Most organizations make search engine optimization a major priority – and rightly so. Establishing a highly visible website is simply a necessity in today’s increasingly digital world. That said, many of these same organizations often overlook a digital asset that continues to grow in importance with each passing day – the mobile app.
This is a major oversight in an era in which Americans spend more time each day on mobile devices than watching TV! In this age of 24/7 connectivity, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have taken over the digital marketing space – and apps have gone along for the rocket ride. In fact, today’s consumers spend an astonishing 85% of their smartphone time in apps according to a new mobile behavior study from Forrester Research.
So if your organization has a mobile app, getting it discovered and downloaded is a big deal. It’s also a big challenge considering there are over 2 million mobile apps in the major app stores. But don’t panic just yet – App Store Optimizations and Website Optimizations can help your app:
- Drive more high quality downloads
- Gain visibility in search results
- Get found in the app stores more frequently
- Improve rankings on specific keywords
App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization (or ASO for short), is a process for helping your mobile app achieve higher search ranks and improved customer visibility, which ultimately leads to increased traffic to your app’s page in the app stores.
In more succinct terms, ASO helps put your app on the map. And this matters a great deal since the app stores are where most new apps are discovered and downloaded. To give your app the best chance for success, here are five factors to consider along with suggestions for improvement.
Having keywords in you app’s title can significantly improve your app’s search ranking. Try choosing keywords with the heaviest search traffic. Also, make sure your app’s most relevant keyword is in the title.
Choosing the right category improves your app’s visibility. By defining a relevant category you’ll help the search engines deliver your app to the appropriate user.
Description (Google Play)
The app description section acts as the main content on a web page and should be optimized with target keywords. That said, people who read your description are human, so don’t go overboard with keyword stuffing. Also, try to include a link to your website within the description. This will provide link value and reassure users of your app’s validity.
Keyword Field (iOS)
The Keyword Field in iOS only allows for 100 characters, so chose them wisely. Focus on relevancy, search volume and competition. Also, don’t use multiple word phrases. Instead, break keywords out into individual words of at least two characters each. You can also use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to enhance and expand your keyword list.
Ratings and Reviews
Apps with higher ratings also rank higher. Do everything in your power to encourage happy customers to rate your app highly as this will ultimately boost its visibility. Since reviews can go both ways (negative and positive), make sure there’s a way inside your app for customers to talk directly with developers to address any problems.
In addition to ASO, you can boost your app’s visibility by using your own website for cross-promotion and linking purposes. This can be accomplished in a number of ways including:
- Creating a page dedicated to your mobile app
- Promoting your app in a blog post
- Placing an app link in your website’s footer
On the technical front, you can also support HTTP deep links in your mobile app and implement app indexing.
To Conclude: It Takes Time!
Putting your app on the map doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and hard work. It also requires a real understanding of your target customer base. But getting your app consistently discovered and downloaded is achievable, and the rewards for doing so are well worth the effort.