Two phones next to each representing the different elements to optimise for an ASO strategy in App Store and Google Play

What is ASO and how to optimise it to increase app downloads

Digital marketing departments are keener than ever on investing resources in apps. It seems that the future is mobile, and businesses need to be accessible with just one tap.

But for this future to be accessible with one tap, it needs to be installed on your phone in the form of an app. Yet, your phone has limited room and other apps taking up space. Or you haven’t found that one app.

So the competition has never been this fierce. Companies invest time and effort in making sure their apps are visible and downloaded. That’s when ASO comes into play.

ASO is the acronym for App Store Optimisation and consists of strategies to make an app gain more visibility. And more visibility translates into more organic downloads.

What is ASO or App Store Optimisation

ASO aims to optimise or to increase the visibility of an app within the app store is published. The name is obvious and very similar to SEO but here the engine is the app store in which an app is published. Nowadays, we speak about two main stores: App Store and Google Play. 

The more visible an app is the more likely it is that users will tap on it and download it. But what does being visible mean? It refers to the position of an app or how it ranks when you search for a keyword.

It is not enough to have high rankings; it is also important to make people tap on it. Titles, the name of the app, the icon and screenshots will help. 

On top of that, you must convince them to download or purchase it. Reviews can be helpful in the noble quest of optimising your app store.

And to get good reviews, you need promoters. That’s why it’s key that your ASO should focus on the customer to reap the benefits of it later on.

In order to get promoters, you can start by prioritising customer centricity. This also applies to your app development and eventually your ASO strategy. Think of what is that you’ve done for your customers lately.

Why ASO is important for your digital marketing strategy

As pointed out at the beginning, the future is mobile. We all rely on computers for serious tasks but look how far things have changed. Years ago, you wouldn’t have thought you could check your bank balance and make a transfer through your phone.

Mobile banking is a reality, and so is communicating to the Administration with an app, registering your company expenses, renewing your public transportation card, watching a film, and booking flights or hotels.

This means that your business might need an app. Not necessarily but if it’s the case, you’d better make sure people can find it and download it. There is a big market out there and organic searches in an app store can help you as you can’t depend only on advertising.

Nevertheless, there are also many apps competing for the same thing. So, if you want yours to be found and downloaded you must improve its rankings.

The biggest platforms, such as App Store and Google Play offer several advertising options. It’s a big channel with traffic that can be monetised.

In the case, of ASO a business can rely on organic traffic so they don’t have to spend money to make sure their customers find their app.

The importance of ASO for developing a successful digital marketing strategy comes with the novelty of this channel. You can diversify your marketing efforts by including an ASO strategy in your business. 

The app stores are still new spaces to exploit. Better now than later.

Differences between ASO in App Store and Google Play 

As we said before, ASO is meant for the main app-selling platforms: App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. There are certain elements such as screenshots and icons, that even though they don’t have ASO value can definitely move the needle when someone is looking for an app.

For those elements that affect how your app is ranked, you don’t depend on a good design, but on your expertise in optimising them. Many are different depending on the platform, but some factors are the same.

Firstly, let’s see what both platforms have in common:

  • App title: Up to 50 characters long on Google Play and 30 on App Store.
  • In-app purchases: Number of purchases that happen inside the app.
  • Reviews and ratings: The more and the better they are, the more visible your app will be.
  • Regular updates: App stores reward frequent updates with visibility.
  • Downloads: If users download them more, these apps gain visibility too.
  • Usage: The more an app is used, the better it ranks. 
  • App performance: Apps with high crash rates lose points.

On the other hand, there are some differences. App Store counts with a different algorithm to evaluate the value of keywords. The keywords in which your app is indexed come from the category and the ones you write down in your keyword field.

In addition, the app URL also influences how your app ranks for iOS devices. On top of that, the subtitle, which is a native element in App Store, comes in very handy to improve visibility.

Phone showing elements to optimise for an ASO strategy in the App Store for iOS

When it comes to Google Play, the app description is key. Because Google takes into consideration all the textual elements to index your app’s keywords. So, both the short and the long description help to rank an app.

Then again, Android comes in the Google family, that’s why Google Play rewards links quality backlinks and makes your app earn more visibility.

If you’re considering using getting links for your app, I recommend you to check my article on how to do link building

Phone with different elements to optimise in Google Play for ASO in Android

What other aspects you need to focus on in your ASO strategy

Besides understanding how these algorithms work, there’s more. An ASO expert must bear in mind other factors to be successful in an app store. 

Starting with clarity. This goes both for your ASO strategy but also for how you will explain the story of your app. It’s all about storytelling.

The title of your app doesn’t only allow you to rank in chosen keywords, but also to present your app. Is it catchy and explanatory enough? 

Yet, the clarity should in the description of the app. Users should be able to read at a glance the main features, from the most important to the least ones. It must be structured, attractive and easy to understand. For instance, you can use bullet points and emojis.

As you see with emojis, the visuals will help you to display what your app is about. Screenshots and video previews add a lot of value. Users can see how an app looks and its UI. As well, you can portray features and continue with the storytelling of your description. 

There are some specificities about size and content, especially when it comes to showing a true representation of your app.

Finally, don’t forget to translate your content locally. If you offer an app in other latitudes, it would be nice to have it in other languages.

Therefore, Spanish users should be able to get titles, subtitles, descriptions and screenshots translated into Spanish. The same for Austrians into German and Brazilians into Portuguese.

You will gain visibility as well as the ability to play with other keywords and reach other audiences. Also, when an app is translated is more likely that your prospects download them as it looks easier to use and more trustworthy.

Do you have questions about how to improve your ASO strategy? Don’t hesitate to write and together we can work out a new solution for your app.



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