“Change is inevitable, growth is optional”
With more than 5 million apps on the app stores, standing out is only going to get harder.
However, just like many other things in life, it is the little things that can make a big difference. Here are 5 essential ways that you can grow your app with App Store Optimization.
1. App Store Optimization – It’s All About Keywords and the App Name
App Store search is how most people will probably find your app.
…so let’s start here.
If you want people to find your app in app store search, you will need to choose the right keywords to represent your app.
How to Find the Best App Store Keywords
The right keywords are download relevant, have low competition and a good Search Score.
To get more keyword ideas, be sure to use our ASO Intelligence module. It will help you do things like spy on competitor’s keywords and help you find more keyword ideas.
Here’s an example…
Why the App Title Matters So Much
The keywords that you include the title of your app are usually going to rank the highest, so you have to choose carefully.
If you are not a big brand, your app name is your most important weapon. For instance, people might search for “cab taxi ride” to find a cab app.
That might sound weird to you now, but when you are in a rush and typing on your phone, that is probably what you would search for too.
Not using keywords in the title of your app will mean that people probably won’t find your cab app. If you are Uber, then you might not need those keywords…but it can’t hurt.
Here’s a great example of how to use keywords in the title of your app…
You should also consider using words with a higher Search Score and high competition in your app title. They would generally have a better chance of ranking well, compared to using them in your regular keywords.
Be sure to check your keyword rankings at least twice a month…and weekly, if possible.
If you need to print something out and keep it next to your desk, our App Store Optimization E-books will surely help.
2. App Icon
Be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios!
The app icon is the first thing that users will see. This could be your only chance to make a great impression and convince a user to tap the download button.
For better or worse, many people judge the apps by the first impression of their icon.
I know I do.
So make your icon the best it can be.
- Simple, memorable and elegant
- Do not use text in icon, that’s what your app title is for
- Do not use borders
- High resolution image (Should be 1024×1024 for App Store)
- Give viewers an idea of what the app is used for (No need for big brands)
You can get more detailed tips here.
Once you get someone’s attention, it’s time to show them why your app rocks.
The next place people will look is your screenshots. Let’s face it, nobody likes to read, we all like the pictures.
There are tools out there that will allow you to test your screenshots, but let’s start with some general best practices.
Here are some great examples, to show you what to do…
We really like Spotify’s screenshots, they are some of the best we have seen.
Every one of them is simple and they explain a specific benefit of the app. Use text to highlight the best parts of your app.
Don’t assume that people know what they are looking at in the picture.
Since Apple gives you ten screenshot slots, use them all. Most people may not get to the last screenshot, but using all ten slots gives you the opportunity to tell people more about your app.
Take advantage of that.
The most important feature of Spotify is in the first screenshot. That should be the same for your app as well.
Moreover, the color we see in the screenshots of Spotify are integrated with colors in the app. Use your brand colors in your screenshots.
Look at what big brands have done. For instance, Facebook Messenger’s screenshots colors are based on their user interface and logo.
For more about the screenshots check out our other blog posts:
- How to Optimize Screenshots in ASO,
- How to Optimize Screenshots in ASO – 2
- App Store Optimization Basics: Screenshot Guide for Apps
4. The App Description Does Matter
Now that your app icon is eye-catching and your screenshots are fabulous, let’s turn to your app description.
Many developers think app descriptions are not important, but nothing could be further from the truth. Finding the best description is extremely important to fully maximize App Store Optimization.
Do not forget, you are “speaking” with your customers and their final decision to download your app could depend on your description.
How Do You Write an Awesome App Description?
The first three lines of the description have to be amazing because that is the only think people will see, unless they click the “more” link.
So put your best foot forward.
For instance, you can do many things with the Facebook app, but the ultimate benefit of Facebook the ability to keep in touch wit your friends. So that is what they mention first.
After your primary benefit, then more reasons why people should use your app.
If you are thinking about cramming a bunch of keywords into the description, don’t do it. That’s always a bad thing to do and it will catch up with you later.
…and keywords don’t matter in the description anyway. So write for people, not the search algorithm.
Show off your great reviews from the media. Don’t be shy!
For more details on how to write app descriptions, read these blog posts:
- Write App Descriptions That Will Make Your Users Like You
- How to Write An Amazing App Description For Maximum App Store Optimization
- 5 Tips for Writing Killer App Descriptions
5. Ratings and Reviews
Before downloading an app, I personally look at the title, screenshots and then the reviews. Many other people probably do the same thing.
Reviews are a great way to tell what people really think of the app. I can find out if there are any common problems that people are having, or if there is a hidden benefit that they didn’t mention elsewhere.
So, how can you improve your reviews and ratings? The bottom line is that you need to pay attention to them and react quickly.
Show your customers that you care.
Problems with the UI, frequent glitches, bugs, or crashes and poor customer support are common issues in reviews.
- Check your reviews for words like “glitch”, “bug”, or “crash” and see how often they are mentioned. You can use our Review Analysis Module.
- Be proactive, honest, and empathetic when it comes to customer support.
- Also look at your competitor’s reviews to find out what people want.
Here’s an example of some of Snapchat’s reviews with the word “bug.”
For more about reviews and ratings, read our other blog posts:
- Negative Mobile App Reviews: Ain’t nobody got time for that
- How to Best Utilize Review Analysis Tool to Find Competitor Roadmap
If you haven’t examined these key components of ASO yet, then now is a great time to start. Begin at the top of the list and examine one thing at a time.
We would love to hear from you, let us know how it went!
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