The concept of ASO (app store optimization) isn’t new and is proved to serve as a strong foundation for app promotion strategy. A recent app store optimization report by VentureBeat Insight shows that properly executed ASO can double or triple the number of installs.
The main purpose of ASO is to make it possible for users to find an app through the app store’s search and drive organic traffic, but the mobile ecosystem evolves constantly. If app the store’s search algorithm changes, how should app developers adapt their ASO strategies? User acquisition platform GoWide sees into the latest updates from Apple and Google and their possible impact on app discoverability.
Apple App Store Search Becomes Smarter
Apple app store algorithm was updated in early November to become more intelligent and relevant, according to TechCrunch. Developers have noticed that app rankings now pay more attention to additional factors, besides keywords, when creating a list of search results. What exactly has changed?
- Search algorithm pays more attention to in-app content and features when ranking an app. It will be easier for users to find an app when they don’t know the exact name or precise keywords.
- App rankings now consider partial keyword matches and competitor brand names. Apps without exact keywords in the title or keyword slots can still be ranked.
- Manually entered keywords for apps still matter, but now search puts less emphasis on them.
It looks like Apple is aiming to encourage app discoverability. However, some developers and marketers think that this is not about discovering new apps and Apple is just setting up different priorities for popular apps. While the algorithm is becoming smarter, it doesn’t seem to consider factors like usage, positive reviews, and links from publications that help an app to get discovered. Although it may be too soon to make suggestions about how this will impact app downloads, it’s worth trying to adjust in-app content and keywords.
Google App Streaming launch
The company has been testing modes of indexing apps for a while. Starting on November 18th, Google indexes Android apps that do not have matching web content and let users “stream” an app they do not have installed on their smartphones.
Now users will be able to “Google” app-only content. So far, this feature covers nine apps including My Horoscope, Useful Knots, Hotel Tonight, Weather, Chimani, Visual Anatomy Free, Daily Horoscope, Gormey and New York Subway. With Google App Streaming, users will have an opportunity to use some in-app features like booking or playing videos, through the streaming mode as well.
If streaming service has been proven to be useful for customers. Google will scale it to other apps, making users able to experience them without downloading.
Google App Streaming can potentially turn into an alternative source of organic traffic for apps. If users get interested in an app’s feature, there is a big chance he/she will download the app and become a loyal customer. It also changes focus for marketers, for example instead of direct advertising, they need to concentrate on presenting an app’s “sample” through streaming. On the other hand, it could decrease the number of downloads, as more users will prefer to just stream the app for some time instead of installing it.
How should ASO strategy be adapted?
Changes in the Apple App Store and Google Search app have something in common: they are going to make it easier for users to find an app. Therefore, it should be easier for apps to maximize organic user acquisition.
- For iOS apps, ASO should now consider all in-app content. App descriptions and titles still need keywords but can now be more relevant to the app’s features and functions.
- For Android apps, the Google App Streaming feature remains a possible future. But the trend is clear, in order to make users install your app, create a great first impression. In-app content also plays a crucial role, as Google indexes it.
- Don’t get carried away with keyword usage. As search algorithms become more intelligent, they rely more on general content relevancy than on separate keywords. Besides, using more than 3 keywords in an app description would actually decrease app discoverability.
Regardless of paid marketing efforts, ASO should be utilized first. 74% of user acquisition is organic, according to VentureBeat. Organic installs come through search, and by optimizing in-app content and keywords, you help to make the app visible to potential users. Implementing paid marketing campaigns after an ASO can significantly increase app visibility. Combining ASO with a burst campaign is one of the most universal yet effective marketing strategies for apps. VentureBeat research shows that 85% of app marketers, who utilized organic+paid blended approach, said paid campaigns benefited organic.
GoWide’s AppBooster has helped many app developers to reach a desired position in the app store and maintain the flow of organic traffic. AppBooster is a self-serve platform that lets app developers set up campaigns with a minimum budget of $50 and maximum control over bids and daily caps. Our success formula is simple: follow industry news, utilize and adapt ASO strategy, and use the AppBooster platform for burst campaign. Good Luck!
You can visit GoWide’s website here to get started.