App Store Optimization (ASO) is not a task you check off as “done.”
Even if it’s executed perfectly by an ASO expert or agency, if left alone, it will stop bringing in results. Your app will lose rankings and valuable search traffic.
There are multiple factors that come into play: Apple or Google may change their app store algorithms, competitors may start targeting your most important keywords, and negative reviews may lower your average app rating, affecting conversions.
Successful app businesses approach ASO as a process with room for improvement. They regularly audit their apps’ positions, keep an eye on competitors, and run multiple tests to improve app visibility and get more installs.
There are also certain tactics successful mobile games and apps avoid because they have a negative impact on ASO KPIs and strategy.
We’ve gathered the most frequent App Store Optimization mistakes that every mobile marketer should avoid. Follow the expert tips below to dodge ASO mistakes and improve your user acquisition strategy.
Mistakes in Text Optimization
As ASO is focused on driving targeted traffic through queries made by users on app stores (the Apple App Store and Google Play), text optimization and use of top-traffic keywords are among the most important ranking factors.
Postponing Work On Your App’s Semantic Core
Building a semantic core is a time-consuming and challenging process, especially if you are new to ASO and keyword research. Many app owners rely on luck and wait to see which keywords app stores will position their app for, before getting down to work on a semantic core. But identifying a comprehensive list of keywords for your app should actually be the first step in your App Store Optimization strategy.
How to Build Your Semantic Core
First, let’s define the semantic core in ASO. Semantic core is a set of words and phrases that users type into the app store search bar to look for your app or game.
Say, for example, you have a yoga app, people will most probably use queries like yoga workout, yoga classes, yoga asanas, yoga for beginners, and similar to find an app in your category.
The more words and phrases relevant to your app or game that you can come up with for your list, the better. Having a wide variety of queries in your semantic core allows you to identify keywords that have a higher potential to drive quality traffic and installs from the App Store or Google Play.
Tips for Creating a High Quality Semantic Core
Brainstorm a list of the words and phrases you would use to look for your app. Ask friends and colleagues to search for apps with a particular functionality or feature and see what words and phrases they use.
Do competitor research. Many apps from your category have probably worked on their ASO strategy and added high-traffic keywords to their app title and subtitle which can be beneficial to your app as well.
Analyze and prioritize keywords with ASO Tools. Remove keywords with zero traffic potential. This final list of words and phrases make up your app semantic core which you can base the keyword optimization strategy on.
Limiting Your App Name to the Brand Name
Some app owners mistakenly think that keeping the app title “clean” and limiting it to the brand name is good for their apps’ ASO. Even universally recognized brands like Spotify add strategic keywords to their app title and subtitle. This approach allows the music streaming app to reach more potential users on app stores at zero cost.
When looking for new music to add to their playlists, App Store users will most likely use a query like “New music” and Spotify will be their first result. Source: Apple App Store
Tips for Creating an App Title
Add your most strategic keywords to the app title, as it is considered the most important ranking factor in ASO.
Use all characters available and give users a better idea of your app. Try to cover as many search queries as possible.
Use additional languages. In the App Store, you can increase the number of keywords your app ranks for by using additional locales. For example, both English-US and Spanish-Mexico can be indexed in the United States.
Repeating Your Strategic Keywords Multiple Times
The Apple App Store recommends using each of your keywords only once in your app metadata. Repetitive use of keywords won’t improve your chances of ranking for these keywords but may easily result in your app getting suspended or banned.
On the other hand, repeating keywords in different parts of metadata is good for your app ASO in Google Play. However, keep an eye on the number of times you use your strategic keywords.
Keyword stuffing in ASO is very negative and Google may lower your search ranking. There are a number of tools on the market that allow you to check the keyword density in your app metadata.