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App Store SEO - How to Increase Your App's Visibility

With the millions and millions of apps that are available, you have to do more than design a nice user interface and add unique features to gain traction among consumers. What you need, in fact, are the right search engine optimization (SEO) and app store optimization (ASO) strategies to improve your mobile app ranking and achieve more downloads.

There is a science to making your app visible in an app store where you will face lots of competition -- and by following a few best practices, you can watch your ranking climb. Read on for a look at mobile app rankings and how they work, how SEO is becoming increasingly important in this segment, and tips to boosting your app rankings with SEO.

Mobile App Rankings

According to statistics, the number of mobile app downloads in the Asia Pacific region in 2016 was 86.2 billion, and this tally is expected to climb to 117.7 billion in 2017 and 198.9 billion in 2021. It’s also important to note that the two most popular app stores are the iOS App Store and Google Play, and so what you’ll want to do is increase your mobile app rankings on these sites.

Many consumers who make up your target demographic will likely find and download your app after using the search function on whichever app store they use. Other ways they may find your apps include, but are not limited to, family and friends, third-party sites, and media.

Each app has a rating, so what you want to do is lay the groundwork to secure the best possible rating possible. Your rating is particularly critical since it will factor into your app's position in app store searches, which suggests that ratings play a key role in rankings within the app stores.

How ASO/SEO is Becoming More Important

When it comes to promoting your app, ASO is as important as SEO. While SEO is about boosting your ranking among search engine results, ASO is about boosting your ranking among app search results. Here's a look at why ASO is becoming increasingly important:

Search Rankings: You can use ASO to boost your app ranking and to gauge your performance compared to your competitors on the app store.

Ratings & Reviews: Your ASO strategy, combined with ratings and reviews, can increase traction and facilitate downloads. For instance, you can stay on top of what your app users are saying in their ratings and reviews to figure out, based on the language and terms they employ, keywords that you should be including in your ASO strategy.

Downloads: ASO can also help you with respects to downloads of your app. For instance, you can use a program such as iTunes Connect to figure out just how critically different keywords figure into actual downloads.

Conversion Rate: With an ASO strategy, you can see conversion rates climb. The reason for this potential is that you can ASO to bolster user engagement with your app.

Tips to Boost App Rankings with SEO

It's important to know that the profile pages for your mobile app won't automatically be included in search engine listings in the way that web pages are. You can circumvent this, however, by creating a landing page or a microsite. Building an online presence via a landing page or microsite -- especially if you add a relevant blog -- can ultimately create a critical mass of traffic leading to your app. Here are some proven strategies to boost your app's profile on search engines, increase your ranking, and facilitate more downloads:

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords: First things first, you need the right group of keywords if you want to ensure that search engines rank your landing page or microsite optimally, and this can be done through LSI keywords. LSI keywords refer to words that help Google to grasp what your landing page or microsite is about. If users search for "Big Bang Theory," for instance, Google needs to understand whether the users are looking for the television show by that name or the actual theory of the origins of the universe. LSI keywords can provide the necessary context so that Google can figure out whether the users are referring either to the former meaning or to the latter meaning. In order to figure out what sorts of LSI keywords to use, here are some ways to find examples:

Start a Google search. You'll be able to see the LSI keywords via the drop down of the connected keywords.

Google highlights the words pertaining to the research results. When you look at the results, you will find LSI keywords. 

Look at the bottom of a search results page -- there, you will see more keywords that are made up for searches connected to your keyword.

Build Backlinks: It's important that you build backlinks to your microsite or landing page to boost your search ranking. Your search listing position will increase if you link to authoritative websites. This is how you would proceed:

Find competitors who have built up considerable traction and that are doing well in app store rankings.

After you've done this, you can use a backlinking solution such as Cognitive SEO or ahrefs to find pages that will link back to the rival app.

Next, you need to reach out to the author to see if they will list a link back to your app. You'll increase your odds of getting a positive response if you provide a compelling argument to support your request.

Bounce Rate: Google monitors bounce rate, which looks at the number of site visits where the users exits your landing page without visiting any other pages. The more time users spend on your landing page, the higher the odds of your landing page getting a higher ranking in the search engine results. There are things you can do to boost the amount of time users spend on your landing page. Here are some tips:

Discuss the problem you're looking to address.

Tell the user that the problem you highlighted can be fixed.

Explain how your app will help the user to solve the problem -- and be sure to include compelling information such as statistics that back up your claims.

List your App in a number of places: Take time to list your app in a number of places apart from Google Play and Apple Store. Here are some of the best Android app store alternatives that can give your app the much-needed visibility. 

Feature Brand in App Name: The name you give your app will serve a dual purpose since it will be the link anchor text in app stores. You can go the extra step by including your brand name in the URL for your download page.

Brand Name in Link Text: Put your brand name within the link text leading to app store download pages. So, instead of including a link that states, "Download Android App," try something like "Download the XYZ  App for Android."

QR Link: Include QR codes to facilitate app access. You'll need to set it up so that the QR selects the right app download for the right device once it's scanned. 

Graphics: Don't underestimate the importance of compelling graphics when it comes to boosting your app store ranking. Keep your target demographic in mind when you brainstorm actional app graphics to employ. 

There are definitely some strategies that you can use to increase your app’s visibility amidst a landscape of millions of different apps. By using ASO and SEO techniques, you can boost visibility and drive more downloads of your app.

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