Advantages of App Store Optimization
Today, the marketing of iOS apps requires many news approaches and cheaper alternatives to basic advertising and paid ad clicks, and it's important to understand that without proper marketing, the chances of a good launch on App Store are fairly slim. That's why one must try their best to achieve that without losing too much money on inefficient approaches and advertising methods that bring little to no traffic. That's one of the reasons why App Store Optimization is so popular – and additionally, it's easier, cheaper and more efficient than getting your ads placed somewhere, which is a good thing.
However, not everyone is familiar with the way ASO works and how to optimize your app or game in a safe and efficient way – while Apple themselves are OK with it, there are several “illegal” ASO methods floating around which shouldn't be used by anyone – simply because they are illegal and fake the value and importance of the app. Usage of these methods will most likely lead to a ban from the store.
This post will only cover the safe and proven ASO practices. These include:
Let's take a look at each one of them and explain them in better detail.
No one wants to buy or download a bad app – the average quality of software has dramatically increased over the past decade or two, so it's a good idea to make sure that the app is of highest quality before optimizing and advertising it. After all, it's easier to convince the users to try a good app and stick with it than trying to convince them that the bad app is not that bad and especially – that they should give it a second chance when the developer rolls out another patch that is supposed to fix whatever was supposed to be fixed way before launching the app on the App Store. There are many cases when poor quality jeopardized even the best advertising campaigns, so don't waste your time releasing a broken app and instead focus on the quality – and only then take major promotional steps.
Keyword Optimization (KWO) is the process of researching the trending and relevant keywords and using them on your app page. This way you're increasing your chances of ranking higher in search results and thus you're increasing the chances to get your app discovered by your target audience. Keep in mind that combining several app search optimization techniques together is a good idea because it it'll most likely increase the conversions and discoveries of your app, not to mention the ranking and other things.
Some good practices of KWO are fairly known, yet underused by the developers. They include:
Updating the keywords once in a while with a new set of trending keywords;
Using a keyword in the app title – only about 16% of the apps are using it, but this kind of keyword usage increases the conversions and gives better results.
Contrary to KWO, Asset Optimization (AO) is done by picking the most appealing assets for your app page, such as app icon, screenshots and the video preview. These assets play an important role in the app promotion, because these assets are shown on the app page and it's easy to make it harder for the users to like your app by posting unappealing assets. Icons can be used with cooler effects and styles to make them stand out of the crowd, screenshots can be more than just informative pieces and video preview can be more than just a boring narration of the app description – you can be creative when you're doing them, and using your creativity to the max is a great approach if you want to become popular among users.
AO is usually done by researching the latest trends, experimenting with the assets and testing them using AB tests to determine whether it works or not. Many of these services are offered by various mobile marketing agencies (such as Applead), so it's a great idea to use them if you want to focus on development instead of spending your time on tasks you're barely familiar with.
Even today, English is not that popular despite the statistics and various news about it being the most spoken language in the world. The truth is, these statistics don't take the language skills into account, and thus most of the language speakers have skills on par with “pre-intermediate” language skills. That's why localization remains one of the most efficient ways to optimize your app for the App Store.
Start with the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish. Then you can Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages to expand your target audience even more significantly. Also, localization is a good way to show that you care about your customers.
You can get your app localized using freelance translation services. Today, they offer professional quality for a very affordable price. Chances are, you'll also find friends among the translators and thus you'll be able to get your apps localized even more efficiently.
As you can see now, the are no magic tricks or big secrets, but the mobile marketing is not as walk in the park as some people imagine, yet it's no rocket science, so it's doable once you get the hang of it. It's obvious that the success of an iOS app or game relies on two key factors – the quality of the app and a proper marketing strategy. If you'll take a brief look at the numbers of launched apps and the percentage of developers and publishers who managed to return the investment and profit from their work, it becomes obvious that it's important to start working on the marketing plan and executing it as soon as possible, and keep an eye out for new and effective methods to promote your apps and games – such experiments usually lead to interesting results, and by finding a new way to attract users, you will easily make the invested effort, time and money worth it.