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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
According to AppAnnie research, the countries with the highest number of app downloads in the world are China, India, United States, Brazil, and Russia. Doing ASO for only English-speaking markets means you lose almost 90% of your potential app users. Besides, you have a much better chance of getting featured by Apple in the countries you target if the app page is localized.
Here’s what Minimum Viable Localization involves:
Mistakes in Optimizing Visual Assets
Kickass visual assets are a must in ASO. In app stores, a creative icon and screenshot can help you to stand out from competitors who offer products similar to yours. That’s why successful mobile apps spend a lot of time optimizing icons and screenshots.
Some app owners and mobile marketers believe that converting their brand logo to the app icon size is enough for App Store Optimization. But in fact, an abstract brand logo or complicated design with a lot of elements can negatively influence users’ desire to click on your app.
The icon is still a great conversion factor. Simply changing your app icon can lift the conversion rate by 20%*.
Tips for Creating the Perfect App Icon
When exploring app pages, users are most likely to search for solutions to their problems. By trying to hook them with the screenshot section, app owners often overload screenshots with text and marketing messages. App store users don’t like reading, and especially not small text on a colorful background.
Leaving negative reviews unanswered is one of the worst mistakes an app can make. It will affect the app visibility and conversion rate immediately. Moreover, the average low rating and negative reviews may kill your chances of getting featured by the App Store and Google Play.
Tips to Improve App Ratings and Reviews
If you avoid these mistakes, you can find and fix the flaws in your current ASO strategy, and perhaps develop a new approach that will improve your position in app stores and bring in more installs.