App store optimization (ASO) refers to improving app store search result rankings by increasing an app’s visibility and thus, user acquisition. ASO is about maximizing visibility in all available placements in the app store and converting views into downloads. For companies that utilize apps, growing a user base via app downloads is a critical KPI.
ASO is a vital component for companies looking to grow their app user base. According to Google, app stores continue to be a popular way for users to find apps, and 40% of smartphone users find apps through the app store. According to Apple, almost 65% of downloads from the App Store happen directly after a search.
Developing app store optimization
Developing appropriate ASO requires a deep and thorough understanding of the customer base. Key factors to pay attention to are:
- Keywords: Research and identify which keywords are associated with your brand and user intent. Use those keywords in your app’s name and in the app’s description. It’s also important to utilize keyword fields to catch as much traffic as possible.
- Localizing content: Adapt your app and its store listing to appeal to different geographic target markets. Consider language flexibility, description modifications, and image modifications to fit target audiences in different locations.
- Ratings and reviews: Good ratings and positive reviews are key to develop user trust and encourage downloads. While it’s impossible to control these, you can incentivize users to rate and review once they have a positive app experience.
- App downloads: Higher download numbers garner more positive associations with an app. Furthermore, a higher download number means a better position within an app store’s organic ranking. While difficult to control, you can increase these numbers by integrating marketing channels outside of the app store in order to drive people to the app.
- Deep linking: Deep links within apps, social media, websites, email, QR codes, influencer marketing, and text notifications are all great ways to drive app downloads. By utilizing deep linking, companies can provide customers and users the ability to navigate from an original location on the web or social media, to the app store, through the app download, and directly to the original destination.