Mobile app industry is thriving with the increasing numbers and almost every business is channelizing this technology to garner maximum revenue. However, the boom in the mobile app industry also brought the tight competition. As of March 2018, Google Play Store homes 3.6 million and Apple App Store comprises around 2 million apps. This makes the industry competition hotter than ever. In order to get noticed the App Store Optimization (ASO) is a requisite step for your app. Most of the users still search for the new apps to download via store browsing so it is mandatory to increase the visibility.
Credit - Apptentive
Users exploring the new apps are more likely to depend on store recommendations as they truly trust the results. According to Apptentive, 63% of the users have reported that they prefer the app store browsing for over other channels. According to the head of search and discovery at Google Play Store, Ankit Jain, out of all the daily active users (DAU) 12% try store browsing on a daily basis. He also mentioned that 50% of these DAU look for the new apps in the store once in a week.
In addition to this, the survey of the Nielsen also overlaps with he Apptentive stats and shows that store is the primary source for finding the new apps.
However, even after understanding the importance of the ASO, most of the app owners and developers failed to implement it correctly. This happens because they got tangled with the myth that is being associated with the ASO. Yes, there are some of the misconceptions that are going around the industry and restraining the apps from getting better rankings in the store. This is a highly concerned matter and you need to make your strategy clear off these app store optimization myths right now.
Myth busting- App’s name is important but you need to select one and stick to it.
First, let me clarify that the app’s title or name is the most important thing you need take care. Moreover, it is the best spot to place your keywords for store algorithm to scan it, which Mr. Jain also mentioned at the Google I/O. Now, coming to the myth many of the search optimization experts believe that changing the name of the app frequently by adding or changing keywords will help it to get better ranking in the store. But, it doesn't work that way, changing the name of the app won't do any good to it visibility, even if you add better keywords to it. Instead, if you change the name, the users who already knew your app won't be able to find it again or unable to recommend it their friends or family. It is highly advisable to find a suitable name with the best keyword and stick with it without making changes.
Tips to remember
Myth busting- Ratings are important but not that much as you think
This is among the most influenced myth among all and there is no surprise that most of the developers do consider the ratings most important factor of ASO. I totally agree with that, the ratings are important but they are not that much significant as people think. However, the rating surely affects the ranking as someone after using your app giving it 5 stars will surely put your app in better ranking than the one-star app. But, the ranking isn't the number one factor to push the ranking and the store visibility. I know you are not convinced yet about the ranking but we have reports backing up our words.
Inside Mobile Apps has also taken an initiative to clear this myth with its reports. The company has conducted a study on the terms including easy search keywords, medium search keywords and high competition search keywords to find out the truth of ratings. The graph below from the study shows the results for iOS and Google Play Store that reveals how ratings affect the ranking. You can clearly see that the lines getting deviate downwards from the 8th position proving that the ratings are ineffective for the top positions.
The study also concludes that the rating for the 10th position app could be as low as 1.09. So, this makes perfectly clear that the ratings don't have much control over the ranking algorithm in the store as you were believing till now.
If you still need some more proof to kick this app rating myth out of your head you can see this graph of the top ranking apps on the chart. Even these top-ranked apps rant backed up by the good rating, so give rating importance as much as it deserves not blindly depend upon it for ASO.
Myth Busting- Keywords play an important part in ASO
As far as the myth about the keywords goes the people believed that it is important for SEO but not for the app stores. ASO is all about the ranking and doesn't count on the keywords like SEO. If you among those people that I am really sorry for bursting your bubble of trust on this myth. The keywords are also important for the app store optimization, they play an important role in uplifting the app’s ranking. The developers need to place certain keywords in the app in order to make it searchable for the users. However, the keyword stuffing will get you in trouble so you need to play it smartly.
The keywords can be placed in the app title also that will help your app is getting better visibility. However, don't fall for the general words and try come up with the great combination of a unique name having a keyword in it. You can see the truth by yourself with the help of below graph, that shows that the app with keywords owns a 10.3% higher ranking with keywords included.
Myth busting- You need to put extra efforts to compete with millions of apps
This myth is restraining so many apps with great functionalities and unique ideas from being successful. Many people do believe that after developing an app and successfully submitting it to the stores their job is done. According to the myth, the users will find it by themselves and download it to generate revenue for developers. Let me put it this way, Google Play Store has 3 million apps and Apple App Store has 2.2 million apps competing with each other. This makes almost impossible to get noticed without making any efforts. The efforts are called ASO that helps you to move up in the ranking ladder for getting more downloads and higher ranking.
Consider the blogs on the internet, if you don't put keywords in it and don't take the proper SEO steps it never going to get better ranking on the search engine. Similarly goes with ASO you need to take the steps to influence your downloads and visibility for your app to become popular.
Along with this the developers also believe that number of the downloads does not influence the ranking that much. But, fortunately, the downloads are directly proportional to the ranking of your app in the store. In fact, the number of people using your app will directly increase the ranking. The study also shows that how the increasing number of downloads pushes the ranking to the higher position. You can see that the graph is showing that the apps are getting the better position in the store with the increasing number of downloads.
The number of downloads depends on two things one is the service quality and the other is the marketing. The first one is something that you need to take care of the app development whereas the app marketing needs to be done until it becomes globally recognizable. In order to do so, you must break the chain of traditional marketing strategies by focusing on different channels like organic source, social media, and PPC to generate more downloads. Once you start getting the exponential download growth for your app you will also experience a sudden increment in the ranking. Take the example of the apps like Sarahah that made news overnight and topped iOS charts by claiming the first spot, that happens because of the app getting viral and so many people were downloading it in a short period of time.
Myth busting- App description is very important
During my research, I have found many ASO experts and mobile app industry people claiming that the description isn't that important. According to them the description of the app doesn't help much in making the app’s ranking better. However, I disagree with all those claims and suggestions. According to my research, the description holds the equal importance in the ASO strategies for improving the ranking as factors do. According to ASO, we need to put keywords in the app store so the algorithm of the store can detect the app easy to include it in the search results. This means the keywords need to be included in the content and the description is the only place where you can embed enough keywords. Google and Apple both consider the description of the app while analyzing the keywords, however, both of them uses a different approach to scan the keywords.
In case we put the keywords fact aside for a while and consider that description does not influence the ranking I still got a point to prove this myth wrong. Once your app is being noticed by the users it is very less likely for the user to install it by without knowing about it. The description of the app will be responsible here to convince the user for hitting the install button. If you kept on being a believer in this myth then your description will lose the user, on the other hand, the well-written description with the alluring offerings will capture the user's’ interest to install the app.
It is isn't actually a myth but more of a minor detail that most of the developers overlooked. Both the stores have a different approach towards the apps and you need to work according to that. However, the basic parameters of the ASO will be same like keywords, title, and description but their way of implementing should be according to the respective app store guidelines. For example, Apple App Store only allows the keywords placement up to 100 characters. On the other hand, Google Play Store uses a different approach for the keywords and offers 400 overall characters for the description and let you place the keywords wisely, similar to its web search engine algorithm.
In order to acquire the best results, you need to apply the strategies that have been tailored according to the respective app stores.