App Store Optimization (ASO) is an integral component of mobile app marketing. It’s a concept we emphasise consistently in our articles and videos. The reason for this repetition is simple: ASO should be your initial consideration when contemplating app promotion and the quest for organic traffic. If your goal is to increase app downloads and boost organic traffic, it’s not sufficient to concentrate solely on paid user acquisition; organic installations should be a primary objective too. But still despite the fact that for now there are a lot of resources available about optimization, app developers and marketers can make ASO mistakes often even without noticing this and of course it influences a lot the effectiveness of app store optimization strategies created. So let’s consider some most obvious (sometimes not) App Store Optimization errors that can make you lose money on ASO.
The same approach to Google and Apple will give no results
If you are already a professional in ASO for one of the stores, unfortunately this doesn’t mean that you will easily cope with the optimization on another store.
Google Play and AppStore are extremely different when we are talking about App Store Optimization. The first thing to be mentioned is that Google is more text-oriented while Apple pays more attention to the fields you work with. What does it mean for us? Working with Google we need to pay a lot of attention to how we use the keywords in all the possible texts including title, short and long description. The keywords should be mentioned several times and should be written exactly the way you need to have them as indexed search requests for your application. Let’s imagine that you would like to get into the index for the keyword “dating app for seniors”. In such a case it won’t be enough to mention “dating” in title, “app” in short description and “for seniors” in full description. You need to mention the whole keyword “dating app for seniors” in one of the fields and it is even recommended to add it several times (no, do not add it 20 times, that’s already spam; 2-3 times for the description of 2-3k characters will be enough). Read more about differences between Google Play and AppStore in one of our previous articles.
Is the same strategy needed for AppStore? No! Working with Apple you can easily mention different words in one of the fields (title, subtitle and keyword field) and the store algorithm will merge the keywords from these words by its own. So working with AppStore you really can mention “dating” in title, “app” in subtitle and “seniors” in the keyword field. Using these words and associating them with your app, the AppStore algorithm will create the indexed keyword for your app. At the same time, Apple gives the possibility to get ranked for higher number of search requests due to the absence of need of keywords repetition. If you mention “dating” in title and keyword field this won’t increase the app chances to get ranked for this request, you will just waste the space which could be used to mention another keyword. By the way, do not forget that adding keywords to the full description on AppStore doesn’t influence the indexation, this field is just to describe the app usage and functionality.
Keyword spam will lead to fails in indexation
Certainly, when working on ASO, our primary objective is to incorporate as many relevant keywords as possible to enhance the app’s visibility. At times, the temptation arises to include an extensive list of keywords in the full description, hoping for a rapid ascent to the top of search rankings. However, after waiting patiently for 2, 4, or even 6 weeks, it becomes evident that the desired indexing hasn’t occurred. The answer to this predicament is quite straightforward: Google does not favour keyword stuffing or what’s often referred to as keyword spam.
First and foremost, it’s imperative to heed Google’s policy, which explicitly states that you cannot simply list keywords separated by commas, as this goes against their guidelines. This policy underscores the fact that even if the full description doesn’t solely consist of keywords through this method, it’s not permissible to insert an exhaustive list of keywords and repeat them excessively. In essence, if you intend to utilise the entire 4,000-character limit available, it’s advisable to focus on 10-15 keywords and their synonyms, with each keyword appearing 2-3 times throughout the entire text. Attempting otherwise will inevitably result in indexing issues, making it challenging for the app to rank for any search queries. As a result, you will have to spend more time and funds for text metadata rewriting and waiting for indexation (do not forget the fact, that Google is not Apple and it doesn’t give the indexation within several days after update as AppStore does).
Usage of boost on AppStore will boost the traffic as well
As we remember, working with ASO on AppStore may be not so challenging due to the fact that the indexation process doesn’t take as long as on Google Play. If you worked with Google, you know that sometimes it may be necessary to wait even up to 4 weeks for the first keywords to appear into the rank. And is the situation the same with Apple? Definitely, no. This is already a big advantage for developers.
When you prepare the app for release or just work with regular metadata updates, do not forget that AppStore usually gives the boost in keyword indexation during the first days after the texts are added to the store. What does it mean for us? We add a new title, subtitle and keyword field, and during the next several days may observe a huge increase in the number of indexed search requests. Obviously the positions occupied may not be as high as desired, but that’s already a chance to start the keyword promotion. In such a way, remembering that Apple updates the positions fast as well and we do not need to proceed with long promotional campaigns, within several days after the update the application can already occult TOP ranks for some traffic keywords. By the way, read our new article about organic traffic generation using keyword installs to find out more opportunities for your app promotion.
It is obvious that if you do not try to increase the ranks of boosted by Apple keywords, the situation may be changed within the time. Some freshly indexed keywords will keep the same ranks, but some of them will go out of the search list due to the competitiveness and list changes. So the recommendation is not to waste the chance and try to catch such indexed requests so as to react fast and get an increase in the ranks and organic.
Cross-localization is the best friend of indexation on AppStore
We have already mentioned that the main fields for indexation on AppStore are title, subtitle and keyword field (not visible to users). But do not forget that usually in one country not one locale is indexed, like in the US, for example, where Spanish (Mexico), Russian, Chinese (Simplified), Arabic, French, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese (Traditional), Vietnamese, Korean are indexed as well.
ASO experts can leverage cross-localization and indexing across multiple regions to enhance their app’s visibility for a wider array of search terms.
Let’s envision the creation of a recipe app tailored to international cuisine enthusiasts. The app, currently available in English worldwide. Given the multitude of culinary terms and regional specialties, it’s challenging to include every relevant keyword within the app’s 30-character title, 30-character subtitle, and 100-character keyword field. This is where your cross-localization and multi-territory indexation approach proves invaluable.
The initial step involves incorporating the most pertinent and frequently searched-for keywords into the app’s English (US) metadata:
- English (US)
- Title: GlobalEats – International Recipes [29 characters]
- Subtitle: Discover World Cuisine [27 characters]
- Keyword field [98 characters]: Recipes,world,food,cooking,cuisine,ethnic,dishes,culinary,chefs,flavours,ingredients,dining
Subsequently, even though the recipe app does not offer specific regional recipes from France, you can still introduce other relevant English keywords into the app’s French (FR) keyword field, as French (FR) metadata is also indexed in the US. You could even include English keywords within the French (FR) title and/or subtitle to target additional English search terms. However, for now, let’s maintain the title and subtitle in French to appeal to French-speaking users in the US:
- French (France)
- Title: GlobalEats – Recettes du Monde [25 characters]
- Subtitle: Découvrez la Cuisine Mondiale [30 characters]
- Keyword field [98 characters]: Dishes,cooking,flavors,worldwide,delicacies,gastronomy,ingredients,culinary,global,foodie,explore
As observed above, the most relevant French keywords are integrated into the title and subtitle. Simultaneously, English keywords relating to various global cuisines have been included in the keyword field. Additionally, the keyword “recipes” has been repeated in the French (FR) keyword field, even though it’s already part of the US metadata. This approach allows the app to target specific long-tail keywords like “French cuisine recipes” and “worldwide culinary dishes.” Since keyword combinations are associated with individual locales, this ensures visibility for these combined keywords in both French and English markets, delivering a comprehensive reach.
Forgetting about iterations will give only decrease in organic
App Store Optimization is not a one-and-done task; it’s an ongoing and iterative process. While exceptionally popular apps may require less frequent attention, for most apps across various niches, regular updates are essential. This consistent effort is critical for improving search traffic, exploring new keyword opportunities, and maintaining competitiveness within the ever-changing app marketplace.
One of the primary components of these regular ASO updates involves refreshing your app’s text metadata. This step is particularly important when your goal is to expand your app’s visibility and attract organic users. Continuously revisiting and adjusting your metadata offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows you to discover and incorporate new keywords that align with evolving user search behaviours. Secondly, it enables you to analyse your competitors and adapt your strategy accordingly. Thirdly, it provides an opportunity to integrate fresh search queries into your metadata, enhancing your chances of ranking for these terms.
However, it’s crucial to approach each iteration of your app’s metadata with caution. While you’re eager to embrace new keywords, you should also be mindful of preserving the existing rankings you’ve worked hard to achieve. Each update should be strategic, striking a balance between pursuing new keywords and safeguarding your current positions. If you want to know more details about main mistakes done before keyword promotion, just follow this link.
This continual effort is essential due to the dynamic nature of app stores like Google Play and the Apple App Store. These platforms are in a constant state of flux, responding to emerging trends, user preferences, and algorithm changes. Consequently, some keywords may experience fluctuations in popularity, with some gaining more traffic over time, while others may wane. Staying adaptable and proactive in ASO is vital for maintaining and improving your app’s visibility in this ever-evolving landscape.
To sum it up, ASO is a perpetual journey that demands ongoing attention and adaptation. It’s a dynamic process where you respond to changing trends, seize new keyword opportunities, and safeguard your existing rankings. By consistently monitoring and adjusting your approach in light of the evolving app store environment, you can optimise your app’s discoverability and attract organic users effectively.
In summary, App Store Optimization (ASO) is a critical aspect of mobile app marketing, and it should be a top priority when seeking to promote your app and boost organic traffic. While there is a wealth of resources available on ASO, it’s not uncommon for app developers and marketers to make mistakes in their optimization efforts, often without realising it. These mistakes can significantly impact the effectiveness of your ASO strategy and potentially lead to wasted resources.
Here are some key takeaways to remember:
- Different Platforms, Different Approaches
- Avoid Keyword Spam
- Utilise Boost on the App Store
- Cross-Localization for Greater Visibility
- Embrace Iteration
Avoiding common ASO mistakes is a significant step toward optimising app visibility and ensuring a strong presence in the competitive app market.