According to Forrester Research, 63% of all app downloads originate from App Store searches. With 200,000,000 users a week, the App Store has the power to drive over 100,000 downloads a day to your app, and it is highly dependent on your App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO is the #1 organic marketing source and drives a majority of all app downloads on the market. The depth and degree you master App Store Optimization dictates your success. While ASO has proven to be a critical tool in driving consistent organic downloads, it’s not something that happens overnight. The App Store Optimization process takes time and must be tweaked and constantly improved. The following techniques are ways you can begin getting an extra 1,000 organic app downloads a day using App Store Optimization.

1. A Creative, Yet Searchable Name

The app name section may seem like the perfect place to have a long list of strategic keywords, but when it comes to app names, less is more. The App Store has a limit of 50 characters for names, which means you have space for several keywords in your name. However using more than 25 characters in your name is unwise. Longer names seem spammy and they may get cut off on a small screen.

To name your app, conduct significant research to find the best keywords and limit yourself to using 1 to 3 of them. Think quality over quantity. Experts say that, on average, apps with keywords in their name gain a 10% increase in downloads. You should find keywords that a lot of people search for, but also not very competitive. Finally, make sure your app’s name is catchy, engaging, and descriptive.

You want to grab people’s attention immediately and give them an idea of what your app can do. Your app’s name should give users an impression of what it is and also make them interested in learning more.

Do…

– Use 1-3 keywords in your app naming process which equates to a 10.3% increase in the number of hits for your app.

– Conduct extensive research on related keywords, and those of your competitors.

– Use keywords that have high search traffic and low competition.

– Try to make your name catchy and engaging,

– Use the name to convey the purpose of your app.

Don’t…

– Use too many keywords.

– Change your name frequently.

– Include your company’s name when naming your app.

– Spell out numbers (ex: write 5 instead of five).

 

Examples of great names:

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2. A Picture Perfect Icon

Since the first impression a user will have of your app is based on its icon, it is critical that you spend time making it unique and, more importantly, simple. A noteworthy icon uses vibrant colors and a distinctly recognizable shape. Twitter is a great example, as it uses a shape that is relevant to the app’s name. You should avoid including large amounts of text, shapes, and colors in your icon, because those elements will overwhelm users and probably won’t be noticeable on a small screen. It is important that your icon be in high resolution to ensure users with large screens receive a high quality user experience. Finally, choose colors that create positive associations for your app. For example, blue is a good choice for a data storage app, because people associate blue with trust. Yellow is a good choice for lifestyle apps, because people associate yellow with happiness.

Do…

– Make your icon unique and simple.

– If possible, use a relevant shape or symbol.

– Differentiate your icon from your competitors’.

– Use a design that is consistent with your app’s design.

– Choose a color with positive associations.

Don’t…

– Use too many shapes or colors.

– Use large amounts of text.

– Make it too generic.

– Design an icon that is similar to competitors.

Examples of great icons:

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3. Specific and Searchable Keywords

Statistically, keyword searches are responsible for 63% of all app downloads. Finding the right keywords means researching what your users search for and which keywords your competitors use. It is important to look for keywords that have a high search volume, low competition and high probability of ranking.

The keyword section in the App Store has a 100 character limit. Taking full advantage of this limit will allow you to have more ways for users to find your app, since different users will search the App Stores using different keywords. There are also techniques you can use to maximize the 100 characters you are given. For example, use singular forms of words instead of plural and don’t spell out numbers (ex: 5 instead of five). Furthermore, you should change keywords in response to changes in the market.

Do…

– Research the keywords your users and competitors use.

– Be creative about maximizing the keywords you can use within 100 character limit.

– Change which keywords you use in response to changes in the market.

Don’t…

– Use keywords that are broad, generic, or unrelated.

– Include the app name as a keyword.

– Repeat the category as a keyword.

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4. A Compelling Video

According to Analytics Agency, AdColony, 98% of the top apps rely exclusively on video as their primary method for user acquisition. Experts agree that users are more likely to view your App Preview Video than they are to go through your screenshots, so it is very important for your video to make a good first impression. Your videos should be designed to educate, excite, and inspire users to take action and download your app instantaneously.

On average, users will lose interest within the first 10 seconds if your video is not engaging. Therefore, your most interesting features should be included at the beginning of your demo video. Make sure to create your video in HD and to highlight key features in an efficient manner. It is also recommended to inlcude a voiceover, featured text, and background music while highlighting your key benefits.

Do…

– Put the key features in the beginning.

– Summarize the app in an efficient manner.

– Show that you are trustworthy with a voice-over.

– Post the video on YouTube.

– Try to tell a story, if possible.

Don’t…

– Forget to pay attention to Apple’s technical requirements.

– Waste time explaining minor details about your app.

– Overwhelm your user with music, graphics, and effects

Great Example Of An App Demo Video

5. Design High-Quality Screenshots

Visual appeal is another key factor for users when deciding whether or not to download an app. Effective screenshots are designed to captivate your users attention and inspire them to take action and download your app. It is important to utilize the maximum amount of screenshots Apple and Google allow and make sure that they are well planned and show off the best design elements of your app. The goal with screenshots, and most other components of App Store Optimization is to focus on how your app is a better choice than competing apps.

Post the screenshots in a logical order and show common user flows. The first screenshot is the most important, so it should give the user a clear idea of the purpose of your app. Each screenshot should highlight an important feature and include at least one line of brief text to explain it, if necessary. You can even use arrows to point out features.

Do…

– Highlight important features.

– Use a logical order.

– Show common user flows.

– Check out the competition to see how you can differentiate your app.

– Localize the screenshots if there are multiple countries.

– Use Call-To-Actions.

Don’t…

– Repeat concepts.

– Upload screenshots in low resolution.

– Organize screenshots in a random order.

Examples of good screenshots:

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6. A Detailed Description

The App Store has a limit of 4,000 characters for the description. Although that is a considerable amount of characters to have at your disposal, it is critical that you avoid having dense paragraphs, since users typically want to read information quickly. Use bullet points and write short paragraphs. That will help potential users pay attention and stay interested.

It is also important to include information about the key features of your app at the beginning of your description. Unless the user decides to click the “more” button, they won’t see the rest it. Therefore, your first few sentences must be compelling and include enticing keywords in order to capture the user’s attention quickly.

Do…

– Place the most important information at the top.

– Include the purpose and problem your app solves.

Don’t…

– Have dense paragraphs.

– Put too much irrelevant information into the description.

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7. Is One Language Enough?

To achieve worldwide success, you’ll need to increase the number of languages your app supports. This can lead to dramatic increases in downloads. iTunes Connect can help you figure out which countries users are downloading your app from. Experts say the best thing to do is to add as many languages as you can, since users are more likely to download your app if it is in their native language. Also, make sure to list any new languages you have added to your app in the Updates section of your description.

Do…

– Add as many languages as you can.

– Research where your users come from, and what languages your competitors’ apps support.

– Display the languages you have added in the Updates section.

Don’t…

– Underestimate the value of foreign markets.

– Add a language that isn’t going to draw new customers.

8. To Pay or Not to Pay?

90% of apps downloaded from the App Stores are free! With an increasing number of free apps on the market, it has become more difficult to convince users to pay for an app upfront. This is especially true when competitors are offering their apps for free. If you do decide to charge money for users to download your app, make sure you are able to prove why your app is worth its price.

Experts believe the most profitable and effective monetization strategy right now is to use a freemium model. In a freemium model, the app is initially free for users, but after downloading they can choose to make in-app purchases to improve their experience.

Do…

– Have in-app purchases if your app is free.

– List in-app purchases in your description.

– Analyze the competition.

– Prove why your app is worth the price.

Don’t…

– Sell your app for a higher price than it’s worth.

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9. Spread the Word

Did you know that 19% of apps are discovered on social networking platforms? Maintaining active social media pages is crucial for gaining new users and retaining current ones. Social media is an essential part of stimulating conversations about your app. If you’ve put time and effort into social media and you haven’t seen results, then it is time to rethink your game plan! If you feel that fans are not seeing or responding to your posts, you may be posting at the wrong times. Facebook and Twitter both have optimal times for posting.

Posting targeted content at certain times will result in a higher rate of user engagement and, therefore, more downloads. Utilizing the tips below can greatly improve the number of retweets. Using Caps Case Typing for the first letter of words, for example, draws 52% of retweets. Furthermore, using the word “free” entices users to share the tweet, and gains 50% more retweets.

Do…

– Post during Facebook’s optimal times: Monday – Thursday from 11 am – 5 pm

– Post during Twitter’s optimal times: Monday – Thursday from 9 am – 3 pm

– Use Caps Case Typing for the first letter of every word.

– Share images or videos, but be sure to include links.

– Use at least 2 hashtags.

Don’t…

– Fill your posts with hashtags.

– Forget to sound personal in your posts.

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10. Get Reviewed

Constructive criticism should not be ignored, even though listening to it is never easy. Obtaining and encouraging user reviews is the perfect way for you to gain feedback on your app and find out which features users love, which they would like to be improved, and which they absolutely despise. Analyze your ratings to discover what your users are thinking. By listening to what your customers say, future users will leave more positive reviews.

Users are more likely to download apps with higher ratings, and many form a first impression after reading a few reviews on your page. Sending push notifications through your app can help you gain user reviews. It is important to note that competitive keywords are those in 100+ apps. The evidence suggests that the more competitive the reviews are in the market, the higher the ratings for that particular app are. Thus, ranking higher for keyword difficulty boosts ASO and traffic to your app.

Do…

– Obtain at least 75-100 reviews per version.

– Focus on quality, not quantity.

– Invite users to review your app.

– Check the ratings and reviews weekly.

– Make the review process fast and easy for users.

– Fix items mentioned in multiple negative reviews.

– Watch for rating drops.

– Adjust your app based on reviews and ratings to improve the user-interface.

Don’t…

– Pay to fabricate reviews.

– Ignore criticism.

 

11. Third Party Services

Sensor Tower uses a fully automated Keyword App Ranking Tracking Tool that gives developers access to accurate data on a per-keyword basis. This service offers improvements and changes in marketing campaigns and can also be tracked along with changes to actual app keywords. Some additional features include being able to view competitor data on a keyword by keyword basis.

App Annie’s ASO tools give access to the most important metrics needed in order to maximize organic search traffic. App Annie will show you which apps are ranking for the leading search terms which is helpful to publishers who emphasize the testing and refining of keywords.

AppStatics is the go-to app for developers who want to track their iOS and MAC apps in Apple’s Top 300 App Store rankings across each and every country. By doing this, AppStatistics provides the client with a comprehensive and truly global perspective of the App Store. Features include being able to browse top rankings by geography, category, and platform.

Conclusion

ASO takes time. It is important to note that while ASO proves the most important tool in driving your app user traffic, it will not happen overnight. Thoughtfully consider your optimization strategy to maximize your ranking. Though time-consuming, it will pay off in the long run. The App Store Optimization process takes time and must constantly be tweaked and reassessed before you can finally say your app is App Store Optimized to its maximum potential. Following these best practices will ensure proper optimization and will lead you to successful App Store rankings!

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