Welcome to the New World of ASO (App Store Optimization)

App SEOThe mobile landscape is constantly evolving, and for people who are in the web marketing business, change means new opportunities. Those accustomed to traditional SEO methods have found adapting to the new environment is both exciting and confounding.

The Big Questions in Today’s New Environment Include:

  • What are the best ways to market apps in a pluralistic environment?
  • How do I drive social media recommendations for apps?
  • What are the most effective methods of driving subscribers and downloads?

Marketing From the Left and the Right

Sometimes the left hand forgets that the right hand is there. A holistic approach to app marketing, which includes both app store searches and mobile referrals, and web-based SEO, has been gaining ground as people see that employing only one tactic may not reach the tipping point of effectiveness.

Take simple, straightforward ASO, for example — the process known as App Store Optimization. This process leans heavily (in fact, almost entirely) on keyword title searches. This means that, as companies warm to the usefulness of ASO, the effectiveness of those keywords will be neutralized by over-use. This process creates overly-competitive keywords.

For many, this moment is close at hand. The numbers don’t lie, and they’re increasing rapidly (by a factor of three over a 2.5-month period). As more apps apply the ASO strategy, its effectiveness drops sharply, and that doesn’t do anybody any good.

App Discovery on Fire

The mechanics currently being employed in the business of app discovery are primitive. Like all primitive tools, they will evolve into something more complex over time, especially as an already hyper-effective search engine like Google begins to consider its role in app searching within the app store. Google would have the groundwork in place to apply a more broad variety of elements into its ASO: factors like revenue, content analysis, reviews, purchases within apps, and more.

Many see this kind of expansion in sophistication of ASO as the next logical step in the app marketplace evolution. In the meantime, however, the need for a comprehensive strategy that will keep businesses competitive is paramount. Because SEO is a constantly changing marketing strategy, it continues to offer the most potential for marketing success, and while SEO is still web-based, and can’t be applied to in-store app purchases, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a useful, if overlooked, tool.

The Search for Real Value

The truth is, for user quality, finding apps via online search online beats all the competition. It leaves paid channels in the dust, and even out-performs social media. Given that this is true, it’s also true that search constitutes only 4 percent of app installs by volume. That’s 5.5 times less than social media. The disparity here is vast, and represents an under-utilized area of opportunity for the marketing community.

Even though SEO and ASO are vastly different creatures at the moment, the user quality offered by search means that SEO can work just as hard as ASO for app conversions. If properly applied to app-focused searching, SEO holds more potential than a battle over simple ASO keyword implementation might suggest.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pixsooz

3 Comments

Gabriel

I’m afraid the last sentence is a bit simplistic… is not just a simple ASO keyword implementation, it includes things like optimization of icon, screenshot, social links, review flow…. if the whole idea was just “add keywords” then what is the big deal right? ;)
ASO is a bit more than keywords Jayson…

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