- With so many apps how do you make your stand out in the app stores?
- What do you need to do to make it stand out from other apps?
In this series of articles, we will look at how to make your mobile app stand out from the crowd.
Combined, the Google Play app store and Apple’s iTunes app store have 1.7+ million apps in them. That’s a big pool to play in. It is not however anywhere close to the competition you have in Google’s web rankings! The number of apps is growing everyday, so it’s no wonder that an app marketing skill set, that is very similar to the web term we are now so familiar with is actually starting business.
On the web, through years of education we now know that standing out from the crowd means we need to do some work on Search Engine Optimisation, social media, and perhaps paid adverts in the search engines. These essential marketing activities are backed up by detailed analytical tools and reporting to find out what works, what to target and how to make it all happen.
How does this work on iTunes, or in Google Play? How do you become the Killer App?
Introducing App Store Optimisation (ASO)
The mobile market, although enormous, is still emerging. The holders of this market do not have tools available for us to discover the keywords we should have in the meta-data, descriptions and titles of our apps.
This has lead to companies like MobileDevHQ, SearchMan, and Appnique spring up and start to build engines that analyse the apps and user searches. They then map the results together to predict the corresponding words and categories to give us the best possible chance of being found, using nothing but the words on our app.
Wikipedia defines ASO as:
App store optimization (ASO) is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone app) in an app store (such as iTunes or Google Play for Android).
The end result of ASO is to have an app rank highly in keyword searches, resulting in more downloads, and this in turn pushes you up the priority list. The end goal is to put your app in the top 25 lists on the home page of the stores.
Current ASO is the original form of SEO, when link authority, social triggers and edge rank didn’t have the same weight. These things don’t yet exist (to our knowledge) in the app stores, but I would wager it won’t be too long until we start to see these tools developed in response to the demand.
You don’t however need to go to the lengths of a provider, you can use resources already available to make your app descriptions fit well and get your app found. Two great guides are the ASO Cheat sheet from Apptamin, and of course Apple’s marketing guide.
Get used to the term App Store Optimisation (ASO) it’s here to stay and will grow into a powerhouse of a line item in your marketing budget along with social media.
Don’t ignore traditional SEO
You can find apps in search engines, in fact Google crawls the app stores regularly and thus using the tools that already exist for SEO give you the opportunity to find users through traditional search too. The iTunes pages are the gateway for Google in to the app store, and a well optimised app description can result in good Google rankings. Throw in a few link for reputable publishers with reviews and your app page is getting all the goodness of a regular website.
This alone can push your app up in to the top 25 lists and make it popular, but we recommend taking a balanced approach. After all SEO rankings can take time.