What is ASO? Part 2.

Welcome to Part 2 of ‘What is ASO’ series, where we go into more detail about the main elements of App Store Optimisation. We will explain how our approach to ASO campaigns are different from what people read about on other blogs, ultimate guides and how-tos.

In the first post, we explained the importance of optimising the app store listing, mobile search semantics and the misconceptions about App Store/Play Store search. We concluded that most people think optimising the metadata is enough, picking the keywords and letting them do the job. But let’s talk a bit about what happens after users have found your app.

Install decision making

Keyword optimisation is where most companies stop. They have spent so much time refining their keyword strategy that they feel it’s enough. They have great keyword rankings so it’s quite easy to find them. 

Somo dosen't believe search optimisation should be the last step in your ASO strategy. It might be that users have now found an app; but are they going to install it?

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Getting back to how people discover apps, it’s easy to notice a theme. People somehow find a list of apps, be it through search, featured listing or top charts. They then have to make a decision on which app listing to open and ultimately which app to install based on their needs. This is where visual optimisation comes in.

In fact, for two out of three discovery methods — feature listing and category listing — icons are the primary focus. At those stages, the goal is simply encouraging mobile users to keep going deeper into the funnel, to the app listing, where an install decision is most likely. If the icon is not visually appealing, or even if it’s a killer app, there are bound to be some people who pass it on for another app.

Let’s say the user then clicked on the app name to open up the full store page. Depending on the OS, they are going to see a wide range of information in a specific order. Feature graphics, Video, screenshots, Icons – they are all going to play a critical role in convincing the users to hit the install button.

What is the goal here?

You need to reinforce search behaviour and get users to invest their time and find out as much about an app as possible.

Users are generally lazy and would prefer watching a 30 second video, or browsing through a few screenshots to get the information they need. They want to know if the app can help them accomplished the task they searched for. Optimised screenshots can help people quickly understand what the app offers.

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Creating engaging visuals is also a good opportunity to get them more excited and more informed about the app. So if an installer watched the video until the end and consumed all the information on the screenshots, they could be a higher quality users. They now have some expectation toward what features they’ll have and the value they are getting.

Not every video, updated icon or screenshots improve conversion – there could be a misalignment between the screenshots and the content of the video. Or the feature banner on Google Play can be incoherent with the content of the screenshots. These could all lead to loss in conversions.

What we do

Somo takes a data driven approach to visual optimisation. As ASO has evolved, there are more and more tools out there to give actionable insights into which visuals perform the best. Running A/B tests on visuals is a critical part of what we do. Using the Google Play Developer Console for Android or third party tools for iOS, we know exactly how much uplift we have achieved through optimised visuals. And the numbers can be unexpectedly high.

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