Tag Archives: App Store

App Store Optimization Part 3: Boost Your App’s Profile, Increase Downloads and Generate Better Ratings

In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, the Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part series on the topic. In our previous entry “Master the Art of Writing a Catchy Title and Effective Keywords”, we detailed the ins and outs of the two primary factors in ASO: Title and Keywords. This week, in Part Three, we will focus on the other factors which have less of a direct impact on ASO, but nonetheless are vital to how an app store user perceives your app.

You can control the title of your app, the keywords, and the content of the app itself; however, the amount of downloads and ratings & reviews your app receives might seem out of your control. While they have less of a direct impact on ASO than what we’ve identified as the primary factors: title and keywords, downloads and ratings still retain a big impact on the viewer. A poorly reviewed app is not likely to get downloaded in a competitive environment, and an app with too few reviews and downloads is easy to dismiss. So how do you boost your app’s profile? There are a few tricks we’ll list here, but there is no easy method. Ultimately, a smart, efficient marketing campaign combined with well-executed ASO will boost the profile of your app and create a snowball effect leading to increased popularity.

If an app ranks highly in the app store AND has excellent reviews, regardless of the amount downloads, a user is likely to take a chance on it in hopes of discovering something new and unique rather than settling for the most popular incarnation of the app function they seek.  Studies also show apps with more positive ratings rank higher in the app store. Thus, it’s important for developers to harvest a wealth of positive reviews for their app as they launch an external marketing campaign. The baseline any developer needs to generate positive reviews is a good app, but assuming the app is functional, useful, and intuitive, the trouble becomes coaxing the user into rating your app without coming across as too pushy.

There are a variety of tactics to tackle the ratings problem. Any given developer likely will use social media for promotion, asking their friends and followers to download and rate the app. Many app developers choose to install a code which prompts the user to rate the app. When installing such code, one should make sure the message doesn’t prompt the user until the user has had the app installed for a sufficient amount of time (we recommend at least one week). This increases the likelihood the user enjoys the app and simultaneously eliminates users who install the app briefly.

The developer also has the choice of using either a boring, more standard prompt such as “Would you please rate [insert app name]?” or a more colorful one. Apptentive offers an intelligent ratings prompt which uses messages like “Do you love [insert app name]?” A cheeky message like this only redirects users who have positive feelings about your app to the app store ratings section (if they tap “no”, they are not redirected). Developers are also known to use incentives to boost ratings, such as free points or an alternate avatar in a game.

The app’s profile is ultimately one of the major factors in app marketing which influences the amount of downloads an app receives. The creation of an app’s profile in the app store should be directed with the goal of creating the most enticing presentation for viewers. An app’s profile includes the app icon, screenshots, description, and a video in Google Play. An app icon is worth making a solid investment. App icons should not use words, but should present a compelling image consistent with the UI design and color scheme in the app. Screenshots should demonstrate the most eye-catching visuals as well as display how the app functions. Description should be a concise, attention-grabbing detail of the app’s function and features. As we covered last week, it’s important for descriptions in Google Play to utilize keywords, while curators in Apple’s App Store don’t necessarily search for keywords in app descriptions.

Boosting an app’s number of downloads in service of ASO is tricky. ASO will increase the amount downloads you receive, and yet the amount of downloads will in turn raise your ranking in the search strings. A good marketing campaign backed up by an optimized profile with a top-tier icon and an enticing description will draw viewers in and increase their chances of downloading your app. One of the best ways to improve the profile of your app is to become featured in the app store’s landing page, a prime position which gives your app the most visibility possible. The trick to that… will be covered in the next installment of our ASO blog series. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, we have the cross-functional expertise and experience in marketing, mobile application design, and search engine optimization necessary to both create, optimize, and market a hit application. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

App Store Optimization Part 2: Master the Art of Writing a Catchy Title and Effective Keywords

In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, the Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part blog series on the topic. In our previous post, we gave an introduction to ASO, giving a general overview on the basics and defining the factors which impact your app’s placement in the app store. This week’s entry, part-two, will focus on the two primary factors in ASO: Title and Keywords.

The window for users to decide whether or not to download your app is increasingly short. In a generation defined by content overload, if you don’t catch the user’s eye within a matter of seconds, chances are your app will be overlooked. Even if you have an app icon that stands-out, unless you are within the first batch of search results for the keywords associated with your app, the user will likely settle before they see your app listing. ASO is about increasing the ranking of your app in search strings, and the two most important factors in ASO are title and keywords.

The title of your app, along with the app icon, is the most visible aspect to the casual user in the App Store. The App Store favors more descriptive titles. The use of keywords within your title will raise your place in the search results. Granted, your title should first and foremost be catchy, it’s also vital users get a sense of what the app does when they read the title. While the rules are different for big brands such as Grubhub and Uber, these companies worked to establish a preexisting relationship with consumers before launching their apps. If you can balance brand catchiness with keyword functionality in your title, you’ll have a winner.

Keywords are the most important factor in ASO. The keywords attached to an app make or break its SEO. Keywords are select terms or phrases attached to an app which apply to its functionality. The app stores have developers attach keywords to their apps so that when a given term is searched, apps with the keywords attached appear. It’s vital for developers to maximize and diversify their keyword offerings. Keywords like “food” or “taxi” yield a highly competitive search string, but synonyms like “grub” or “trolly” are less frequently searched, thus providing an avenue for your app to excel. The most relevant and logically searchable terms related to your app should also be keyworded. Yelp uses not only “food” and “restaurant, but also “bars”, “reviews”, “comida”, and “local”. By keywording a diverse group of terms, an app has a much greater chance of rising to the top when any of the terms are used in combination. Apptamin got it right when they said: “[It’s] better to be in the top 5 results for an average-searched keyword than in the top 100 for a highly-searched keyword.” The best avenue for an app to stand out is in a more focused group.

Determining keywords can be tricky. It requires time spent creatively analyzing the app in question as well as research. Many sites such as Searchman and AppTweak offer ASO analytics and third party consulting. There are also a number of ways to measure keyword analytics through independent research. Developers can search for a specific keyword in the app store in order to learn how many apps are targeting the term. Sensortower allows users to search for apps and find the keywords associated with each in the app store for free.

Keyword volatility is a crucial metric which measures how keyword rankings fluctuate over time. Some keyword searches yield consistent results while other results fluctuate over time. Although it takes mass amounts of data to get a truly accurate read on volatility, a simple way for developers to measure the volatility of a given keyword search is to search the term everyday for a couple of weeks and record the top ten, watching to see if the results and rankings change. While this simple method yields somewhat accurate results, a developer’s best bet is to outsource volatility tracking to a third-party SEO specialist.

Be on the look out next week for the third part of our ASO series focusing on the secondary factors in ASO, including app description, icon design, garnering better reviews and boosting your number of downloads

Finding the right title and keywords is likely the most difficult part of ASO, but also the most rewarding. If you want to save yourself some time and maximize your investment, Mystic Media’s experts are happy to assist you in your ASO, Strategic Marketing, and App Development needs. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

App Store Optimization Part 1: Rise To The Top of The App Store

Building a successful app requires the precise execution of a plethora of processes by various moving parts. It starts with an idea, but it doesn’t end with the design.  A great app means very little of not properly marketed in the app store. While we’ve briefly explored App Store Optimization in a previous article, in an effort to emphasize the importance, the Mystic Media Blog will be launching a five part in-depth series focusing on how to excel in all the facets of App Store Optimization to help your app rise to prominence in the app store. This introductory article will explain exactly what App Store Optimization is, and why it’s important.

You’re hungry late at night. You’re not near your computer and you’re not familiar with any take-out places in the area, let alone what’s open late. You go to your smartphone, go the app store, and type in “food”. What comes up? UrbanSpoon, Grubhub, Yelp, Seamless etc. Why? These dominant apps are best optimized for the app store. The difference between becoming a major force in the app store and falling flat can be decided by App Store Optimization, or ASO, one of the most vital application marketing techniques.

ASO is defined as the process of improving the visibility of mobile apps by optimizing them to rank higher in an app store’s search results. The best optimized applications rise to the top of search results related to their function. A study over at KISSmetrics showed that new apps are more frequently discovered through general app store browsing than through any other method. ASO is without a doubt the largest discovery channel available to your application. Effective ASO can cause turn a well-designed app into a hit.

ASO ultimately consists of two primary factors and two secondary factors. Factors of primary importance are Title and Keywords, while secondary factors include # of downloads and Ratings & Reviews. Screenshots of the app are also vital to the app’s presentation in the app store, although they have little to no impact in search engine optimization.

The Apple App Store differs from the Google Play App Store in a number of ways, but the SEO metrics are relatively similar. We will delve into the differences individually later in the series. Be on the lookout next week for our installment focused exclusively on Title and Keyword optimization. Stay tuned!

Mystic Media is, among many other things, a premier Search Engine Optimization firm. Our Marketing Strategists recognize the importance of ASO and can work with the tech side to ensure all websites and applications designed will succeed in the marketplace. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815