App store optimization (ASO), is the process of improving the visibility of your app in an app store. This includes the Apple iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and the Amazon App Store. ASO is a new and mysterious discipline but an important one. Considering an app store is the number one place where users discover apps, any marketer trying to market an app is interested in learning ASO to get more downloads for their app. The top 2 app stores where app developers need to focus on is undeniably the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. In Q1 2013, Google Play accounted for 51% of all downloads while Apple’s App Store is responsible for 74% of all app store revenues. Figuring out how to rise in the searches in these two app stores is a difficult but likely very rewarding task for user acquisition.
ASO remains something of a mysterious art mainly due to its similarity to SEO. Apple, Google, and these other app stores don’t want you to game their system and exploit it for marketing. Their objective is to maintain a marketplace for high quality apps and let the popular ones rise to the top. However, with that, there are standards of practice for both Apple and Google, and following that is definitely the first step to getting your app discovered.
There are several factors that the search rankings for your app take into consideration. Some of which are app description, keywords, install growth, ratings, reviews, active installs, as well as uninstalls. Make sure your app description is optimized to entice users. It should include a well written description with necessary keywords accompanied by attractive screenshots and a strong icon. The popularity factor to rise in search ranking is more challenging. Most likely it will require doing external marketing to get the word out about the app and get downloads. Find ways to entice users to leave reviews and ratings. To reduce the amount of uninstalls, make sure the app works well. App users are not very tolerant of buggy apps and may delete immediately. 79 percent of app users report that they will give an app only one or two chances before giving up. App uninstalls will definitely hurt your ranking. App store optimization is important but it’s more important to make sure you have a quality app. No matter how much marketing is utilized, if it’s not a good and useful app, it will not be successful in the long run.
Check out this presentation on ASO by MobileDevHQ,