SEO goes mobile- Say hello to App Store Optimization
There used to be a time when apps were seen as a fun way to futz around on the phone by playing games or editing pictures of friends to make them look like old people. From being novelty acts mostly fueled by the gaming industry, mobile applications have become potent tools in the hands of forward thinking business owners. However, with over 600,000 apps on iOS and 500,000 plus apps on android, getting found on the app store is a challenge for not only pure application developers but also retail store owners and marketers in the hospitality industry.
What comes as a relief to many web 2.0 veterans is the fact that app store omptimization (ASO) seems to be not too different from SEO. Title tags, descriptions, metadata and keywords continue to be given priority. Forrester says that 63% of app discovery occurs through app store searches. So what are a few things that can make your mobile app stand out from the crowd?
Understand the platform
While itunes and google play continue to be the most widely used, other platforms such as Amazon’s appstore for android devices have sprung up. Tailor your app based on the nature of the store you’re targeting. For example, itunes’ keyword field allows you to associate your app with certain keywords. This is an important consideration to make on any platform. Since google does have the most sophisticated search algorithms on the internet, their app stores too are well guarded by highly cognitive algorithms.
Place keywords in your app title
Be sure to give a lot of thought to your app name since this is a key factor in rankings. A study by Kissmetrics showed that apps ranked 10.3% higher when optimized for keywords in a particular category. Similar to SEO, having a good title is important in ensuring that your app ranks high on the app store
Encourage customers to rate and review
This is a tricky one. You want to coax customers into writing reviews but this means that the unhappy ones also become more vocal. So the moral of the story is to first create a valuable product that users will enjoy using. Studies have shown that the number of ratings and reviews have a direct correlation to rankings. Don’t forget to create a space where customers can vent and have their complaints addressed. No application is perfect. Inputs from the real world go a long way in making a mobile app as close to perfect as possible.
Don’t overstate its importance
We are at a stage in mobile that the internet was in about 10-15 years ago. Realizing that there were set ways to rank higher on SERP’s, black hat forums became watering holes for webmasters trying to game the system. Now at a stage of maturity, search has become smarter and more intuitive. Creating a product that adds value to users is the best way to ensure that word gets around about your application.
Let us help!
Have an idea for an application that will kill it on the appstore but don’t have the coding chops? That’s ok. WebMobi has created a platform that empowers anyone to create great mobile applications. Hit us up and we’ll be happy to assist you in the process.