Tag Archives: App Store Optimization

How To Improve Your Mobile App Ranking

In today’s mobile age, both established and emerging brands are busy enhancing their online presence through mobile apps in order to strategically connect and reach users on the go.

However, to retain business growth and get noticed by potential customers, your app must have better rankings. Since people’s opinions drive your app’s visibility in crowded app stores, you need more positive reviews.

But such good reviews don’t happen automatically. In fact, people tend to visit app stores often to share bad reviews. To expect people swarming in the app store for your app, you must optimize it for better rankings. Here are a few good tips to help you improve your mobile app ranking:

1)  Understand the App Stores Thoroughly

First things first, before you set off executing a strategy to increase your app’s visibility, you should know that there is certain difference between iTunes app store and Google Play.

Both have their own set of terms and elements that are vital to app store optimization. For instance, while Google Play puts massive emphasis on the description of the app, iTunes app store relies greatly on keywords to categorize and display your app.

Gaining full insight into how app stores actually work can help you pull off the app optimization.

2) Prefer a Reliable App Review Plug-in

Rankings are highly sensitive to reviews. One of the best ways to draw better rankings is to ask users to consider sharing their experience. For this, there are handy plug-ins that fit in your iOS and Android apps and simplify prompting the users for reviews.

  • Helpshift is one vital option for encouraging customers to drop reviews after they have explored the app for a while
  • Appirater is another popular plug-in that integrates quickly with your mobile app and prompts users to review the app after set time period. Once they choose to rate, users are redirected to the app store to share their views

Make sure you use these plugins wisely while setting prompt timing.

3) Incentives For Reviews

The fact is, even if you try app review popups, users will not appreciate the idea of writing it. You need more than popups to make them take the action. Here is where incentivized encouragement seems to work. You can think of having:

  • Free In-game rewards
  • Virtual gifts
  • Redeemable Bonus points
  • Coupons

Offer them the promise of such rewards as this is the easiest way to have them review your app. People love free stuff and like to be surprised.

You can wait for them to complete specific actions in your app and then prompt them gently for reviews. Remember that original and decent popups are more effective than generic ones.

4) High Density of Active Users and Traffic

Soon after you have launched the app, you will need to see good amount of downloads. As number of active users and traffic volume soars, your app goes towards increasing its rank in app stores.

Too fetch more traffic to your mobile app, you will need to leverage a thoughtful marketing strategy and online campaigns that are trending in the market.

Efforts like SEO, influencer marketing, email campaigns, PPC and social media create great awareness for your app, creating a substantial flow of traffic to your app.

5) Expressive Screenshots

As they rightly say, pictures roar louder than words. Your app screen shots can play epic role in attracting users and boos their curiosity around your mobile app.

Design images best sustains the description content and represents your app’s purpose. Make your images speak to the audience and explain what it actually contains for them.

You should be able to capture the entire essence of your app and its major inner functioning in at least 3 vivid images.

6) Establish an Exemplary Customer Support

Providing an easy, quick support is a key to retaining existing customers in any business. Exceptional customer service also helps earn good reviews for your app.

Instead of guiding users to email communications for customer support, it would be rewarding to have an in-built chat system inside the app.

There are many plug-ins that provide intuitive dashboard to control, manage and conduct two-way interactions with users. Such direct customer assistance via messages can create a huge array of happy customers.

You can ask them to review your app after they are satisfied with your support. This not only minimizes negative feedback but also improves app ranking.

7) Get More Social

Social media channels are the best modern way to interact and engage with your potential customers. Make a solid social media strategy to interest rich active online community. Such platforms play a momentous role as a part of:

  • Sophisticated online marketing
  • Business Presence and promotion
  • High-quality Brand engagement
  • Rich relationship and interactions

It is apparent that famous online platforms offer an undeniable ground and a mighty opportunity to build lasting relationships with users, influencers and stakeholders alike.

Such powered engagements eventually boost your app’s ranking. Some of effective online platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, Google plus.

8) Create Impactful Content

Be it app description, social media marketing, video or email promotions, whatever you write should have single central purpose: explaining how your app can bring value and create significant difference in the life of customers.

Highlight major benefits and features your app includes. Make your content appear organic and convincing, and avoid pushing it to the extent of looking too promotional.

Your genuine effort will develop trust and consistency among users, contributing to the improved app ranking.

9) App Maintenance and Updates

App users expect newness and innovations as the time progresses and unforeseen trends roll in. To make user experience trendy and engaging, you must maintain your app to the most exceptional standard possible.

Update your apps regularly, which also helps improve its performance and security. Additionally, constant updates go to show your dedication and commitment towards app users and have undeniable part in pushing the ranking.

Remember that app stores prefer to feature those apps that are regularly maintained or frequently updated.

10) Aesthetic Design and Look

User’s idea of your app has much to do with its visual appeal, and it begins with the app icon. Today’s many top ranking apps have eye-catching look and feel.

The icon should represent your app’s real content and its core purpose. With that said, it should not appear too obscure or perplexing.

As user quickly build the perception from the first look at app visuals, it is important to focus on simplicity with convincing use of colours and shape. You can opt for:

  • Bold colours with convincing style
  • Less flashy icon
  • Simple yet attractive in-app visuals
  • Easy-to-use User Interface
  • Fluid navigation
  • Easy-to-understand functionality

11) Description

The first thing you need to incorporate while preparing the app description is the idea of whether or not users will connect with it.

Dig deep into popular trends and understand how your app will complement users before finalizing any description. Any ideal app description should have following attributes:

  • Primary features and core objectives
  • Concise length
  • Integration of most relevant keywords
  • Trendy style of writing
  • Simple, easy-to-understand words

Use precise keywords as used by your target audience when searching for similar apps. Do your thorough research to scoop up right keywords for your app.

Last words

In the world of mobile app development, there is a lot we can do. You can implement almost any idea with the help of strategic use of technology. As for mobile app ranking, you cannot rely on just one single approach.

Increasing the rank of any mobile app is a cohesive process that encompasses a range of efforts. Some of them are discussed here in this blog. Hopefully, it will lead you to push your brand new or existing app to a top spot in app stores.

10 Important Do’s and Don’ts for App Store Optimization

Mobile apps are dominating app store Optimization with the volume of as much as over 4M apps. With these many number of apps ruling the app stores, one must think how fierce the competition must be. This scenario suggests that there is a huge challenge for both developers and marketers to survive the crowd and enhance their apps’ overall visibility. To overcome the challenges, it is therefore important to optimize your app to rank top in any app store.

Believing that the mobile app development itself means your app will be downloaded rapidly by millions of interested users is a mistake. After developing the app, another journey of making your app quite visible begins. There are certain steps and benchmarks in the area of app store optimization (aka ASO) that ensure it performs exceedingly best in the saturated app market. Here are 10 important Do’s and Don’ts for effective ASO:

10 Important Do’s

1.Title:

  • Title is the first priority in app store optimization strategy. Make your approach creative while you decide to keep a unique app title. You have built a brilliant app and you don’t want to ruin your hard work just by being shallow about the title.
  • Usually, the app should be named in such a way that it represents both the content of the app and its purpose. Make it look uncommon, specific and appealing. Emphasize on the relevance of the name or it may confuse app store algorithm and users.
  • Try to limit the title to as long as 25 characters for Google play store and 40 for iOS as it works optimally. You can include keywords in the title to help its ranking, but only if suits and looks organic.
  • Some unprecedented titles like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Temple Run, Landlord, Candy Crush are eminent examples of the most successful mobile apps.

2.Keywords :

Mobile app development specialists cannot alone shoulder the success of your app. Keywords are also the decider of how your app ranks and what position it will end up with. Just like SEO, mobile app requires keywords that are highly researched and preferred by app users. Therefore, it necessary to conduct a thorough research to identify the list of most preferred keywords for your app context.

3.App Description:

Be careful as you utter or think anything about describing your mobile app. People are not naturally fond of reading app description, so you may not grab much attention through it. But still, it is a vital post mobile app development step. Here is what you need to consider:

  • App store ranking algorithms process and churn all the keywords used in app description, which means including primary keywords will help achieve the target. With that being said, you must not overstuff the description with too many of them.
  • Make the first lines of the description attractive, catchy and rich since app store visitors are going to determine the quality of your apps just from those few words. Compose the most compelling description that defines your app most and interests many users.
  • Explain in brief all the functionality and purpose of the app and how it will add value to users’ life. Make it persuasive and convincing enough through the details of its benefits and features.
  • You can also increase the credibility of your app by writing about the recognition of your app or previous app success. A little bit of bragging can be done in this description with sensible freedom. It will boost the download numbers in a way.

4.App Icon:

Well-designed, bold and unique app icon does the job of a vibrant painting and impels viewers to take more interest. Make it original, simple yet eye-catching while avoiding the scope of unwanted clutter. By inserting the purpose of the app in its icon, you can make it speak for itself. The popularity of any app icon can be measured through A/B testing. Experiment with a few of them and see which one goes well.

5.Screenshots magic :

Screenshot can work miracle for your app and it serves as a visual guide to its essential internal features that you think will make difference to its users. Introduce the audience to its inner architecture and tease them with its unique traits.

Screenshots have magical qualities and are as important as mobile app development strategy. It is especially for those who are not much of a reader and like to judge mobile apps through app store screenshots. Make sure you integrate the following points in your screenshots:

  • The screenshots that people can view on their screen in first shot without swiping are the ones that have power to grab most of their attention. So make sure they look impressive, expressive and influential. It must be good enough to supply the users a great hint of what your app actually is all about
  • Your app screen shots should be optimized to tablet viewing if your app also targets tablet users.
  • Publish as many shots as the store allows, and try to emphasize on using default orientation for the screen shot – which is Portrait
  • If possible, have an approach of showing at least one feature with each screen shot.

6.Video :

Like screenshots, make a video that gives a vivid illustration of what your mobile app can do. Make a preview video highlighting all the remarkable hallmarks of your app, its amazing key features and its ultimate benefits. Add video somewhere near app description and screenshots. The video is more effective than words. It will help to a great extent in case the app your have published contains several complicated features. Make is as long as maximum 90 seconds which appears optimal.

7.Reviews and Rating :

And how about gaining more leverage from Reviews and ratings? Even A/B testing practiced during mobile app development is a part of review system where certain feedbacks are implemented to make the app still better.

Reviews and ratings are a part of social activities which drive app store ranking algorithm. This means reviews play no less than a hero for app store optimization. It also suggests that your app is alive and seen by users and is not latent.

8.Recognize your Target audience and Competitors :

There could be almost no mobile app development strategy without a well-meditated ASO strategy, and there is no app optimization if you fail to incorporate your target audience and competitors in your strategy.

You can start by asking a few important questions like:

  • What does your app do for its users? What goal you want to touch with the mobile app?
  • How does it drive your next mobile app marketing plan?
  • How will the audience understand and perceive the app?
  • Can language be the barrier/saviour for the target audience?
  • Why should they download and fall for only your app among many?
  • How are your competitors doing in the similar market?
  • Does your app offer a fruitful competitive advantage?

Before you start on your ASO strategy, you must take a walk in users’ shoes and think from their perspective. Make your deep research to find out the facts about consumers and know about their trendy approach for mobile apps. Sneak in the land of your competitors and scoop up something viable. Discover those precious keywords that can pull in plethora of traffic. Study some of the effective moves of your competitors and how their reviews, social media exposure and other vitals work for them.

9.Localize Your App :

Localization is important for mobile app development and marketing plan. While developing an app, developers and strategist think of mobile apps in global perspective. However, when you look around you will realize the world is not populated with English speakers. You will have a great chance of increasing downloads by considerable extent by localizing your mobile app.

When you analyze your target audience, you will have a brighter picture of their language, cultures and general interests. You can focus your ASO on each discovery about your target audience – especially their language.

Perceive localizing the app as a tool to gain more responses and downloads. Communicate all features and your brand in the language they love.

10.Frequent Updates :

The mindsets of mobile users tend to evolve rapidly, which requires your mobile app to present them with charming updates added frequently. Constant improvements made considering customer feedback in the app are highly embraced by customers.

Not only that, but apps that are regularly updated by mobile app development veterans are given more preference and value by app store and users, resulting in better reviews and much positive response as each version is launched. Remember the following strategic points:

  • Lure your customers towards a note or an update link at login area with a prominent message urging them to download new updates. Push notification also works intrusively within an app telling them about fresh, exciting improvements
  • Try to preserve all the positive reviews and ratings of the latest version, especially those highlighted as five stars. Customers often select the app with good ratings.
  • Alternatively, you can also update the description field in app store and outline new bits with a noticeable call-to-action.
  • Make sure the normal average app update frequency is 30-50 days which is a general preference of top highly popular mobile apps.

10 important Don’ts

1.Doing mistakes in visual elements

Thousands of apps are released and published every year, but not every app ends up in users’ screen or stays there for a long while. Even the exemplary mobile app development methods can’t save the app that is built from shallow angles. This is why certain mistakes should be completely avoided or they will eventually drown your app in the app store. Some of them are:

Name:

Using clichéd, overused app words will not make your app much visible to searchers. Hence, avoid keeping frequently used names/words for your app.

Description:

Don’t make it overwhelming to read the app description. Nor make it too long, tedious and unnecessarily florid. Instead, stick to the main points: purpose, interesting elements, core features, unique approach and its benefits.

Icon design:

Icon can either make or break the app game. So don’t overdo it or make it complex. Users do not appreciate the idea of downloading apps with obscure or illegible icon designs. Even too much of bright, distasteful colours or ridiculous shapes can spoil the hard work done by mobile app development gems.

 2.Imitating your Competitors blindly

You can’t really turn the blind eye to the fact that more original your app looks, greater the chance you have of making it to top ranked position. So don’t just blindly follow all the tricks and implementations done by your competitors. In order to stand out and get good reviews from customers, it is important to be different. Choose slightly differing keywords compared to what others have tried.

3.Believing that localization means language translation

A big no to this thinking, because localizing your app does not clearly mean merely translating your app content into local language. It is deeper than that, and more thoughtful. When you localize your app, you convert all the assets and architecture of your app into the form that is most acceptable in specific locality. By localization, you adapt all the app essentials – date formats, time zone, currency, calendar, and other systems – to match the specific country code. This implies that language translation is just a small part of mobile app localization process.

4.Fostering Misconception that: ASP = SEO

Over years, due to similar looking common word (Optimization) present in both practices, people who are not much familiar with App Store Optimization often confuse it with SEO. Despite having slight similarity, ASO is still not SEO. Even many mobile app development companies cannot tell it apart if asked.

SEO strategy helps improve visibility of websites in Google search results by optimizing content. ASO, on the other hand, is actually the process of optimize a mobile app for store-listing to increase its inside-the-app store discoverability. ASO is done also to enhance the conversion rate of an app and boosts the number of downloads.

Some parts of SEO can be used for listing the apps and optimizing its supporting content. But still ASO does not mean SEO. Paid campaigns often work in ASO unlike what is experienced in SEO.

5.Ignoring the frequent changes in app store algorithm

This mistake is as common as confusion between ASO and SEO. Both Google Playstore and Apple App Store are updated time to time and adopt new functioning standards of app store algorithm.

One way to stay informed of these changes is to keep in touch with the community of professionals who have expert knowledge of ASO and app store algorithm changes.

When Apple altered its algorithm last year and reduced the app name characters to 50, the rankings of many apps got affected.

Being unaware of app store algorithm changes means you won’t be able to refresh your own ASO strategy to meet the fresh requirements of updated algorithm. This will not help you while beating the competitors in the market.

6.Incomplete knowledge of effective ASO tools

Without tracking the performance and the effect of your strategic actions, how can you measure the success? That is why you need right ASO tools for thorough measurement of ASO effect.

It is been a while since there are several ASO tools that can help track and monitor several aspects of your mobile app’s performance such as its visibility, keywords ranking, top charts, reviews, competition, etc. Many mobile app development start-ups and brands fail to consider this vital analytical aid.

With ASO tools, it becomes easy to measure ASO KPI score – which gives you the detailed picture of how well your app performs in the app store and whether or not you need to improve your current ASO strategy.

Some of the helpful ASO tools you can consider are: Mobile Action, Searchman, ASOdesk, Apptentive, AppFollow, Applyzer, App Annie, Apptopia, Splitmetrics.

7.Black Hat SEO short-cuts

Some mobile app developers and firms believe that black hat SEO – which is cleverly controlled by Google’s SEO algorithm – can be a great shortcut to achieve the purpose of ASO. Clearly, it is not. However, in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App store this tragedy is still there.

People encourage fake installations of apps, spurious reviews, robotic installs and several other sleazy tricks. These shortcuts may work for now, but it will stop once next app store optimization algorithm is introduced just like Google did for its search engine refinement.

It is advisable to stay away from such unscrupulous optimization practices to achieve organic, long-lasting results.

8.Misunderstanding: ASO is a one-time investment

To the glorious mobile app development industry that is still not properly receptive about optimization approach, we can say that ASO is more like digital marketing endeavours. This means that it is a collective effort rather than just a one-time investment. ASO is a long-term continuous process that involves constant updates and regular changes in trends.

ASO contains all fancy, technical terms such as keywords rankings, Top charts rankings, user reviews, A/B testing, progress tracking, conversion rates, algorithm rules innovations and competitive advantage. All these factors are time-dependent and demands much observation and cognitive insight.

As keywords change over time, your app store listing turns accordingly. All you need is a permanent wisdom and open eye towards recurrent updates that redefine app store algorithm. Competitors along with their new techniques to get to the top for the same keywords also inspires the fact that ASO is definitely not just a one big shot but a series of long-term sensible implementations.

 9.Belief that Visual Graphics don’t help with conversion

There prevails a great misconception among developers and marketers that ASO is all about pulling in scores of people. Getting traffic to your app store listing helps, but in the end it will be valued only when you get more installations and users.

This is where the first impression comes in handy. The whole set of visual assets (Name, Icon, screenshots, feature videos) in app store helps explain visitors that your app is truly amazing and downloadable. So work on the design aspects of the app and not just be satisfied with what mobile app development experts have done.

Your app is most likely to leave big impact on users if its design is marvellous. If people who browse through the app store falls for its graphics, its conversion rate and Top chart rankings will go up. It must be remembered that human brain captures Visual effects more than anything and is influenced by its attractiveness.

10.Neglecting the presence of competitors

Tracking only your app’s doings will swoop as a curse to your ASO dream. In the era of internet, everything has become open and visible, and you can make the most of it if you want to.

You must check how your competitors are doing well in the app store: how they catapult to top spot in the app store, how they maintain their app listing in the store with the keywords you are most interested in, and why they reap the best of genuine responses from users.

The magic of profound mobile app development can only be seen by including your close competitors in your ASO strategy. If you neglect their presence in the app store, it will be an enormous mistake.

How is App Store Optimization Different For Android and iOS Apps?

Which is the best: Android or iOS?

Well, the attempt to find the answer for this question has been going for years. However, no one has been able to reach to a conclusion yet. But, when it comes to App Store Optimization (ASO), an Android App store obviously stands ahead in helping apps reach the top ranks compared to an iOS app store.

What’s App Store Optimization?

It is the process of creating content so that an app’s rank is higher for a particular key word. App Store Optimization is an important but underrated app marketing technique. It helps to improve the visibility of your app in the app store.

App Store Optimization For iOS and Android

Now, how does App Store Optimization differ for Android and iOS apps? Let’s find out:

App title

The app title for iOS apps must be short and it should say about your app. Also, the maximum title text mustn’t cross 25 characters. The devices that use iOS apps may differ in screen size and therefore, it is apt to keep the app title short so that it’s easy for those who search for it to see them.

It’s almost the same for Android apps except that the maximum title text is limited to 30 words.

App description

There is no app description word limit for iOS apps. However, it is always better to keep the content precise and specific, and to include the title and keywords in it. For Android apps, the app description doesn’t really have a role in ASO. But, it helps for SEO. The word count of description for Android apps must not exceed 4000 characters.

Keywords

The developers can create a list of essential keywords known as Keywords Field for iOS apps.
In the case of Android apps, the algorithm chooses the keywords from the app description to determine the ranking of the app. Therefore, it is always important to use strong and relevant keywords for Android apps. However, key word stuffing is not allowed. The same key word cannot be repeated more than 5 times in the description.

Screenshots

Screenshots give a clearer view of the apps to the users and tend to grab their attention compared to the app description. In the app store for iOS apps, maximum 5 screen shots can be uploaded for an app. However, you can’t use deceptive images as your app will be taken off the app store.

One can upload maximum 8 screenshots in the app store for Android apps. Again, misleading images are not allowed.

Videos

Just like screenshots, preview videos can also be used to promote the apps in the app store. For iOS apps, the videos should be 15-30 seconds long. Meanwhile, Android app store allows 30 seconds-2 minute videos.

The App Store Optimization Android and iOS Apps  are somewhat similar. The big difference comes when the criteria changes with the app store.