How to Promote No-code Apps on the App Store and Google Play?
In this article, we’ll focus on the organic promotion of no-code apps and the nuances of app page optimization for app stores.
What is ASO?
ASO (App Store Optimization) is a complex process of improving the app page in the app stores (App Store, Google Play, AppGallery, and others).
ASO can be divided into two types: text optimization and creative optimization. Optimization of text elements helps the app to be indexed by keywords and promoted in search results. Creative optimization increases the attractiveness of the app page and, accordingly, the conversion rate from view to installation. Every app, whether traditionally developed or no-code, needs optimization to attract users effectively.
- ASO will help to explore the needs and preferences of the audience in order to create the product that is in market demand. App store research, topic popularity analysis, and study of competitive apps provide valuable data for accurate and efficient development, identify in-demand functionality, and reduce risk. ASO tools are useful throughout the app lifecycle.
- The first 3 months of an app’s life are extremely important, they determine its future success. Optimizing the app page from the very beginning helps achieve results. If the ASO is worked out before release, the opportunity to rise to the top is much higher. For example, in the App Store, when an app is first published, it gets a boost for a week and has a good chance to stay on top if supported by external traffic.
- ASO reduces the cost of audience engagement while increasing the app’s revenue through constant growth of downloads from the target audience.
- It provides high-quality traffic. Organic users use the app longer and more often, and their retention rate is significantly higher compared to non-organic users.
- ASO affects the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in a positive way. For example, creative optimization increases the attractiveness of an app page and, accordingly, the conversion rate to install for both organic and ad traffic. The higher the conversion rate, the more taps, and installs and the cheaper their cost.
- An optimized page makes the app more competitive. There are a huge number of apps in the app stores and new ones are being published all the time. ASO helps you stand out among the middling crowd and promote yourself to compete only with the best apps.
ASO audit of no-code apps
To identify the nuances in ASO for no-code apps, we learned success stories of all popular no-code platforms, collected apps, and audited their pages in the App Store and Google Play. We found out that ASO for no-code apps doesn’t differ from ASO for traditional development much. This is understandable, as all apps have the same set of metadata.
But the analyzed apps have low ASO on average. We can assume that the weak optimization is due to the goal of no-code developers to implement the app quickly and with minimal cost. However, this approach misses the benefits of ASO, which we wrote about above.
Identified errors are typical for app developers of any kind. Let’s take a look at the details of the audits and examine the common mistakes that have a negative impact on app promotion.
The app stores have their own algorithms that “scan” the app page and analyze the metadata. The presence of keywords in the text elements allows the app to be indexed in search results, which provides visibility for organic traffic.
The infographic below shows which text elements are indexed in the App Store and Google Play, and how influential the keywords in those elements are.
In terms of text optimization, the most significant element is the name of the app. And the most common mistake among no-code apps is using only branded keywords and ignoring general ones.
Non-brand, category, or general keywords are search queries without a brand name, such as calculator, step tracker, food delivery, etc. You lose traffic if you ignore general keywords and use only branded queries in your promotion.
Do not forget about the optimization of other indexed texts. Use maximum characters and find a balance: so that keywords are involved, and at the same time the text is interesting for users.
As a consequence of weak search engine optimization, even popular no-code apps with thousands of installs have low keyword positions. As an example, let’s look at the no-code Qoins app. The screenshot below shows some relevant keywords and positions of the app and its competitors in the US App Store.
The app is indexed for the main keywords thanks to basic optimization of text elements, but it ranks in low positions. This fact makes Qoins practically invisible to potential users. It is necessary to rework the text elements taking into account ASO rules and using additional locales.
Visual components have a major influence on a user’s decision to download an app. If a user searches for an app via a general keyword search, he is more likely to take a targeted action guided by graphic elements. Icon, video, and screenshots have the main impact on the conversion from showing/viewing an app to installing it.
A common and unsuccessful practice among no-code apps is to use simple screenshots in the screenshot gallery on the app page. For example, the no-code apps SommeliApp clearly has the potential to improve visual elements.
- Prioritize the most popular features and content on the first three screenshots. Only a limited number of users view all screenshots before downloading the app.
- Engage with visitors by talking about value propositions from the user’s perspective. Headlines on screenshots help convey the essence of the app, talk about the unique selling proposition and reveal the benefits.
- Don’t forget to track your competitors. Analyzing the graphical elements of the leading apps will help you understand trends and find ways to stand out.
- Localize your graphics. Pay special attention to language, demographics, and cultural norms.
- Don’t just follow recommendations and trends, but test elements regularly.
Optimizing in-app purchases on the App Store
In-App Purchases (IAPs) in the App Store are conventionally divided into two types: regular IAPs and promoted IAPs. Regular IAPs are those that are only available in the app. Promoted ones exist directly in the App Store on the app page, and they are also indexed by keywords, ranked in search results, and can be featured in selections.
From the ASO point of view, a common flaw is the lack of optimization of in-app purchases. For example, the no-code apps Moonifest and Joy Blossom each have some in-app purchases, but they are not promoted and are only available in the app.
The very presence of Promoted IAPs is already a big plus for an app’s visibility in the App Store. They provide a higher conversion rate for installing the app. If an app is displayed at the top of the search results for a query, adding the keyword to the name of the in-app will allow you to take 2 or 3 places at once in the search. Thus, competing applications which take away a part of the traffic will be pushed out of the top. And the main attention of users will get to your app, which occupies the entire first screen of the results.
Stability and KPIs for the app on Google Play
The quality of the app should be a priority for you. Be attentive to its stability indicators, they have a significant impact on the ranking and indexing of the app on Google Play. Its algorithm can significantly downgrade even if the compliance threshold is slightly exceeded.
The more complex an app is, the more likely it will have usability issues. To track the stability and performance of apps, you can use the Android Vitals metrics, which show information on:
- battery consumption,
- application load time,
- rendering time,
- rejected permissions.
In the first week after release, and especially on the first day, you need to keep a close eye on the metrics. This is when the main problems are revealed, most often with the Crash Rate of the application. Users quickly find unforeseen cases and bugs missed by QA.
Not only app stability metrics are important, but also metrics by user: Conversion Rate, Retention Rate, Churn Rate, and others. Google Play Console provides access to comparative data, median, and percentiles to evaluate an app’s performance. Apps with weak KPIs will not be promoted by Google for keywords or in selections.
User ratings and reviews
The work with ratings and feedback is also part of the ASO. User feedback is an invaluable source of information about the app. The most valuable tips, feature requests, and bug reports are among the reviews you receive.
Usability and stability problems often bring down an app’s ranking and cause a lot of negative feedback, which also needs to be worked on to maintain conversion and good ranking.
The example in the screenshot below is the case of a popular app from the Shopping category. In April, the app’s rating on Google Play was 4.6*. With the release of the new version, users began to complain about crashes and authorization difficulties. The problem has been solved slowly. During this time, the average rating dropped to 4.3*. The drop in rating led to a 10% drop in conversion. This also had a negative impact on the app’s positions by keywords.
Thanks to early feedback on the new version, you can spot and fix bugs before they lead to reduced subscriptions and mass app removal. To evaluate the results of each update, you should analyze the number of positive and negative ratings and reviews. Especially in the first few days after an update, it’s important to study all feedback and respond to users promptly and help them with adapting to the new version.
Replying to positive comments you can leave a request to recommend the app, replying to negative comments you can leave a request to correct the rating if the user’s problem has been solved.
There is no direct correlation between problems with the promotion of apps and the fact that they are created with constructors. Apps created using low-code/no-code methodology have the same chance of success or failure as classic development apps. Working on ASO and promptly solving technical problems will help to get a steady flow of organic traffic and fight against larger market players.