App Store Optimization
Once your app goes live on the App Store and Google Play Store, the work has only just begun. A successful app requires regular updates for bug fixes, performance enhancements and new features. Likewise, the marketing strategies to get users to find the app and convert to a download also need regular upkeep. With that being the case, we can explore some of the best ways to maintain your app on all fronts.
App Store Optimization is an ongoing process that encompasses the best practices for gaining visibility and downloads on the App Store and Google Play Store. The quality of an app has a major influence on its ranking, so you must test, update and sustain your app and its listing alike for optimal performance. This requires continuous maintenance on both the developer and marketing ends of your app, otherwise you’ll risk falling behind the competition.
Maintain Your ASO
After an app launches, you’ll need to maintain the app itself and its marketing optimization. While upkeep includes optimizing its UI and addressing bugs as they occur, mobile app marketing optimization requires refreshing the store listing, testing creative sets and much more. This is not an option for those who want to do a little extra. It is a requirement for success.
Maintenance and regular updates are important for both user retention and discoverability. If your app is constantly crashing on users, they will uninstall it or leave negative reviews. Poor ratings and high installs can have a detrimental effect on your ranking in searches, which is where 70% of app discovery happens. In fact, too many negative reviews will result in the stores penalizing your app and making it appear in searches less frequently. A low star rating will also create a poor impression for potential users, decreasing your overall conversions.
Similarly, if you are not refreshing your keywords, you risk losing your impressions and installs as your competitors take the lead.
Apps that constantly refresh their app and metadata can fine-tune a solid user experience and ranking positioning in the app stores. Those that fail to maintain and iterate their listings are at risk of falling behind. For developers, it’s vital to sustain a positive app experience, refresh metadata and run ongoing conversion optimization – those that do so will be in a better position to reach users.
The Importance of App Maintenance
No one wants an app that is constantly crashing, takes unnecessary time and effort to sign up for or is difficult to navigate. A poor app experience can lead to uninstalls and negative reviews, and if your app breaches the bad behavior threshold it can impact where it is displayed. Too many poor reviews can result in an app losing its positioning on the stores, as fewer users trust it as a quality app. Failing to address these quality indicators will make organic discovery difficult.
Track Your Metrics
Developers must keep track of in-app performance. This includes crash rates, ANRs, uninstalls and any other bugs that occur. Tracking these metrics can provide a clear direction on what your next update will need, while updating to resolve these issues can reduce user drop off and other negative consequences.
Optimize the UI
The user interface is another important factor that requires ongoing maintenance. Users need a steady flow within the app, so if the UI is overly complicated, it can lead to a drop off.
This can be addressed by monitoring user flow. Pay attention to metrics like session time and retention to see if users are coming back or if there are issues driving them away. You’ll need to identify where users frequently drop and determine what’s preventing them from continuing, whether it’s an issue with the UI or the content of the app itself. Updating to address this issue can help maintain users.If too many users drop off, they’re likely to uninstall the app. This can lead to decreased rankings or even prevent updates until the bug is fixed.
Metadata Optimization and Iteration
Maintaining your marketing efforts is just as important as maintaining your app. Optimizing your App Store and Play Store listings is an iterative process, so you must update to improve its performance consistently. You can’t just set your metadata once and leave it alone.
Why Iteration Matters
After updating your metadata, the app stores’ algorithms will take time to index your app for the keywords you target. This can take some time to complete, but afterwards, your app will be placed in searches for those keywords.
This process repeats every time you update your metadata, which reestablishes keywords you’re still targeting and helps you target new ones. However, if you stop updating, keywords can stagnate or decline as new apps come out and existing apps make updates.
You will need to monitor the performance of your metadata set following every update. Take note of which keywords, phrases or features perform the best, and build upon that for future iterations.
This will help your app continue to improve its rankings and visibility, thus making your marketing more successful. Without proper research and iteration, your performance will not improve, and over time will decline.
Trends and Seasonality
User search trends will also change over time. That makes it important to align your metadata with what’s current to stay relevant with your audience. If your keywords are no longer relevant, users are less likely to discover your app. Neglecting to update your keywords accordingly can limit your user base and success.
This also applies to seasonal trends. As we go through the year, certain keywords will grow and wane in popularity. Holidays, for instance, will have associated keywords that grow in value as the day goes closer. When relevant holidays approach, it’s worth looking into keywords or phrases relevant to the holiday and your app.Creative Optimization and Iteration
Once your app has improved visibility, the next step is to boost conversions. Updating the visual assets is important for this. You’ll want your creative assets to appeal to users so that they’ll install the app once they do find it. This is especially important since your conversions play a key role in determining keyword rankings; where you rank is based on the searches that bring users in. While the targeted metadata creates the foundation for app discovery, conversions will build your rankings from there.
You’ll want to monitor how your creatives perform and see what assets or elements perform the best. The UI on display, screenshot copy or even the background color can make a difference. You need to find out what users like the most and integrate it into your creatives.
A key method of identifying what aspects convert best is through A/B testing. This lets you run variants of a creative set against each other to see what users like the most.
You can use A/B testing to see if users prefer certain designs, screenshot placements, copy, color choices and so forth. It’s important that you test individual changes at a time to get the clearest idea of what performs best.
From there, you can implement your learnings into future builds. Take the successful elements and apply them to build upon their success for future iterations.
Updating your creatives can also help prevent your store listing from looking outdated. Creative trends can change over time, so if your app looks out of date, users may be less likely to convert.
Be sure to keep up with trends and user tastes, then test to confirm your new designs work. If you don’t keep up with the times, your app will fall behind the competition.
Your app requires maintenance and management in order to succeed, both for the UI and the App Store Optimization. You should always be looking for pain points, identifying ways of improving your user flow and experience, fix bugs and provide consistent updates.
Similarly, ASO is not a “one and done” process – it requires maintenance and updates for both the app and its listing. If you want your app to reach and convert new users, you need to put time and effort into it, from the UI to the creative sets.
With proper maintenance and optimization, your app can continue to grow. If you neglect to maintain your app and marketing, your optimization and rankings will fall into disrepair.