5 Best Practices in 2016 for App Store Optimization

Sep 18, 2016
By: Marissa Camilli

There are currently over 2 million mobile apps featured in the big app stores like Google Play and the AppStore, and getting them to the top of the search results is an ever-morphing science. Presented in this article are tips and effective methods to get your mobile app seen by more who want–and need–to see it:

1. App Store Optimization for Maximum Visibility

Title and Keywords

Make your app title’s description short and unique–under 25 characters–using one of your main keywords. You don’t want the title to be too long because it won’t fit on the screen, and users will balk at this. 10.6% more app downloads occur when a keyword is present in the title. Keywords are still relevant in app store optimization (ASO), but don’t get “stuffy”. One main keyword is sufficient.  Mixing things up is good, though–try some alternative keywords from competitors, and you will stand out more.

Downloads, Ratings, and Description

Obviously, the mobile apps with more download frequency will rank higher. An initial advertising push will result in higher visibility, subsequent downloads/installs, and higher ranking. This will help generate further downloads, more ranking, and so on, though without reinforcement, will bring diminishing returns. A good way to fight the power of diminishing returns is to make recommendations of your mobile app as easy as possible. Get your customers in your corner and they will become your biggest advocates. Do you have an in-app channel to directly field and answer any feedback? You’ll want to have one, as it will preclude any potentially damaging reviews left out in the wind. In the description, talk less about the actual product and play up its benefits and value to the user.

2. Driving Traffic to Your App

Here are some helpful ways you can drive traffic to your app and increase download frequency. These may not better you in the search results per se, but you will get more installs:

Get IT bloggers excited and talking about your app. This will spread the buzz about your product and get you direct visitors interested in using your mobile app. Like sending a Radio DJ a promotional copy of your album, send them a link to and brief “buzz-worthy” description of your app.

App install marketing campaigns can drive high volumes of new users under a Cost Per Install (CPI) model.  Advertising platforms like Digital Turbine work with app developers to create targeted mobile ad campaigns that meet their app’s strategic user acquisition goals.

News coverage: Look for magazines and journals covering your niche market who may be interested in reporting on your app launch.

Create a social media buzz, hitting as many SM platforms as you can with provocative posts.

3. Is Your Icon Relevant?

Remember, we are a visual culture–especially on the Web. Your icon’s look is tantamount to users’ interest levels. It should stand out, but not be too busy, cluttered, or showy. Publishers like to feature screenshots that display critical functionalities and key benefits of apps. This is a showcase which you need to take full advantage of. Your app icon should convey what your app is all about, symbolically. Users like to click on outstanding icons, and a compelling one will cause them to be intrigued and investigate further.

4. Think Locally

Generate more traffic to your app by adding more localized descriptions to Google Play and AppStore. This will allow you to get your app to those who speak English, for one, and who are looking for app attributes in line with your particular region or country.

5. Learn From Your Competitors

Do your investigative homework on your closest competitors–know what their ratings are saying, what keywords they are using, and read their user feedback to determine what kind of standard in your niche market is being set. Then, set the bar higher.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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