SEO vs. ASO: Compare Them For Most Effective Uses
Creating an excellent mobile app does not end with completing the development cycle. An app generates returns through consistent use; if the traffic is not consistent or increasing, you will have sunk a large amount of money into a failed project. To that end, you have two excellent strategies — SEO and ASO — available for easy use.
Here are the two main ways to push your apps, according to a mobile app development agency:
- Comparing SEO and ASO for making apps searchable
- Deciding the best time to use both strategies for apps
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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SEO vs. ASO: Comparing Two Ways To Optimize App Searchability
If you have been following the latest trends in mobile app development, you most likely have, or are planning to create, a mobile app for your business. The revenue an app potentially brings is reason enough to make one, but the benefits go far beyond that. They complement your products, too.
The problem you face, though, is that you need users (a lot of them) to make your app worth the investment. In that case, you have two options: search engine optimization (SEO) and app store optimization (ASO). Each one has unique advantages and disadvantages.
Before going into that, it is important to distinguish between the search engine results page (SERP) and the search results page on the app store. They have different effects on your app’s visibility and chance of attracting downloads. Here are some key points you should note:
- SERPs cover online content, which means you compete with more than rival apps for reach and ranking. On the other hand, app stores are limited to apps, which gives you a better chance of appearing in results. However, that is not a guarantee.
- Since app stores have a web version, their contents and the apps uploaded to them are also searchable on SERPs. However, it is almost pointless to rely on this method since those apps only appear in SERPs if you add “Play Store” or “App Store” to your search terms.
- App stores are not one-size-fits-all; each (for example, the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Amazon Appstore) is governed by its own guidelines. That applies to both the app itself and the information and level of transparency it asks from developers.
Use SEO for General Online Search
SEO remains the go-to marketing strategy for pushing your products and services higher up in online search results; ASO is for boosting apps in app store search results. However, that is not strictly the case because SEO is just as useful for promoting apps, if not more so, in some cases.
SEO polishes a website or its content (in this case, articles or blog posts about your app) to rank higher in the SERPs. It does that by applying keywords or phrases that are selected based on their proximity to or match with critical search terms. That allows your app to reach larger audiences.
That is not all, though, because part of SEO ranking is also based on website crawlability and indexing to rank higher. Given that, you have quite a list of on-page elements to optimize, including these:
1. Craft an app title that has highly marketable words in it, but take care to make it unique.
2. Write an informative article on your app's unique selling points. Include your keywords.
3. Optimize your meta tags and keep them consistent with your app and target keywords.
4. Add reviews and accolades to your app’s landing page and fill it with helpful information.
5. Include plenty of high-quality screenshots and videos to showcase your app's features.
6. Cover app updates and discuss new features and bug fixes to improve SERP rank.
Choose ASO for In-Store App Search
The future of app development sees more and more profitable business opportunities for both a mobile app development agency and its client. However, that future also means more and more competition for market share. ASO is the answer to the issues of visibility and profitability.
When people search for apps, they most likely look within an app store rather than SERPs unless the app they seek is exclusively available as a web app. In that case, people use services such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo to find what they need.
Like search engines, app store searches consider several factors when ranking an app in its results. Furthermore, the display suggestions and features apps are based on their success and performance in the store. Here are some essential optimizations to help you rank higher:
1. Choose and use relevant keywords on your app page, especially in the description.
2. Create an eye-catching app title and icon relevant to your app’s function.
3. Add screenshots and videos that accurately display your app’s features and functions.
4. Encourage users to leave reviews, and make sure you respond to any user feedback.
5. Choose the most relevant app category to help your app appear in relevant searches.
Deciding When To Use SEO and ASO
Although SEO and ASO are invaluable app marketing strategies, each has distinct use cases. It depends on several factors, such as the type of app, industry, and functions involved. Mobile games, for example, use both effectively because they often have cross-platform compatibility.
Mobile games quickly amass a large fanbase, thus necessitating a central point of contact with players — a website. That is where developers can post information on app updates and upcoming features. Websites also serve as a gathering place for players if a forum exists.
Developers who have published many successful apps can also create a landing page for each app that leads to a download button or dedicated website. On the other hand, ASO is important because mobile games are made for smart devices, so optimizing for app stores is invaluable.
As mentioned above, the choice of SEO versus ASO depends on factors such as the app type. For example, web apps and progressive web apps (PWAs) are not used for ASO since they do not appear in app stores.
SEO and ASO are two marketing strategies developers use to maximize their app’s usage and grow their user base. Both provide much-appreciated support for your success, but they must be adapted to suit the app you develop. Remember, they are not one-size-fits-all.
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