App Store Optimization: What is ASO, and is it like SEO?

App store optimization (ASO) is a great way to boost user engagement and user downloads by using SEO principles. Learn all about ASO and how it changes the marketing game
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Part of the challenge of building your brand is standing out. It’s no small feat to achieve an exceptional level of visibility. But there are a few fantastic, practical ways to boost visibility and gather conversions. 

One way is through proper app store optimization. 

What is App Store Optimization?

App store optimization is allowing your business's app to appear higher in the ranks of the app store. Sound familiar? If you're at all familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you'll immediately recognize trying to crack the top ten in search results. This is crucial for improving your site's ranking and outreach. ASO goes by 'mobile app SEO.'

If your app is on Android, the Apple app store, and Google Play, making sure you have the best keywords to aid people in their app store searches makes a huge difference.

ASO is quickly becoming one of the vital, make-or-break assets of any marketer worth their salt.

Is ASO the Same as SEO?

In essence, yes. The main difference is that ASO is tailored for the search results in an app store. On the other hand, SEO is all about ranking your next great blog or website on Google's search engine results pages.

For ASO, you may even have a better chance of improving your rating. This is because app stores like the Google Play Store are closed environments.

But that doesn't mean competition isn't still fierce. The mission to properly optimize your app is still highly challenging work. You often need to research your app's performance, including hypothesis testing and app experimentation.

SEO experts know the challenge of the ever-changing search algorithm that makes their industry tick. The same goes for ASO and ASO practices.

The ASO and SEO Connection

Here are some examples of SEO and ASO practices that boost user visibility and engagement.

  • Metadata. The meta title, meta description, and more give an app or webpage an edge in user searches. The URL also plays a big part.
  • The app title. App names are obviously crucial to users finding it and downloading it.
  • Strong linking. A great SEO and ASO strategy is linking between apps, boosting exposure, and additional downloads.

In short, if you were to draw a Venn diagram with the two practices, there'd be a pretty big middle circle citing the similarities.

Why is ASO Important?

ASO is crucial for visibility, downloads, and user engagement.

Want your app to show up? If your app shows up at a high position, you have a better chance of getting users to download your app.

Nearly half of all apps on the app store are discovered through searches. This means you need to engage in the best ASO practices catering to your target audience. You need to do some in-depth SEO keyword research to ensure you're homing in on the right target audience.

Basically: keywords equal downloads.

ASO is a reliable way for you to check all the boxes of a business goal. You have great potential for brand visibility, app ratings, engagement, and mobile marketing.

Keep it Fresh!

Once you have your app on an app store, that doesn't mean the hard work is over. It means that you need to keep on top of things. App store updates, downloads, and user searches are ever-changing. Again, SEO experts know that the algorithm is constantly shifting. Something that performs well may not show up as much after a Google update.

That means you need to keep doing research. Yes, more keyword research, analytics, and more. If you're constantly updating and improving your app via ASO, users are more likely to find and download it. It's all about creating something that stays relevant.

Presentation Is Everything

The way your app page looks is essential to driving user engagement and boosting that click-through rate.

Be sure to include easy-to-understand descriptions, display user reviews, and a few attractive screenshots to show off the features.

This is an excellent way for UX/UI designers to get involved to make a comprehensive, attractive, and easy-to-use app for your users.

App Store Optimization Final Thoughts

If you've got some SEO basics in your marketer's toolkit, you've got the fundamentals to give your app that extra boost in downloads.

All you need to do is focus on keyword research, implementation, and marketing. Next thing you know, you'll be increasing your conversion rate and brand growth.

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