After you knew how to get your iOS and Android apps featured in the last 2 posts of the “App Hacks” series, you may be asking now how to optimize your app to keep its discoverability high on the app stores? Luckily, we’ve got your back!
Getting your app featured is like Christmas to your app, but just like Christmas it only lasts short and comes once every year. So building your app’s solid ranking and optimizing it is more important than getting it featured. As the image below shows, the app stores search is still the number one method to discover new apps according to The State of Mobile Apps report by Nielsen. By optimizing your app store listing, you will make every day a “Congrats, your app will be featured!” day.
Now let’s go ahead and check these 5 points on how to optimize your app stores ranking.
Your app title is your most fundamental building block. It’s the first thing your potential users will notice, and they only have seconds to notice it. Therefore the words in your app’s title should be the ones with the highest search traffic, but definitely with avoiding Apple’s blacklisted keywords and without violating Google’s Content Policy. You’ll always have the option to change it later, but it’s not recommended to do that frequently as it’ll affect your app’s ranking. Only do that if the searching keywords themselves changed. According to Fiksu, having the keywords in the title can increase your app ranking by 80-100 spots compared to not having them.
Pro Tips for App Store:
1- Use the CamelCase practice when naming your app. As it will allow your app to appear in the search results when not only searching for its name, but also any word in it.
2- Localize your app keyword, as localizing it can increase its downloads to 767%!
The app description is the core content of your app’s page on the store. It has to be as good as the app quality itself, focusing on your users’ needs and what your app will actually deliver to them. You can do that by including the most searchable keyword in it, and having a very clear messaging which is to install the app. Especially in the first 3 lines (167 characters) of it, as it’ll be the preview of it on Google Play and will be used as the meta description of its link on search engines. This point is more effective on Google Play than the App Store, as it can increase your app’s ranking 10 to 20 spots according to Fiksu.
Pro Tip for Google Play: Repeat your app’s most searchable keyword 4 to 5 times in the app description.
3- Visuals: Logo, Screenshots, Promo Video
Eyes pay attention to visuals first then text, that’s science. Because of this fact, your app’s page should be your art gallery! Through 1) Designing your app’s logo according to Google’s material icons guidelines and approaches and ensuring that it’s at maximum resolution. 2) Capturing the most beautiful screenshots that show how smooth and usable your app is, with highlighting your app’s top features. And also using all the available screenshots on each store for your app running on all devices (Phone, 7″ Tablet, 10″ Tablet, Wearables, TV, …etc). 3) Include a short promo video as it’s more engaging than images, because of its motion and sound effects. Your video should be crisp and to the point (30-120 secs) highlighting your app’s key features in action. And if you can’t afford to make a top notch video or don’t have the time, you can simply record a walkthrough video from inside your Android app using Android Studio commands.
The sole purpose of the app store optimization (ASO) is to increase your app installs. Therefore, your repetitive installs should somehow pay back, and fortunately that’s true! Apple and Google are continuously collecting statistics about the apps installs, uninstalls, and retention rates on their stores, and adjusting their rankings based on these data. So make sure to keep an eye on your app’s install and retention rates to avoid messing up your app’s ranking. It’s also worth considering the differences between how each store adjust its ranking, as the App Store only considers the data from the past 72 hours of the ranking adjustment, but Google Play considers it for the past 30 days.
Pro Tip for Google Play: Use backlink campaigns to redirect to your app’s page on the Play Store to increase installs.
5- Ratings and Reviews
“The customer is always right.”, that’s also true in the mobile apps industry. It’s always better to maintain positive ratings and reviews for your app because they will affect its ranking and discoverability, as they are an indicator of your users’ satisfaction. This can be done by designing world class user experience first, and then the positive ratings and reviews will follow. And since we’re speaking about reviews, it’s worth mentioning that we (at Instabug) have discovered the secret weapon to eliminate up to 80% of the negative reviews.[Tweet “5 Simple steps to improve your app store ranking through App Store Optimization”]
There’s No Finish Line!
When it comes to ASO there’s no finish line, as the app store optimization is a continuous work as long as your app is live on the store. You will always have to make competitive research and keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, and also coming up with something completely different every once in a while to surprise them and the app stores algorithms 😉