4 App Store Optimization Best Practices to Remain Competitive in 2020
App Store Optimization (ASO) has changed over the years, bringing rise to new marketing channels and best practices. Generating impressions and installs in today’s market takes more than simply updating your keywords with terms that have worked in the past or hiring an Instagram influencer as your full marketing strategy. If you want to remain competitive in 2020, here are a few modern techniques used by some of the world’s leading ASO experts.
1. Continued Keyword Optimization
Keywords are the foundation of search discovery on the app stores. While other aspects of ASO (such as conversion optimization and Apple Search Ads) have entered or shifted within the industry, keyword optimization remains as critical as it has always been.
Like SEO or any other marketing channel, consistency is key to maintaining relevance. Even if one’s keywords have been optimized dozens of times, not iterating frequently can cause previous improvements to stagnate or be undone.
New apps are constantly entering the space and new top players are continually testing new keywords. Stopping or slowing down keyword updates provides competitors with the opportunity to steal rankings away. Moreover, as new brands and genres trend upward in popularity, others may fall to the wayside – as trends change into 2020 and beyond, so do keyword strategies.
Keywords are still just as important in 2020 as they have always been. Be sure to continue researching the market and keeping your keywords up to date as your app grows throughout the new year.
2. Iterative A/B Testing
Targeting relevant keywords helps create the foundation for your app to be discovered, but keywords alone are not enough to scale an app in 2020. Whether you’re managing the strategy yourself or are looking to utilize a third party’s App Store Optimization services, it’s important to constantly run A/B tests.
These tests should be iterative as well as continuous. Testing elements one at a time helps you understand what works and what doesn’t, so you can identify the aspects that get you the most installs.
It is recommended to run at least two A/B tests a month. Growth and optimization are continuous, iterative processes, so you should always be looking towards the next thing to improve.
3. Supporting Growth With Paid Marketing
Another strategy that top players use to scale their apps is paid marketing. A few channels that are great for helping apps grow include marketing platforms like Apple Search Ads and Google Ads, as well as social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
What makes paid marketing so useful is that it can help accelerate how fast your app ranks for keywords. Channels like Apple Search Ads can actually help increase your rank, as it places your ad in search results tied to specific keywords.
Paid marketing can help apps new to the stores or that are having a hard time scaling. It’s important to keep in mind that paid campaigns should align with the App Store Optimization campaign, as it can help you earn higher quality users at a lower cost.
4. Incorporating an ASO Platform that Works
To best ensure your App Store success in 2020, it is critical that you utilize an ASO platform. Not just any will suffice – you must find a platform with the data and features meant to make you successful. This means:
- Using data directly from the stores
- Showing all the keywords your app ranks for
- Providing insights on what will convert users and net you more installs
These are important for several reasons. ASO platforms must utilize mobile search data from the stores, rather than web search data. There is only a 20% overlap between web and mobile search trends, so relying on web data will provide trends and keywords that do not align with how users are actually searching for apps. Only data directly from the stores can provide the specific terms and volume that mobile users are searching for.
Developers should also understand all the terms their app ranks for, not just the highest ranking or highest volume keywords. Getting a full view of every term an app ranks for can provide insights into new keywords it could focus on, what keywords it’s falling behind on and any niche terms that might otherwise be overlooked.
Finally, having data and understanding how to use it are two very different things. An ASO platform needs to go the extra mile and provide insights on how to utilize the data and convert users, so it's important to select the right platform.
In order to maximize your app growth in 2020, you’ll need to incorporate strategies that work. This means continually optimizing your keywords, running A/B tests to identify what best drives installs for your app, running paid marketing and using a platform designed for ASO. When you do this, you’ll be ready to optimize your app throughout the coming year.
Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.