At STRV, we've developed hundreds of mobile app projects for clients across the U.S. There is always a mountain of work that needs to be done before we start spreading the word about a new app release. Although coding and design are the most crucial parts of app development, we can not forget about another essential factor — App Store Optimization (ASO). We've started focusing on optimization techniques for mobile apps over the last several weeks in an effort to help our clients gain better placement and more downloads for their apps. We would like to spread our ASO know-how. Below we've summarized the biggest mistakes developers make when submitting apps to the App Store.
Ignoring the power of the title
Think of your title as the elevator pitch for your app. It should attract people’s attention and tell them exactly what your app does. Think like a user. What would people search for to find your app? You’ll want to convey the unique selling point of your app by using relevant title keywords. Take for example, the Israeli startup Waze. Its title pretty much sums things up: Waze - GPS, Maps & Social Traffic. The keywords GPS, maps, social and traffic effectively describe Waze’s functionalities.
Failing to write a good description
We highly recommend that you take time to write a nice readable description for your Android app. Google Play Store tracks the descriptions and places a lot of weight on them, as them impact the organic search results. The Apple App Store, on the other hand, doesn't work like Google Play. It has a separate keyword field, so you don't need to spend too much time crafting the perfect description.
Changing the title over and over and over again
Once you have established a solid user base, stick with your original app title. As people start to download your app, they will likely mention it to their friends and co-workers, leading to higher organic downloads and boosting the app’s ranking. If you keep on changing the title, not only will new people not find your app, but you will lose out on positive App Store reviews. Do not forget that reviews refresh every time you submit a new version of your app.
Overstuffing the title with keywords
Although a good set of keywords in the title is essential, you don't need to use every last character space in the title. Stick to the keywords that matter the most to your app. Including too many keywords can be seen as over optimization. You should also know that the repetitive use of keywords in the title could result in app suspension.
Underestimating the influence of visuals
Icons and screenshots also play key roles in attracting potential users and increasing downloads. Screenshots highlight the app’s best features and UI design. Eye-catching icons will entice users to click on and remember your app. Take this opportunity to make a good first impression.
Focusing solely on high-traffic keywords
A mistake that many ASO newcomers make is to focus only on the most-searched keywords, otherwise known as high-traffic keywords. It's important to know how hard it is to rank for each keyword, too. We call this "keyword difficulty". Contrary to what you might think it means, "difficulty" makes a keyword valuable and is as important as traffic. It doesn’t matter if a specific keyword gets a million searches if it ranks badly. It is better if a keyword ranks No. 1 even if it pulls in less traffic.
Getting no reviews and ratings
To help increase your app's popularity and boost downloads, you need to get positive ratings and reviews. Start with your friends and family. Ask them to rank your app with 5 stars and leave positive feedback. There is a correlation between the number of downloads and ratings. Basically, more ratings equals more downloads equals higher app engagement.
We hope this short list helps you broaden your ASO horizon. If you avoid these mistakes, your app’s performance in the App Store will skyrocket. Trust us. But remember: stellar ASO alone won’t guarantee the success of your app. Be sure you build a quality app before releasing it.
We would like to hear more about the latest projects and apps you're building. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can give you personal tips about ASO techniques.