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ASO COURSE - App Store Optimisation | Apps Positioning | Basic and Intermediate Level | Part 1

Publishing an App on Google Play or App Store is a project that requires time, investment and effort. And getting downloads is the reward we all hope for.

What happens is that sometimes the expected results are not achieved.

Are the functionalities not attractive enough?

Not attracting the right audience?

Not enough visibility?

Usually the answer to the lack of downloads is much simpler and originates even before the App has been published in the Stores.

I'm talking about ASO or App Store Optimization. It's just three acronyms, or three words, depending on how you want to look at it, but it has a direct and notable influence on the number of downloads of an App.

Want to know more?

At Actualízatec, as an ASO agency we are, we have decided to give you the best tips and all the keys so you can start working on ASO for your App, and for free! You can find all the lessons here or in our  Actualízatec YouTube channel.

Throughout the course we will see what ASO is, what elements make it up, how to start working with it, what steps you should take to implement it in your App and tricks to get more downloads for free.

Shall we start? In these first lessons you will discover what ASO is, why it is important, tips to take into account and how to optimise an App's page in the Stores. 

You can follow them in the videos below or continue reading this content.

What is ASO or App Store Optimisation?

I don't know if you've heard of SEO, but it's something similar. In marketing it is something that is worked on a lot.

SEO is the set of techniques that are applied to web contents so that they appear in the first positions of the search engine when a user makes a related search.

Well, ASO works in the same way but in the search engine of the App Stores. I am referring to both Google Play and App Store.

Thus, we could define it as the set of techniques and tricks by which we get an App to rank in the top positions within each Store. This is called organic visibility, which is visibility that is achieved naturally (without the use of paid campaigns).

So, for example, if we search for the term: Fitness, we will see those results that have worked the ASO for this keyword.

The aim is to appear as high as possible in the list of results.

And continuing with the example, when searching for "Fitness", these are the Apps that appear:

ASO

It could be said that this first App is the one that has worked the best in ASO. Therefore, it has managed to position itself in the highest position for the keyword we have entered.

What can we analyse?

The most important thing we can see at first glance is that the keyword is included in the title. And this is a very favourable point for the objective we are pursuing.

Below, two other Apps appear: Nike and HIIT.

How to improve ASO

In the first case, the truth is that it is not advisable to pay too much attention. It is a company with a high reputation and recognition. And that is exactly why it may have achieved thousands of downloads, because it works on brand image and marketing in an omnichannel way and therefore the app benefits from it.

We will focus on a case that can help you more. If you pay attention to the second App in the image above, you will see that it also has the keyword in the title. Do you see it?

Once again, this shows that including this term in the headline is a favourable factor for ASO and that a well-designed ASO improves the positioning of an App in the Stores.

I emphasise what we were talking about at the beginning. If we compare ASO vs SEOIn the case of the two, we can see that there are many similarities between the two. They have the same goal and share the same techniques to achieve it. This is one of them.

Main differences between ASO and Paid Ads

When searching in the Stores, we will not only find Apps positioned organically, we will also find those that have activated a Paid Ads campaign (paid ads).

These Apps will also enjoy visibility and therefore get downloads. They will even reach the top of the rankings faster. So why invest so much time and effort in ASO?

You will understand when you discover the differences between ASO and Paid Ads:

  • Durability of results.

When a Paid Ads campaign is deactivated, i.e. it is no longer paid for being in first position, the App returns to its organic position (which can be 20, 67 or 101).

On the other hand, working on ASO will ensure that this natural positioning is as high as possible. In this way, you will always have visibility and not depend on an advertising campaign.

  • Timeframe for achieving results

As we said, through Paid Ads the results are immediate. The advertising places an App in the top positions as soon as the campaign is activated.

ASO is a strategy that pays off in the medium and long term.

  • How they are displayed

In the following image you will see that when it is an App that has an active Pais Ads campaign in the App Store, it appears with a blue background and the word "Ad".

This differentiates it from those that have achieved their positioning through ASO techniques.

The ideal? Find a balance between both strategies to maintain positioning and boost downloads of an App.

Apple apple search ads

Importance of SWA

We continue with our ASO course. And now we are going to see why this technique is so important and why we have created a course to learn how to apply it.

Undoubtedly, being in the top positions of the search engine of the Stores is a more than compelling reason to work on ASO.

But what is behind all this?

There are more than 5 million Apps published in the world. That's a pretty big number, isn't it?

And they all have the same objective: be visible in order to obtain as many downloads as possible. However, the top positions are only for a few.

ASO will help you make one of those few your App. You just need to know how it works, effort and perseverance.

And in this ASO training course we want to help you achieve it. Let's see more reasons that support the importance of this technique:

  • Reduces the CPI: The CPI is the Cost Per Install that you will have to pay if you activate a Paid Ads campaign. If you do so and you have ASO in place, this amount will be lower and you will be able to combine both strategies even if your budget is moderate.
  • Attract qualified users: Users who come to an App through ASO are looking for that type of App. So there is an interest. This translates into downloads, retention and a lower uninstall rate.
  • It encourages an increase in reviews and ratings: When the download process occurs naturally, it is easier for users to be willing to leave a rating or review on it.

When should you start working on ASO?

Following on from this ASO guide, the next question is when to start implementing this technique.

The answer is clear and straightforward: before publishing your App for the first time in the Stores.

Many think it is better to publish the App, see how it works and then start including ASO.

But this will only result in lost positioning opportunities.

What happens is that there are certain parameters that, once the App is published, cannot be changed. And these are parameters that affect the ASO.

Let us look at two examples that support this view:

  • Package name on Google Play

Package name

The package name is the URL fragment you see marked in yellow in this image.

Ideally, it should include the keyword. In this case it is an international App, published in several countries, so the keyword is in English.

If your market is only Spanish-speaking, it will be easier. Just add your keyword in Spanish and that's it.

This small detail has an impact on positioning. And if we do not take it into account before publishing, we will not be able to correct it later. It will be impossible to edit.

So, before publishing, do a keyword research. And think about ASO.

  • Developer's name

This can be edited once the App is published. But it is often an element that is set up at the beginning and then forgotten.

To avoid this, it is also advisable to take this into account before publishing. Ideally, it should contain the keyword.

However, if you are a well-known and reputable brand, this is not necessary.

It is enough that your developer name is the name of your brand. This way the user will quickly identify who is behind it.

ASO Guide: How to optimise your App's page

We have already seen two of the key aspects that cannot be missing in an App's file in the Stores. But there are others that need to be taken into account for ASO to work.

These are divided into off-metadata ASO factors and on-metadata ASO factors.

Before going on to explain what these factors are and how they should be worked on, you need to know that an App's file is its showcase.

It is the place where you should invest all your efforts if you want to make a good impression.

Completing an App's file is not just a formality that the Stores impose in order to publish it. It is much more important than it may seem and is a directly influences their positioning and visibility.

So before publishing:

  • Conduct market research and select the keywords for which you want to appear in the search results.
  • Optimise your product page by following the instructions below.

Off-metadata ASO factors

In this ASO training course I want you to learn how to differentiate between off-metadata and on-metadata factors.

Both are necessary to correctly optimise a token in the Stores. But the way to implement them is different.

When we talk about off-metadata ASO factors, we are referring to:

  • User ratings and comments. An App will have more visibility the more reviews and the higher its score.
  • Number and speed of downloads. The more you have and the faster they happen, the better positioning you will get.
  • Volume of installations. Get lots of downloads of the app and **** you should also consider how to avoid uninstallations.

Although we cannot change any of these factors directly, we can change them indirectly. Let's see how:

  • Ask users to leave a comment. Otherwise, it will be difficult for them to comment and rate willingly. In future articles I will explain the smartest way to achieve this.
  • Respond to comments. Whether positive or negative, you should always give an answer, and as quickly as possible.
  • Activate campaigns Paid Ads. If you do this on the days when the most downloads occur, you will multiply the ASO effect.
  • Improve the functionality and UX (user experience) of the App. Keep your App updated to meet user needs.
  • Listen to the user. Consider the feedback they give you to include elements they are looking for.

On-metadata ASO factors

On the other side are the on-metadata ASO factors. These are all the factors that we can modify as many times as we want. In this image you have a summary of all of them:

Elements on metadata

Icon

When deciding which icon to add to an App's tab, it is best to carry out A/B Testing to identify which one converts best.

This functionality is only available for Google Play Console.

However, there are always a series of recommendations to follow that will help you choose the right icon for your App:

  • Analyse the predominant colour of your sector

This way you can differentiate yourself from other Apps in your category. However, always taking into account the psychology of colour to maintain the attractiveness.

For example, if we carry out this study for the food category, we can see that 25% of the Apps have a red icon.

App Icon colour food

food apps

What can we do?

Try to differentiate ourselves from the others, for example, by standing out with a background in a different colour and not using red as the predominant colour.

Here is a real case on the topic at hand. This is the Twitch icon. It is eye-catching and at the same time it is a departure from the colours of other Apps in the social networking category.

Twitch ASO case Actualizatec

  • Do not overload the icon

Go for a simple, legible (if it contains text) and clear icon. Your aim should be that users understand it without any effort and that it catches their attention.

  • Make it visible on any kind of background.

Now users can choose the background of their smartphones between light and dark. You should take this into account to make your App icon look good on any of them.

Title or name of the application and sub-title

Along with the icon, the App name or title is the first thing the user sees when searching.

So it is worth stopping and optimising it as much as possible.

In the App Store you will find it as "App Name" and you will have up to 30 characters to use. On Google Play you will also have 30 characters but you will find it as "Title".

The most important thing here is that you must include the keyword in it. As we could see in the example about "Fitness".

App Store Optimization

As for the subtitle, it is only present in the App Store and is limited to 30 characters. It must also include the keyword.

Description

In this field you must add all the information you consider necessary for a user to download your App.

You have 4,000 characters. And don't forget to include keywords in Google Play, as they rank well.

At this video of the ASO COURSE I explain how we work with them in Actualízatec.

For now, it is enough that you know what it is for and the permitted extension.

Screenshots or videos

Both screenshots of the App and videos showing how it works, are very attractive resources for the user to see what it is like inside.

They also serve to professionally showcase the benefits of it. Here is an example:

App Store Optimization

If you decide to add a preview video, please note that Apple only allows screenshots of the App to appear.

That is, any other video that looks like an advertisement or shows people using it will not be approved.

In any case, both are elements that can be measured to know if they are working or not. And even perform A/B Testing with them to optimise downloads.

Keyword field in App Store

This ASO metadata is exclusive to the App Store. It is used to add the keywords you are working on. And it is limited to 100 characters.

keywords

Here are some recommendations on how to complete this field:

  • Avoid spaces between words. Better to separate them by commas, as you can see in the image.
  • Avoid medium or long tail keywords (keywords consisting of more than one word, e.g. intense workout, workout 30 mins). Use simple words such as fitness, coach, workout, cardio.
  • Sort out the plurals. It is better if all the words you add are in the singular.
  • Avoid words that you have already used in the title and subtitle. Opt for different but related ones.

In future lessons we will look at how to choose these words.

Package name in Gplay

And to finish the list of ASO on-metadata factors, we must mention again the package name.

We have already explained what it is and what it consists of. But it is important for you to know that it is within on-metadata elements, because you can create it as you wish.

How to create multiple product pages

In this post we have analysed every aspect of the Google Play and App Store listing so that you can optimise it as much as possible. But one important thing to keep in mind is that you can create more than one listing on both Google Play and App Store. 

You will always have a main tab but you can create variants and do A/B testing to try different screenshots, titles, descriptions, etc. and see what attracts more attention to your users and with which you get a higher Conversion Rate (percentage of download since they see the product page). 

  • App Store offers the possibility to create up to 35 additional versions of the original product page and targeting specific audiences. This is mostly used with user acquisition campaigns in Apple Search Ads linking specific ads to a specific product page.
  • Google Play offers the possibility to publish 5 personalised cardsand you can do A/B testing to see which one works best.

In-App Events in App Store to help ASO 

In 2022 Apple launched the In-App Events or In-App events that allow users to discover different events offered by an app such as a match, a movie premiere, live broadcasting,... directly from the shop.

Want to know how to get the most out of them? In this video we tell you about it.

Good job! So much for the first part of this ASO course. 💪💪

In future videos we will see more ASO Hacks and tips to position an App at the top of the ranking.

Stay tuned to the world of App Store Optimization in the next chapter of the course.

Don't have time to apply ASO yourself and prefer to delegate it to App Marketing professionals? Do you want us to train your team in a personalized way so that they can apply it themselves? Actualízatec can help you as an ASO agency.

Contact us! and we'll see how we can help you grow your App.

And if you want to learn all about Mobile & App Marketing, don't miss our online program, where we train you as an App Expert so that you yourself can improve the results of your app.

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