Taking an app from idea to creation isn’t easy, but taking note of startup founders’ mistakes can get you a head start. After making your great idea into a reality, you have the daunting task of making sure that your app is visible to the right users in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
You can help your app become more discoverable with App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO helps apps become more relevant for high-volume keywords so the perfect audience can find it more easily. In the long run, you can see an increase in organic downloads and an improvement in the quality of users that find your app.
While having an effective ASO strategy can improve your app’s performance, having a bad ASO strategy can impact it in a negative way too. In order to avoid any negative side effect, there are common mistakes that many developers must acknowledge. Be sure to avoid these harmful ASO mistakes at all costs when developing your ASO strategy.
1. Using the Same ASO Strategy Across Platforms
The Google Play Store and Apple App Store index apps differently. You shouldn’t use the same ASO strategy for both platforms, but should instead take the time to look at how each store indexes apps to ensure that you’re making the right changes. If you didn’t know that you’re better off having individual feature sets in your Google Play long description, it can greatly hurt the way your app indexes.
Keep in mind that Google indexes an app by crawling through the description to determine which keywords are relevant to an app. Developers should focus on their app’s core features and use high-volume keywords to highlight them. It’s also good practice utilizing bullet pointed lists to help Google index the description.
In contrast, Apple has a 100-character keyword bank where developers declare certain keywords that an app wants to target. As the app continues to convert users, Apple looks at the app’s metadata to determine the app’s relevancy for these keywords.
2. Reputation Management & Ignoring Reviews
User reviews are helpful because users can instantly contact developers, and developers can constantly understand what users are currently experiencing. Users leave reviews because they want to be heard, and developers want to see how their users are currently experiencing their app.
You can adopt Reputation Management, a concept that fully utilizes the line of communication offered by reviews. You need to monitor and respond to reviews to build a relationship with your audience, which means taking full advantage of responding to these reviews.
Negative reviews are unique areas of opportunity that directly tell you how your app can improve. While it’s good practice to respond to every negative review, you can’t forget about positive reviews either. Positive reviews come from users that are truly enjoying your app, and they deserve to be responded to just as much as negative reviews.
3. Lackluster Creatives
An app’s creative elements (icon, screenshots and preview video) are a key piece of metadata for grabbing users’ attention. In the Google Play Store, icons are important because they are the face of the app in user search. When users scroll through listings of apps, they only see the icon unlike in the App Store, where users will see the app name, icon, and first three screenshots.
While the icon needs to quickly grab users’ attention, the screenshots are another crucial part of creatives. They further explain and sell the app to potential users while highlighting the app’s core features. You need to make sure that your screenshots aren’t confusing or else users might not understand the point of your app. In order to help users understand your app’s core feature, you can incorporate callout text that includes high-volume keywords to emphasize features.
If you’re ever unsure about whether your screenshots or icon will help your conversion rates, you can run A/B tests to see which will do better. Essentially, you can compare several icons, screenshots or preview videos to see which engages your audience better. This saves you time and money along with providing you insights to what your users currently want to see.
4. Underestimating Search Ads
While an app can optimize their metadata, and perform well, Search Ads will give that extra boost to help your app gain more visibility.
Search Ads can help your app appear before competitors, rank higher for keywords and increase relevancy for specific terms. Keep in mind, that Apple Search Ads use your app’s current metadata to create the campaign. Having strong, successful metadata that is optimized following ASO best practices will guarantee your Search Ads.
5. Not Maintaining ASO Strategy
A proper ASO strategy isn’t finished after one round of optimization. Your app’s keywords and description should adapt as user’s search behavior changes. Certain high-volume keywords might not always be high volume and other keywords might become high volume. You need to pay attention to how their app ranks for keywords and make key adjustments based off what keyword is doing better than the other.
Similar to user trends and behavior, the app stores are constantly changing. You should to pay attention to any chances that the app stores make, especially during various times of the year. If the App Store is featuring apps for the holidays, you’ll have to make changes that align with what the App Store is currently targeting.
Whether you have a new app or an established app, understanding how to best utilize ASO will help the right audience find your app. ASO works with every piece of your app’s metadata to increase downloads and convert users.
ASO is a continuous process that cannot be forgotten about. It’s smart to make adjustments after a while to make sure your app’s metadata and creatives are relevant and stand out amongst competitors.
Wanna know what else can help your app to thrive? A perfect landing page! Read about how to build it here.