With the emergence of apps, there is now an entirely new subset of SEO strategies pertaining to optimize visibility of apps with “search engines” (app marketplaces). To complicate matters further, just like the SEO tradeoffs between Google and Bing SEO, there is a tradeoff between iOS and Android app store optimization (as well as similarities). The ratios between the two app stores almost mirror the ratios between Google and Bing users. That is, Android make up roughly 85% of the global market and iOS (iPhone) make up almost the rest, leaving a sliver to Windows Phone, Blackberry and other phone operating systems Why is app optimization important? According to a Nielsen study, 63% of consumers find apps via App store searches whereas 21% use websites (*note this was a multi-select survey).
How do you optimize apps?
Metadata - Like websites, there is metadata that tells search engines (app stores) what the title, description, etc. are.
- App Title – It is important to give the app a concise yet descriptive title that includes keywords after. For example, “Title – Keyword, Keyword and Keyword” or a live example from opening the app store, “Gixo – Exercise and Workout Live”.
- Description – “Pay attention to the above the fold” section, the top 1 – 2 sentences that describe the app and primary use. Below the field should be populated with additional features and social proof.
- Keyword Field – iOS uses a keyword field that you can accumulate potential search queries. However, you only get 100 characters so proper planning using keyword planning tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Planner can help you analyze the search volume, difficult and potential success of each keyword.
- Icon – make it simple yet beautiful
- Screenshots – are not screenshots, MOZ beautifully describes what screenshots ought to be, “they are, instead, promotional graphics. That means you can include text or other graphics to tell your app's story in an interesting, visual way”. Make them tell a story from one screenshot to the next that clearly explains expectations and the feel of the app.
- Unfortunately, like websites, rankings are influenced by ratings and reviews. We’ve already made it abundantly clear regarding our thoughts but sometimes you have to pay to play.
- Link building – essentially the P.R. of SEO. Having other publications, blogs, industry thought leaders link to your app will help direct traffic and improve its relevancy and ranking.
- As we mentioned before, iOS has a keyword field that allows you to create relevant categories that your app falls within. Android does not, so you need to maximize your description and off-metadata strategies.
We highly recommend this guide to app store optimization by MOZ if you want to further wrap your head around this version of SEO. If you need help optimizing your website or app, do not hesitate to contact us!