With the every-day increasing number of mobile applications in the app stores, which is somewhere over 2 million, getting people to notice and download your app can be quite tricky. Like with SEO for your website, there is also a technique for optimising your mobile app, known as app store optimisation (AOS), which can help you in placing your app higher in the store’s search results and with that in increasing the number of downloads. AOS is highly important since most of the apps are being discovered through general browsing, and if you don’t pay enough attention to it or you do it poorly, your app will probably get lost in some of the store’s dark corners.
So how to achieve this simple-sounding AOS effect? How hard can it be? Well, it all depends on how well you know your product and your target audience. Anyways, there are two outcomes – seeing positive results in a short period after doing a good optimisation or not seeing any results in a longer period and eventually quitting. We all want to achieve that first outcome, so I recommend following these steps:
Get to know your targeted customers – imagine that you’re one of the potential customers, for whom the app is intended, and start thinking about which words you’ll most likely type when searching in the store. Also, try to understand which keywords are used when the potential customers are searching for apps similar to yours. In other words, get into their heads and start speaking their language!
Get to know the on-page and off-page factors and start improving them – the app title and app description are what we refer to as on-page or primary factors. The app title should reflect the app’s main purpose and should be consisted of the most relevant keywords. The app description should contain appropriate keywords and still be interesting enough to cause some kind of action by the one that’s reading it. I recommend using some kind of call-to-action phrase in the description because it works almost always ……when we are told what to do, we consciously or subconsciously to that 🙂
Off-page factors can be different, depending on the store in which the apple is published. Apple takes more data into consideration than Google, so everything from the total number of downloads, CTR (click-through rate) and app updates to reviews and discard rates can be a relevance factor.
Get your website to spread the word for your app – because it would be cool to turn every website visitor into an app user, wouldn’t it? Whether the app is your main product or you have developed an app for your already existing product, links to the app should be placed on your webpage visibly enough, so everyone will notice them. I get a little annoyed when I became interested in getting an app, but I can’t find a link to its location in the store, and the search result gives me everything but the app I’m looking for! So if you want people to get to your app, make sure they’ll get to it with just one step!
Get an app ranking system and analytics – after going through all of the previous steps, you might want to try out using an app ranking system to send personalised marketing campaigns and get your analytics and insights in one place. That will simplify the whole process, will provide you with more personalised communication with your potential customers and will bring you quickly to the desired results.
Get reviews on the most popular review blogs – in my opinion, one of the best ways to boost up the downloads of your app. Blogs that come to mind are Appolicious, AppStorm, AndroidTapp and Androinica.
That pretty much wraps ups what every app developer should know about AOS. Apps shouldn’t be just made and then left alone in the big, overpopulated stores….they need some nurturing too, so invest your time in AOS and help your apps to be found, used and loved!