If you are publishing games on AppStore or the google play store then you would have come across the term App Store Optimization. It might be a little confusing in the beginning but once you get the idea, it’s the best source of traffic. People say ASO is not working as good as paid traffic.
The main reason many people fail at ASO is that it takes time to work and they quit too early.
ASO is only a part of mobile game marketing. There are many other factors that affect your games marketing performance. You must pay attention to all details to have a successful marketing campaign.
What is App Store Optimization?
Optimization of your app’s title and description to match the search query is called App Store Optimization. It’s also known as ASO in short.
For example, people wanting to play a haunted game mostly will be searching for “scary game”, “ghost game”. But you decided to name your game Unborn. In this case, a good title would be “Unborn-scary maze game”. This will help your app to show on the search results.
Why App Store Optimization?
Say, you have a maze game to be published in google play store. You give it a name “the maze game”, add some description and publish it. But, people searching for maze games are searching “maze puzzle”. After few days you find very few downloads. The reason is your app title and description is not optimized for search query. The other main reason is you get downloads for free.
How to do App Store Optimization?
App store optimization is a multiple step process with multiple iteration. Lets get into the steps one by one.
This is the most important part of ASO. This is where you find out what people are searching for. There are some paid ASO software which give you all functions at one place. But,if you are willing to put in the effort then it can be done for free.
The tools needed are google keyword planner, google trends, google search. All are free tools.
Follow the steps below.
1. Go to google search and enter the primary keyword that relates to your game. Make a list of auto suggest that google is throwing. Enter each of those auto suggest terms and get more terms.
2. From the above list enter every search term in google and look for related search terms at the bottom of the search result. Make an .csv file with all these terms.
3. Go to Google trends and see if all the search terms have consistent search pattern for a period of 1 year. Remove the term that are not consistent.
4. Go to google keyword planner. You have to login into google ads to use keyword planner. Upload the .csv file you created. You can get the quantity of searches along with competition.
5. Select 3 keywords for each low, medium and high competition. Select long tail keywords. For example, “maze” is a keyword but “maze game with scary character” is a long tail keyword.
Once you have your keywords, the next step is to choose a title for your game. Title of your game must contain the main keyword you want to rank for. Then the short description also should have the keyword. Don’t repeat the keyword more than once in title and short description. When your game is new and has no downloads and ratings, go for the keywords with low competition and low search volume.
The main description of your game should have the keywords repeated anywhere between 5 to 10 times. The description length must be more than 2000 words. Include some important keywords as sub heading inside the description.
Once you have made the content and published your game. Next step is to track your keyword rank. Most software allow you to track one app for free(upto 5 keywords). Dont check your rank every minute. ASO is a slow technique. It can take upto a month to rank for keywords.
This is important to build traction to your keyword campaign. Submit your game to all the website that accept your app store url. Add description with keywords wherever possible.
Submit your game to other app store like amazon, apptoide etc. Add your app to google search console.
Make a good looking webpage with images and gameplay video and link to your app page. Having a website for your app gives a boost to your sales. It is also a source for more traffic. Host your website with the fastest hosting provider.
The reason for link building is google shows the pages with most link on the top. Make a YouTube channel and publish videos related to your app. Don’t forget to link back to your app page.
Secondary factors of ASO
When the content optimization of the Apps are similar. App stores consider a few more parameters to rank the app.
1. CTR – If the user sees your App on the top and doesn’t click then it’s a sign that you are ranking for the wrong keyword. So App stores will push your App down in the rankings.
CTR can be improved by making an impressive Logo and a good Title.
2. Install and Uninstall rate – This is also known as user retention. If the user uninstalls your App after a few sessions then probably you don’t have a good game. You need to work on your gameplay and asthetics.
3. Reviews – Reviews are very important. Most users look for reviews before installing your game. Send your game to friends and relatives and ask them to review your game in the App store. If possible include the keyword in few reviews.
ASO = create>test> update>retest.
You should be able to push your app to top with these strategies then the downloads will automatically increase. Remember ASO is a slow process can take from one month to three months to bring your app to top. So have patience and test all possibilities. If you want immediate results ads are a good option.