Your Mobile App Not Ranking High In The App Store? App Store Optimization is the solution

According to an article published in VentureBeat on August 2013, stated that there are 90 new publishers every day on the Apple app store; 75 on Google Play and 34 on WindowsPhone. However, the shocking part was that there was an equally high percentage of dead applications, mounting to 65% in case of Apple, 41% at Google Play and 69% for WindowsPhone.

Well! As a user I do not find this a troubling scenario because I too prefer only the most efficient and dynamic apps like everyone else. But as a marketer I find the above stats very disturbing; clearly implying that most of the applications I promise to my clients as a hit, might never get downloaded or stay lost in the crowd of dormancy.

Does this mean that the abundant apps flooding the various platforms are unworthy? Or are we unable to create applications that will sweep the customers off their feet?

Here’s another angle to the scenario, are you marketing your app appropriately?

In order to find the answer to this last question we need an introduction to ASO (App Store Optimization).

What exactly is App Store Optimization?

App Store Optimization is all about strategizing and applying the standards to increase the visibility of your mobile application on the app store. The shift from web browsing to mobile applications has been prominent in the past few years and it’s a justified move indeed. These easily accessible apps can be opened anywhere, whether you are commuting in bus (I do not encourage opening apps when driving); waiting for a meeting to start; or at the weekend get-together feeling lost.

The moment you own a Smartphone you are swimming in the app store ocean, with app waves of different varieties hitting your phone screen for every search you make. And it is in these very waves the unoptimized apps are lost.

Why Apply Different Approaches for Different Platforms

This might not hit you during the app development process, however the methodology of App Store Optimization differs according to the platform for which your app has been built. Primarily there are two main stores, the Google Play Store for Android and the Apps Store for Apple; and the parameters of ASO differ in both these cases.

  • The Apps Store has a combination of two algorithms, one built by Apple itself and the second, Appchomp Algorithm purchased by it in the year 2012.
  • Needless to mention Google Play’s algorithm is a somewhat miniature form of the Search Engine’s version.

Although after the purchase of the Chomp Algorithm Apple thinks it has capably defeated Google, yet one might not feel so when carrying out a search in either of the stores. You might never exactly get what you are looking for at one go, not to forget the issue of thronging spam apps.

Do not confuse between SEO and ASO, although it is the small form of Google’s algorithm the strategies vary in this regard.

How sooner will You Get Results through App Store Optimization

In this case I would like to tell you ‘Patience is a Virtue’. There are no set timelines about when to start optimizing as there is no time frame as to how soon your optimization strategy will start yielding results. You must ensure that you are applying the appropriate strategies and it will work for you eventually.

Most of the fruitful app searches take place in the app store itself, hence one needs to apply the marketing strategy over there. However, it is important to remember that there will be no immediate results.

App Store Optimization (ASO) is not instant coffee, you need to let it brew!

Many believe that if you market your app effectively on social media platforms, half the job is done. It’s only the starter by the time you get to the end of the counter, you will realize what a great buffet was laid for you.

Often it seems like plainly following a set of guidelines, however if not applied diligently or if you decide to quit halfway, there will be no results at all, just built-up frustration!

The Ultimate App Store Optimization Strategy

  • Is there a need for this app?
    When there are thousands of similar applications in the market and most of them not even being glanced at; be sure you are stepping in the dark forest where you will be lost as soon as enter and no one is going to miss you.Recognize the exclusivity in your ideas, it is based on this that you will be able to market it through the crowd.
  • Recognize Your Target Customers
    Check the total number of downloads and you will know where to start from. Amongst the most commonly put and highly ignored factors of optimization is the understanding of target audience. We blindly follow our marketing instincts instead of carrying out a research on user-pain points.
  • Put the App in its Appropriate Category
    Often you are confused about selecting the right category for your application. To be on the safe side, one should first decide on the category of the app and then start building it.
  • Right Pricing
    Our main motive is increasing our turnover, however being logical is equally important. The rate of your app will also determine its longevity in the market, hence decide with practicality.
  • Selecting the Keywords for Title and App Descriptions
    The bond between Internet marketing and keywords goes a long way. However, in this case you need to highlight the relevant keywords in your app title and description. The name of the app should speak for itself!Your description should not be a mere introduction to what your app is all about. Add a more human touch to it by telling the users what problems it will solve for them and how.
  • Collecting Reviews and Ratings
    Just knowing how many times your app has been downloaded will not solve the problem for you. You need to know the views of the users who have used the app. However as a matter of fact, there are hardly any users who want to take the pains of writing a review or even rating the application; no matter how satisfied they are with it.You can resort to social media in order to get some reflection on the efficacy of your application; but more importantly make it easier for your users to find the ratings and review tabs, for instant reactions. Collect feedback, they give you the real picture about where you stand.
  • Keep Updating to Stay in the Game
    As is the rule in the game of algorithms, making some germane tweaking according to the changing search trends will keep you fresh in the mind of the app store. Moreover, if you are actively updating the content in your app, there are chances of connecting better with the user.
  • Track Your Competitors’ RankingsThe oldest trick yet the most useful; always keep an eye on thy neighbor move. You will know what to avoid and where you went wrong.ASO sounds hyped to many pertaining to some of the tactics applied, for instance creating a video for promoting the app; or applying push notifications for cross promotions. Videos can prove to be an informative source however, if you push the push notification idea too much it might end up as a spam.It is necessary to tactically apply the ASO strategies so that they do not backfire, like I said earlier the waves are too high and you might get easily lost, so keep your surfboard handy.

To sum it up, if you have not been giving due importance to optimizing your app or left the process midway; you are preventing your application from being discovered at all. App Engine Optimization can be the key to increasing downloads and even improvising it for better results.

Do you think introducing new App Store Optimization tools might help in raising the standards of the App Store Optimization process? We can help with your app development and analytics related queries.

Amit Manchanda

About the Author

Amit Manchanda is working at Net Solutions as Project Lead and has over 9 years of experience in technologies like ASP, Adobe Flex, and Android. He has been part of SME (Subject Matter Expert) Group for RIA applications. He possesses a sound understanding of technical requirement/problem analysis and resolution for providing the best solutions to clients. He is passionate about his work and enjoys interacting with his team. In his leisure time, he loves to listen to music, watch cricket, and play with his daughter.

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