With more than 5.44 million apps available for download, it is no wonder that the mobile market is growing fast. Among the many roles created by this growth, the App Store Optimization specialist is a key one.
Competition in the mobile market is tough. 70% of users perform searches to find new apps and 65% of downloads occur immediately after a search. In this context, the main objectives of App Store Optimization (ASO) are to increase organic visibility and conversion rates, for both organic and paid visits. To do this, the ASO specialist work is focused on optimizing visual and textual metadata.
As we have analyzed already ways to optimize the visual metadata of a Store Listing, in this article, we will focus on the textual metadata. But what exactly is this metadata?
WHAT IS TEXTUAL METADATA?
We can define textual metadata as a set of information regarding a mobile application that is composed of text. These elements differ depending on the reference storefront but are all visible to users. The only exception is the keywords field on the iOS Store Page.
Search algorithms analyze textual metadata in the Stores to provide relevant results (i.e. mobile app) for any search performed by users organically. Although marketers who are not familiar with mobile app marketing might think that all textual metadata is indexed by search algorithms (similarly to SEO), there are differences to be aware of depending on the storefront.
Here below an overview of the which metadata is indexed by the two main Stores, and the value they have from an App Store Optimization perspective:
WHY SHOULD TEXTUAL METADATA BE OPTIMIZED?
Let’s be honest: no matter how great or good-looking your mobile app might be, people won’t download it if they don’t find it among the first results of a search.
We have already stated that search results mostly depend on textual metadata optimization. ASO specialists can work on all these elements highlighted above to improve the ranking of the mobile app. When thinking about textual metadata optimization, mobile marketers need to keep in mind the following process, which consists of three steps.
3 STEPS TO FOLLOW TO OPTIMIZE TEXTUAL METADATA
1) UNDERSTAND THE SEARCH ALGORITHMS
To improve a mobile app search ranking, mobile marketers have to first understand how it works. By now we know that App Store and Play Store give different weights to different elements, specifically:
- App Store: Title and Subtitle are the most important ones, followed by the keyword field, developer name, and in-app events.
- Play Store: Here again the title is the most important, followed by the short description, the long description (which is not indexed on iOS), and then the publisher’s name, package name, and user reviews.
After that, there are other elements that influence a mobile application ranking that are not directly linked with the store page:
- App Downloads: these can have an influence on an app’s search ranking and be the best indicator in terms of textual performance.
- Rating and Reviews: Here both rating and speed of review count matter for ranking. When they are high, they indicate that users have made an effort to spend time on these, making this factor even more impactful.
- App Performance: As stated by Google, the Play Store algorithm also considers the app’s performance (e.g., crashes/stability or consumption of phone battery). Therefore, an app with a bad performance will rank lower.
2) OPTIMIZE THE KEYWORDS
The keyword optimization process is cyclical and continuous. It is divided into 4 steps valid for both Stores:
- Research all the keywords to create a backlog of potential ones to be included;
- Prioritize the backlog list based on search volume, competition, and relevance;
- Test keywords by adding them to your app’s metadata;
- Measure keyword performance and track your ASO progress through the main KPIs.
Extra one: Repeat!
3) IMPROVE OTHER ELEMENTS
Textual metadata is definitely the element that ASO specialists have the greatest leeway to work on. Now that we know how ranking works, we must not forget the other elements that can give us an advantage.
When naming our app we have to balance branding and textual optimization. The title should include relevant keywords while remaining legible, so avoid keyword stuffing. Moreover, make sure that it doesn’t contain punctuation, grammatical or spelling mistakes.
Even if the developer name is not included in the title, it is still indexed on both stores and the app will rank for those keywords. Removing the brand name from the title creates space for keyword optimization, however, the brand should be at least recognizable by the icon. In saying that, we have to remember that in the App Store the developer’s name is not visible in the search results and its absence could negatively affect the conversion rate.
App Store Optimization is a balance between performance and branding, we are talking to users in the end. Mobile marketers need to identify the best performing keywords when it comes to textual optimization and look to continuously test also visuals to improve the overall conversion rate of the Store Pages.
Are you looking to improve your Store Listing positioning and conversion rate? Get in touch with us and let us improve your app performance.