Congratulations! That slick new mobile app you just finished building looks very snazzy, and no doubt it’s going to be extremely useful to a large number of users. But, how do you get people to learn about your new app so they can actually become users? Ah, there’s the rub.
You’ve now moved beyond the world of app building and into the world of App Store Optimization (ASO). With over one million apps in Apple’s App Store, what factors will make yours become the cream that rises to the top? To be sure, it’s an inexact science. There is no silver bullet. It will require testing and patience on your part as you seek to maximize your exposure, but the two main areas of concern are:
TITLE & KEYWORDS
First, it’s important to realize that the title and keywords can only be changed when you upload a new version of the app or when it gets rejected. So, careful planning is a must. Luckily, there are a number of online tools aimed at helping you with this. One you might think of trying is AppSnippetPreview, which let’s you “try different app names, icons, screenshots and descriptions, choose the best combination, improve your App Store listings and become a superstar in the Mobile App Markets!”
Aside from that, there are some specific tips to keep in mind.
- Use descriptive keywords in your app title to improve searchability. You might have a clever title for your app, but until it becomes ubiquitous (no small feat), help yourself out by including a subtitle that explains the function a little more. For example, “PintGlass” might sound cool, but “PintGlass: Find and rate craft beers near you” will appear in search results much more often.
- You have 100 characters for your keyword field, so don’t waste any space. Separate keywords with commas only. For example, “beer,pint,rate…”
- It’s better to use single keywords rather than phrases since Apple can combine multiple keywords in one search.
- If you have space leftover, accounting for pluralization or misspellings of keywords might be useful. Perhaps, “beer,beers,pint,glass,glas,…”
- Spend some time test searching keywords to see what search results appear in the app store in order to inform keyword selection. A foundation of knowledge will always prove beneficial as you shape your offering. The Google AdWords KeyWord Planner is recommend as a way to test keyword searches.
- Choose as many keywords as possible, but make them highly relevant and avoid overly used keywords. Remember, the idea is to stand out from the pack, so try to be as targeted and unique (but not obscure) as possible.
- Constantly track, evaluate, and change things as needed. The landscape is always evolving, and you’ll need to do the same.
Beyond title and keywords, there are some other factors that will affect your app’s performance, including:
Ratings: Get the word out and aggressively solicit five star reviews.
Icon: Keep it clean, distinct, and high res.
Description: Craft a clear and concise explanation of your app, especially in the first sentence or two.
Screenshots: Plainly show your beautiful product in action.
Number of downloads: Get everyone you know to try out your app.
So there you have it; you’re now armed not only with an amazing app that’s ready to change the world, but also the knowledge you need to help app store customers find your work.
As Jean-Luc Picard would say: make it so!