6 tips for app store optimisation

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App stores open doors to 155 territories on the iTunes App Store and almost all countries on the planet via Google Play. Hundreds of local app stores in countries like China and India offer additional opportunities.

However, most of your customers only use a few apps on a regular basis. Here are six tips to help you land one of these highly coveted spaces on more home screens.

1. App descriptions

They’re your one chance for a great sales pitch. Use the 4,000 characters allowed in the Apple and Google stores to insert keywords optimised and translated for each market. Focus on the first sentence because that is typically the only text that visitors can access without having to tap “… more.”

2. Keywords

Beware of changing store requirements. Apple’s algorithm automatically creates all possible phrase combinations from keywords, while paying attention mostly to the app title and keywords. However, the Google Play algorithm focuses more on the description, providing an 80-character option in addition to the 4,000-characters default. Repeat the most significant keywords three to four times where possible, but don’t repeat the ones from your title for either store.

3. Localised screenshots

They’re great for organic search. If your app is translated, take time to prepare and upload screenshots to the app stores. Avoid culturally bound text and images wherever possible. Review faces, backgrounds, proper names, locations, and maps. If you upload more than one, the first screenshot often shows up in organic search results.

4. Promotional options and tools

Determine how each store can help you sell. Apple offers a 15- to 30-second “App Previews” video option. Potential customers see it as the first image on the product page, followed by screenshots. Google Play lets you upload as many localised videos as you wish. It also recently implemented “Experiments,” which provides the ability to do A/B testing on your metadata such as app icons or titles.

5. App reviews

User feedback is significant for Google search. Take advantage of this extra opportunity to insert more keywords. Respond directly to reviewers. Thank them for their feedback and address questions and suggestions in their language.

6. China

You can reach about 75% of the market via the top five stores. In 2013 China passed the United States as the country with the largest number of active iOS and Android devices. It’s now Apple’s largest market, with around 30% of the company’s revenue generated by selling into China. However, the distribution channel for Android is fragmented, with hundreds of stores – and ecosystems – run by telecom carriers, standalone third parties, and popular utility apps (but not Google Play). Currently, the top five app stores for Android in China are 360 Mobile Assistant (Qihoo), Myapp (Tencent), Baidu Mobile Assistant, MIUI (Xiaomi), and HiMarket (Baidu).

Image source: Shutterstock

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