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Dec 11 2020
According to the summary of our experts on the ranking algorithm of the Google Play Store, the highest priority is the number of app package downloads and keyword installs (application downloads start from searching different targeted keywords). And the benefits of keyword coverage to an application are obvious to all.
According to ASO World Research (based on hundreds of tests in different industries), 65% of users search for apps through keyword search in the app market. In addition, Google Play has also reported that 80% of organic traffic comes from Google Play searches.
ASO (APP Store Optimization) refers to the process of improving the ranking of an App in the App Store by studying the ranking algorithm of the application market and optimizing various parameters of the application.
In short, ASO is a series of optimization strategies that are optimized according to the rules of the Store to increase the exposure and conversion rate of the App in the Store to achieve the purpose of increasing the natural growth of the application.
Although sometimes ASO is habitually called App Store SEO, ASO is not exactly the same as SEO. Because ASO not only optimizes the search exposure rate, but also includes other aspects of the exposure rate (such as the ranking of the store's total list and the visibility of each category list), and the download conversion rate.
There are currently more than 530 million mobile applications in the Google Play application market. And more mobile applications will flood into this market in the future. I believe that every developer wants his application to be the most competitive and to get a lot of free traffic. However, the actual market competition is cruel.
Faced with such fierce market competition, ASO is one of the most important strategies in the Google Play market. It can maximize the popularity of mobile applications, increase search rankings, increase conversion rates, and drive more organic downloads.
Google Play ASO optimization is divided into two parts, on-meta data (the elements that are 100% controlled by the developer) and off-meta data (the elements that cannot be completely controlled by the developer). The respective contents are as follows:
On-meta data: Related factors include Title, Short description, Long description, Icon, Screenshots & Video, and crash rate.
In addition, it is important to note that the keyword priority order of Google Play search is: Title> Short description> Long description.
● Title: App name. Keep it within 50 characters. The possibility of covering keywords in Title is almost 100%, and the ranking of these keywords will not be bad.
By studying the top 15 apps in the app store, it is found that apps with relevant keywords in the title rank significantly higher than other apps.
Therefore, the Title must contain important target keywords.
● Short Description: Short description of the APP. Keep it within 80 characters. Use one or two sentences to describe the APP and its main functions. The short description can be ranked in the top 5 in terms of weight and priority in the ASO ranking algorithm, which has a relatively large impact on search ranking and conversion rate.
Moreover, the short description of Google play is limited to 80 characters, so more keywords will be covered, which will bring more optimization opportunities than the title. It should be noted that the expression semantics and keyword coverage should be considered at the same time. One affects the conversion rate and the other effects the search ranking. In terms of keyword coverage, it is quite challenging for new applications to choose popular keywords and hope to be at the top. Therefore, the best strategy for keyword optimization is to choose suitable keywords.
At the beginning of optimization, it is best to use medium and long tail keywords because it is a more specific search keyword combination. Such keywords generally have a high conversion rate, and in the search and query process, 70% of the search terms used by users are long-tail terms. In many cases, users use specific long-tail keywords or short sentences to search, because this type of search can more accurately express their intentions.
However, long-tail keywords have a drawback. There is less competition but also less traffic. Therefore, you should choose as many different combinations of long-tail keywords as possible, and cover a large number of search areas related to the application. In this way, keyword coverage can be improved, and mobile application search visibility can be maximized.
● Long Description: Long description of the App. Keep it within 4000 characters. A very clear and attractive description of the functions of the APP. The narrative strategy is the same as the short description.
In the Google Play market, the density and frequency of important keywords in all relevant information based on an app is the key to ranking. Google Play will cover keywords by crawling the description. Because the long description of the App can fill in more characters, the best practice is to repeat any important keywords five times. But considering the user experience, don't do keyword stacking mechanically, it is better to consciously embed these keywords in the natural description.
● Icon: The icon is the first interaction between the APP and the user, so make sure it can communicate your brand well.
● Screenshots & Video: When uploading screenshots, don’t just “screenshots”. These pictures should be marketable and attractive. Therefore, you can include text and other graphics in these pictures to present the APP to users in an interesting and intuitive way.
● APP Crash Rate: At the Google conference in 2018, Google announced that 60% of one-star reviews were due to APP crashes, bugs, and response speed. Therefore, Google will adjust its algorithm, prioritize APP quality, and increase the weight of crash rates.
In addition, Google rates apps with a crash rate lower than 1% as low crash rate apps, and apps with a crash rate higher than 5% as high crash rate apps. Therefore, APP needs to improve the quality of its products.
Off-meta data: including installs, ratings, comments, etc. We cannot directly control this part, but we can still do something to ensure that ASO can achieve better results.
Scoring: Scoring greatly affects APP ranking. In addition, even if users enter the APP page through search, if the score is low, the download conversion rate will not be high. So be sure to contact a user to modify the score.
Comments: Like ratings, many users will read user comments before downloading the app. If the comments are not good, of course, it will also affect the download conversion rate.
Regardless of whether the application is on Google Play or not, we need to find the correct ASO strategy. However, during manipulation, the results may not match expectations. In order to avoid this phenomenon, we can use the Google Play developer platform, the magic tool A/B Test.
A/B Test compares the application lists of two different versions to determine which version has a better conversion (click or installs). During the experiment, half of the traffic can be pushed to option A, and the other half can choose option B, compare them and see which one performs best.
There are currently two methods of A/B Test, Global and Localized. The specific differences are as follows:
Developers can choose their own way to test according to their own preferences.
1) Study the functional characteristics of competing products (determine the direction of keyword selection)
It is recommended to collect the following information about competing products (Title, Short Description, ranking, rating, Icon, number of users, number of reviews, function points, GP representative reviews), you can use APP Annie ranking and GP search results as well as similar Web, apptweak, etc. The tool analyzes competing products, mainly to understand how the competing products show their functions and how their market reacts.
2) Analyze the keywords of competing products
You can use apptweak to analyze the density of keywords, and comprehensively similarWeb can see the proportion of traffic effects of competing products.
3) Keyword demand coverage and value keyword screening
● Use tools to do more analysis: Google keywords planner (currently only open to advertisers), Google trends, similarWeb, keyword tool (note: the searched word and the word related to the user search for relatively high related content, not competing products Contained words), etc.
● You can search for related words in Google Trends and see the trend comparison of keywords, which is very helpful for optimizing ASO. For example: the word hurricane, you can see through Google Trends search, in certain areas at certain times; the traffic of this word is very high, then the weather-based APP can optimize this keyword at these time points.
● Don’t directly use the tool to search for keywords at the beginning. This will ignore the market demand and background. Go to Google and Google Play to search more. The search results given by Google are the pain points of users’ needs. In addition, the search suggestions provided by Google are also users. The related words searched when searching for the word can be analyzed as keywords. In addition, the search suggestions given in the search box when searching are all the words that users usually search for, which can be used for keyword analysis.
● According to the function, the quantity of related keywords, and the situation of competing products, select some keywords to be used. When selecting, roughly sort out the place where each keyword will be used (Title/Short description/Long description), that is, the keyword plan. It is recommended to search about 20.
● When doing keywords, because the main keywords have a large traffic and it is difficult to compete, it is recommended to make breakthroughs in long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords must include the main keywords.
● When determining keywords, fully consider the user scenario. Think about how users might search, and then take corresponding measures to ensure the accuracy of keywords.
Above we shared a comprehensive introduction and basic optimization strategy of ASO optimization in the Google Play market. Of course, the algorithm changes have never stopped.
ASO optimization is a long-term process that requires continuous testing and verification. As a developer or application promoter, you must learn to constantly adjust and change the ASO delivery strategy in order to achieve the best results.
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