A 5-Item Quick Guide to Mobile App Store Optimization

| App Store Optimization

Both big businesses and small indie entrepreneurs are availing of mobile app development in the Philippines or are creating apps on their own. The mobile app market is revolutionizing almost all manner of the industry from merchandising, distribution, domestic services, transportation—you name it, and we’re pretty sure that there’s a mobile app concept for it.

In an online world where there’s already either a mobile app for most anything or making a unique and useful app doesn’t necessarily equate to downloads, how do you get people to start talking about your mobile app? You’re going to need Mobile App Store Optimization (ASO).

As you dive into marketing your mobile app, here are 5 points you need to make sure you put focus on to help your app find the proper users that need it.

Keywords

Like with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the heart of making a mobile app more easily searchable is through optimizing its keywords. Unlike with doing Keyword for SEO where you can use tools or peek at Google AdWords keyword bidding statistics, your best bet at researching for keywords for your app has more to do with looking for how other similar apps are conventionally named. It’s much more forward and objective-centric. Some common examples of keywords are “video effects & editor” or “easy online shopping”—they both describe the app and discuss the need of the user.

Title and Description

Of course, after you’ve found out which of your keywords fit your and your audience’s purpose best, next thing to do is to make sure that they are on your app’s title and description.

Of course, in itself, the name of your app should be cut & dry. Most successful apps aren’t like Pandora, Spotify, Hangouts, Skype, Tinder, LINE, Tumblr, Reddit, and more. Others, like Instagram, Netflix, and YouTube, give you a hint of what it could be but in themselves, they aren’t keywords. You’re going to be introducing your keyword after the app name. Amazon composed theirs to read as “Amazon – Shopping made easy[…]”

After the title, you need to give intimate focus on how well you write the description. Although you will need to still put in your keywords here and there (maximum of 5 keywords for the whole of 4000 characters and no more), you have to make sure that you write the description with the customer in mind. Make it entertaining, informative, and truthful. Use language that resonates with them and with the industry your app represents. Create compelling (but not coercing) arguments and call to actions. And again, we cannot stress this enough, write for the audience, not the algorithm.

Icon

Make an icon that means something but not at all far too detached from your brand’s message. If for a game, make sure the icon is a summary of the game’s promise or at least is a central component of the game (like an emblem or main character). Other icons work in their simplicity also because these designs resonate with how upfront the app is with how it wants to function like Twitter and Reddit. Go for an icon that reflects the brand, can be understood by users and is meaningful to the complete context and concept of the app.

Screenshots, Videos

This is where a lot of apps get flak from users a couple of minutes right after downloading. There are apps that provide screenshots or video footages that look very promising but then give you an app that’s almost too different.

Make sure to have screenshots that are easy to understand, have helpful overlain text on them if necessary, and are actually of the app itself. Users hate being led on by something flashy only to learn they’ve downloaded a completely different or underwhelming alternative. The videos have to give enough glimpse of the app to highlight core features but leave out enough to merit users giving it a try.

Feedback, Updates, Real Reviews

Last on the list, but most certainly is most important both to you and your audience, is feedback—more so, how you address them. The most successful apps are those that started off with a few downloads from loyal users that gave honest criticism, to which developers gave bug fixes and improvements, thus, making the app run better and be more useful.

Some service providers offer to create reviews for apps so that it gets good ratings, and thus, could potentially rank better in the app store and generate more downloads. This is useful but only for as long as it lasts—eventually, actual users who download and use the app will find out. Make sure to value these real reviews. Respond to them, fix the app accordingly, and give constant updates. This tells the users that the app is constantly being improved and that someone is listening to them. Remember: a customer that complains is a costumer that wants to stay so take complaints as a positive impetus to make your app become better.

Mobile app development in the Philippines is still a budding industry, and so is mobile app optimization, but the need for these services only grow with the development of technology. If you’re new to the mobile app industry, fear not: just stay true to your app’s purpose, create it with your users in mind, and improve your app the way the users see fit. It will be a slow climb to the top, but it will ultimately be worth it for you and your users.