Currently, there are more than 3.5 million mobile apps on the Google Play Store from over 1 million publishers. 87.18% are non-gaming apps, while 12.81% are mobile games. An estimated 1,623 apps are published daily and about 62,260 monthly.
Likewise, there are over 1.8 million apps on the Apple Store from over 700,000 publishers. 1,176 of these apps are released daily, with a monthly average of over 35,000. The big question is, how do a select few apps appear on the first page when you visit the app store? This is where App Store Optimization comes into play.
App Store Optimization (ASO) refers to a series of continuous processes aimed at improving the visibility and ranking of an app. It is based on many factors, such as the app name, design, use of optimal keywords, proper description, and many more. ASO also plays a crucial role in search results. An estimated 40% of apps are discovered through searches. This is where keywords and descriptions as core components of ASO are crucial.
This article explores the concept of App Store Optimization (ASO), the ranking factors, and why it is essential.
The Ranking Factors in App Store Optimization
App Store Optimization is based on many things. The aim is to boost your ranking on search listings and also increase the number of downloads. Below are some elements to consider to upgrade your app ranking.
The App Title and Subtitle
The app title is crucial in every aspect of digital marketing. In the case of ASO, it is usually 30 characters long or fewer. So, you have to be very decisive with your choice. It is the first thing that a user sees in the search listings. Hence, integrating the right keyword in the app title is a no-brainer.
For instance, there are hundreds of video editing apps. But most of them have distinct app titles like CapCut, Filmora, and Power Director. This is what makes them unique. However, beside each title, there is also a short subtitle. This is where you get the chance to use the right keywords that further describe your app title. CapCut and PowerDirector use “Video Editor,” while Filmora uses “AI Video Editor, Maker’ as displayed in the Google Play Store.
The right combination of the app title and subtitle is crucial in its ranking. The subtitle should have the right keywords that describe the searcher’s intent. The more keywords you can fit, the better the app’s chances of appearing in a related search.
Use Engaging Descriptions
This is your chance to explain what your app does and why it is better than the others. Indeed, if you are presented with such an opportunity, you must make the most out of it. Depending on whether you are listing on the Google Play or Apple Play Store, there is a slight difference in the provisions. It is said that the description is not used for ranking purposes on the Apple Store. But in reality, the impression you create will definitely affect it.
You get as many as 4000 characters to describe your app. For instance, if it is a car racing game app, you have to define the features and why it is better than other racing games. What kind of cars, upgrades, levels, rewards, and so on? Likewise, if it is a casino app, you want to use the right keywords that players love. For example, an app that targets Australians should be specific. Use keywords like Australian online casinos with $10 minimum deposit rather than just saying “online casinos”. The phrase already takes care of the location (Australia), game type (online casinos), and minimum deposit. The description can also include the type of casino games, the number of games, bonuses, customer support, and crucial features that can affect a player’s decision to download the app.
Overall, giving a concise and detailed description of your app can be very convincing, especially for first-time users.
Use Compelling Visuals
Using compelling visuals like screenshots and videos can boost your app rankings. Even more, it can entice users to download and install the app. Depending on how it is used, it gives a pictorial overview of the app in reality. So, a prospective user gets an idea of what the app design looks like, its interface, and some features.
Similarly, it is the same for videos, except that they provide even more insights. If the app is for video editing, a video describing a typical editing process to create exciting content can be recommended.
Overall, whether photo or video, ensure that the quality is excellent and gives an accurate representation of the product. Also, if there are changes, ensure the visuals are updated.
Reviews and Ratings
On the Apple Store, about 42.6% of the apps have at least a 3-star rating. Unfortunately, over 57% have no ratings at all. So, it is either the apps have never been used, or the users were not satisfied enough to rate it. Similarly, it is the same trend on the Google Play Store. There are slightly more apps without ratings.
It is imperative to encourage users to leave feedback. It doesn’t matter whether it is positive or negative. When an app does not have any ratings or reviews, it looks suspicious. Likewise, when all the reviews are positive, users may get a wrong signal. Whichever the case, always ensure that you respond promptly to reviews and feedback.
For negative reviews, always address the concerns of users. If the issue is resolved, convince the user to leave an additional review to state that the issue was resolved. There will always be a few negative encounters, even with the most popular apps. However, how you respond to these issues counts.
Positive reviews and ratings are crucial for ASO, not just for a higher ranking but also because it leads to more downloads. Users have more confidence that the app description and visuals represent its actual functionality. The confirmation from other users, especially when the numbers are in millions, erases any doubts.