Text ASO crash course: all app page optimization tips
According to Statista data, there were 2,100,000 apps in the App Store at the end of 2020. In Google Play — 2,950,000. In such stiff competition, it’s impossible to get noticed without promoting. We conducted a survey and found out that 40% of marketers do not know how text optimization works and how it affects the visibility of your app. In this article, we will talk about it in detail.
What is ASO?
Well, let us elaborate on it one by one. You must already know what App Store Optimization is. If you don’t, please read this article. ASO can be devoted to two main components – graphics and text.
Graphic ASO is primarily used to increase conversion and deals with icons, screenshots, videos, and ad banners. Graphic ASO is one of the major factors to influence a user when they decide if they’d like to install an app. High-quality graphic ASO can increase the conversion significantly and help you get a larger number of installs. We have designed some infographics so that you can understand how ASO makes users decide to install an app.
How does app indexing work?
In short, the stores scan the app page and display it according to keywords they see. It’s important to know that algorithms of the App Store and Google Play index keywords differently. ASO (App Store Optimization) helps to improve app visibility, index apps by more words and increase the organic traffic from search.
Indexing in Google Play and the App Store is not the same. First, various text elements are indexed (and they affect the ranking differently). Keep that in mind when distributing keywords. Use the table below.
About 65% of installs in app stores come from the search. Users type keywords in the search bar, find what they want, and then install it. The more relevant keywords the app has and the higher its ranking, the more installs it gets. In 2020, the number of users choosing apps through store search has increased to 70%.
High ranking is incredibly important. If your app is out of Top 10, users are less likely to see it since the probability of them scrolling further is extremely small. At best, you might get some percent of the traffic, but this is probably not worth it.
One of the most important factors for a high ranking is the number of installs driven by the keyword. But if your app has low retention or performance issues are frequent, the algorithms will pessimize its ranking as user satisfaction and best experience are the stores’ highest priority.
Steps of the text ASO
- Analysis of the category and competitors.
- Selecting the semantic core.
- Prioritizing keywords by popularity, competitiveness, and complexity.
- Composing text elements like app title, short description, description, the field for keywords (for App Store)
- Analyzing the indexation after an update.
With text ASO, you will achieve the following goals:
- Expand the semantic core and increase app visibility.
- Boost your ranking by the keywords your target audience is looking for.
- Increase the conversion from views to installs.
Analysis of the category and competitors
Selecting a category also affects the conversion rate. If the app is relevant to the selected category, algorithms will rank it better. It also affects Browse/Explore channel and impressions in the ‘Similar apps’ section.
Well-known brands can change categories to get more installs from less competitive niches. A game can be placed into ‘Entertainment’, a dating app or a social network — into ‘Lifestyle’. For example, Telegram in Google Play (RU locale) is in the ‘Communications’ category, Zoom in ‘Business’, and Tinder in ‘Lifestyle’. It applies only to popular and large companies. For a small app, such changes are unlikely to provide great benefit.
When optimizing your description on Google Play, check it for content classification using the Natural Language API tool. You will see which categories Google has assigned your content and its ‘confidence’ score. Keep in mind, that the categories are thematic and they are not the same as the store categories. They help to evaluate how the algorithms perceive your app and which users it will be recommended to. It’s about thematic categories: how well the algorithms see what your app is about and to whom it should be displayed.
To compete for traffic, you need to know your competitors in person and understand how they work. There are main parameters by which you should compare competitors. You can read about them in detail in our article ‘How to analyze competitors for efficient app promotion‘.
- ASO quality and app visibility
- Text ASO
- Graphic ASO
- Rating and Reviews
Selecting the semantic core
Start with a simple question – what do users need in the app? After that, you can create a list of keywords of interest. For example, we have a fitness app, so keywords like ‘best biceps exercises’ or ‘working out at home’ are quite relevant.
Remember that it makes no sense to target irrelevant keywords since users are very unlikely to use them to install your app. Some apps add popular keywords like sporting events or major news and attract a lot of bad quality traffic. Therefore, conversion and retention rates noticeably drop. The app may then lose its ranking and, in the worst case, leave the search results.
To make the task easier, we offer a welcome pack of 50 keywords that can be added with a single click. Our algorithms generate them automatically. Use the keywords to get started. You can expand it with the help of the Keyword Explorer section. Study all the keywords by which the app is indexed, pick up the store suggestions or add words manually.
You can learn your competitors’ keywords by click too. There is also the Ideas section. In there, all keywords are segmented into groups according to different parameters: from frequency and length to search by a keyword in different tops (from 1 to 10 or 11 to 20).
Collected keywords need to be prioritized, focusing on keyword metrics and your promotion strategy. It means some of them will be primary for testing, and some will remain for other ASO iterations.
- Keyword Popularity (Search Volume) is the main indicator. If you are new to the store, it’s best to rely on low-frequency and mid-frequency queries. Step by step, the app will be more influential — it will be more visible and indexed by a larger number of queries. It means you will be able to use more popular keywords.
- Keyword Complexity is the next parameter. We suggest relying on the ‘All apps’ indicator. It’s a number of apps in the search results for a keyword query. The fewer apps per keyword, the less competitive it is. If the top of the store contains popular apps with a large number of installs, reviews, and a high rating by a keyword, the complexity level is the highest.
- Impressions is a very helpful indicator too. It represents the approximate number of queries per day. In other words, how many times it is searched during the day.
Targeting high-frequency keywords from the very beginning is pointless since this requires good ranking by adjacent, less frequent keywords and excellent app performance like the number of installs, retention, stability, etc.
Updating of the text elements
You can group words for other iterations during the prioritization step. Collecting keywords for each new experiment from scratch is wasteful. To create your own sections, just click the ‘+’ button on the Keywords Analysis tab next to the ‘Tracked keywords’.
Create drafts to experiment with different hypotheses and compare variants of the textual ASO. The used keywords are highlighted in blue for convenience. You can see how many characters are used in the text elements and if there is room for extra keywords. Switch between templates to track changes easily.
Now you have picked up a couple of dozens of keywords. It’s about time to put them in the right fields. The keywords that are most important to you will go to the title while less important ones will go to the short description/subtitle and keywords field (App Store), and the remaining ones will go to the description (Google Play).
Working on the title:
- Make sure you use the maximum number of characters allowed by a store. It’s 30 for the App Store and 50 for Google Play;
- Make sure you use your brand in the app title as users are looking for either specific keywords or the app name;
- Use the keywords that are most relevant to your app;
- Do not duplicate words.
Working on the short description and subtitle:
Use the maximum number of characters and find a balance between the keywords being interesting to store algorithms and, at the same time, readable and selling text. Keep in mind that, in App Store, a short description is equally important as the keywords box, so fill it properly to maximize conversion to installs.
There is a bug in the App Store with subtitle indexing. If you use all the 30 symbols the last keyword is not indexing. Make sure to use 29 out of 30 not to lose any traffic.
Working on the app description:
It is not indexed in App Store but it is indexed by the Google search engine. Therefore, some keywords will fit just right but this topic is more SEO-related.
On Google Play, a description is not indexed as well as a title and a short description but is nevertheless important. You don’t need to strive for all 4,000 characters since Google is fighting spam and long texts can lower your ranking. 2,500 characters will be enough. Try to integrate keywords organically into the text so that they sound good in the context. Keyword repetitions are not required and you can stop by two repetitions. It’s important for Google to understand the general semantic core of your app, and the new Tags feature can help Google do it. You may want to conduct a survey with a different number of tags (you can add up to 5 of them).
About 2% to 5% of users read the description in the App Store and on Google Play. Therefore, it almost does not affect the conversion to installs. The first 145 characters are important in the App Store as they are visible on the app page.
Keep in mind the keywords box in the App Store. Our advice here:
- Use keywords with few syllabi (“football”, “earnings” and so on);
- Separate keywords with commas;
- Leave no spaces between keywords;
- Don’t duplicate words;
- In languages that use hieroglyphs, commas, and spaces are not required.
Reflection and monitoring
The keyword indexing can take anywhere from one day in the App Store to a month on Google Play. For some keywords, your app will be well indexed from the beginning, for some, it won’t. Accordingly, analyze where you stand, figure out the possible reasons why things are exactly like this, what worked well and what didn’t, and proceed to the next iteration.
It is important to assess the results of work on ASO, draw conclusions and, on the basis of this, plan the next keyword testing iteration. You will see the results faster in the App Store. Indexing will take place within a couple of days after the update. In Google Play, the process can take up to three weeks.
After updating the text elements, evaluate the ranking of the old keywords and the indexing of the new ones. Also, you can quickly assess the dynamics using the ASO Index (it evaluates the level of optimization of the app page in the App Store and Google Play) and Search Visibility Index (it evaluates the visibility of the app specifically in search traffic).
Good conversions to you!