App Store Optimization 2020 – ASO Guide for Google Play Store

If you want to rank your app higher in the search results and want to know the best tools and services in the market, you’ll love this guide. Let’s get started.

About the Mobile Industry

In the infancy stage of the Apple App Store, the platform had only 500 apps. In 2020, it boasts of 1.85 million apps. In the good old days of 2008, it was easy to get your app rank higher in the search results. But now Google and Apple-the two leading app stores market have become pickier with the apps they allow to be published.

Now, trial and error won’t work. Need a time-tested App Store Optimization Strategy with the right tools and services.

What Is App Store Optimization?

Your customer searches for a gaming app in the Playstore. Your app is the first app to land on their search results. People click on your app and downloads it. No, this is not a dream. It can happen with App Store Optimization. What is ASO? Simply, it is the process through which an app ranks in the search results of a play store.

Yes, it is somewhat like SEO. Guess what!

ASO can help increase the number of app downloads, increase audience engagement, increase Click-through rate (CTR), and ultimately increase the exposure of your app.

Why is ASO important?
Google Play Store tops the chart in terms of the number of apps with 2.56 million apps to choose from. Second, on the list is Apple Store with 1.85 million apps.

You don’t want to get lost among these 4.41 million apps, which is also why you need to optimize your app for app stores.

Although these numbers can be scary, with the right tool and right help you can leverage ASO to your benefit.

 How does ASO work?

Now, ASO is an ongoing process. In simple words, it optimizes elements of your app such as icons, screenshots, video, and so on by selecting the right keywords.

But you need to know that ASO is much more than using keywords to make the app rank higher.

First, you need to know two factors: metadata and off-metadata.

On-metadata factors are completely under the control of the developer while off-metadata are not under the control of the developer.

Some of these factors affect Search and others affect Conversion Rate. While the rest affect both.

ASO Strategies for Google Play Store

1. Do Market Research

The first and most basic step while implementing an ASO strategy is doing market research.

Firstly, identify your niche. Is it a gaming app or a habit tracking app? Later on, this will help you to find keywords, which you are going to target.

Another important question you need to ask is who are your competitors? What strategies are they implementing? This way you will learn how to get ahead of them.

2. Find the Right Keywords

Now, that you have done market research and clearly understand the market, it is time to target the right keywords.

Finding the right keyword is key to ranking higher in the search results.

Instead, target Long-tail Keywords. Long-tail keywords, as the name suggests are long and very specific. They have comparatively less search volume but high conversion value.

Use the tool that helps you find the best keywords for Google Play Store and Apple Store. It even tells which keywords are helping you to rank.

3. Pick the Right Title

The title of the app should have both the brand name and the right keywords. The title should be short, crisp, and clear. It should grab the customer’s attention and should be easy to remember. Google allows you to use a maximum of 50 characters in the app name. This means that you can add keywords in the title.

4. Optimize URL

Including a keyword in the URL will help your app rank higher on search.
So, before publishing the app check the URL package on Google Playstore. Remember, once the app is published it cannot be changed.

5. Add keyword in Developer Name

You can add keywords in the developer’s name. This will help optimize the app for search. For example, this app has the keyword game in the developer’s name.

6. Write a great short description

Google allows you to include up to 80 characters in the short description. This tests your ability to do more with less.

A great short description will clearly state the features of the app and the value it provides.

7. Create a click-worthy description

The Description needs to be optimized both for Search and customers. It should convey to the customers what they can expect from the app. It should be formatted (use emojis) and should outline the benefits and features of the app.

Second, optimize it for search as the search engine crawls through the descriptions. You have up to 4000 characters, so include a good blend of keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing as it can hurt users.

8. Make a visual statement with the Icon


The icon is an important factor in the decision-making process of users. So, make sure it catches the eye of users and reflects your brand.
Keep in mind these requirements:
•    32-bit PNG
•    Maximum File Size:1024KB
•    Dimensions: 512px by 512px
To decide the right icon, use A/B Testing Tools.


9. Video


A video is a great addition as a user would naturally want to see how an app works before downloading it. Adding a video is simple. Just paste the URL of the Youtube video in the “Promo video” field. Keep in mind basic things such as not using a restricted video and making sure that you are not pasting the link of a playlist.

10. Screenshots


Screenshots help users see what the app looks on the inside. Hence, it is responsible for the conversion rate. Google lets you add 8 screenshots with 2 as the minimum number of screenshots.

The app screenshots requirements are as follows:
•    Maximum dimension:320px
•    Minimum dimension:3840px
•    JPEG or 24-bit PNG

ASO Strategies for Apple Store

1. Keyword Research
Keyword Research is as important in Apple Store as it is in the Google Play Store. But keep in mind that both work differently. So, the first step is to brainstorm a list of every possible search query related to the app.
Now, the question is where to find these keywords. A simple tactic is to search for suggestions in the Apple search bar or you can invest in a good tool.


2. App Name
Like Google Play store, including the right keywords in the app name to rank better. Only 30 characters can be included in the app name. The title can be changed only when you submit a new version of the app. So, choose the name wisely!


3. Subtitle
Apple allows only 30 characters in the app name. But the good news is that you can include a subtitle. The subtitle affects rankings so include the right keywords. It also appears on Top Charts, which means users see subtitles and icons. Hence, affecting the click-through rate.
Again, subtitles can be changed only when you submit a new version.


4. Description
The description is 4000 words long and can be changed only when you submit a new version of the app. It affects search rankings so include the right keywords. Make the description clear, highlight the features and benefits of using the app, it should reflect your brand, and avoid keyword stuffing.


5. Promotional Text
If you have added new features, using promotional text is a great way to communicate it to the readers. It appears on the top of the description and is 170 characters long. It does not affect rankings but it can affect conversion rate. How? A well-written Promo Text will compel users to take action.


6. Developer Name
The developer name appears in search so it does affect search results. Optimizing it for search will help you boost rankings and help the app feature on theToday tab, Games Tab, and Apps tab. It is located below the description so the user has to scroll down to see it. Hence, it hardly affects the conversion rate.


7. Icon
The difference in Apple Store and Google Play store is in terms of the size of the icon. In Apple, icons have two sizes. The smaller size appears in the Home Screen of the devices. The large size appears in Apple Store. Don’t randomly select the icon, use A/B testing to pick the best icon for your app.


8. Video
Apple allows you to use 3 video previews. These appear before the screenshots and make the user experience the app before downloading it.
They can be up to 30 seconds and play on mute on autoplay in the Search and product page. As the video previews play on mute it is important to use great copy to make the users take action.


9. Screenshots
Apple allows up to 10 screenshots and they feature right after the video preview. The screenshots don’t affect search ranking but they do affect click-through rate and conversion rate. They also appear in search results making them the second visual element after the icon appearing in search. The requirements are:
•    High-quality JPEG or PNG format.
•    72dpi, flattened, no transparency, RGB


Use your screenshots to showcase the best features of your app, use good copy to compel users to download it, and lastly use A/B testing to pick the right screenshots.


Also, use the secondary ranking factors when planning your app store strategy.


•    You do not have control over the number of downloads. The higher the number of downloads, the better is the result of your campaign. You can achieve the goal by marketing your brand and app to increase both awareness and interaction.
•    While you may not have direct control over ratings and reviews. You can take steps to incentivize users. Make sure your engagement with users is prompt and personalized. Apps with more positive reviews and higher ratings are downloaded more.
•    Launching the app is not enough. You need to update the app regularly to stay relevant to your users. It is necessary to stay up-to-date with technology and protect the app from bugs.


Tracking App Performance
Optimizing your app for search is one thing but you can’t optimize it and leave it at that. You need to analyze the performance of your app to see if the strategy you are implementing is working or not. Tracking app performance can be a soul-sucking task. But with the right tools and services, you can nail this. Listed below are the best tools and services in the market right now.


Best App Store Optimization Tools and Services in 2020


App Store Optimization is an ongoing process and you need an expert who can help you with this process. Some of these tools and services focus on a single aspect of ASO such as finding the right.


Summary


App Store Optimization will take time and effort, but if you keep on optimizing your app on app stores, then you’ll get better results.

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