Your app is finally getting some traction but you’re ready to ramp up. It’s time to start a dedicated App Store Optimization strategy. But what can you expect? Let’s demystify the process of ASO.
Research & Discovery
The first step in ASO is research. Start by conducting a full app audit. Check out our ASO Checklist for a complete step by step on what to look for in prepping your ASO strategy. Next, it’s important to conduct competitor and keyword research. There are many helpful tools to understand keyword volume, research competition and more. We’ve put together a few Chrome plugins to help with viewing Apple Search Ads keyword volume and to view any Google Play app’s short description to find out what’s working for them!
It’s crucial to understand a few main points:
- What keywords are important for your app?
- How difficult will it be to rank for those terms?
- What is the competition doing to rank well for them?
- How is the competition leveraging their graphic assets to convert users?
Technical ASO Work
Now it’s time to get scientific and creative. In terms of graphics, it’s a best practice to a/b test your product page’s graphic elements: app icon, screenshots, header image and preview videos (and even some text elements!. This process allows you to narrow in on a look that really resonates with your ideal users.
Now let’s put our science hats on and figure out how to arrange and organize our keywords in a way that makes sense to our users, balances the “importance” of each location (ie. title, subtitle, keywords), and still maintains readability. The rule of thumb is that the title is the most important and most heavily “weighted” place for your keywords to be, with the subtitle a close second, and lastly the keyword list. The title and subtitle play a large role in conversions, so it’s important to always be mindful of readability and conversions. Don’t stuff the top keywords into those 30 character slots just to improve rankings, rather balance them out with explaining your app, highlight key features!
Increase your visibility further with additional efforts like link building, content marketing & PR.
When to expect results: The Heat Factor
Here comes the answer you don’t really want to hear: it depends.
But what does it depend on? There are a number of factors that affect how quickly or dramatically your ASO efforts will be achieved. Keyword search volumes, install “velocity”, ratings/reviews and retention (just to name a few) can explain why your app is not ranked #1 for a specific term. We affectionately refer to these variables collectively as “heat”. Your heat factor contributes significantly to the speed at which you will see a return on your ASO strategy efforts.
A prime example is Coinbase. The app skyrocketed through rankings up to as high as #1 overall in the App Store last week, due to the cryptocurrency craze right now. So as you can expect, their “heat” factor is off the charts and they rank #1 for a LOT of cryptocurrency-related keywords due to all of this added volume.
When to stop ASO
This is another trick question. The answer is NEVER!
App Store Optimization is an ongoing, ever-changing process of optimizing your app against competitors. It is good practice to evaluate your rank and identify new areas of opportunity for increasing search visibility on a very frequent basis. Be mindful of how often you’re making ASO-related changes and perform updates based on data, NOT specific timelines or with each app update.
Too busy to manage your ASO strategy in-house? Consider partnering with an agency that specializes in app store optimization.
Now that you know what to expect, hire a team of experienced pros.
Contact our team today to get started!