The best word that describes businesses nowadays is “dynamic”. Users are bombarded with thousands of messages on a daily basis and this is why their attention span has significantly diminished. This creates a bottleneck for businesses, as each one of them strives to gain a competitive advantage by conveying their message in a better manner compared to others. This is why marketing is so vital nowadays in order for a business to position itself better in customers’ eyes.

Thus, there are many forms of marketing. For the sake of simplicity, let’s divide the field into two distinguishable segments: paid marketing and organic marketing. As the former field is straightforward and speaks for itself through paid ads, let’s focus on the latter. It is to no surprise that the ultimate goal of marketers is to receive traction and social growth in an organic and cost-effective manner. Therefore, the best way to achieve this is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and App Store Optimization (ASO).

SEO is the practice of organically improving your website’s visibility on search engines for given keywords. ASO, on the other hand, is the expert resource through which one can enhance the ranking of their application directly within app stores.

In this article, we’re going to focus on App Store Optimization. More specifically, we’re going to cover:

  1. What an ASO is?
  2. Benefits of implementing one
  3. Examples and best practices
  4. How to ASO

We can help you.

Here at Hawaras we can help optimize your application to be up-to-date with the latest app store.

What is an App Store Optimization?

An app store optimization, simply put, is the practice of improving your app’s visibility on app stores such as iOS, Google Play, Windows Store, etc. It is the SEO version of applications.

ASO also boosts the conversion app stores impressions by turning them into downloads (one method is through A/B testing, for example). Although the goal of the app store optimization is an increased number of downloads, supplemental aims include:

  • Audience Engagement
  • Enhanced brand recognition & exposure
  • Positive app reviews and constructive feedback
  • Succeeding in being an additional (and diversified) marketing channel
  • Community building
  • And last but not least, increasing the revenue

 

Benefits of implementing an ASO

Having an ASO is a decision entirely up to you. But if you want to be competitive in this market and to improve your AppStore ranking, you might need one. Heck, you need one. Especially today.

According to recent statistics, there is a drastic push and demand in terms of app downloads with regards to the last two years. By comparing this radical increase in app downloads and mobile phone usage to the slight diminishment of social media presence, we can easily conclude one thing: If one is to stay above the threshold and to preserve their competitive advantage, doing ASO on a regular basis is highly recommended and is a tactic you should prioritize.  

If you’re still not convinced, maybe the following benefits will change your mind:

  • Getting your app to your target audience – through proper implementation of keywords, your message will be specifically tailored to your target market, increasing your conversion rate organically.
  • Organic Installs and, thus, lower acquisition costs – if you implement the right positioning strategy, your app will score better. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in organic downloads, while keeping your acquisition costs down.
  • Guaranteed ROI and increased revenue – if you monetize your app accordingly (subscriptions, in-app purchases, ads, etc.), then the ASO will increase your ROI as you’ll be earning from each additional user download.
  • Long-term stability, loyalty, and brand recognition – by ranking higher, more people will be familiarized with your brand. This will turn them into loyal customers and for you, that means long-term stability on the market and reduced entry barriers if you’re introducing another app later on.

Convinced now? Great! Let’s move on to some of some great practical examples!

Best practices and examples

Having figured out what an ASO is and its associated benefits, let’s review some examples which turned out to be pretty effective:

1. Airbnb – the internationally-renowned short-term rental business got it right. They effectively summarized their unique value proposition and competitive advantage in the first two pictures of its app. This is enough to hook their desired audience into installing the app and becoming members of their community. By doing a successful merge between keywords usage and visual appearance, Airbnb’s ASO simply enhanced their market share.

 

 

2. Snapchat – who hasn’t heard of Snapchat? Well, there’s a reason for this preeminence. The application started as a regular story- sharing platform for teenagers to have fun and share moments together. However, it owes its drastic success to app-store optimization, by pointing out its key factors which discern it, along with carefully analyzing its target audience and tailoring well-thought keywords.

 

3. Shazam – no, not the DC superhero, but rather the music-tracking application. As a market leader in this sphere, Shazam has optimized its visibility to the extent that it pops out on the top when the word “music” is involved.

How to ASO

You might be wondering “Ok, I definitely need an ASO for my app… But how can I improve my AppStore ranking? How to ASO?!”

If you want your app to rank higher in the AppStore, there are a couple of steps which need to be considered:

1.  Find the right app store keywords through detailed research

  • Analyze and study your target market
  • Choose specific keyword ideas based on your market’s preferences
  • Optimize your App Store Keywords. You should select approximately 25 app store keywords for the next release of the app.

2. Place the right app store keywords in the right places

  • Name of the App – choose both creative and a searchable option so that your app can score higher through the engine algorithm. Example: “Google Maps – GPS Navigation”
  • App descriptions – keep the descriptions short, readable, and full of searchable app store keywords. Avoid blank lines and interrupted sentences
  • In-App Purchases (IAP) – again, in order for your app to score higher on search engines and to get better exposure, be creative and include searchable app store keywords in the names of your IAP items.

3.  Convert visitors into loyal customers by optimizing your app store page. This can be achieved by:

  • Icon of the app – the better, the merrier. According to SplitMetrics, a good icon can increase the number of downloads by 560%. Keep it simple, eye-catching, and applicable to your target market. Make it substantially different from your competitors’.
  • Pictures/screenshots – It is important to place your best pictures first, as people won’t bother to swipe after the second one. This is why you must put the most eye-catching pictures first, in order to increase the possibility of a higher conversion rate. A good idea is to keep them vertical, if possible, as this is the usual position of users’ phones while browsing.  
  • A preview video – although it may be time-consuming and costly, a video is a huge gamechanger, as it resigns in users’ attention span longer and will certainly give you a competitive advantage when applied right. Its aim is to grab immediately the attention of viewers, to make sense even if the sound is off, to focus only on the best app features, and should include a call-to-action conclusion.
  • Reviews – Always provide your users with a 24/7 response rate, in order to increase your customer support. A good idea is to implement a Net Promoter Score (NPS), in order to track how much people fancy your app.
  • App size – try not to exceed 150 MB. Sometimes less is more.
  • Update frequency – the app search engine algorithm tends to value more apps which often update their information. Try doing it once/month, at least.
  • App localization – specifically targeted at your desired audience. Be careful if you’re aiming too broad, as there might be cultural issues and language barriers.

However, even if it sounds simple at first glance, it is not. It takes a lot of research and struggles in order to be executed properly and that’s still not an indicator that it will be successful. Simply put, doing an effective SEO/ASO isn’t for anyone.

Nevertheless, there are many specialized marketing agencies out there, which focus specifically on conducting such effective strategies for their clients. Such an example is our agency, Hawaras.

Why Hawaras?

During our journey to helping clients score better on app store search engines, we’ve encountered many promising apps which only needed a slight push. Thus, by successfully doing ASO for them through the help of the aforementioned techniques and by improving both user metrics and App metrics, our clients were delighted with the results. Not only this, but they also understood the importance of organic growth hacking services, such as app store optimization.

Some examples of clients for whom we’ve conducted app store optimization are:

  • Orbis – A geosocial network for mapping society. As much as the app held its competitive advantage unique, their presence on app stores was weak. Therefore, we did a thorough German ASO strategy for them, including keyword marketing research, well-composed title, headline, and body embedded with keywords, and an exhaustive competitive analysis through benchmarking. The CEO was extremely satisfied, as her ranking and traffic have significantly enhanced organically since then.

 

  • Tonestro – the #1 wind music application which provides users with the opportunity to improve, have fun, and save cash from private lessons. As a developing app, it needed awareness and brand recognition, in order to maximize revenue through its business model. Therefore, we, from Hawaras, successfully conducted a comprehensive app search optimization strategy for the musical app. It involved all the aforementioned steps, such as analyzing the sole market, applying a SWOT analysis, researching highly visible applicable keywords, applying them in the title, the description, and in the IAP. Last but not least, we utilized the icon of the app, the pictures, and the review section. Simply put, we started from scratch but managed to skyrocket tonestro’s visibility through our ASO strategy.

 

 

  • MyGrams – MyGrams is a developing business in Austria. It produces a small portable scale capable of measuring one’s calories, thus, being the best diet assistant ever. The way it functions is through an app. And this is where we came useful – same as in tonestro’s case, the sole spectrum of an ASO analysis and utilization had to be executed, both in German and in English. Nevertheless, our efforts came to be successful, as the MyGrams’ CEO, Daniel Blumer, was more than satisfied with the quality of our work and with the improved visibility we got from app stores.

 

 

  • Night Mode – was another client of ours. The app’s representative, Nikola Radenkovic, requested a thorough keyword research, and an app store optimization through improving the title and the descriptions with specific keywords with high visibility. After delivering our work within the time scope, Mr. Radenkovic was beyond satisfied as he received a 15% upgrade in downloads within the first week after executing our ASO campaign.

We, the rockstars behind Hawaras, have always strived to achieve impeccable customer value while successfully meeting the desired KPIs. What differentiates our ASO strategy is:

  1. The pedantic depth of our analysis.
  2. The constantly evolving and innovative personal approach for clients.
  3. The fact that each one of us is highly certified and experienced in this field … and ….
  4. Our undying eagerness to never sacrifice quality for quantity.

Takeaways

This was a lot of information, wasn’t it? Let’s try to point out the main takeaways from it.

ASO is a technique to organically increase your app’s visibility. Just like the SEO, it functions on the basis of specific keywords aimed at targeting your specific market audience.

It is a must to consider it for your app if you want to score better, to increase your market share, ROI, and to build a stronger and better brand on the market.

However, doing this entirely on your own might be an issue. It is a painful and obscure process which requires a lot of dedication, hard work, and sleepless nights. So why not let a professional take care of that while you’re focusing on tasks with a higher priority? This is why we, from Hawaras, are eager to help you improve your app search score in no time by applying our 360-degree ASO techniques.

Why reinvent the wheel when you can just realign it? Why struggle with all these steps when you can focus on other tasks and let us improve the ranking of your app for you.