What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is defined as the optimization of mobile applications, to improve their visibility and organic positioning in the main App stores, such as: Apple's App Store for iOS, Google's Google Play for Android and Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Windows Phone, with the main purpose of obtaining more downloads.

Also known as the SEO of mobile applications, it attempts to ensure that when users search for the keywords we want, they find our applications at the top of the results lists of these application stores.

Leaving aside application downloads as the main objective to carry out ASO strategies, other highlights include:

There are many methods for discovering applications in their respective stores. As this graphic from Neil Patel's Blog about the acquisition of mobile applications shows:

Optimización de aplicaciones móviles

What is the importance of ASO?

More than 63% of the applications are recognized through the searches carried out in the App stores. In other words, it is the preferred way to discover new applications.

The mobile applications industry is constantly growing, thousands of mobile applications are downloaded day after day in the different App stores. Developers compete with a large number of high-quality Apps, therefore, it is imperative to invest resources in ASO optimization to gain visibility, and successfully position the App in search results.

Elements to consider for the ASO optimization strategy

1. Title and name of the application:

The name of your application (also known as the Application Title) is what each user sees first. So, it’s important to choose the name of your application wisely. Make sure the title of your application is relevant, easy to read and unique. If the title is attractive, people will remember it, which in turn will give your app more recognition value. When choosing the correct name, be sure to consider the character count.

2. Keywords:

Keywords are essential to ensure finding the right App, according to user search queries. Traditional keyword research is necessary to optimize ASO. As in SEO, the use of intention, Long Tail Keywords and the semantics of Keywords are of vital importance, without forgetting the location of these.

3. Description:

The description is the equivalent to a meta description in a SEO strategy. The description should be a brief introduction to the App, describing it clearly and thoroughly. It is important to consider the keywords that are obtained after the keyword study.

4. Icon:

Your app's icon is what will draw people’s attention and may be one of the main reasons people click on a search result. Therefore, its another crucial element regarding ASO.

When designing your app icon, think about what your app is about and how you can visually convey it. If your app or brand has an established personality, the icon should reflect this.

5. Name of the Developer:

The name of the Developer is of great importance because App Stores give value to developers and rank both their authority and the applications they have developed, making them an element that adds value in the positioning of the App.

6. Category:

It’s important to classify the application properly, in order to place it in the optimal category within each App Store.

7. Images and Videos:

The images or screenshots and videos of the application give you the opportunity to demonstrate functionalities of your application, as well as convey its essence.

Approximately 55% of people base their decision on a first impression, so you should pay attention to detail regarding your images.

When it comes to screenshots, you can choose between a vertical and horizontal layout. Similar to its icon, it might be a good idea to find out what works best with A / B testing.

Visual storytelling can also be used in your App's videos. These are called App Previews on the Apple App Store or App Store Videos on Google Play.

8. URL:

In the App stores, including the programmer and the company’s URL is important. Not only will it drive traffic to your website, but it also allows users to verify credentials.

The user will see where the App originated.

Both the Apple App Store and the Windows Marketplace allow you to include a URL -- and the corresponding technical support, while in Google Play you can include the links to the brand's social networks.

9. Installations and downloads:

As expected, the more downloads the app receives, the greater the perceived authority, demand, and user value associated with the app. An increase in downloads will support give the App a better organic ranking in the App store.

10. Reviews:

A key area of trust is Reviews. The number of reviews and rankings (qualifications) are important. A framework should be in place to generate periodic reviews, as well as to respond to and participate in reviews.

11. Link Building:

Link Building or the generation of external links that are naturally recommended by mobile applications that we develop, are a very important source of relevance for any product developed for the App stores.

The concept of Deep Linking is also important. It is the practice of channeling users into your application by using a URL. This allows mobile app developers to access a specific page within an app instead of just opening it. Think of it as the URL of a website.

Therefore, a good combination of On and Off Page strategies, will be the sure formula of success for mobile applications. In summary, the configuration of a title, description, and URL, based on a study of keywords, adding visual elements such as images, icons, videos and, finally, an effective strategy for managing external factors, are simple steps that will ensure proper optimization for your application in App stores.

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