SEO Tips for Mobile Apps

SEO strategy for mobile apps

It may seem tricky, but there are ways to make an app perform better than its competition and be at the top of search results. We’ve collected the ideas of several SEO-experts and are going to provide you with a cut-and-dried solution to do just that. Everything below is our advice on “app marketing strategy” and ASO (App Store Optimization).

  1. Name and Icon. First of all, you should think up a good name for your app. It should be easily comprehended, rather simple and intriguing. Don’t try and be too clever though, because if the name is too complicated, that’s bad. You can stick to your company’s name, especially if it’s widely recognised, or if it’s going to be. Your icon is also an enormous part of the first impression, which is why it should be unique and (we can’t emphasise enough) simple. Follow your branding guidelines on colours and your company logo, if you have them. The icon reflects the essence of your mobile app. Don’t overdo it by trying to include too much in a small image that will seldom be seen enlarged and in great detail. Furthemore, don’t forget about the regulations on geometry, size and colours, which are different in each app store.          
  2. Tagline. This will always follow after the app’s name, and you should use relevant keywords here. SEO-experts say doing so increases your rank by 10%. However, avoid keyword overkill and fill the app tagline with only really important keywords, so as not to look spammy and scare away your potential customers. The number of characters in this text is restricted differently in each mobile app store, but regardless of which you are most interested in, your tagline should be short enough to fit (it’s best for you to stay within 25 characters), because longer ones are usually cut off as a result of the rules.   
  3. Description keywords. Of course ASO is based on keywords and key phrases in the tagline, description and URL, just like traditional website SEO, but the main nuance here is the principal differences between Google and Apple’s approaches. The App Store offers you a 100-character field for keywords, and you should make the most of this to maximise keys. Google Play allows you to write a text description of up to 4000 characters where you can (or must) use all the relevant keywords within a more natural structure. At the same time, remember that your description has to keep the customer’s attention and explain the mobile app’s benefits in simple, straightforward language, because, in spite of our desire for SEO, it’s always best for you to think about what will most resonate with the customer first. The majority of users wouldn’t read the entire text, and the most important information should be available to someone skimming through.
  4. Screenshots and videos. These visual effects don’t directly influence the search ranking, but they most certainly make your app more attractive. Try to choose the most vivid three to five pictures and screenshots that show the core features of your app or the main opportunities for everyday use (short video podcast).
  5. Audience. Think about your potential customers and try to localise the app listing. It’s very important to adapt the mobile app to foreign markets if you are hoping to have a global reach. Speak their language (that means jargon, slang, etc. too), especially when app stores let you to localise an app listing to make searching easier for clients from different countries. They only use keywords in their native language, so understanding those overseas markets will exponentially increase your downloads.
  6. App indexing for promotion. Increasing your app traffic via indexing and content integration is the best way to draw customers, traffic and downloads directly from the web or mobile search results page. Users can see your app when searching for similar information, all thanks to the mechanisms that match related queries to your information.
  7. Feedback and updates. Users like to read feedbacks from other users, because to them it’s as close as they get to the input of an objective observer. Monitor your app reviews and pay attention to them. By keeping your ear to the ground, you will be better positioned to update the app frequently, respond to customer’s comments and thus increase ratings. Just to give you an idea, the top-ranked apps update, on average, once every 30-40 days. You should remember that positive reviews can be just as valuable an asset the user rating figure itself. The best apps always have a lot of fans, speak to their customers to show they appreciate the feedback and receive high store ratings.    

Old school

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into, and as much that comes out of, working through SEO strategies and ASO like this. Your app’s success depends on many factors. Of course, when promoting your mobile app, you still have to take into consideration everything you likely know already about general SEO, such as download speed, backlinks, usability factors, user friendly mobile design. And there are many additional aspects to familiarise yourself with, such as TTFB-factor (Time To First Byte), which has a major impact on a search engine ranking, and the necessity of ridding an app from JS files, which impede downloading. But those are the more specific process that can be saved for a more detailed conversation. Your main goal is to make every effort to place your app as the most relevant among all available search result pages. 

Analyse, have a keen eye, monitor your competitors and be understandable — that is a mantra worth following as you lift your app to the top. If you need more help, or are interested in getting some seasoned professionals to take it on for you, the Magora team is ready not only to develop winning mobile applications, but also to offer the marketing support to ensure they succeed.   
Alex G.
June 22, 2016
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