What is ASO? How to get started and track the data
The mobile app industry is growing as people almost never part with their smartphones. In 2019 alone, users installed 21.3 billion apps from Google Play. Obviously, there are thousands of competitors in your niche. Everyone needs users’ attention, time and money. How to make users notice and install your app? ASO is the answer.
Why Is ASO Important?
All major players in the mobile app market are doing ASO to hold positions in app stores and win users over to their side from those who ignore optimization.
Due to ASO, the app can get more attention from users that converts to purchases. In other words, ASO helps quicker recoup your app development investment and get a profit.
It’s worth mentioning that ASO helps apps at the formation stage, the dynamic growth stage, at the stage when you are ready to enter a new international market, and at the stage when you need to stay on top.
Don’t treat ASO as a magical tool that will surely pave the way for your app to the top of the search results. ASO is one of the many ways in global marketing strategy to promote an app. Its performance is revealed in conjunction with paid traffic, competent study of user story and with the stability of the app.
What is ASO and why do I need it?
ASO (App Store Optimization) is a set of actions to promote a mobile app in App Store, on Google Play and in other app stores.
ASO includes text and graphical optimization. The first affects your position by key and aimed at increasing the visibility of the app. Graphical optimization goes further and transforms the viewing of the app into an installation. It is important to use, test and update them comprehensively.
How does app store optimization work?
ASO makes your app more visible in search results. Users more often find it by keywords, install it more, paying attention to the explanatory video or pretty screenshots that demonstrate the app mechanics and capabilities in detail. Arguably, text ASO makes your app closer to competitors’ audience, takes their positions, and graphic ASO helps to stand out from others.
Using different analytical tools, you optimize the semantics of your app with more relevant and popular keywords. Conducting A/B testing, you distinguish the best creative that converts traffic to installs better than the rest.
ASO is more than just working with text or graphics. Optimization involves a comprehensive approach that also means dealing with negative comments and low ratings. It helps to streamline the process of correcting and gaining new positive feedback.
The thing is that the app store analyzes the behavior of users who have installed an app to understand whether it’s worth paying attention to, featuring it, and so on.
This procedure is mostly typical for Google Play. The App Store prioritizes other metrics, that’s why the promotion strategies differ.
App store optimization tips
- Text ASO (collecting keywords, localization and culturalization).
- Graphic ASO (screenshots, video).
- Work with ratings and reviews (working on negative ones, establishing a data collection process).
Users will search your app with relevant queries. These are the keywords. If your app is indexed by them, users will find you.
Text optimization involves quality work with keywords. To put it simply, you need to insert existing keywords into text elements on the app page. The text elements vary by store. For example, there is no keywords field like in App Store on Google Play. In turn, App Store, unlike Google Play, does not index keywords in the description. Let’s now list all the text elements by importance.
- Short description
- Full description
- App URL
- Developer name
- Developer mail
- Keywords field
- Developer name
- In-app purchases
What is the difference between ASO and SEO
Composing a semantic core
The semantic core contains search keywords by which users can find an app. There are several keyword selection strategies.
- Do a brainstorm session with your team to figure out what your app is about and how it can be found.
- Analyze reviews of similar apps and competitors.
- Use suggested queries in the store (type a word and see what keywords the store suggests).
Automatic Checkaso selection
- In Keywords Explorer, you can find a list of keywords suitable for your app with their Search Volume index (it detects how popular a keyword is).
- We also offer a list of Keywords Suggestions where you can add a keyword and see what other queries are associated with it.
- In the Proposed Keywords tab, you can add a competitor app and find out by which keywords it is indexed.
«Text optimization is an iterative process. This means that the work is done in cycles. Once you’ve updated the text part, you monitor the results, analyze the performance, make changes, and improve the values. Monitoring the relevance of the semantic core is a necessity. Search queries are an unstable parameter as they are frequently updated. The interests of users and, accordingly, their search queries are changing».
First of all, graphics are needed to capture the attention of users. They include icons, screenshots and videos. Images should be attractive and, at the same time, intuitively informative.
- An icon is the most important element for regular testing. ASO experts and designers try to make it understandable and easy to read. It is important to analyze the icons of other apps in your field. Maybe you will stand out thanks to a new colour or find obvious weaknesses of competitors that may be used to your advantage. It is also worth being inspired by seasonal and topic-focused graphics made for a special holiday or event.
- Screenshots should “talk” as much as possible. The text in them should be easy to read. Consider the font size and colour scheme, search for an answer to the following questions: “Is it easy for me to read what is in the screenshot? Do screenshots give a detailed outlook on the app? Do the colours seem irritating?” Always keep users in mind.
- Not every app needs a video. Most often it is necessary for games, as this is the easiest way to show their function and gameplay. Other apps need videos for similar purposes, but more often than not their title and ASO make everything clear from the beginning. If your app is complex or unique, you can provide a video with explanations.
«Frequent A/B tests are a must for any graphic elements so that we can compare the performance. Let’s start with the icon: we analyze and monitor the search results for our topic and we evaluate the icons of competitors. Then we develop theories of how you can stand out in the search results and what changes you can make. We start tests for new icons. Then we apply the best option and keep testing the app. For example, the screenshots. Doing this, we use the same principle: develop a theory, consider options and compare them».
Studying graphics is convenient in the Comparative Analysis tab. It has not only current but also previous versions of the app pages as well as graphics versions for various Apple gadgets.
Getting started with ASO optimization
The analysis is crucial. Without an understanding of where you are right now, you will not be able to draw up a promotion strategy.
Start with an ASOindex. This is an indicator of your ASO quality. It uses many parameters. Here are some of them:
- number of characters in the title and subtitle, screenshots and their number;
- quality of work with ASO (formatting, keyword duplicates, spam and so on);
- keywords search volume and app visibility (frequency of app searches, ranking);
- frequency of updates, average rating, number of reviews and installs.
If you are new to the whole thing, Appy, your personal assistant, will help you take the first steps. It will provide you with optimization tips and tricks.
Then you can move on to more painstaking work in the Analysis tab: a detailed analysis of keywords, developing a semantic core, tracking competitors keywords, statistics of changes in the keyword popularity. At the same time, it may be useful to perform a competitor analysis. For example, to track changes in text elements, graphics, ratings, and reviews volume.
How do I understand that my ASO is efficient?
- Track your ASOindex. If it grows, your strategy works.
- Track your rankings by keywords. If they grow, your text ASO strategy works. Graphic ASO can be checked with A/B tests.
- Google Play Console and App Store Connect are other options. They collect data on installs, conversions and sales. But they are universal tools that apply to both ASO and marketing. With them, it is difficult to assess the ASO strategy directly.
- ASO audit is an expert assessment of the app optimization quality. It may be useful to beginners and those who want to define growth areas, guided by professionals. ASO audit is included in several Checkaso plans.
Watch this short video to understand how to analyze ASO correctly. What metrics to focus on?
- Improving ASO is a necessity, otherwise, users won’t find you.
- Text optimization includes working with headers, descriptions, subtitle and other app store elements.
- Composing a semantic core is a major part of text optimization. To do this, you should select relevant keywords.
- You can select keywords manually and automatically.
- Graphic optimization is about icons, screenshots and videos. It requires frequent A/B tests and visibility improvements.
- Checkaso helps you make work with ASO simple through options of detailed analysis and tracking of changes, both yours and those of your competitors.
- You can make sure that your ASO works using Checkaso’s ASOindex, data analysis, ASO audit, and (indirectly) the developer consoles.