App Store Optimization: What is App Store Optimization & How Does It Work? | Pulsate Academy

App Store Optimization: What is App Store Optimization & How Does It Work? | Pulsate Academy


Hi guys welcome to another episode of Academy by Pulsate.
Today, we’re going to be discussing ASO or App Store optimization, how to get your app
discovered and increase more downloads.
App Store optimization is comparable with SEO for websites. ASO is for increasing the
success and rankings of your app on the Apple App Store and on Google Play. When the App Store launched originally, developers
could upload their application. And it was pretty easy to find content. But with competition
increasing, it’s become ever more difficult for developers to become ranked for their
keywords and their content and essentially to get discovered. Today, we’ll put together
strategies and top techniques that you can use to rank better, attract more customers,
and increase your downloads. The Apple App Store has over 1.2 million downloads.
On Android and Google Play, we have about 1.3 million. And that’s incredible. So it’s
a very competitive marketplace. It’s very difficult to get noticed, to get discovered.
And even great apps can become buried. There’s around 500,000 apps out there for
other platforms, such as BlackBerry and Windows Phone. But today, we’re going to be concentrating
more on the Play Store and the App Store. These have very different independent algorithms
for the way that they rank and the way that they sort apps. It’s important to understand
the differences, so that you can start to address these in your strategy. On the Play Store, they tend to use more of
a semantic technology and this obviously plays into a lot of the history with Google’s search
technology, whereas the Apple App Store is more based on phrases. And in terms of the
factors that go into rating apps well, to be honest, we don’t know. No one knows. These
algorithms are actually a secret. But through some strategies and by comparing notes with
other developers, you can read online, there’s lots of theories as to what influences your
app’s ranking and what increases your chances of success. So first of all, downloads are something that
are important. This used to be even more of the case when the App Store first launched.
Downloads were one of the main things, along with ratings, that increased your chances
of success with the App Store. But now, it’s not just downloads. Moving beyond the downloads
with things like active users and genuine users that, once the app is on the device,
use the application is also extremely important. The operating systems actually track, in the
case of Apple and Android, which apps are being actively used and which apps are being
engaged with. Therefore, it’s not just about the downloads. They’re feeding this engagement
data back into their search algorithms, so that it will influence the rating. You also need to understand that reviews and
ratings are very important in getting your app ranked, but these need to come from users
that are validated, users that are logged in. When you’re leaving that review on the
Play Store or on the App Store, you’re logged into your iTunes or Google account. It’s a
genuine, real person leaving the review. It’s very difficult, and you should never try to
exploit this. You should be encouraging real reviews from genuinely happy customers. Beyond the scope of this video is building
a good app with an enjoyable user experience that deepens the relationship, that offers
some sort of utility value. Everything that we’re going to be discussing today is really
no replacement for having a good app in the first place. So yes, downloads are important
but active users and genuine users are probably more important than the downloads themselves. And then also getting quality reviews. How
do you get your app reviewed? Well, one way to start off with is by submitting your app,
after you’ve launched, to some of the top review sites. Get experts to review your apps
on their blog, where people will go to see whether they want to download that app or
not. We’re going to leave a link below the video with some suggestions as to where you
should submit your app for review. You can also do things like contests and giveaways.
This could be a good idea to influence the download of the application in the first place.
So people are invited to participate in the contest in some way. They may need the mobile
application to do that. If the app is already on the device, it could be a good re-engagement
strategy to run s contest and give some kind of a prize away. Maybe you could segment these
customers after the contest and the users that were most active, they might be the best
people to target for a review. Usually asking someone for a review of your
app the first time, the second time they open it, probably isn’t a very good idea. Statistics
show that two weeks later is probably the best time to ask for a review. And, obviously,
only ask the engaged customers, the ones that are using the most features of your app and
are likely achieving success with it. You’re going to start attracting positive reviews
rather than bug reports and negative reviews from people who are not really all that invested
in you or your app. An in-app inbox or mailbox can also be a feature
that you would integrate into your app to try and prevent users leaving a negative review
on the store or maybe jumping over onto Twitter and saying, “I’ve had this bad experience,”
or, “I have this bug”. If you have a private feedback loop inside your app, a channel where
you can communicate, it’s nice to be able to proactively address issues before they
pop up, rather than them being posted as a negative review, which can really impact not
only the rating but will also impact the search for that application as users wonder “Well,
actually do I want to download this app or not?”. So you’re damaging your ranking and
then damaging whether users want to download it or not. An in app inbox is a great tool
for addressing issues proactively, so that you’re getting positive reviews for your application. In terms of the inputs when you’re launching
your app on the store, the top considerations that you need to consider are around title,
keywords and description. These need to be machine-readable because you are trying to
influence these algorithms. But you also need to remember that they need to be human-readable
by your customers. They need to be able to understand them. You don’t need any keyword
stuffing. You do need to communicate your value proposition, again, to the user, the
features and the benefits. Don’t change your keywords and your description to the detriment
of user experience and your pitch in getting them to download that mobile application. So in the case of iOS and Android, you can
input around 255 characters into the title field. However, the index will only take the
first 25 characters of that title. So you need to make sure, in the first bit of the
title, that you’re including the name of your app, what it does, and any relevant keyword
or phrase around that. Don’t try to stuff keywords in here because users don’t understand
what they’re downloading. You’re just trying to increase your ranking without understanding
the human factors. And this is something a lot of companies do to their detriment. In terms of keywords, the Apple App Store
has a keyword field. Again, you could put in 100 characters. But they will only index
the first 25 so comma-delimit them. Play, it’s a little bit different, so rather than
adding keywords, you’re putting in a description of your application. And then they’re using
semantic search to go through your description, dig out the keywords, and bring that back
into their search algorithm for the Google Play Store. So again, you need to be careful. Don’t stuff
keywords in the description. Remember, human users are going to have to read this. Maybe
trailing the description, you might put in a few. If you are, make sure you put in commas,
not spaces between them. You want to get a nice balance here of having something that’s
optimized, that’s targeting your market, that’s targeting your phrases and keywords, but also
sells the app as human-readable and educates about the features and benefits of why users
should download your application. These are some strategies around how you get
the keywords, how you get the titles correct in the descriptions. These are the things
you really need to be looking at in relation to why your application is going to rank in
the first place. For description, you get around 4,000 characters for both iOS and Android
for the App Store and Google Play. Of course, the Play store uses the same or very similar
Google Search technology in the ranking algorithms for apps. As I mentioned previously, you really need
to spell out the features and benefits. Remember, there’s two aspects to ASO. You want to try
and influence these algorithms to have your app climb up the rankings with your downloads
as well as increasing your active users and getting positive reviews from top customers
to get five-star ratings. But once you get someone to that screen, that they’re considering
downloading this app, what are the things that they, as a user, as a potential user,
take into consideration before downloading the app? So in the description, don’t keyword-stuff.
Educate users as to the features and benefits and unique value proposition of your app,
as to why they should download it. There are a couple of tools out there that can help
with your App Snippet . This allows you to mock up or simulate what your description
screen will look like on the App Store. You can upload your icon, your screenshots, fill
out your keywords, and it as a real-world user would when they consider downloading
your app. I really would advise, you to grab a copy of this. We’ll leave a link below the
video. It shows you how your app is going to look once it’s published. On the branding, I can’t really say enough
about the icon. You need a really high-quality icon for your app. It increases the chances
of success of a user tapping from the result page into the details screen. The icon should
be very clean, very clear, maybe flat-colored, flat graphics. Stay away from fiddly small
bits of text. And just keep it clean. Keep it clear. Keep it on-topic with your company
and consistent with your branding, so that it’s really easily recognizable, and they
can get that brand recall. The simpler, the better for the app icon. In terms of the screenshots, this is really
the main shop window for your mobile applications. So put a lot of work into your screenshots
and consider what the main user journey is throughout your app. The unique selling point,
the value proposition, the features and benefits. If you could pick five top things for your
mobile application, how would you capture these in a screenshot, in several screenshots?
And then which ones would you rank in a certain order? Users are probably going to look at
the first three screenshots, so make sure that these communicate the main user story
and value proposition of your app. Video is becoming something that is huge for
increasing downloads and educating users as to the value of your app and what it does.
So I’d recommend, make the time to create a video, 15-20 seconds is probably optimal,
that runs through the experience from the first run of downloading the app, of logging
in, how easy it is to use, and using the top features. You’re like, “This app creates value
for me. It deepens the relationship. It’s full of utility. And I get a great experience.” And If you can get that across in 15 to 20
seconds of a run-through, you will dramatically increase the chances of success of your app
being downloaded at that point. With Apple, there are restrictions. They give you between
15 and 30 seconds for your video. Android are a little bit more lenient. You can go
from 30 seconds to over 2 minutes. That’s way too long; if you can’t capture your
value proposition within 20 seconds, you probably can’t do it in 2 minutes. Localization is something a lot of companies
miss out on. And it’s a huge opportunity. So native language translation, depending
on the markets that you’re targeting. If you’re selling in English and in Spanish and in Mandarin,
well then you should have versions of your title, your description, and your keywords
that target those geographies. And this is a little bit beyond the scope
of this video, but things obviously like push notifications and in-app content should be
localized as well. And if you take the string from the operating system version as to what
the language setting is, you can then segment customers and give one version of the push
in Spanish, one version in English, and then the resulting content in the app can be different
as well. So localization is huge. In a recent study that App Annie did, they
showed with good localization, with three or more languages, a 128% increase in downloads
across a sample of 200 apps and a 26% increase in revenue
app annie logo In a recent study that App Annie did, they
showed with good localization, with three or more languages, a 128% increase in downloads
across a sample of 200 apps and a 26% increase in revenue. The stats show that localization
pays off and it can improve the chances of your app being ranked and being downloaded.
And then, of course, beyond the download, don’t forget to localize. In terms of your
markets, don’t forget, Asia accounts for over 52% of the global market. And Africa and Middle
East, by 2016, are actually going to surpass Europe. There’s huge opportunities here for localization,
understanding how the Store . . . and we’ll never fully understand because remember, these
algorithms are a secret, but understanding a couple of strategies and techniques, reviewing
your title and keywords, make sure that they’re on track, don’t sacrifice the human readability
of your content for the machines, don’t keyword stuff. Consider your description. What is a unique
selling point of your application? What’s the differentiator? Create great quality content,
screenshots, videos, a flat, big, bold icon. If you have time to create the videos, I would
really recommend doing it. Again, we’ll post some examples and links below of companies
that have done this. With the localization, if you have time, it’s great to create this
content. Again, we’ll leave some links below of companies that will localize your app content
for you. I think some of them charge on a per-word basis. So that’s it for today, guys. Thanks for tuning
in. I hope you enjoyed this video on App Store Optimization, how you can supercharge app
success. We’d love to hear from you. Please, leave a comment below the video. If you’ve
anything that you’d like to say, ideas for future videos, or any questions, let us know.

3 thoughts on “App Store Optimization: What is App Store Optimization & How Does It Work? | Pulsate Academy”

  1. Hi Patrick,

    First thing – You've done a Great job with these videos! Really well put together and super informative!

    I was wondering if you could help me regarding app naming – Myself and an Italian friend created an iOS app called 'NaturMia' which is a food Nutrition app in the Italian App Store. When translating the app into Spanish we left the App name as the Italian version 'NaturMia'. Do you think that is the correct thing to do taking into account ASO? or should we translated the name into a Spanish app name? We don't have a brand identity outside the app store to really consider.

    It would be great to get your thoughts on it.

    Have a great weekend!

    Many thanks,
    Steve

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