How ASO Can Growth Hack Your App

August 8, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

These days, an app business needs to optimize for multiple marketing platforms in order to be successful. App store optimization (ASO) is one of the best ways to growth hack any app business.

Basically, App store optimization is app store SEO. It shares many of the same characteristics, including long-tail keywords and keyword matrices. At SDI, our ASO specialists have helped over 2000 apps get the attention and downloads they deserve.

Our ASO strategies follow industry best practices to help raise an app’s store listing and improve its ranking. While our goal is always to get your app featured on the app store home page, our strategies are designed to help improve downloads and conversions no matter what.

So what do these ASO practices include? Let’s take a look

App store Keyword Optimization

○ Keyword Optimization refers to a whole wide spread of different tactics to get the best most relevant keywords to your topic. It’s probably the most effective and commonly recognized tools in the Digital Marketers Kit – though by no means the end all be all of ASO. The first step to proper optimization is obvious:

♦ keyword research. Using online tools and scripts we’ve written, we figure out what are the most popular and relevant keywords to your apps. By the way, this includes using keywords that have been spelled incorrectly. Common misspellings become keywords in their own right. Misspelling doesn’t change what the searcher wants, so ignore bad spellers at your own pairel (sic).

♦ Keyword Stuffing is often frowned upon by many marketers, but it’s only a detriment if you stuff too much. To a point, keyword stuffing can dramatically raise organic App Store traffic. What’s too much stuffing? Well this is where the importance of analytics comes into play. The only way to be sure any digital marketing campaign is a success is to study your data!

♦ Another important trick is finding keywords that are tangentially related to your topic. This will help direct interested traffic to your app via the app store.

○ Reviews

♦ One of the most important things any ASO marketer can do is respond to reviews on the App Store and on Google Play. Why? Because it shows you’re responsive, quick to fix problems, and that you’re actually listening to your market.

Both Google and Apple like apps that work and consumers like it when people listen. So not only asking for reviews but responding to said reveiws as soon as possible is an important step to raising your app store presence. But be clever about how your asking and aim for subtlety. A great way to drive reviews is to ask people to rate the app after you’ve fixed a problem they’re having. People are far more likely to leave good reviews if you just did them a solid.

♦ What we never do? Ask for 5 star ratings, or offer gifts in exchange for reviews. Not only does it irritate people by making them feel manipulated, but it’s considered unethical and will drive away more users than it gets.

Another thing you should never, ever do buy or make fake reviews of your own app. Not only is it obvious, but it is actually a direct violation of Apple’s Developer Rules and will get you banned from the App Store. Google may not go all the way to banning you, but your rankings will be penalized. Just don’t do it.

○ Updates

♦ Want to know a good way to lose your app store ranking? Don’t pay attention to new updates to Google or Apple indexing algorithm. Don’t have time to keep up with all the latest updates from these guys (it does seem like there’s a new one every week!)? That’s why you hire our guys to do it for you. We even offer an annual maintenance contract so your app is automatically updated with the latest SDKs and upgrades.

○ Niche Marketing

A tried and tested method in marketing of all kinds is to target niche markets. These are industry experts, gatekeepers and early adopters. Why do you want to target these people? A few key reasons:

♦ You know they’re interested in the industry so it’s much easier to convince them to download your app (yes, app downloads will also improve your ASO).

♦ Early adopters are far more forgiving of new apps (i.e. they write nicer reviews) – they often understand that the early months post-launch is some of the most extensive testings that we marketers get. But keep in mind that these guys are forgiving when it comes to nailing out particulars and NOT BAD CODE. In fact, shoddy programming will result in a far more negative reaction from these guys than the average joe.

♦ Gatekeepers and experts are trusted by other people in the community. Convincing one gatekeeper that your app is the bee’s knees can be the equivalent of convincing thousands of everyday people.

Entrepreneurs and app owners should also keep in mind: ASO actually refers to 2 different types of marketing strategies: Ranking and Conversions. The ranking is the process by which marketers make an app easier to find on an app store.

But once you get users to your app landing page, you gotta turn them into customers, right? So part of any good ASO plan will include how to get a visitor to download your app and sign up for your service.

ASO is a labor-intensive process. It doesn’t end; successful ASO campaigns are an ongoing process. Neither will ASO turn your app into a success in a flash. But, if done properly, an ASO campaign will make your app a winner.

Grow Your Business with SDI’s ASO Services

Does your app business need a boost? SDI’s ASO experts have years of experience across thousands of different app store and Search Engine optimization projects. Give us a call at 408.805.0495 / 408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

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