App Store Optimization – A beginner’s guide to the ASO

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App Store Optimization is the process of getting more visibility for an app
on the PlayStore or Apple Store. In this, there are several factors that
you, the developer, should take into account. While there are many guides
that exist, they more or less similar to Google’s official version. If you
are interested in learning some useful tips and tricks to rank your app,
then hold tight.

This guide is broken into several parts

    1. What is ASO – and why it is important for every developer to learn it.
    2. Factors that influence visibility on the PlayStore.
    3. Optimizing the app – Quick ASO Checklist.
    4. Choosing the right Partners.
    5. Keeping yourself updated by reading from authentic sources.
  1. What is ASO – Why App Store Optimization is important. And
    doesn’t google optimize my app?

No matter how good your app is, there is always a room for improvement in
the visibility and this holds good for just about every app.

According to a study published on search and discovery, over 60% of all the
downloads come from search, and this is quite a staggering number. Because
out of the remaining 40%, a huge chunk is in the form of paid installs. So,
unless you optimize your app for search, it will be impossible for you to
get the visibility and consequently Android downloads.

While Google is great at optimizing the app based on content, it relies
heavily on the algorithm which can often make incorrect app ranking
placement. So, in such cases, even a bit of boost can really help your app.
I have seen many cases where downloads for certain apps shot from 10/day to
2000 with smart ASO practices. So, in order for you to make something out
of your app, it is important for you to consider optimizing the app for
search. And as you would discover, it isn’t difficult.

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  1. Factors that influence visibility on the PlayStore

App Optimization Process can be broken down into three critical parts, they
are:

    1. App Impression
      – This is every time your app appears in the search results. For
      instance, if your app is messenger app. So every time, the app
      shows in user’s phone screen, it is one impression. Optimizing for
      the keywords —as we will see later in this guide — will help you
      get more impressions.
    2. Click through of App Listing
      – If your app has an attractive logo or has positive ratings on the app,
      it will get you a higher click through rate. To optimize this, you
      should always start off with multiple logos and keep testing them.Google Developer console and iTunes Connect does give you an
      option to test with various logos and you can even do a split
      testing. Logo testing for apps is extremely important, and the
      more variants you can test, the better. There have been cases where
      apps improved 100% on download count just by improving logos.
      Google lays special emphasis on this practice. You can either do
      A/B tests on graphics and set up experiments. Ratings are another
      important aspect of this, and there are two ways of doing this –
      either you can opt for the white hat method of improving the user
      experience, or simply buy android reviews or buy apple reviews. But
      usually, you are better off putting the hard work in improving the
      experience and pay a lot of attention to the feedback. If you have
      an iOS app, then you should also focus on a short description to get
      higher click through. It is important to be as descriptive in both
      graphic assets and a short description as possible. Sometimes, you
      can even modify the content and see which one works better for you.
    3. Conversion or app download – This is at the stage where the user lands
      on your page and is looking at your page listing. A few important
      factors that you should consider are Short Description & long
      description, graphic assets for the app, and reviews.

Some companies with the aid of this can improve the conversion. Think about
it as a user, would you download an app that has negative reviews? Or, an
app that doesn’t have good graphics? Try using some of the apps with
highest downloads, and they all invariably have good graphics and well-written
android description. So, it is important to keep a close tab on the
conversion. RevieAndroidapps, and take down the lessons.

  1. Optimizing the app – Quick ASO checklist

Here is a quick guide to help you get started:

    1. Check the package if you haven’t already uploaded – try to put
      atleast one keyword in the package name.
    2. The App title, in aso app search optimization, this is the most
      important factor from the listing perspective.
    3. Do A/B testing with the logo – for app store optimization, using
      high quality graphics is indispensable.
    4. Refrain from buy paid android mobile app reviews – do it only if
      you must, but ideally, when you are starting off, it is important
      to steer away from it. If you are planning to buy paid apple iOS
      reviews, then hold on. Messing up with these portals isn’t the best
      thing to do – especially when you start off.
    5. While you shouldn’t go for paid reviews, try to get android mobile
      reviews or iOS mobile reviews – whichever applicable – from your
      friends.
    6. Reach out to press release services, and post about your app
      everywhere. Most of the times, blogger community will help you
      reach out to mass audience.
    7. Make a short app video – if you can afford to build a good video,
      then go for it. The amount you pay for a 30 second video will pay
      many times over. During numerous tests, it has been established
      that videos help you drive more conversion. It lets your users feel
      what the product, and perfectly complements the app search
      optimization process.
    8. Have a look at both short and long description. Try not to repeat
      the target keyword for more than 4 times. And use all 4000
      character description. Most of the people ignore this aspect of
      playstore search optimization and miss out on valuable traffic.
      Don’t do that mistake. Also, write a compelling short description,
      and keep testing frequently until you settle for the best. Also,
      avoid stuffing keywords, and comply with all Apple or Android app
      guidelines.
    9. Configure Analytics –
      An ASO agency can never ever optimize the app for play store search
      without Analytics. Period. Use firebase or google analytics,
      whatever you feel fit.
    10. Go slow with CPI and incentivized android and iOS installs –

      Sure, we’d all like to get at the top rank on the play store or
      apple store for installs, and short bursts of downloads will
      usually get us there, but that is not sustainable. I highly
      discourage this because of the fact that it does more harm than
      good.
    11. Testing for life –
      This is the most important App Store Optimization technique. Always
      keep testing, and that usually opens up a new era of possibility.
    12. Understand PlayStore Developer Account –
      While google can throw lots of data at you, there are some
      important data sets that are really important if you ever decide to
      rank your app on the playstore. For instance, understanding median
      download percentage data is important – it enables you to
      understand how much percentage of conversion your peers are
      getting. Similarly, always check pageviews, and top exit pages or
      events to understand what causes app crash.
    13. Divide Your Entire ASO plan in four matrices –
      App Impression i.e. App Visibility on App Store, Click through,
      conversions and retention. To get app impression, click through and
      conversion data, refer to your PlayStore’s developer account.
      Whereas, for app retention and to understand how to increase it,
      use both Analytics and PlayStore account.
  1. Choosing the right ASO app store optimization company

Irrespective of whether you believe in it or not, choosing a right ASO
company is very critical for you to get visibility. It is not because you
can’t do things better than them, but they just have more users.


For instance, if you want to get positive reviews on app, you’d have no
other option but to count on them because they’d have the user base, and
getting into it doesn’t make any sense for you. A good playstore
optimization agency is data driven.

Sure, you can handle all the app optimization process yourself, but there
are always going to be some areas where you’d need professionals. (Or, if
you’d like, I can help you audit the app for free). Here are some important
questions that you should ask to an ASO agency.

It is important to ask them good questions, usually, these are my top
questions:

    1. How much are downloads important to ASO? What are some important
      insights you can give me on App Store Optimization?
    2. What is the process for app keyword search optimization you follow?
      What tasks you do, and what is the timeline for ASO?
    3. Portfolio of your previous ASO work, do you encourage me to buy
      android reviews or buy ios app reviews (applicable according to the
      app), and if yes, then why? And how much?
    4. What other things are you going to optimize? (You’ve got to fire
      any agency that doesn’t think that Graphic asset and logo isn’t
      important).
    5. What all things you’d need from me? (If an agency says that they
      don’t need access to analytics, then that’s a red flag. Never go
      for black hat ASO).
    6. How reporting works? What are your ASO benchmarks?
    7. Is your ASO safe? And ask them relevant questions that covers what
      makes their process safe. If you have any apprehension – like
      vigorous link building for impression, then it is unsafe, and
      unless the agency can guarantee safety, don’t allow them to boost
      your app for visibility. It simply isn’t worth it.
  1. Keep Exploring ASO – Finding the Authentic ASO content

While there are many companies that cover ASO, it is very easy to get
incorrect information, and there is nothing worst than overoptimizing an
app. It just kills the app – by either risking delisting it, or getting
soft penalty. Usually a blackhat ASO will get you there, so what I
personally suggest is to keep testing different things without violating
Android or iOS store’s developers policy.

Let me give you an example. If you want to optimize messenger app, then try
to append some keywords from your competitors app, but do not add their
brand name in your description thinking that it will help you rank. It
might, but eventually Google will suspend your app for blackhat practices.

Usually, Official Google or iOS website is the most authentic source of
information, or you can always drop by some blogs whereby App Store
Optimization experts like myself continue to test the data and roll out the
results. This one thing alone will take you miles ahead of anyone else in
terms of ranking well.

Remember, while many talk about short term boosts like purchasing keyword
installs or other forms of boost, it is always important not to take risk
your app by manipulating things. Because Google eventually outsmarts you in
the long run.

Some things you should do to become an App Store Optimization expert:

  1. Try to talk ASO, with peers, and now there is a growing ASO
    community with whom you can connect to.
  2. Keep looking for various sources on authentic ASO information –
    this includes official blogs, some known experts, and even by
    talking to people who have had their apps delisted.
  3. Asking questions to companies – especially the mobile app review
    providers. They tend to test a lot of things on playstore and apple
    store, and have generally can give you a lot of insight about ASO.
    Whenever you talk to an app store optimization expert, be very
    direct and clear about your questions.

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