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How to optimize your app to improve its visibility in app marketplaces

Posted by KingEclient on 11 May, 2016

Last week we considered what one needs to know in order to launch an app. This time we will look at what one can do to optimize apps to improve visibility. A good app marketing strategy is essential for achieving the highest numbers of users. In order to achieve this, one needs to use various types of technology, both on and offline, and one must maintain a careful balance between value for the user and value for the company.

Is it necessary to position my apps?

Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. Let’s look at the figures:

The main stores have more than 3.1 million apps: 1.5 on App Store and 1.6 on Google Play.

Google Play and App Stores are the main channels for finding out about apps, with 76% of downloads coming from these stores.

The first few seconds are critical, both when the apps are first seen on the store and when they are first used: the download and sustained usability over time is vital. The user needs to see the application meeting expectations.

In a survey at the Mobile World Congress, users agreed that the trustworthiness of apps is key:  Apps must give us the feeling that they work and they are helping us to achieve our objectives

Improving one’s app visibility on App Store or on Google Play is no easy task. The exponential growth in mobile apps obliges one to be competitive both in the creation of the app and in the app marketing strategy designed to achieve its positioning.

For this reason, the “2016 App Store Optimization Manual” introduces us to App Store Optimization (ASO), the way to improve both search positioning as well as positions in Top Charts and Featured lists.

What are we looking for when we create an app?

  • To increase user volume
  • To improve visibility
  • To maximize income

The aim of this article is to help you to achieve this in as practical and efficient way as possible.


  1. Choose the type of install you want to use to reach your user

  • Type of install: When you design your strategy you need to decide what type of install you want to use. Depending on the source of traffic, there are two broad types:
  • Organic: Downloads from the marketplace itself.
  • Non-organic:  Own channels and paid channels

If you are going to work with both types it is advisable to focus your efforts on the organic one as it involves lower costs as a result of high volumes.


  1. What does a potential user see, even before downloading the app?

On-metadata ASO factors:   “On” factors are under one’s direct control and can be seen in the store. They include the app information screen, app name, description, category, icon, screenshots, video preview, size of app, etc. For this reason it is really important to present them well, as they are your calling card which the user can see before deciding to download the app or not.


  1. What can’t one control?

Off-metadata ASO factors, “Off” factors include everything one can’t control directly, such as install volumes, install speeds, user engagement, ratings, comments and mentions on websites. In order to boost these factors we need to work on them indirectly.


  1. What can one do to ensure our app appears above the competition’s app.

ASO is the continuous process of monitoring the position of our app on app stores in order to maximize its visibility. One needs to continue to study keywords, optimize landing, and monitor Top Charts.


  1. ¿How does one apply the ASO process?

The ASO process involves:


Phase 1: Analysis – Research

Define keywords to help you to position the app. You can select keywords with the help of tools such as Google Keyword Tool, Semrush and Google Suggest. They will help you to get an idea of what users are looking for most as well as which terms to use and which ones have less competition.


Phase 2: Optimization

Optimize the app information screen. This is where you have to convince the user to install the app. One needs to take into account the following: it is necessary to define the app name or title following the rules of the stores, use selected keywords, choose the appropriate category for the app, design a simple and attractive app, design some screenshots which encourage people to download the app, and lastly, upload a practical video showing how the app works and encouraging users to download it.


Phase 3: Monitoring

Once you have your user, you have to monitor your rankings in keywords and Top Charts as well as those of the competition. This information helps you to improve your positioning. It is advisable to use ASO tools to monitor your own position in the rankings as well as that of the competition and to compare your app with the competition in the keyword search and top chart rankings. When you have analysed these points and bearing in mind the opinion of the users, you can work on your user experience and/or redefine your strategy.

Last but not least, it is necessary to evaluate user comments and compare them with those about the competition in order to obtain input which can help you to see what users like most about your app or to gain an understanding of where it may be going wrong. In this way one gets a better understanding of the online behaviour of the target audience.

Do’s and Don’ts for your App Store Optimization strategy.

  • Do: try to get your apps to appear in the Category Top Charts and/or General Top Chart and Featured in Apple and Google; they will receive more interest from users.
  • Do: use organic installs, which are cheaper
  • Don’t waste the opportunity your title offers you. Use it to include relevant keywords. This will boost your strategy.
  • Don’t become a zombie app. Your application should give value both in the long and in the short term.

Written by Helen Chávez

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