We know that smartphones are by far the most widely used devices in the world today . And, apart from phone numbers, 67% of the world’s population has at least one mobile phone today, and the percentage will increase as the years go by.
Of all those people who have a smartphone, 91% spend daily time on it to entertain themselves in the various mobile applications, and only 9% of them do so through search engines that are integrated into smartphones.
If we add the fact that when buying, users are increasingly using apps (in Spain, for example, 63% of transactions are made through them), we can begin to glimpse the potential of this mComerce (mobile commerce).
It is clear that the use of apps is on the rise, and of course it will continue to rise, but it turns out that there are about 9 million mobile applications on Google Play and 2.5 million on the App Store.
It is enough to know this to realize the advantages of having an application for our business on the one hand, and on the other that it is not so easy to stand out from such a large number of existing applications (numbers that, of course, will also increase).
The question then arises, how do you get to be seen in the world of the mComerce? The answer is in the ASO or App Store Optimization.
What is ASO or App Store Optimization? Definitive guide ASO 2020
The app store optimization , hereinafter ASO , is the process or set of actions that aim to position an app to gain visibility and appear on the first search results of the various app stores, as long as the input user the terms or words found in relation to the service that said app may offer you.
We could say that ASO is the SEO of apps, however, there is some divergence between the two concepts:
What is the difference between ASO and SEO?
Although both the ASO and the search engine positioning or SEO have as their final objective to achieve the appearance of the app or website in question in the top positions of the search engine, either on the web or in the App Store, the difference fundamentally lies in some of the ways of proceeding to achieve this positioning, because taking into account that they are different platforms, we will therefore be faced with different “procedures”.
A very specific example could be the fact that in Google searches tend to be in many cases more oriented to obtaining information, unless the user uses specific words such as “buy x thing”, and instead in the store of applications are focused on finding applications that meet your needs. For this simple reason, the keywords that we will use will not be the same.
Why is ASO positioning important for app growth?
The ASO positioning is essential in order for an app to obtain greater visibility, that as a result it is much more likely that users will find it when they perform their searches, and that therefore we obtain a greater number of downloads , which which translates into a higher number of conversions.
How do users find and download mobile applications?
The main tool by which users discover and / or find and download applications is, by far compared to other means, through the Play / App Store, although sometimes they can do so through an external URL or of a landing page , and even through social networks .
Then, within the list of applications that the Store will show them, they will choose the app that they think best suits what they are looking for, and then proceed to install it.
We can then deduce that the key is to appear within the first positions of that list.
Monitor the App Store and Google Play rankings
To appear in that mentioned list, and before getting to work with the positioning of our app, we must take into account what are the elements that are playing in favor of our competition, such as, for example, which are the most relevant keywords they are using, with which titles and descriptions are they getting the most downloads, etc.
The good news is that both for Apple Store and Google Play we have tools, which we will talk about later, to monitor both these factors, and to be able to take into account the opinions and interests of our target audience.
What are the benefits of ASO positioning?
The answer begins (if it has not already done so), to be somewhat obvious: If we create a strategy to achieve a good ASO positioning, we will obtain visibility; We will get us to see who has to see us, (those users who are interested in what we offer), with the consequent increase in the number of downloads, and therefore, of conversions.
This is ultimately going to translate into an increase in our income.
How does App Store Optimization or ASO positioning work?
We can classify the operation of ASO positioning in two main aspects, let’s see what they are:
- ASO On Site : This is the part in which we intervene directly, and that includes, as we will see later in detail, elements such as the title or name of the application, the logo of the app, description or subtitle of the itself, the keywords, screenshots, application design and its corresponding category / s.
- ASO Off Site : This is where we will find those factors that do not depend 100% on us, but that, nevertheless, we must constantly monitor in order to work based on them and improve them. Among them we will find the number of downloads the app has, the CTR (percentage of clicks), the reviews and user ratings, as well as the backlinks that manage to gain relevance.
ASO positioning strategies for Google Play vs IOS
Although the purpose of the ASO is the same in both application stores, we must take into account certain differences that can be crucial, especially as regards positioning through keywords.
As you might expect, Google Play in this aspect works in a certain way in the same way as the web search engine itself does: here it is not valid to “misplace” the keywords, but there has to be both consistency in the name of the application as in the description, and the latter must provide valuable content for the user and include the most relevant keywords for our app.
For Google, semantics are important, and as here we will not have a section as such to place the keywords, it will be based on the name and description of the application to determine who our application is going to show to, depending on the similarity and equality that exists. between these and the search terms that the user enters.
The same does not happen in Apple’s App Store, where we do have a field in which to add those keywords, however, the terms included in the title will be taken into account, but not the description of the application.
This will lead us to devise different strategies in this regard, and it is extremely important to do so adapting to the requirements of each store.
History of mobile applications
Both stores emerged in 2008, although the Apple App Store did so in July, while Google launched its (called Android Market at that time), in October.
In the beginning, it was the App Store that seemed to take off with resounding force to the detriment of Android Market, since by 2009 it was available in 77 countries and had no less than 85,000 apps, while the Google store barely had 10,000.
However, and as we have been seeing, today the difference between the now called Google Play and the App Store is not so significant, in addition to the use of the Google store being relatively higher than that of Apple.
With the extension of the use of smartphones and tablets, mComerce applications have gradually gained weight, until they become the main means when making purchases or other procedures, in addition to being one of the main engines in what to the pursuit of entertainment is concerned.
Today we can say that, both for the vast majority of users and for businesses themselves, the use of apps is becoming essential, although for the user the main factor in favor is comfort, trust and usability with respect to The web, for commerce, is from the point of view of obtaining visibility and recognition, as well as generating conversions.
Mobile app trends in 2020
We know that the creation of an app by a business is something, it could be said that it is necessary at this point, because apart from being another means by which to become known, it is also a simple and even more accessible and comfortable way, Both for the user and for our eCommerce, and in this regard there is a tendency to use apps as a means to make purchases or other procedures that are growing.
Something that is also on the rise in the field of applications is games, increasingly downloaded and used during our free time.
On the other hand, it will be intuitive for us that usability and the lack of errors are elements that are very well seen by users, and that the fact that the app may be generating problems and failures during its use is a key factor that Will “miss” our app.
Something that has been a trend for a long time, and not without reason, since it is a highly valued issue by the end user, is the introduction of constant updates on the one hand, and of course, of new products, either for example within a game or a store, let’s say watches, on the other.
And it is that, not in vain, the constant renewal and update of the content of our app will make us gain relevance , and with it, visibility.
Key differences between App Store and Google Play
As we have mentioned before, one of the key differences between the App Store and Google Play is around how to enter the keywords. We can induce that it is more about the forms than the bottom of the keywords, although these differentiating factors must be taken into account.
Apple App Store Ranking Factors:
Let’s see what are the classification factors that we will have to take into account if we want to position our app in the Apple App Store:
- Name of the app or title : It is perhaps the most important factor, and Apple takes it into account. We will have 30 characters.
- Subtitle : In this section we can add a brief description of the app. It appears next to the icon in the search results, so it is a field that is decisive in terms of whether or not the user chooses to know more about our app. The maximum number of characters is 30, so this section must be used very well.
- Description : This field covers a maximum of 4000 characters, and once the text has been entered, it can only be modified when a new version is sent for review.
- Keywords : As can be expected, keywords are another decisive element when our application is shown in the search results of the App Store.
- Category : It is a determining factor especially when the user wants to find what he is looking for within a certain category. Making a mistake on this point can bring about a fatal result for our app.
- Number of downloads : The more downloads we get, the greater the visibility that the App Store gives us.
- User commitment : This implies that the user does not uninstall the application once it has been obtained. If this is recurring, it may negatively affect us.
- Ratings and reviews : The opinion of the users is in the end as important, or more, than the rest of the factors, so in the long run a good score and positive comments about our app will be one of our best weapons.
- Shopping in the application : The IAP (In-App Pursaches) may appear on the tabs Today , games or applications.
- Developer : A positive track record from the app creator will positively affect the ranking of their new apps.
Google Play Store Ranking Factors:
There are certain ranking factors that both the App and Play Store share, and others that are different instead. Let’s see what the Google Play Store takes into account:
- Name of the application : This is an element that both stores share, and it is that, of course, it is crucial in order for the user to have an optimal experience during their search, and in that aspect Google, both on the web as it is your App will always take it into account. The maximum number of characters is 50.
- Description of the application : Google Play does not have a field in which to insert the keywords. However, the words used in both the name and the description, and their semantic similarities with other terms are elements that Google will take into consideration when displaying the application in the results, (they are the so-called long-tail keywords ), but above all we must know that they must be well structured. The maximum of words is 4000.
- Brief description : It must be very brief (with a maximum of 80 characters).
- Application URL : Here we must also include the most relevant keywords for our app.
- Category : As in the App Store, in Google Play you can search for applications based on the category to which they belong.
- Number of downloads : A greater number of downloads will provide us with greater relevance, and consequently, will help us to stand out in search results.
- Ratings and reviews : Likewise, a higher rating and positive user opinions about our app will give us a better position.
- User engagement: As in the App Store, the fact that users do not uninstall our app en masse will positively influence our positioning.
- Developer name : As in the Apple store, if we have gained relevance with the creation of apps previously, it will be much easier for us to reach it with a new app.
How to position an APP with ASO positioning?
At this point, we have to see what steps we have to follow to achieve an optimal ASO positioning. Complying with all these guidelines, we will appear in the top positions of the Apple and Google stores.
1. First things first: Establish a clear ASO positioning strategy
To carry out an ASO positioning strategy, we must investigate everything that is related to our market niche.
To begin with, we will have to understand our users, what they are looking for from our application, what their needs are in this regard, what keywords they will use to find us, what is working for our competition, etc.
2. Choose the correct name for your application
As we have seen previously, the name of the application can be key so that in the first place, it appears among the first positions of the search results, and secondly, so that it catches the user’s attention and decides, for now, to enter the app page.
Therefore, the name of our app must be as relevant as possible to our application.
Checklist for the name or title of your application
Guiding ourselves by creativity and originality may be fine, but to take certain steps in an aspect as important as the name of the app, we should make a checklist of the keywords that we can and / or should include in our application.
There are several tools that will help us a lot in this regard. We will see them in more detail later.
3. Do a keyword research or Keyword Research for your ASO strategy
Along with a checklist, we will do a little research based on issues such as the use of terms that our target audience usually serves, the name of applications similar to ours, the main characteristics of our app, the synonyms of the words of these characteristics, and the category of the application.
4. Write the description of your application
The description of our application plays a fundamental role, and it is that we are not only going to provide the user with the necessary information, but, especially in Google Play, it plays a fundamental role, because, as we indicated previously, the words that are found here contained will be indexed and will be a key factor when showing or not our app in the search results.
That is why both elements must be taken into account when describing the application; write a relevant text both for the end user and for Google itself to show the app to those we want and / or know that they are going to download it.
5. Choose the appropriate icon for your APP by doing an A / B test
The icon is a crucial element as far as the ASO is concerned, especially in view of whether the user opts for our application, or on the contrary, for that of the competition.
The icon must be simple as well as transmit what we want to represent of our corporate image in the app. It can be the logo design , for example, or an illustrative image, that yes, that does not contain too many elements that can make it difficult to see.
A good way to know which icon can work best for us is by performing an A / B test. So we can check which of them gets the most downloads; using for example different colors, changing some element, and drawing the final design based on all the information obtained.
6. Show images and videos of your APP to users
Although images and videos are not a key a priori classification factor, in order to convince users through these graphic elements that this is the application they are looking for and that they need, they are, so in when it comes to ASO optimization, they are important.
If the icon is to convey in a certain way the essence of our application, with the videos and images we will have the opportunity to show the user directly what it is like “inside”, its functionality, characteristics, what it contains, and ultimately, what is it. that you will find when you download and install it.
We have to take into account the dimensions that each Store will ask us for so that the visualization of both images and videos is optimal; so that it can be seen on all Apple and Android devices.
7. List and location of applications
Now comes a very interesting point, especially if we want our app to have downloads beyond our national territory or mother tongue.
Before proceeding to translate the content of the app into the language of the day, (it is important to have native translators or a high level of speaking and writing, as a bad user experience at this point will end with the uninstallation of the application ), we will have to do an analysis of our target audience at the local level, in order to understand their particularities and to take advantage of that information to optimize our ASO.
Why is application localization important?
Because having an application available in several languages and places will increase the number of downloads of our app.
Take care of user ratings and reviews
Scores and reviews are a fundamental part of the ASO, and will have a direct impact both when a user decides to download our application or not, as well as when the application stores place us within the first positions in search results.
That is why it is very important to take into account the comments, give a response to the users, improve the aspects that are receiving the most criticism, Well, in short, if we take care of this part we will be taking care of the user.
How to get reviews for your APP?
However, there are ways to encourage users to rate our app and even leave us a comment, or share our app on social media.
For example, if our application were a game, we can suggest that they share their achievements, or offer a prize through a raffle to all those people who rate or share the app.
Tips and tricks to position your APP on Google Play and IOS
Before finishing, let’s see some tips and tricks to keep in mind to finish outlining our ASO positioning within the different application stores.
Find out which are the free keywords related to your APP
When we talk about free keywords we are referring to the keywords that in a certain way are being provided automatically by the application stores themselves.
Many times we ignore this fact, but the truth is that those terms that the App and Play Store use to divide all their categories serve us in turn as keywords, therefore, to include them in the description or the field intended for them, we would be losing space for other keywords that could be more useful to us.
Find the most appropriate niche of your APP and observe your competition
As we saw previously, to create a competent ASO strategy we have to find out which is the most appropriate niche when framing our app in it, and for this reason it is necessary, especially initially, to segment perhaps a little more than necessary.
The reason for this is the fact that if we use keywords that are too popular, we will have more difficulties when it comes to appearing in the top positions of the application store results, since there will be thousands of apps that, like the ours have those same keywords, but more authority than us, so we will be relegated to the lowest positions if we do not segment enough.
Observing and studying the competition is another key factor when it comes to understanding what is working, which keywords are the most used, and considering how we could make a difference compared to the others.
Monitor the performance of your APP
Monitoring the performance of our app is probably our most important task in the short, medium and long term, if we want all our efforts not to be ruined by the various problems and setbacks that may arise in it.
We must know that there are tools that can help us with the monitoring of the performance of our app, so that, although the ideal would be that we also lend ourselves to do it, we can save time when doing it.
Why is it important to “track” the performance of your mobile application?
It is necessary to do a regular monitoring of our application, and we must bear in mind that taking care of these aspects is also taking care of the user, since if he sees that we are constantly improving it and we also solve the errors that may arise, we will be improving his experience . If, on the contrary, he sees that the errors increase, that we do not accept his suggestions for improvement, etc., he will end up leaving and uninstalling the app.
Best ASO positioning tools
Finally, let’s see what are some of the aforementioned tools that can support us when carrying out the entire ideation process of our ASO optimization.
It is a tool with which we can, from tracking and analyzing our keywords, through the analysis and surveillance of the competition, to the monitoring and monetization of the app itself. You could say that this tool would support us throughout the ASO optimization process.
Like the previous one, with TheTool.io we will get a monitoring of our app, tips to improve the application, we will see what keywords it is positioning with, it will suggest new ones, we will have data on the traffic that is reaching us, reviews and ratings.
This tool is very interesting to manage the localization of our app, as it recommends keywords and complementary words in up to 7 different languages.
It also allows us to see, among other things, how effective elements such as the title of the app, the description, the icon, etc. are proving.
Through this tool we will be able to know data such as the origin of the downloads. It is usually used by those who focus on data acquisition and users who will pay for the application.
App Annie is a very useful tool if we want to deepen and understand the data of our market niche and our competition.
This tool can help us when performing A / B tests. It will allow us to identify which icons, screenshots, titles, etc., are working best; will inform us about the interaction of users with our application.
AppCodes is another tool that allows us both to find the keywords related to our app as well as to be able to see what keywords our competition is using.
We can conclude that the ASO optimization process is essential when it comes to correctly managing our app , and that we have to take it very seriously, because by not doing so we will be losing the opportunity to appear in the top positions of the search results, and consequently getting more downloads.
As we have seen, the existing competition is brutal, and we will find that our competition will also have, at least, a basic knowledge of ASO, so the process of improving both the application itself and its visibility in Stores is a crucial task to maintain or improve our position in them.
Luckily for us, we can rely on various apps that make the monitoring process lighter and more bearable, as well as being able to gather ideas that we might not have obtained otherwise.