Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is usually used to help websites achieve higher rankings on Google and Bing, but it also can be used in the App Store. The search functions in online app vendor’s work a lot like search engines. Just like search engines, they can be gamed using the right practices.
SEO is critical because the App Store and Google Play are both very new. Their search functions have not had nearly the amount of research and development as Google or Bing.
These more primitive search engines tend to miss the nuance of long tail keyword searches, and are vulnerable to optimization. With weaker search functions, the big app markets tend to be places where a small number of developers get a huge number of hits, and a large number of developers get left out in the cold.
This is a big deal because searches, especially on the App Store, are the most common source of sales for app developers. According to Nielsen, more consumers find apps by searching than by recommendations from friends or family.
You’ve spent a lot of time on your app and actually want it seen and used, and not one of the ones ranked low on every search. Here are some tips to help your mobile app SEO:
- Including Keywords in the Title Field
A common rookie mistake is to use your title field just for the catchy brand name, and not for what an app actually does. For example, if you have a fitness app called, say, GetBulkd, you want your title field to say, “GetBulkd: Training, Lifting, Diet, and Lifestyle Tracker for Men,” instead of just the title.
- Research your Keywords
On the App Store, you only have 100 characters for your keywords, so make them count!
The best place to find keywords is in positive reviews of your app or similar apps. You can use a Review Analysis Tool to find out the most common words and phrases used by satisfied customers. If reviews are unavailable, try spying on successful competitors to see what keywords work for them.
- Put Effort into Your Icon
Your icon will be the primary way that customers select your app out of the search results.
Hire a real graphic designer and get an icon that communicates functionality, professionalism, and ease-of-use.
- Link Build for Google Play, NOT for the App Store
Link building is important to Google Play searches, and it works exactly like online link-building. Research modern SEO approaches and see if any will work for your Play page.
SEO for apps takes work, and probably seems like a boring chore for creative types who rock app development. However, in a world where most consumers only look at the top search results, it is absolutely essential for sharing your app with the world.