Just like websites need to be optimized to become more visible on SERP, mobile apps also need optimization so that new apps can audience when they are introduced in app stores.
According to Statista, as of June 2020, there were 2.96 million apps available on Google Play Store and 4.37 million apps were published on Apple Store. With the increasing number of apps, competition increases every day.
Marketers know the importance of SEO for websites. Similarly, in any app marketing strategy, SEO is crucial. Along with search engine optimization, ASO or app store optimization is also needed so that your apps can rank better in app stores.
Both these strategies work together to ensure the visibility of your app. If you only use either one of these strategies, you will end up missing out on a large portion of your target market.
This is why combining SEO and ASO can help you rank higher on search engines as well as app stores. In this post, we will discuss how to optimize mobile apps with ASO and SEO strategies.
If you are new to mobile apps or need to update your existing app marketing approach this can help you do that.
Why Are Mobile App SEO and ASO Important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the optimization of your mobile apps to rank higher on the search engine results pages. On the other hand, app store optimization (ASO) deals with improving your ranking on app store search results.
Google’s mobile-friendly update includes some algorithm changes in SERP on mobile devices. This means that mobile-friendly websites will now have higher rankings. This is not limited to websites, but also mobile apps.
Apps that are optimized for mobile searches are given preference by Google and have the potential to rank higher. According to Google, search is a major source for app discovery. One in four app users will discover new apps through Google search.
This highlights the importance of SEO for mobile apps. If you don’t optimize your apps for search results this will impact your app visibility and you end up losing traffic.
Moreover, most mobile users look for new apps on the app store, therefore, your audiences will use app stores to search for apps they want.
App stores have numerous apps in different categories; hence you will need to make your app more visible to rank higher than your competition. This means you need to refine your ASO techniques so that your target audience can find your app on the app store.
You need to ensure that your apps are discoverable everywhere so that you can easily target your audience. Accordingly, if you want to create a successful app marketing strategy you should incorporate both SEO and ASO techniques to help you get positive results.
How to Optimize Mobile Apps?
SEO Strategies for Mobile Apps
1. Keyword Research and Integration
Effective mobile app SEO begins with a careful process of keyword research and strategic integration. This is a crucial step that lays the foundation for your app's visibility in app stores.
To start the process you need to search for relevant keywords with a balance of high search volume and manageable competition. These keywords should directly relate to your app's purpose, functionality, and target audience.
Once you've identified these keywords, they must be seamlessly integrated into the various elements of your app:
- Title: The title of an app needs to be captivating to engage an audience and it also needs to naturally incorporate the main keyword. Placing relevant keywords at the beginning of the title can boost visibility.
- Description: The app’s description should provide an overview of its features and benefits written in a precise and informative manner. It should contain keywords and maintain readability to allow search engines to understand the app's relevance.
- Metadata: Including keywords and developer names in the description plays a vital role in search rankings.
This strategic keyword integration improves the app's chances of being discovered by potential users who are searching for related terms.
2. Implement App Indexing
This method allows your app to appear on Google search results as it enables Google to crawl and index your app just like it would a web page. You can reach a wide target market who are searching for the type of products or services that your app offers.
A searcher will also find an install button if they do not have your app installed to encourage them to take action and try your app out.
The advantage of app indexing is that users can discover your app while looking for informative content. This allows the app to reach audiences outside the app store. You can generate more traffic for your app and increase downloads.
To get your app indexed by Google, use the same URL in your app that you use on your website and verify that you own both. Google Search will crawl the links on your website and display them on search results.
3. Ratings and Reviews
Customer ratings and reviews help you build credibility. They improve rankings not only on Google searches but also on app stores. User’s opinions matter when it comes to rankings. Google will determine if your app is trustworthy or not depending on your ratings.
Encourage your customers to review your apps which will improve your rankings. Adding ratings and reviews is also useful for ASO and encourages users to try out your app.
4. Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are important for SEO strategy. It helps Google determine whether a website or an app is credible and trustworthy. When other people reference your app, it shows Google that your app is legit. Start by adding your app’s link to your website.
Then build a strategy to reach out to other credible websites that can talk about your app and help you gain quality backlinks. Ensure that you reach out to websites with good domain authority, otherwise, it may negatively impact your rankings.
Building backlinks takes time and effort to get the desired results.
5. Regular Content Updates
Consistent updates in content serve a dual purpose:
- Enhances user experience.
- Signals app stores that the app is actively maintained.
This proactive approach influences search rankings in a positive manner as it provides users with new features, improvements, and bug fixes. It allows you to not only address their evolving needs but also promote loyalty and trust.
Users remain engaged and satisfied which inclines them to leave positive reviews and high ratings, thereby further improving the app's visibility and credibility.
Therefore, a well-executed strategy of regular content updates is key to an effective mobile app SEO as it ensures your app remains competitive and appealing to users as trends change.
6. Optimized Visual Assets
Adding visual assets to a mobile app significantly enhances its appeal. Visuals such as compelling app icons and screenshots play a huge role in driving downloads.
Marketers need to carefully decide what types of visuals to use as they act as the initial touchpoints for potential users and convey the app's functionality and value proposition.
It is very important to invest in high-quality visuals that accurately represent the app. These assets should align with the preferences of the target audience and stand out from the competition.
Clear and engaging visuals captivate users and build trust among the users as they show a level of professionalism and commitment. Since mobile app SEO influences user perception and leads them to adopt the app, therefore, optimizing visual elements is essential.
ASO Strategies for Mobile Apps
The SEO strategies we discussed above are also useful for app store optimization. These include keyword research, optimizing names and titles, and adding good ratings and reviews. Here are other strategies that can help improve your ranking on the app store.
1. App Title and Description
As discussed above you conduct keyword research to optimize your name, title, and URL with relevant keywords. This is an important factor in ASO as well.
Choose a title that includes your main keywords. It should be short and descriptive, and not very long. Title is an important factor that affects the ranking of your app.
Another area you need to pay attention to is your app description. App description helps your audience decide whether they want to install or use your app or not. It gives them in-depth information about how your app caters to their needs.
A good description will help you convince your users to download your app. Moreover, optimizing this description with the right keywords will allow your app to rank higher on the app store.
2. Optimize App Icon
A well-optimized app icon is an important part of ASO. App icons need a design that helps your app stand out from other apps. It helps users identify your app and connect with it. Your icon should be relevant to your brand image and app.
Optimize your icon based on the app store criteria.
Google Play and Apple Store have different standards when it comes to the size, color, or shape of your app icon. Make sure that you pay attention to the criteria of your respective app stores, otherwise, it may negatively impact your ranking.
3. Localized Metadata
Localizing metadata involves tailoring the app's metadata such as title, description, and keywords to cater to diverse regions and languages. This requires an understanding of regional keywords and user behavior.
Customizing the app in such a way for specific regions enhances its chances of getting discovered according to regional relevancy as it resonates with users on a personal level. App stores also value this effort which potentially leads to better visibility in regional searches.
Adapting to a multicultural market shows the app's commitment and responsiveness toward user satisfaction.
4. A/B Testing for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
This process experiments with different variations of visuals, copy, and features in the app store listing to identify high-converting elements. Developers can systematically analyze user behavior and preferences to refine and optimize the app's presentation for maximum impact.
A/B testing provides valuable insights into user preferences that help guide decisions on design, messaging, and functionality. It allows developers to make data-driven adjustments that enhance user engagement, drive higher conversion rates, and lead to increased downloads.
5. Competitor Analysis and Benchmarking
This involves studying successful competitors to draw insights into their ASO strategies, keywords, and visual assets.
Developers can identify areas for improvement and differentiation by carefully studying others in the market. This competitive intelligence helps shape a more effective ASO strategy that can allow you to gain a competitive edge in the mobile app landscape.
An important thing to remember is to consistently maintain your SEO and ASO strategies in order to sustain your competitive advantage. The field of digital analytics changes in trends every day and even the slightest negligence can cause severe damage.
Optimizing your mobile app is crucial to make your app more visible to your audience. If you don’t optimize your app, then no matter how great your design or features are, you will be invisible to your target audience.
Follow these strategies to get started and successfully optimize your app. But keep in mind this is not just a one-time thing. Both SEO and ASO strategies need to be updated frequently.
Especially, if search engines or app stores make any updates to their algorithms. Access and improve your strategies regularly so that you can stay ahead of your competition.
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