aso

So you’ve studied your target audience for a long time and created an app that perfectly solves their challenges. You’ve gone the extra mile and put in efforts to create a great user interface and interesting tutorials too. But somehow your app still isn’t being downloaded as much as you had expected.

If this sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to leverage app store optimization (ASO) to boost your downloads.

Did you know that there are almost 3.3 million Android apps on Google Play Store today? The Apple App Store too has almost 2.2 million iOS apps available.

These staggering statistics indicate that you need to be brilliant at ASO to be able to rise above the competition. Here are some tried and tested ASO strategies to help you boost your app downloads.

#1: Select The Right Keywords

In order for your app to be downloaded, it needs to be visible to your target audiences. When they run a search for something your app can do, your app needs to show up in the results.

Here’s why keywords are so important. Selecting the right keywords ensures that your app is displayed to your target audience.

However, your competitors too, are using the same or similar keywords. So, what must you do to ensure that your app gets ranked higher than your competitors?

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The first thing you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Think about what they would search for in order to find a problem solution. You can even analyze the traffic to your app and check what search terms your visitors have used.

Once you have made a list of these keywords, you must also check the keywords your competitors are using. You need to decide if you want your app to rank for highly competitive keywords or for lesser used ones. This will largely depend on your app’s value proposition.

You can leverage tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to select your keywords.

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#2: Select The Right Title

The name of your app does not simply serve for branding purposes. In fact, for ASO, it is essential that appropriate keywords are incorporated in your title too.

A recent study by Incipia found that apps that have keywords in their titles ranked 109% better than those without.

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Image via Incipia

It is recommended that you include the keyword that has the highest search volume, in your title. Even if search volumes and traffic for those keywords change, do not try to alter your app title. This is one of the most important ASO mistakes to avoid.

With time, your app ranking improves and more and more people come to know your app. If you change the title, you run a risk of losing your audiences who are trying to find you. Hence, choose a title at the onset of your marketing and stick to it.

#3: Write An Engaging Description

You’re done with the harder part of the puzzle. Now that you’ve figured out the keywords you should be using, the first step towards greater visibility has been taken. Your description is what will decide whether your audiences will download your app or not.

Write an informative description that tells your customers exactly how your app will provide value to them. Include relevant screenshots and videos that help your audiences understand it better. Feel free to use keywords in the description that fit naturally in the text.

Videos and screenshots are extremely important as they can boost your downloads. Visual storytelling is definitely more powerful than text. So if your audiences can get a feel of the product from the screenshots and videos and find it useful, they will download the app.

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It is important to select the screenshots that show your app’s most important features and updates as shown above. If you’re confused about which screenshots to use, you can use A/B testing to determine which screenshots perform better.

A very important factor that influences your app downloads is the call-to-action. The absence of a clear and precise call-to-action can thwart your audiences from downloading the app.

Also, remember to update the description of the app with each update. It should include details of the update as well as relevant screenshots that people can see easily.

Try to make the first few lines of the description truly appealing and engaging. If your audiences do not understand your value proposition in the first few sentences, they might just leave. This would be a serious waste of your time, effort, and resources.

Here’s an example of a great description for the game Candy Crush.clip_image010

#4: Create An Appealing Icon

An icon is one of the first things your audiences will notice. With the multitude of apps available on Google and Apple app stores, an appealing icon can set you apart.

Make sure that the design is not too cluttered but conveys the utility of your app clearly. It should be visually appealing, with the right combination of colors and design that catches the attention of your audience.

An easy tip for designing a great icon is to check some of the top ranking apps in your category. This will give you an idea of the kind of colors, graphics, or text to use. However, it is important that your icon is unique enough so that it is not confused with another one.

Google Play Store and the Apple store have different acceptable formats for app icons. So make sure that your icon is available in both of these formats and fulfills all requirements. Check out these resources for creating an icon for the Apple app store and Google Play Store.

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#5: Ratings And Reviews

Ratings and reviews play a very important role in how your app would rank in searches. A recent survey by Apptentive reveals that 59% of users check the star ratings of an app before downloading it.

The study has also shown that a change in your star rating can make a huge difference to your conversions.

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Image via Apptentive

Given that ratings and reviews play such an important role, you must encourage your users to submit reviews and ratings. A simple and effective way of doing so is by the use of prompts that pop-up from time to time when someone is using the app.

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You might think that such prompts might do you more harm than good. But in reality, only the most delighted or the most annoyed users will provide reviews on their own. The majority of your users will not represent these extremes and hence need to be prompted.

Updates to an app also encourage users to provide better reviews. However, this too requires some amount of prompting. Push notifications are a great way of encouraging users to download newer versions of your app.

When a new update is released, make sure to include information about it in the description. Add relevant screenshots of the latest features and a clear call-to-action to boost your downloads.

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#6: App Indexing

App indexing is one of the newer trends that helps in making the apps visible to search engines. For SEO, it is recommended that you get your sitemap indexed by popular search engines. This makes it possible for search engines to crawl your website content and make it visible to users via search.

The same logic applies to app indexing too. App indexing makes your app content appear on search engines so people can find it via search. This helps in increasing the traffic to your product page.

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This can help in boosting your downloads and also acquire new users. An important point to note is to make sure that your app is also searchable from mobile search engines. Statista says that mobile devices are the source of 49.74% of global webpage views. So you must make sure that your app product page is also indexed on mobile search engines.

Check out this article to learn how to index your app on Google web search. Also, this article includes the step-by-step instructions for app indexing on Google mobile search.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the most crucial tried and tested strategies that will drive more traffic to your app and boost downloads. Of course, App Store Optimization won’t be accomplished in a day. You need to invest a lot of time and effort to make sure that your app gets the visibility it deserves.

Social media can help you a lot when it comes to marketing and driving more traffic to your app page. Make sure you are building awareness about your app and its benefits in your social channels.

A lot of people get overwhelmed with ASO simply because they do not have an idea of how it works. This article helps you understand some of the important factors that decide ranking and visibility. Armed with this knowledge, you are sure to be able to develop a robust strategy for boosting your app downloads.

Do you have any other tips for boosting app downloads using ASO? Let us know in the comments below.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com