The Apple App Store has roughly 1.3 billion mobile applications and nearly 1,000 apps are being added
every week by mobile application developers. These staggering numbers do present a rosy picture of iOS mobile application development and motivate a native business owner to have an app for his business too.
Everything is all fun and games until it comes to generating revenue of your app. That IS the ultimate aim, isn't it?
Consider this; Applift reports that nearly 2/3rd out of these 1.3 billion apps do not have a single rating. NOT EVEN ONE!
The Inquirer also reports that 99% of these apps are considered unprofitable i.e. not fit for business revenue generation with an iOS mobile app. There are only a few apps, the top 500 ranked apps which are rare exceptions to these findings.
Clearly, by now, you must have gauged that being in the top pick lists of Apple App Store is crucial for accelerating and driving business growth.
You do not need paid installations to boost app downloads for your business. Adopting the right development practices will help your app to climb the top positions of App Store and rate better on SERP. By making your app fit for App Store Optimization or ASO, you can achieve desired results on Apple's App store.
What is App Store Optimization?
ASO is the process of developing iOS mobile apps in a way that they rank higher in Apple's app store search results. The higher the ranking of an application, the better visible it is for potential customers. With a better visibility, you can translate traffic into leads and eventual customers. The goal of ASP is to direct more traffic to your app page with a singular aim – Download your app. App store optimization considers your target customer base and the keywords they use to search applications similar to your app. You can better leverage ASO by understanding the keywords used and devising your marketing strategy accordingly.
Per studies by Apptentive, most new apps are discovered with general search in the app store's search bar.
This means that with apt keywords, right description and relevant content, you can not only increase your app's visibility but also get people to download your app. Here are BluEnt's top best practices in iOS app development for business for App Store Optimization:
Understanding the user mindset and your competition
A well devised ASO strategy depends on how well you know your target audience and how deep you understand the competitive landscape of your business and services. Chances are, there must be multiple providers for the same kind of services and products you offer or plan to offer.
If you are just beginning, try answering the following questions:
What language does my customers user naturally for search?
If I were a user, how would I describe my application?
Why would people want to download my app?
What is it that I offer which is different from others? In short, your USP is what you want to focus on here.
What keywords do my competitors use?
Can I compete against them using the same keywords?
Should I target common keywords or less trafficked keywords to make my app unique?
You need to put yourself in your customer's shoes to get an idea of how to market your app better. Finding out exactly what people are looking for is sure to improve your app's discovery. While there is no guarantee that you will come across all keywords customers use, you will at least reach near to figuring out what keywords are essential and which aren't.
Similarly, it is equally important to survey the keywords your competitors are using. This way, you can decide whether to use the exact keywords or a unique set to make your app stand out. Figuring out the right set of keywords will also improve your individual value proposition for your iOS business mobile app. Based on keywords, you can decide whether to retain a top spot with less search volume or to rank in the top 10 searches with highly competitive keywords.
Selecting the right name for your iOS business mobile app
Having a unique name for your business is not only about branding. A keyword rich name returns the best-optimized search results. A recent study by Apptentive and MobileDevHQ showed that apps which have a relevant keyword in their title rank 10.3% higher than apps not having a keyword.
Apple's app store allows 255 characters in app titles. Use this to include keyword phrases as your app's title.
Don't overdo it too. Your app's name is the first impression of your business on a potential customer. Shorter titles leave minimal room for using keywords but longer titles get truncated as well. Titles get slashed typically after the 23rd character in App Store. This includes spaces.
Our advice? Keep it short and sweet. If you want to use special characters, go for URL friendly characters only. iTunes refer to the numeric ID rather than the name for search purposes, so special characters can detract your ASO strategy.
Apple App Store has a 100-character keyword field. It uses title and keyword phrases in these hundred characters for determining which search strings will show your app. Use ALL allotted characters carefully to maximize organic traffic.Having said that, your app's product page must be consumer-centric and not algorithm-centric. A high rank is meaningless if the content fails to entice users to download your app. App store ranking takes both conversion metrics and keywords into account.When BluEnt develops an iOS mobile application, we write content for customers first and then edit the keywords to accommodate the keywords. Just like this article!
Creating an enticing description for your blog
Barring a few keyword rich phrases, keep your app description reader friendly. Rather than basing the description towards search engine indexing, target your user base with your content. Think of it as a Call-to-Action for potential users. Be simple and precise with your language, list your app's unique USP and compel the reader into downloading your application.The first three lines in the description are essential.
They grab reader's attention immediately. The app store is flooding with several alternatives to a single service. Convince your user why your app stands out from the rest of them.Another thing to be mindful of is treating your product content page as a living entity. Refresh the content with every new update. Reflect the changes made in the recent release. Your customers will know you are focused on improvement and providing better services and as we keep saying at BluEnt, A happy customer is the best marketing channel.
Give your app identity with a unique logo
In a sea of apps, customers get drawn with a visual representation of your app. Make it count. Apple App Store has preset standards of using app icons. Keeping this in consideration, your design team can come up with a colorful and vibrant logo, unique to your services. While having a good icon is not directly related to increasing the app rank, but it does drive downloads.For iOS, the logo size should at least be 1024x1024 pixels.
The icon will be resized by the App Store for other places. The app icons will be resized to 180x180, tab bar icons to 75x75 and navigation icons to 66x66. This means that even when scaled down to the bare minimum, the image should appear nicely. The icon should clearly convey what your app does. There is no need to complicate things by including text.You can take a look at the top apps in the store for inspiration. This will give you a fair idea of the kind of trends top developers follow while designing app logos and icons. Looking at the icons of your competitors also help in the same regard.
Screenshots and Videos
Screenshots too, do not have a direct impact on search results but they increase downloads. Images convey a lot more than content. The users can relate and visualize what they will actually get when they download the app. You can experiment with different screenshots to understand what kind of image drives the most downloads and clicks.
Leveraging on local language for app listing
For global marketing strategies, the one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable. Outside of English-speaking individuals, nearly 72% smartphone users prefer native language to search and shop online. Irrespective of being fluent in English. You can leverage this massive opportunity to tap into native markets and make your app visible.Itunes allows iOS mobile app developers to customize their app listing by localizing.
By doing so, you can increase conversion and adoption rates for your app. As more customers discover your app using native keywords, there will be more downloads and higher ranking of your business mobile applications.
Updating the application frequently
An improving business is a growing business. Mobile consumers are looking for businesses which are constantly improving themselves with customer feedbacks. Apps which release frequent updates are valued more by customers and Apple App Store alike.Once you release an update, the next step is to persuade existing users to download the update. Use push notifications, update your app descriptions and highlight the recent 5-star feedback to entice users to download the app.
In a study done by Moz, the general cycle of updating an app was between 30 and 40 days for the top 500 apps on Apple App Store. However, every time you release an update, the ratings reset and the rank plummets, albeit temporarily. With other strategies in place, however, the lost position can be regained quickly.
- Feedback and Ratings
High reviews and consistent 5 stars are the highest determinants of a high rank on your iOS mobile app. Another study done by Moz for the top 500 high rated apps concluded in ratings being the dominating factors for higher SERP results.