Imagine you have one of the highest-grossing apps on the App Store, and it’s your main revenue stream. To get there, you need to know the basics of app store optimization.
Then, you’ll be able to get more downloads than with your marketing efforts alone.
A lot goes into app store optimization, so keep reading to learn what you need to track.
One of the most important metrics to track when working on app store optimization (ASO) is how your app ranks for certain keywords. After you launch an app, it may show up in search results.
You can use a tool to keep track of your ASO keywords and how well your app ranks for different terms. Analyze your keywords regularly to learn how your app moves up and down in search results.
At first, your app may not be at the top of search results, but it can raise through the ranks. However, it can also fall back down, especially if you don’t get a lot of impressions or installations.
Along with keywords, you should consider where your app ranks within the category you select. You should choose a category that makes sense for the app so that people will click on it for the category page.
For example, you shouldn’t put your app in the games category if it’s a productivity app. Some categories may be more competitive to rank for, but you want to make sure that you’ll reach your ideal users when your app does rank highly.
That way, your app may continue to have a high rank for its category. By tracking your category rank, you can also learn more about your competitors so that you can make your app better than theirs.
Top Charts Rankings
You should also track if and how your app ranks in other top charts on the App Store and Google Play. If you create a free app, you can analyze how well it ranks in the chart of the top free apps.
The same is true for paid apps and the paid app chart. Top apps get a lot more visibility than other apps. While ranking well in a keyword search is great, it requires people to search for the app.
However, ranking highly in the top charts means anyone who visits the app store may see your app. That can be an easy way to get more downloads.
Another app store optimization KPI (key performance indicator) to track is related apps. Both the App Store and Google Play will show users apps by the same developer and apps they may also like at the bottom of your app’s page.
Your app can also show up at the bottom of the page for your competitor’s apps. Tracking where your app shows up is an excellent way to learn how the app stores categorize your app.
If it shows irrelevant apps, you may decide to use different keywords or edit your title. That way, your app will show up in the correct place.
App store optimization tools can tell you how many impressions your app gets in a certain period. Knowing this can help you track how well your app is performing within categories and keywords.
If your impressions start to decrease, you can adjust your keywords to help increase impressions. Then, you can maximize your visibility.
You may decide to also promote your app more on social media or your website. While app stores can help promote your app, marketing the app yourself may help you get more impressions.
Conversions are also one of the most important app store optimization metrics to track. You may get a lot of app impressions, but that won’t matter if no one clicks on and downloads the app.
Consider how many people see your app and how many of them download it. You can also track your click-through rate, which tells you how many people tap on your app page.
These metrics can help you determine where you may have a problem. For example, if you get a lot of clicks but not downloads, you may need to change something on the app page itself rather than your keywords or other factors.
You may also want to keep track of how fast your app gets installed. Then, you can see how quickly your app is growing, and you may be able to track it back to a specific source.
For example, maybe you promoted the app on social media, so you get a lot of downloads that way. Or perhaps your app made it onto the top charts of the App Store.
Use these metrics to learn how you can keep up the momentum. If social media helps you get downloads, you can continue to use it to get more users.
You should also take note of any reviews you get, both positive and negative. If you get too many negative reviews, your app may lose its rank in keywords and categories.
Reviews of any kind can also help potential users decide whether to download the app or not. Too many negative reviews may keep people from giving the app a chance, further lowering its rank.
However, you can also use reviews to make your app better. Read the reviews regularly to see if there are any trends or problems you can fix to help people use your app.
Another metric to analyze is the number of uninstalls of your app. If a lot of people uninstall the app, your app’s ranking may fall, which can then reduce your app’s visibility.
You may want to track if uninstalls follow a pattern, such as after a major update. Uninstalls may also coincide with the addition of more negative reviews, which may tell you why people uninstalled the app.
To keep people from deleting the app, make sure it’s fun and easy to use. That way, people won’t want to remove it from their devices.
Crashes and Other Bugs
One reason people may uninstall your app is if it crashes or has other issues. Consider if those uninstall line up with crash reports or the slowing down of your app.
Fortunately, you can minimize these problems by updating your app regularly. If you hire a developer, make sure they can work on your app after the launch so that you can minimize bugs and uninstalls.
At the very least, you should update your app to be compatible with any software updates. But updating more often can ensure that people have a good time using your app.
Another app store optimization KPI worth tracking is the number of active users. You may get a lot of installations, but people may forget about your app.
Having more active users can tell you that your app is something people like using. You can also use it as a metric when promoting your app on social media or in an app store.
Be sure to track your daily, weekly, and monthly active users. Then, you can use those numbers to improve the app’s usability with an update, and you can make sure people will install the update.
User Acquisition Costs
If you only rely on organic acquisition methods, your user acquisition cost will be nothing. However, many businesses choose to market their apps outside of the app stores.
When paying to market your app, you should know how much you spend to acquire one new user. If your user acquisition cost is, you may need to adjust your strategies to bring that cost down.
That’s especially important if your user acquisition cost is higher than the lifetime value of that user. You can keep from losing money on your app.
Along with your user acquisition cost, you can predict the lifetime value (LTV) of each app user. LTV refers to the amount of revenue you can expect to earn from that consumer.
Not all users will spend the same amount of money, so consider the average. It might be hard to calculate the LTV of a user at first, so start with an estimate.
You can adjust your numbers as more people download and use the app. Then, you may decide to increase your marketing budget to help get more users.
Similar to LTV, your overall revenue is worth monitoring after you launch your app. If your app isn’t making that much in revenue, you may decide to market it more or increase the price per user.
Or if your app is doing better than your website, for example, you might focus on your app. Then, you can maximize the amount you can make in revenue.
Be sure to compare your revenue with your expenses to make sure your app is profitable. That way, you’ll be able to keep the app running and even get an investor if you need one.
How to Improve App Store Optimization
Knowing the important metrics is one thing, but you should also know how app store optimization works. Then, you can figure out how to improve your ASO and get your app in front of more people.
Here are a few things you can do to optimize your app for app stores.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal user and think about what keywords they’d use to find apps like yours. Search for those keywords and see which apps rank at the top.
Look at the app titles and descriptions. Consider if the app icons are eye-catching and if the apps include plenty of screenshots. Read through some of their reviews to see what users think.
Use that information to help optimize your app for those keywords. Reviews can give you ideas on how to improve your app to get better reviews than your competitors, and you can make sure your app title and icon look and sound good.
Choose a Good App Name
As part of your keyword research, make sure you choose a descriptive app name and title. It can help to put keywords in the title but don’t go overboard.
Having keywords in the title may help your app show up for those keywords. However, too many keywords can be overwhelming, and they may confuse potential users.
If you plan to promote your app outside of app stores, you should include the title and keywords in the app URL. That can help people know what they’re clicking on when they see your app link.
Optimize for Search Engines
App pages can show up in search results on Google and other search engines. Fortunately, you can use a lot of the same tactics with app store optimization and search engine optimization.
By using keywords and choosing a good URL, you may help your app show up in search results. Then, when people search for your business or a similar keyword, your app might show up.
It can be a good way to get more organic traffic because people may not always go straight to an app store. But they can still find your app in their search.
You may find that the first app store optimization strategy you try works well, but that might not happen. App store algorithms can also change over time, so what works now may not work in a few months.
Make sure you review your analytics and metrics each month to see how your app is doing. You can keep doing what works, and you can adjust what needs work.
Experimenting can take time, though, so give each new strategy time to work. Then, you’ll know if it’s the right option for you or not.
App Store Optimization Done Right
App store optimization is just as important as developing an interesting, easy-to-use app. You should think about app store metrics before launching your app.
Then, you can give your app the best chance of ranking highly in search and getting more downloads. If the app doesn’t succeed, you’ll know what to change to get more impressions and downloads.
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