Best Practices for App Storefront Optimization.

By Posted in - Product Strategy on October 14th, 2015

When finalizing an app for publishing, app keywords and a description are often the very last items on a product manager’s to-do list.

Rather than an afterthought, app storefront optimization should be at the heart of an effective app delivery strategy. You won’t have a successful app if users are unable to find it!

Storefront optimization

Storefront optimization is almost a self-perpetuating system; the more users who successfully find and download an app, the higher the app will rise in search rankings. User engagement is critical to increased downloads and ratings, which both raise the application’s store ranking, in turn increasing engagement itself.

But how do you get started? Storefront optimization might sound daunting to the uninitiated, but the first steps to making your app more discoverable are things that your product managers and marketers already know.

Utilizing your existing resources

Apollo Matrix recommends first looking at your most common use cases and user personas. This way, you can craft descriptive copy and an easily recognizable title that draws upon your brand’s strengths and existing customer pool.

Keyword selection is a pain point for many developers and product managers, but again, there are tools already in your team’s arsenal to narrow down the endless options. Remember, you won’t have an entire encyclopedia of keywords; the iOS App Store has a limit of 100 bytes or characters for the keyword field, Windows Store has a limit of 7 keywords, and Google Play allows a maximum of 30 words in the title and a description of up to 4,000 words. In Google Play, search is the primary means of discovery; we recommend the use of keywords and terms in the title and description.

Take a look at your own SEO metrics

To begin, take a look at your own SEO metrics to find which organic web searches are bringing users to your existing web properties. Identify which keywords supply significant web traffic, as well as abstract search terms that could serve as a “golden egg” for discovery. If there is a specific search term or phrase that your brand already dominates in SEO, consider implementing part or all of it into your description and keywords. These could quickly jump you to the top of search results in the storefront by making your app easily discoverable to your existing customer base.

comScore Chart

Research shows that app store browsing is still the most common way users discover new applications. Push your app to the top of the charts by increasing discoverability and engagement.

 

Google’s AdWords tool shows the global monthly searches for specific words or phrases on the web. While this service is comprised of and specific to Google searches, it gives insight to common search behaviors for the most popular use cases. Explore recommended search keywords for your web properties and utilize them on the storefront.

Discover your target market’s behaviors

Now it’s time to dive into the world of keyword search metrics for app themselves. There are plenty of third party services available online, for free, that aggregate and rank the various search keywords that lead users to specific apps. If your team has an existing application, note which searches are actually directing users to it. Don’t get hung up on what you’ve used before; remember, it’s not what the developer thinks that matters, because the customer (or, in this case, the user) is always right.

Additionally, take a look at your competition. At several points during the design and build process, Apollo Matrix makes note of our clients’ direct competitors as well as properties and behaviors that would be commonly adopted by the project’s anticipated user base. Knowing which keyword and search terms are bringing users to your competition could be valuable for directing traffic towards your own apps. You want to make sure you’re capturing app store shoppers who are looking for you specifically, but don’t forget about attracting users who are just browsing, or don’t have a specific application in mind.

Initiate external drivers

Finally, there are extensive opportunities to drive discovery of your app outside of the storefront itself. Utilization of AdWords and targeted campaigns on the web and in social can increase engagement. This brings us back to the earlier point about engagement being a cyclical process to create and grow a user base. By optimizing your storefront and pushing users to it through internal and external means, product managers can lay the groundwork for a successful app through increased adoption and engagement.