Top 10 App Store optimisation tips for digital publishers

What's New in Publishing 15 Jul 2020 06:29

Increasing numbers of publishers throughout the world have caught on to the power of magazine and news apps. These apps offer opportunities to reach more online customers online while improving users’ reading experiences.

Nonetheless, simply creating a mobile app and releasing it isn’t enough. There are approximately 2 million apps in Apple’s App Store and 2.9 million apps in the Google Play store. The opportunity is there, as there are more than 3.5 billion smartphone users (and growing), but the near-saturation of app stores makes it difficult to cut through the noise.

Because of this, it’s critical to develop a plan to stand out in such a crowded field of competitors. In this article, we explore app store optimisation (ASO). Specifically, we discuss what it is, why it is important, and 10 tips on how to optimise your app.

What is App Store Optimisation?

App store optimisation is similar to search engine optimisation (SEO) in that you are trying to maximise the visibility of your app in app stores. The goal is to become more visible in both search and when users browse certain categories. By becoming more visible, you will see increased traffic to your listing and more total downloads.

Ultimately, all of this takes time. You can’t ignore this work or skate by in the hope that everything will work out.

All we need to do is look at statistics from Google. According to one study from Google, 48% of users discover apps through app store browsing. They open the Google Play Store and browse for an app that provides value for them. Because of this, browsing and search are extremely important methods for discovering new apps. ASO can help your magazine or news app stand out from competitors’ apps, making it more likely that new users will discover your app through simple browsing.

App Store Optimisation checklist

I encourage you to use these tips as you focus on ASO. While you may not see a boost in your app store rankings right away, following this checklist will go a long way in helping potential users find your magazine or news app.

The title of your app is extremely important. You must ensure that you have a title that reflects several things. First, it must reflect the core keywords that are used to describe your app (more on this below). It also must reflect the value that you are providing to your users.

The rule of thumb? Use a unique title that is descriptive and perhaps includes one keyword. You can add additional details and keywords in the subtitle.

Like SEO, keywords are an extremely important part of ASO. To improve your search rankings in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, you must have a good understanding of your audience and the keywords that they are using. There’s no way around this.

When you gather potential keywords, you also want to use them strategically. As just one example, there are differences in the number of available characters in the two app stores. The Apple App Store allows for 30 characters in the app name, 30 characters in the subtitle, and 100 in the keywords field. The Google Play Store allows for 30 characters in the app title, 80 in the short description, and 4,000 in the app description. Also, keep in mind that Google indexes almost all of the text in an app’s store listing, while the Apple App Store is less like traditional SEO.

Keep several things in mind when designing your icon. First, try to avoid text in your icon. Stick with shapes and images. Second, be sure to use vibrant colours and clear shapes. Harmonising colours are also great. Finally, embrace testing. A/B testing can show you which icon resonates best with your audience.

There are some other pro tips you’ll want to use. Don’t be afraid to brag about your magazine or news app. Be clear on the value that it provides to your users’ lives. Also, embrace the short paragraph. Don’t overload your description with a huge block of text. Finally, create a strong call to action.

While they may not have a direct effect on downloads, high-quality screenshots and videos can show users the value of your app. The first two to three screenshots appear in the gallery on page load. You can also upload additional screenshots (five for an iOS app and eight for an Android app). These screenshots should show off the value proposition of your app.

Obviously, you will want to pick the category that best represents your app. However, you can still be strategic here. See how many apps are in each category and select the most appropriate category that is least competitive. It may take some time to browse the categories and view your competition. However, it is an easy way to rise up the rankings.

Simply put, reviews go a long way. Positive ratings and reviews can elevate your app up the rankings. You want to focus on quality and quantity here. Ultimately, however, you want to get as many reviews as you can.

On-page optimisation is just one tool in your toolkit. You may also want to invest in outside promotion to drive traffic to your app page. It can also increase your visibility in app stores and generate more digital sales.

Ultimately, Google Firebase can reveal the errors you’re making when marketing your magazine or news app. I encourage you to rely on these cold, hard facts as you continue to market your mobile app.

Add new features as necessary. While encouraging customers to download the update is a separate question, app updates can help you rise up the rankings.

However, by following this checklist, you’ll be in a good position to increase app store ranking. Implement these tips and keep iterating.

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