With App Store Optimization (ASO) still being in its relative infancy, even those marketers who have been at it from the start only have a few years of experience under their belts. Nevertheless, there’s already more than a modicum of wisdom to be garnered from those practitioners of good ASO, and resource allocation for ASO is growing at a considerable rate. Just last year, the amount of ASO jobs grew 400%, making it one of the fastest growing mobile marketing segments.
You will no doubt be considering what makes good ASO when it comes to marketing your app in the official stores. Since the concept is still relatively new, there are a lot of misconceptions about best practices, and novices to the game can be rather prone to making what have now become quite common mistakes. As such, we wanted to put a list together for your reference cataloguing the top five ASO mistakes to avoid at all costs, so you need never have to learn it them the hard way.
#1: Too Heavy Focus On High Volume Keywords
Keywords play as big a part of ASO as they do good old SEO. You want to choose keywords for your app that your potential users are likely to be typing into the search engine. Therefore, many people make the mistake that the only keywords that are important are the ones that are most used in searches. This is nonsense. High volume keywords don’t necessarily equate to being good quality keywords that make your app discoverable.
Coming up with a list of possible keywords for your app can be quite a challenge in itself. And it should be noted here that one or two high volume keywords should definitely be included within that list without a doubt. However, the mistake that many newbies to the ASO game make is that once they have created a shortlist for possible keywords, they filter them down so that all that’s left are the high volume ones, regardless of their relevance to the actual app. And indeed, this is what you should consider first of all when it comes to choosing your keywords – how relevant are they to my app? And, would my target market use these terms in their search for my app? Make sure you pay due consideration to these, and the rest should fall in place.
#2: Ignoring Screenshots
ASO isn’t just about keywords, however. In fact, there’s quite a common misconception that good ASO is only really achieved by increasing your app’s rank through keywords. But, what they forget is that downloads play a huge part in ASO, and one of the best ways of converting browsers in users is through the use of screenshots.
Lots of first time marketers don’t pay enough attention to choosing the perfect screenshot that demonstrates their app at its very best. When browsing on smartphone, users have to actually click on your app to be taken to your app’s specific page where your screenshots will be shown. If they’ve done this then you have essentially hooked the fish, and now it is down to your screenshots and description (see below) to reel it in. Screenshots are essential for conversions. Don’t ignore them.
#3: Ignoring Descriptions
Just as important as having great screenshots is having a great description. You may have spent a lot of time and energy developing your app, but without paying attention to these last few details in the app store, it won’t achieve the standard of ASO needed to generate the volume of downloads that it deserves.
Again, lots of downloads means great ASO which means lots more downloads. It’s as simple as that. So, pay attention to getting those words perfect and enticing in your app’s description, as this can make the difference between gaining a user or losing them to your competition.
#4: Ignoring Video Demo
With the launch of the new iOS8 in September, the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store and the Amazon App Store all allow you to include a preview video of your app in use. Just as with the two mistakes to avoid above, avoid this one as well for exactly the same reasons.
Your aim is to achieve downloads for your app, and so that means that your app’s page in the app stores needs to be filled with everything that they can possibly offer. Don’t try and sidestep making a video – anyone with a smartphone and a desktop can do it, and since you’re in the app development game, it should be safe to assume that you already have these. A great preview video increases conversions, it’s as simple as that, and just remember that if you’re not using one, then your competitors will be.
#5: Focusing Too Heavily On Title
Another common misconception of the newbie to ASO is that, in order to be successful, all you have to do is throw in a few important keywords to the title, and that will return for great ASO. Although your app’s title is important, and keywords should definitely be considered, the art of ASO goes a lot further than that, and you simply won’t be successful if that’s all you focus on.
A little tip for the Apple App Store too – your title ranks already for keywords, so you don’t need to repeat it in your keyword choices.
Hopefully this short list has given you some good information on what to avoid when it comes to ASO. The one last piece of advice that we feel we simply must give you is that just make sure that you’ve produced a top quality product in the first place – a poor app with boring features just simply won’t take off no matter how good your ASO efforts.