The swift rise in mobile apps has surprised everyone and the focus has shifted from desktop to mobile apps. The app ecosystem is developing at a frantic pace and app marketers are exploring new ways to ensure that their apps reach a wide range of mobile devices across several platforms.
The top two locations for mobile app downloads is the iOS App Store that has recorded a total download of over 50 billion in May and Google Play that has recorded over 48 billion total downloads in May. Other notable app locations include Microsoft, RIMM, and Amazon that still need a lot of catching up to do to reach the top two slots.
If you want to market your app, you need to first find out as to how users locate apps through their devices. According to separate studies done by Forrester and Nielsen, the majority of users find apps through search, followed by recommendations from friends and family. Hence, organic channels from app stores contribute to the most downloads.
You can try reaching the top in the Top Charts on any app store, but this strategy has its downsides in case search engines such as Google perceive your methods as being unacceptable, thanks to its new updates. Since attribution in app stores is quite difficult, your app marketing strategy does become a lot harder than your web marketing strategy. Hence, your SEO strategy too must change accordingly.
Similar to on and off-page SEO on the web, mobile optimization includes on and off-metadata ASO or App Store Optimization. Since you need to focus primarily on an App Store marketing strategy, you must understand that on-metadata has factors that can be controlled by your strategy while off-metadata has factors that can only be influenced by you and not be controlled completely by you.
You need to pay heed to the mentioned tips to improve your ranking in ASO. Your app needs to have an appropriate App Tile, which is the same as your HTML Title tag. You should include keywords in your App Title without making it seem like spam.
Your Description too should be split into one above the fold and another below the fold. You need include up to a couple of sentences in your above-fold Description that best describes your app and its uses. Your below-the-fold Description should include features as well as social proof.
iOS also offers a 100 character Keyword Field that must contain relevant and unique text that catches the eye of Apple bots. In addition, your Icon should be stunning since an icon is the first graphic that mobile users will see when they look at any app. Your Icon should promote your brand in an eye-catching way and build that important trust factor in a visual manner.
Your Screenshots too should explain various functions of your app instead of being mere eye-candy. Screenshots should act as promotions of your app and you must ensure that each screenshot turns into a graphical story that convinces a user to continue scrolling to the consequent screenshot.
In addition to the above on-metadata tips, here are important off-metadata tips that can help boost your visibility in the mobile world. Ratings and Reviews play a crucial role in promoting your apps indirectly, and you need to ensure that you get the best possible for both in order to ensure increased downloads. Similarly, link-building too is just as important for your app strategy as your web strategy, especially if your app features on Google Play.
You also need to adopt different strategies for marketing your app on iOS and Google Play. iOS takes into account data from your title, keywords, and the developer’s name to learn all about each app. However, Google also considers the Description field as well as takes help from its PageRank and Link Graph tools while calculating rankings. Hence inbound links do play an important role in case your apps are located on Google Play, which is not a consideration in case your apps are located on Apple’s App Store.
Calculating your success for app marketing is quite difficult when compared to web marketing. However, you can consider the following metrics to help make an informed decision. You can begin by tracking search rankings against your competitors. Another important indicator is Top Charts and you need to include a strategy to reach and stay on the Top Apps list.
Monitoring Reviews and Ratings will also enable you to view how others perceive your apps and make improvements based on feedback that can further please your users and app stores. Of course, the number of downloads will provide concrete proof of how well you are doing in the mobile app world. You must compare your own search rankings with downloads to get a clearer picture and make keyword improvements.
Finally, your conversion rates and revenues will indicate as to just how successful you are financially in marketing your apps. Your ASO strategy should ensure that these figures keep on improving at a steady rate over time.
In order to help your ASO strategy and better market your apps, you can consider using several tools such as Flurry, Apptentive, MobileDevHQ, Apptamin, and MobileAppTracking.
Using the above mobile app SEO as well as ASO tips and tools should help you improve your rankings, and help you sell more apps. Use them wisely to reap rich benefits in the mobile app world.