The Power of Revitalizing your Mobile App: How SEO and ASO Work Together To Help Fuel Your Growth
Launching or updating an app these days is something like dropping a needle in a haystack and hoping your ideal client can find it.
With close to 9 million apps available, it’s crucial that you’re pulling out all the stops when it comes to increasing your ranking and making sure that your mobile app is on top of the list when it comes to search results. This is achieved through the power of combining SEO and ASO and putting them to work for you.
Search Engine Optimization and App Store Optimization are two marketing strategies that work beautifully hand-in-hand and since they follow similar tactics, it’s not hard to practice both. By following our tips below, you’ll see your app slowly climb the ranking ladder as it’s found by new users and rediscovered by current ones.
Start With App Store Optimization
If you’ve had an app for a while now but you’re not seeing the downloads that you were hoping for, you may need to start with ensuring that your app is fully optimized. After all, you can get people to your app page but if they aren’t downloading, it’s all for nothing.
Test it out for yourself by searching for your app and walking through the buyer’s journey as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Check for the following:
#1. Titles and Subtitles
Are they clear and unique? A title should be 30-50 characters and should clearly say what the app does. For example, our app helps drivers pass their written test.
A good title would be, “DMV Practice Test.” A user should be able to quickly read your title and subtitle and figure out if your app is what they’re looking for.
#2. Illustrative Description
Your app description should be under 4000 characters which is more than enough room to fully explain what your app does and why the user needs it.
Try to describe their potential problem and then explain why your app is the solution by pushing its benefits. Using our app again as an example, we may say something like, “It’s the only study material you need to get your DMV permit,” and then list the features below.
#3. Screenshots and Store Icons
It’s no surprise that people tend to be more visual when it comes to making purchases online. To take advantage of this, have several screenshots of the app so users can see how it looks and works.
Try to show a screenshot in the orientation that the user would be seeing it in and show them for several stages in the user experience. Also, make sure that your store icon is eye-catching but not so busy that it’s hard to decipher.
#4. Increase Reviews and Ratings
If you don’t have a lot of reviews or ratings, good or bad, a user may question your legitimacy. Try to increase these by asking current users to leave a review with some kind of incentives such as extra lives in a game or additional features on the app.
A higher number of reviews and ratings boosts your ranking in the app store results so this is something that you need to be actively pursuing. Once they start rolling in, be sure that you’re monitoring them so you can look out for needed updates and bugs to be fixed.
Start Early and Stick With It
When it comes to both ASO and SEO, you need to be thinking long-term versus expecting results immediately.
It’s widely known that SEO results won’t start showing before 4 to 6 months but you should really expect to wait up to one year for the most accurate results.
Exactly how long it will take depends on how long you’ve had your website and app up and running and also what kind of traffic you get.
For ASO, you should start seeing some results in roughly 6 weeks after the app stores react to your metadata changes.
Since both strategies take time to build and deliver, it’s crucial that you get started now and that you don’t abandon your efforts too soon.
If you’re not in this for the long haul, you may need to rethink your marketing strategy or you’ll wind up disappointed and frustrated.
Find “App” Keywords in Google
Just like with SEO, ASO uses keywords and you should be careful in choosing and using the best ones to bring organic traffic to your app.
Use a simple keyword tool to find the top 5-10 keywords that would work for your app. Next, plug them into your title and metadata where they can work in the search algorithms.
By using both top keywords and lower hanging keywords, you’ll increase the likelihood of someone finding your app and downloading it.
Low hanging keywords are the keywords that are on the lower part of the first page on a search result. You want to use these when possible because they won’t have as much competition and you’ll be able to capture those results with less of a challenge.
Now that you know what keywords to use, be sure you’re plugging them strategically. You should place them in your title, subtitle, meta description, and content. The specific places you can and should use them vary by the app store so be sure that you’re following Google and Apple protocols when plugging them in.
Maintain Good SEO to Increase App Downloads
You may think that ASO is all that matters when it comes to increasing your app’s rating in the app stores. However, SEO also plays a role in this so it’s important that you’re focusing on SEO strategy as well.
Did you know that only 40% of apps are found by searching within an app store? A large percentage (27% to be exact) comes from search engine results which is why it’s crucial to maintain good SEO practices for both your website and your app.
To make sure that your app is appearing towards the top of the page when they’re searching in Google or another search engine, you should be focused on using the top keywords as well as low-hanging keywords, increasing your ratings and reviews, and utilizing backlinks.
A backlink is a link to your app’s download page from your website or other websites. As many avenues that you can make to help a user get to your app, the better.
With the vast majority of today’s new customers finding their new products or services through online searches, you absolutely have to be investing in and maintaining your SEO tactics along with ASO.
Increase Click-Through Rates and Engagement On Your Website
Now that you’ve learned how to improve your app rating using ASO tactics, apply those same tips to increase your click-through rates and engagement on your website.
While you may not think about your website if your focus is on revitalizing your app, increasing your website activity can only boost your app performance and profit overall so it’s more than worth your time if you need to improve your traffic and conversion rates.
ASO strategies to transfer over to your website would include:
- Making sure your meta descriptions are engaging – use keywords in this text and make sure that it precisely explains what the customer can expect.
- Use effective and descriptive imagery throughout your website – use visuals throughout your website to draw the eye in and deliver information quickly and easily.
- Plug keywords into your page URL – this long URL is seen on a Google search and is another place to plug in keywords.
- Rework your title and subtitles – remember, they should be descriptive, clear, and unique.
Fix It and Forget It (Mostly)
Whether you’re launching a new app or trying to improve the performance of one that you released years ago, combining these powerful strategies is sure to increase your downloads.
Remember, one of the most important things about Search Engine Optimization and App Store Optimization is that they take a lot of effort up front and then require a lot of time after that to deliver results.
The best thing to do is fix it and forget it – mostly. Be sure that you’re monitoring your metrics to see what’s working along the way and after a year you should be able to see where tweaks are needed and adjust accordingly.
Just make sure that you’re first giving it time to work its magic.
About the Author!
Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online driver education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.