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App Store Optimization Readiness

Michal Szczepanik

Solution Architect
Blog

No matter how exceptional an app is, it won’t get noticed in a crowded market without a strong optimization strategy.

How can I increase number of downloads and users? How can my app be on top for trend keywords? The solution for that is a good app store optimization (ASO) strategy and plan.

Optimizing for the iOS App Store and Google Play search is an important process for a 12-factor application. It helps to increase the number of organic searches and downloads, lessening the need to spend money on advertisements and gaining numbers of active users. Being among the top search results for strategic keywords and terms that describe what your app supplies enables you to be seen and downloaded by more people, who have the potential to become long-term users.

Multiple well-known content optimization tactics used for search engine optimization (SEO) can also be applied to ASO, including:

  • Primary and secondary keywords at the correct densities
  • An appropriate word count
  • Great readability
  • Optimal title and description tags

To build a strong optimization strategy, app producers should factor in some additional best practices to ensure their offering doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

App Name, URL and Subtitle/Short Description – ASO for 12-factor apps starts as early as generating the name. The name and description must reflect the core keywords describing the app, as well as reinforce value, differentiation and other perceived value signals. Researching the highest value keywords found in user search behavior and making sure they are included in this stage of the app process is foundational. 

App Keyword Field(s) – Only necessary for iOS, these are critical to get right and to keep updated with the latest changes in user search queries. These fields should not include spaces and plurals. It is highly recommended to use all localization supported in the target region to increase the number of keywords. Recommended keywords search tools for this phase include: Google TrendsKTD and App Radar.

Description – Only the first part of the description is for the user, the rest is to generate keywords for Google Play. This is the main source of keywords for the Android platform, so it is recommended to use natural language content analysis to understand search engine view from the Google Play and SEO/ASO perspective.

App Ratings & Reviews A core trust area for users, 12-factor apps need to have a framework in place for generating regular reviews, including replying to posts as a means of engaging with users. Reviews influence rankings within app stores, making both quantity and quality of reviews important.

App Downloads – The more downloads an app receives, the higher the perceived buzz, demand and user value associated with the app. Increasing the volume of downloads, mostly after the first release, will support increased prominence within the app store's organic ranking. This is why it is recommended to use other channels, like website, social media and existing users base, to increase the number of downloads.

Optimization Post-App Release

ASO is a continuous and iterative process. Consistency is important to keeping an app boosted in rankings. App providers should check movement for the most important keywords at least once per month and review market trends. Together with keywords and new app features, providers should update information on the pages like store listings and main webpages where the app is advertised. Using A/B testing during these updates allows providers to determine what messaging is resonating with users to better optimize app store placement.

Tracking and monitoring users’ feedback can be the biggest boost for an app. Addressing negative feedback should be a priority to help providers fix any issues. The positive feedback should help providers to improve the app’s strengths.

To best support the full lifecycle of an app release, understanding what is needed for ASO while building upon release process automation can get providers ahead of the game.

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