App Store Optimization Tips for Startups (iOS)

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As a startup, your main product can be a mobile app. Or your product or solution can have a mobile version. Whatever the case may be, you will need to market your app, most probably on a tight marketing budget. Considering the tools, you may use, App Store Optimization arrives as an effective solution among unpaid mobile marketing methods.

What is ASO?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing a mobile app to increase its ranking in app store search results. ASO aims to increase the download numbers of an app by increasing its visibility and traffic.

Why is ASO important?

According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This means that your potential customers will probably find your app via a search in the app store. However, being findable among hundreds of other apps may not be very easy. According to Statista’s survey, one of the biggest challenges of app marketing is about app discovery. 50 % of app marketers believe that today app discovery is harder than ever before. This points to the importance of app store optimization.

Benefits of ASO

App Store Optimization;

  • maximizes app visibility
  • reduces the cost of attracting new users
  • does not require a large budget
  • generates more downloads
  • reaches the right users who are most likely to download your app
  • offsets the costs associated with paid campaigns
  • helps to enhance customer engagement and to build long-term relationships with them.

Tips for Improving Your ASO

Keywords, app name, app description, visual design, number of downloads, ratings, and number of reviews are among the main factors that influence an app’s search ranking. Below tips regarding these factors may help you to improve your ASO efforts and have better results.

Keywords

  • Use different keyword tools to check the usability of keywords (i.e. Übersuggest, One Look Reverse Dictionary)
  • While choosing keywords don’t ignore the relevance for the sake of popularity
  • Check user reviews for similar apps to get keyword ideas
  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and find the keywords they use while searching an app
  • Start with less difficult and less popular keywords at the beginning
  • As your app gains awareness target more popular and difficult keywords
  • Use long-tail keywords to provide more specific search results (i.e. Instead of using “language practice,” you can use “Spanish practice”)
  • Check the current ranking of your keywords and make continuous updates to improve the result

App Name

  • Find a creative and easy-to-remember name for your app
  • The name should tell your potential users what your app is about
  • Include the most important keywords in your app’s name
  • Consider 30-character limit and use the right keywords in a way that does not look spammy
  • Since your app’s name will be the URL of your app’s page, do not use special characters in it
  • Include important keywords in your subtitle as well which allows 30 characters

Description

  • Explain what your app is about in a way that pulls your audience’s attention
  • Include social media links, and important mentions to increase the potential for downloads
  • Try to write short descriptions
  • Tell users the benefits they will get from your app
  • Include a call to action that would convince users to download your app
  • Add various keywords in the app store keyword field to be found easily
  • While adding your keywords to this field do not exceed 100 characters and do not include your company or app name

Visual Design

  • Create a persuasive app store page
  • Use a simple, eye-catching and easy-to-remember app icon
  • While designing your icon, consider different sizes for different iOS devices
  • Create an icon that reminds your app’s or brand’s function
  • Use qualified screenshots with short caption texts
  • Show different aspects of your app in action by using different screenshots
  • You may include a video that demonstrates the use of your app

Number of Downloads

  • The more your app is downloaded the better search results it will get
  • Include backlinks to the relevant pages
  • Prepare a landing page that includes the link to your app’s App Store page
  • Target different media and app review sites to promote your app
  • Use various marketing tools to promote your app (social media, email marketing, content marketing)
  • Continuously monitor your download numbers to measure your app’s performance

Ratings and Number of Reviews

  • Ask for organic reviews from real people
  • Identify your most engaged users and ask for feedback
  • Use social media to ask for reviews
  • Find the right time to ask for feedback especially when the users are enjoying your app (i.e. when they level up or unlock new features etc.)
  • Use an app review plugin to get reviews from your app users
  • Use Apple’s rating prompt to encourage users to rate your app
  • Test different versions of your rating prompt by applying A/B tests to see if it really works
  • Design a very simple review procedure that is not time-consuming
  • Mention clearly where and how to write a review
  • Provide immediate and adequate support when customer issues arrive to avoid negative reviews 

Conclusion

ASO is a long-term process that requires being aware of the latest trends and acting accordingly. You need to know that there is always something to improve in your ASO efforts. To make better decisions, continuously measure the results of your efforts and use analytics tools to monitor the visibility of your app. Always keep up to date with ASO best practices. Because ASO rules changes in time and a single change can transform the ranking of your app. You need to keep monitoring the trends and adapt to any change quickly. As your ASO efforts improve, you will enjoy higher visibility and download numbers.