App Store Optimization – The Importance of Pre-Optimization
Dave Bell, co-founder and CEO of Rubber, explains the importance of pre-optimizing your application before listing it on the app stores.
If you’re a developer and have a great app that you’ve rigorously tested for bugs, looks great and performs great, but you haven’t released it to the App Store yet , there are some key decisions to make before posting. Before investing time and money in building your Play Store listing, it’s essential that you apply App Store optimization best practices.
App Store optimization is all about fine-tuning your metadata for keyword indexing and rigorous creative testing to determine what drives conversion for your app. This process does not need to wait for your app to even be on the App Store; in fact, there are key benefits to pre-optimizing your application through ASO.
Start on the right footprint
The harsh truth is that there is no perfect keyword to represent an app and increase its visibility. Instead, it takes a myriad of relevant keywords that work together to represent the main features and functionality of an app. A little research work is required in order to find the right keywords to target.
The first step in the keyword research process is to identify the market that the app will be in. Second, determining the target audience and their behaviors is crucial in finding out what types of phrases are searched for in the App Store. These two key pieces of information will give you insight and a basis on which to filter keywords to determine relevance.
When building a keyword list, the keywords should be relevant to the application, regardless of the volume. Users and the algorithm need to see how the app relates to the keywords it is targeting, otherwise it will not gain rankings or conversions. For example, a podcast app wouldn’t want to target the keywords “guided meditation” regardless of the volume.
The targeted keywords should be a mixture of high and low volume. The higher the volume of a keyword, the more users search for it. While high volume terms can be an obvious choice, low volume keywords can still add value as long as they relate directly to the app. If your app meets a specific need of a niche audience, you should target the related keywords because there is always a group of users who are looking for these terms. Plus, a low-volume term has less competition, so you’re more likely to receive high rankings as long as you’re deemed relevant.
Know what converts
Once you have an idea of which keywords will best represent your app in the App Store, you’ll need to create a creative bundle that will engage users. In the App Stores, this includes screenshots, icons, graphics, and preview. videos. An optimized creative set can dramatically increase click-through rates. There are a few general practices that developers should follow when optimizing creatives.
Icons: Icons should represent the application, whether through brand iconography or relevant visuals. For example, a gaming app will likely have the main character in the icon, while a music app might use a musical note.
Screenshot: In addition to keeping the mark from the icon, the screenshots should also incorporate high volume keywords that will accurately represent the functionality of your app. These keywords should be added in screenshots to create cohesion between your metadata and your creative set. Using high volume keywords can help drive conversions from impressions on those keywords. In general, the text in the screenshot should explain what the app represents.
Graphic features: This is a design element that appears in place of the promo video before it starts playing, and can also be used when the Google Play Store highlights the app. This creative element should be clean – incorporate important images, but not clutter the screen. A general rule of thumb is to incorporate branding and design elements that will be consistent across the board and generate interest.
Video preview: Preview videos should keep the intended audience in mind. If the preview video is engaging and uses high volume keywords to target audiences, it is more likely to improve conversion rates. Having a good preview video that highlights the basic functionality of the app further extends the reach of the app in app stores and helps acquire more users.
Iterative test: While best practices will ultimately help developers create optimized creatives, iterative A / B testing needs to be done to ensure those creatives are performing to their full potential and are updated as new trends emerge. A / B testing allows developers to select different variations that show similar or contrasting images, colors, screen orientation, etc. to see which ones engage and convert users the best. The information gathered from these A / B tests is invaluable and can improve conversion rates.
Understanding the competition
In order to get started on your first launch, you’ll want to know what you’re up against. Thorough research into your competitors and share of voice in your category will prepare you for optimization.
Finding competitors is an integral part of any optimization strategy. This step will help you identify what drives conversion and visibility in your category to capitalize on what drives the success of similar apps, and search iterations will show rankings over time as they change.
For metadata, identify keywords that are repeated on competitor product pages. Determine what terms are used in the captions of the screenshots, how they structure their descriptions and what types of terms they use there, etc. This will help you determine which keywords the competitors are targeting, how they may relate to your app, and how relevant they are. are to the specific market.
For creatives, identify which features the competitors highlight in the first three screenshots, what color schemes are used by the competitors, are there any unique design elements used that help illustrate the apps integrated, etc. This will help you determine which design choices to test in your own creative sets, and make sure your app appears to fit those results.
When selecting keywords and optimizing creatives, using what is already rated as effective in this category can help your app achieve top positions among competitors, effectively maximizing your visibility potential. in app stores.
Pre-optimizing your app helps you get off to a strong start and build ASO momentum from launch. Start with a solid ASO foundation to build on, rather than launching an unoptimized app and then improving it over time. This helps ensure that your app gets a solid launch and starts off on the right foot.
Researching the market you are in, target demographics, high and low traffic terms, and the strategies competitors are implementing in their metadata and creatives will help you craft a succinct and comprehensive strategy for your business. title to your screenshots, and everything in between.
Start your launch off on the right foot with pre-optimization via App Store Optimization.
About the Author
Dave Bell is co-founder and CEO of Rubber. Gummicube is a global leader in App Store Optimization with over 11 years of experience in app optimization and commercialization. We provide ASO’s cutting edge technology and agency services to enterprises, providing support to customers around the world. Thousands of leading corporate brands and startups trust us, including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bethesda, SWEAT, GrubHub, McAfee and many more.