Planning and implementing an effective ASO strategy requires taking into account several factors, and that’s what we’ll tell you about here.
Your app’s marketing strategy must include ASO to position your app in the market. If you want to learn what ASO is in detail and what it’s for, we suggest reading our blog What is ASO? Learn to make your app stand out from others.
The most common errors when applying an ASO strategy (that are decreasing downloads)
A key factor for your app’s success in app stores starts with not making the same mistakes others have in the past. On the contrary, the best you can do is learn from them and take advantage of them.
Here, we’ll tell you what common mistakes developers are making when implementing an ASO strategy, so that you can avoid making them. That way, you’ll achieve top results.
Not using keywords in the name and subtitle or brief description
Although you might find this hard to believe, this mistake tends to be the most common and is—simultaneously—one of the most harmful for ASO positioning. Why? Because Google and Apple’s algorithms put a lot of weight on these sections’ keywords when people search for applications.
By not including keywords in the name and subtitle, you miss out on lots of organic downloads.
The right thing to do in this case would be to define the keywords according to where you want to position your application, both in the name and in the app subtitle.
Not having a list of optimized keywords
Apple offers the possibility of inputting your keywords (with a 100-character limit) in Apple Store Connect to make it easier for the algorithm to find you when searching.
Apple prioritizes the keyword list, and it’s an opportunity you can’t pass up.
Not optimizing the long description
Unlike Apple, Google reads your app’s name, subtitle, and long description (instead of allowing you to enter a keyword list.) Google reads your long description and defines what your app does, taking into account which words are repeated the most.
For that reason, your organic description must include and repeat your keywords and other terms related to your app’s own features so that the algorithm can see them.
What’s most important about this is not the number of times that a word is repeated, but its density (the number of times the word gets repeated divided by the total number of words in the description.) The main keywords’ keyword density must be at between 3% and 5%
Not evaluating keywords before using them
Choosing the right keywords is essential for an ASO positioning strategy’s success. And, in this case, the most common error usually lies in picking keywords that don’t generate enough traffic, or that are too competitive.
Therefore, picking and evaluating keywords before using them by taking this into account is essential.
Using irrelevant keywords
A common mistake is choosing simple keywords that are less relevant to rank higher up. However, their irrelevance ends up decreasing your downloads.
When choosing these types of keywords, you might achieve better positioning for your app or, even, making it be positioned among the top spots, but, because you’ve used an irrelevant keyword, it’s likely you’ll reach an audience that doesn’t adjust to your buyer persona. Therefore, that person won’t download your app. Or, worse, they will download it and erase it when they realize your app doesn’t really do what they were looking for.
Optimizing only once
Another common mistake is making a list of optimized keywords once and not keeping it updated. The best way to be successful at ASO is to try out different words until they work and to keep optimizing from there.
When testing how your current keywords are working, you can tell which ones need to be modified or replaced.
Keyword performance evolves; to achieve great ASO positioning, you be up to date as to which keywords your users are searching for.
Using the same strategy for Google Play and Apple Store
Google Play and Apple Store have different algorithms; because of this, you should choose different keywords for each platform. Also, the data each store uses to determine which keywords are relevant for each app is different (as we’ve said in points 2 and 3).
Each store even sorts its apps the following way: Apple focuses on recent rankings while Google focuses on the total number of downloads, uninstalls, or bugs.
In short, you should choose keywords taking into account which store you are aiming for.
Not minding competitors
A key point is to look at what your competitors are doing and benchmark. This way, you can learn from their experience only by looking at which things work for them and what doesn’t, and, likewise, which keywords they are using, how they work and comparing it to your keywords’ performance.
Monitoring the content of their description and how they change over time is also very useful and could give you ideas for new keywords.
Not follow up on keyword positioning
ASO strategy is a continuous task and requires a follow-up. Not only of keyword positioning and how they rank in the app, but also of market trends so you can plan ahead.
Apart from our own endeavors, it’s necessary to follow up on competitors, and keep track of the changes the algorithms make, because they, too, will change our strategy.
Key Differences Between Google Play and App Store’s ASO
In our previous blog on ASO, we’ve hinted that your positioning strategy must focus on different things for Google Play and App Store.
This different approach and planning regarding ASO are owed to the fact that each platform has different features to offer, which developers can have an influence on to improve ASO positioning.
When we talk about ASO On-metadata factors, meaning, those which can be modified or edited by developers directly. There are the main differences between Google Play and App Store:
When we talk about ratings and reviews, there are also important differences between the two:
- Each card for a game or app shows a maximum amount of four featured reviews.
- With each new update, it’s possible to prompt a new review.
- Shows a featured review on the card and, by sliding right, you can see the remaining reviews.
- It allows for prompts for new reviews three times a year and after each update.
- It’s possible to restart the app’s average stored stars and ratings.
- Users can rate apps without having to visit the store.
A/B ASO Testing
A/B tests are currently a commonly used tool in performance-based marketing. In a data-based world, it’s not possible to make up ideas whose results aren’t being measured and analyzed.
What’s A/B testing?
A/B testing is a methodical process for decision-making based on data. The tests randomly experiment with two versions of one variant and gather useful information to determine, in this case, what the best positioning for an app in an app store is.
A/B testing for ASO
When applied to ASO strategy, A/B tests evaluate different versions of a text or visual element to determine which one works best. That is, they’re very useful to improve:
- Conversion rates
They identify improvements in specific elements in our stores simultaneously, such as:
- Subtitle or short description
- Video previews
- Screen captures
Some easy A/B ASO testing
- Changing the background color: light or dark
- Changing font style
- Changing font color
- Changing subtitle position: upper or lower
- Subtitle length
- Textured or block-color background
A/B tests are very useful for ASO optimization and to improve conversion rates, although they have their limitations.
Regarding Google Play, firstly it only allows for testing screen captures, icons, videos, functional graphics, and localized descriptions. Secondly, Apple allows for testing screen captures, icons, and promotional text.
In any case, its use is extremely relevant for an ASO strategy’s success.
Use ASO and Position Yourself at the Top of App Download Stores
- Understanding and being aware of your buyer persona: identifying the audience the app is meant for (age, sex, culture, education, socioeconomic status, location, interests, etcetera.) and focusing your efforts on getting their attention are determining factors in your ASO positioning’s success.
- Going beyond keyword optimization: using the right keywords increments organic downloads; however, they won’t be enough on their own. The focus should not be on getting more visitors, but on getting more downloads and increasing conversion rates (CVR).
- ASO strategies must be based on a good hypothesis: this hypothesis must project what the possibilities for the project’s creative foundations are, and the messages to be sent; the ASO positioning will be based on this to get more downloads. This will be the starting point for research that proves or refutes the hypothesis in order to optimize available resources.
- Creativity and the message that’s being sent: These two are the key to ASO’s success. To choose the best ones for your app, you must take into consideration that, during the first 3 to 6 seconds that the user’s viewing the application site, they will define whether or not to download it. You must display the right amount of information, according to cell phone screen size, and clearly break down your application’s worth.
- A successful ASO strategy is information-based: measuring a strategy’s results is key to identifying applicable changes and identifying its strengths and weaknesses. Such as understanding what users best respond to; quantifying conversion rates; creating and testing new hypotheses. This must be done in a cyclical manner because both users and the competition evolve constantly—you can’t stay behind.
An incorrect optimization means setting up for a disadvantage. Because of this, taking into account all of the points we’ve mentioned before is essential for success.
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