A simple guide to your ASO first steps
So you’ve just decided to start optimizing your app(s) and you’re a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry, at AppTweak we’ve got you covered!
There are 3 simple steps to follow to start opening up the possibilities ASO can offer.
- Build a Semantic Dictionary.
A what? Basically, you want to create a list of 150-200 keywords that are all relevant to your app. Think outside the box and try to figure out what users would search for if they were looking for your app. Try to think of what keywords your competitors are using (yes, you’ll see that spying on the competition is a big part of ASO essentials and no, you don’t need to feel bad about it). It’s also important to include multiple word combinations in there.
If you’ve reached about 100 keywords on your list and are thinking about stopping there, don’t. It’s when you’ve added all the obvious ones that you need to start getting creative (you wouldn’t imagine what some people search for). That’s why we’ve developed our extensive keyword suggestion tool.
- Get choosey
Now that you have all those keywords on your hands, it’s time to filter out the bad. Start analysing your keywords according to volume, competition and relevance but keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to try to be visible on as many keywords as possible. By visible we mean being in the top 10 results.
- Always take relevance into consideration : so if you’ve done your job correctly with your semantic dictionary, all keywords you’ve chosen should be relevant for your app. That said, some will be more relevant than others.
- Look for high volume (meaning highly popular) keywords : it’s of course more efficient to be visible on highly popular keywords.
- Balance with competition: volume isn’t the only indicator you need to look for. How competitive a keyword is (meaning how many apps already rank for that keyword and will appear in the search results) matters a lot. Some words are so competitive that unless your app already has a huge recognition, it’s nearly impossible to get in the top results.
It gets clear that if your app is just starting out and isn’t well-known yet, you should target keywords that are not too competitive, even if that means they’re less popular. If you want to get downloads, you need to be visible on some words and you have a better chance of doing that on less crowded keywords. Target only huge volume and high competition keywords and chances are you’ll never reach a decent visibility level - which means no users will ever see you app and no one will download it.
- Insert your new keywords in your metadata
Now that you’ve chosen the keywords you’re going to target, you need to add them to your app’s metadata.
On Apple, only the app name, app subtitle and keyword fields are indexed. Put your brand name and most important keywords in the app name and subtitle (30 characters each), and the other keywords in the keyword field (100 characters). Make sure not to repeat keywords (waste of space), and to separate each single keywords by a coma (no additional space) in the keyword field. Don’t worry, you’ll rank on combinations of those single keywords as well.
For the Google Play Store, you’ll need to add your keywords in the app name (50 characters), short description (80 characters) and long description. Contrary to the Apple algorithm, repeating keywords is useful because the Google algorithm gives more weight to words that are repeated frequently. So, make sure that your brand name and top keywords are repeated across those fields, and several times in the long description.
- Monitor your efforts and see all your hard work pay off!
Monitor your ranking progression for your chosen keywords, and check how your competitors are doing on those as well.
You’ll quickly see which keywords work well for your app and bring in downloads, and which you can replace in your metadata. You should do such iterations about every 4 weeks (which is also the recommended time to launch a new version of your app as algorithms favor technically up-to-date apps).
Keep in mind that ASO takes time and needs to be monitored and adapted. Keywords popularity and relevance also change seasonally so it really is a continuous process.