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Apple ASO 101

by Zlatko Pažin14. December, 2015

What is App Store Optimization? Well, you can figure that out by the name itself. App Store Optimization is a way to get your app published on Apple App Store. But with the large number of new applications publishing every day it can be pretty hard to make your own app more noticeable. And that’s why you have to master ASO.

App Store Optimization

Let’s start with the basics. App Store Optimization is exactly the same thing as Search Engine Optimization, only with app store and not search engines. It is a complex process that will allow you to attract more visitors and get more traffic to the page of your app. To understand that APO really is and to master it you have to know a lot of things like what the most important factors of ASO are, what is your target audience and you must understand all the tips and strategies that will help you to be better.

Some of you may still wonder, why is ASO so important? Let’s go back to SEO for a little bit. A good SEO optimization will place your page to top results on search engine. And a good ASO will place your app to the top results of app store search engine. So if you don’t use ASO optimization for your apps then you are most probably missing a lot of opportunities and chances to earn.

Google Play vs Apple

ASO Factors

Before you start with your ASO process you have to realize everything that you must do. The first thing is to learn its factors or components that will affect your future optimization. There are two main factors and two secondary factors that will influence the whole process.

The first and probably the most important factor is the tittle. You should always place the main keyword into the tittle. How to pick the right keyword? Well it has to be related to your app but it also must have a good number of searches. Do a little research and pick the right keyword for your tittle.

The second main factor is the keyword itself. And I’m not talking about keywords in just tittle, I am talking about all keywords in general. Before you start with ASO process you have to research all the relevant keywords to your app and pick the one that will bring you the best amount of traffic.

Two secondary factors are number of downloads along with reviews and ratings. Why are these two not primary factors? Well, they are really important but you can’t actually control them.

ASO in 7 simple steps

Now that you understand what ASO really is and what the most important factors are, it is time to learn about the process itself. At the end of the article you can find a lovely infographic that explains the ASO in 7 steps. Those steps are:

  1. Getting to know your audience

You have to know your audience even before you start with creating an app. You can’t target your sports app to people older than 70 years. Or you can’t target your beer app to kids. Do a research and figure out which type of people will love your app the most.

  1. Advantages of your app

Another thing you have to figure out is the benefits that your customers can get from your app. If you don’t offer anything new or better with the application then what’s the point of it? There are probably tons of similar apps that already offer the same thing. Always list all the features and advantages of your application.

  1. Searching

When you go to some App Store you probably use search to find what you need. Think about that when creating your app and giving it some name. Will someone find your app when they type the most used keyword in the search bar?

  1. Competition

Researching your competition is always a smart thing to do. In the previous step you decided on some terms that will bring the most traffic to your app. Now got to the store and try searching some terms. Can you find your app there? And what is your competition?

  1. Creativity

In my articles I often talk about the importance of the first impression. Often it is not enough just to attract visitors to your app page, you also have to attract them with its design. And you have only few seconds to do that so be careful and be creative. The icon of your app must be simply perfect. That is the first thing that people see. Another useful thing to use is the video preview of your app. That will surely excite your visitors. Also, place a good screenshots too.

  1. Metadata

After you done everything in the steps before it is time to focus on the one of the most important parts of your SEO process and that is creating a metadata. Before you do that you have to figure out everything from the first five steps mentioned above. After that it is time to create a good tittle for your app. Like I mentioned with the factors above, you have to include keywords that are relevant to your app in the tittle. And try to keep the title about 50 to 80 characters long. Another important thing to think about are the keywords. When placing keywords you only have 100 characters to use so be careful with this part. And the last part about metadata is the descriptions. You must include all the key features of your app in that description. You have 4000 characters to impress all the people who decide to read the description.

  1. Submitting

The only thing you have to do now is to simply submit your app and your work. If everything fits well with App rules then your application should be published within 5 to 10 days.

So, those are the seven most important steps when creating your app with App Store Optimization in mind. But we won’t stop there. Continue with reading to find out some little tricks and strategies that should help you even more.

ASO tips and strategies

If you try to find some tips for App Store Optimization on search engines you will probably end up with lots of them and won’t use many. To help you with that I listed some of the most useful tricks about ASO below.

Keywords

  • Keyword research – finding the right keywords for your app can be pretty hard. That’s why you should use some of the well-known tools that will help you with that. You can use App Annie or SensorTower. Don’t use too difficult keywords because you probably won’t be able to get any good out of that. But avoid those bad and little used keywords too because you won’t get a lot of traffic out of those ones. The most important part is to find some balance between those two things and settle for the middle.
  • Keywords in description – yes, using keywords a lot is a very good idea. But not in description of your app. People who read your description are humans and if you put too many keywords in there then the whole text could end up with not making any sense.
  • Reviews and ratings – if you get some bad rating or a bad review then focus on it and try to solve that particular problem and figure out a reason why you got a bad review. If you get some positive review then try to highlight it and if you get some bad one then reply to it and make things better.
  • Name – you probably know this one, but the name of your app must be catchy and memorable. But it also has to informative and must give people some clue about your app. Don’t just use some tittle because it sounds good to you, try to research the market for a little while and create a tittle that is fun but also related to the most important keywords you picked before.
  • Price – there are really a lot of free apps out there and it can be pretty tricky to put a price tag on your app. Don’t value your app too much because people will probably look elsewhere. And try to give a free trial to people so they can check out some of the features and always give discounts. Holiday season is near so be generous.
  • Localization– the last advice I will share with you is related to localization. It is important to translate your app to all the most popular languages. But not just that, you have to translate terms, keywords and everything else to a special language.

Localization

Number of people who don’t understand the importance of ASO is really high and I think that is just sad. Imagine if more than 70% of webmasters don’t know what SEO is and never use it. That would be a simpler time for the rest of us that actually know all the benefits that SEO can offer, right? Well if you have some App then don’t wait any longer and try to use all the advantages that App Store Optimization can give you. And check out some more information about it in the infographic below.

ASO 101