App Store Optimization: Launch Checklist
There are many steps in developing an app pre-launch strategy, with organic app marketing being just one of many moving parts. From studying market trends, ensuring your in-app experience flows smoothly, to establishing your tone of voice throughout all channels, launching an app is no walk in the park.
Below you’ll find a few recommendations that will help take the guesswork out of creating an effective pre-launch App Store Optimization strategy.
What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?
Any app launch process backed by an effective App Store Optimization strategy is better poised to grow in the app store than one simply waiting for downloads to flood in. You wouldn’t open up a shop without prepping your shelves, products, or price tags. An app launch is no different and App Store Optimization is the foundation for making sure your app listing page is ready for users.
With millions of users searching for apps every day, you want to increase your chances of positioning your app among the top of search results. Successful App Store Optimization helps you achieve exactly this by researching current trends and market conditions while also implementing effective strategies when modifying your app page. So long as you follow ASO best practices your app listing data can contribute to the initial and continued organic growth of your app.
Let’s take a look at the different strategies you can implement into your ASO plan to optimally position your app once you’re ready to launch.
Like in any business endeavor, preparatory steps should be taken in the beginning to improve the chances of future success. The pre-optimization process in an app marketing plan covers exactly that. This consists of researching the current app store category market, studying relevant trends, and applying proven methods that can serve as a solid starting point for an App Store Optimization strategy over time.
Developers can begin optimizing their app even before launch by editing their app listing information in a way that contributes to both higher visibility and conversions. This includes revising their metadata fields as well as creative assets.
Metadata fields consist of text elements that affect your app ranking as well as its conversion rate. Some areas are visible to users, making them important to optimize for both relevance and downloads. However, you’ll have other instances of terms hidden from users, but still affect your keyword rankings. Visible fields that contribute to both keyword positioning and higher conversions include the title and subtitle in the App Store and the title, short description, and full description in the Google Play Store. Whereas the keyword bank in the App Store is a section where you can incorporate relevant terms, that although users don’t see, greatly aid in improving our app ranking during the indexation process.
Your creative assets are powerful visual elements that not only complement your written fields but can act as conversion drivers as well. Developers will want to structure each image to fulfill a particular goal.
For example, the icon can act as the main identifying image for your app as it is the first creative users will see in search results and the one they are most likely going to relate your app to. Screenshots can act as your chance to provide a glimpse into your user experience in an engaging and informative way. With in-app imagery, supporting copy, and appealing visuals, developers can enhance their screenshots and motivate users to download as well.
Performing tests at various stages of your app lifecycle will ensure you are meeting user expectations and collecting feedback to perform changes when necessary. Receiving early data that reflects app performance is important so developers can establish the next course of action. A soft launch is a great way of getting that information from a similar audience before going live in your main market.
Soft launching an app is a way for developers to test the adoption of their app in a smaller, related territory before publishing an app to their primary target audience. By soft launching, developers can minimize the risk of unexpected errors and gauge user response as time goes on. With territories sharing common interests and even languages, developers can take advantage of the ASO tools at their disposal to prepare their main launch as best possible
Your App Store Optimization strategy may greatly benefit from a soft launch as you can use it to test keywords, description variants, and many more elements that affect your app store performance. By performing A/B tests with different variables, you can pinpoint exactly what users respond well to and double down on the copy and creatives that work.
Incorporating a paid marketing strategy to aid your organic efforts can be a great way of expediting data collection to adjust your app store marketing plan accordingly. By running ads in conjunction with your existing ASO strategy you can streamline your organic performance by establishing category relevance and keyword indexation from early on at a higher volume.
Apple Search Ads and Google Ads are the two main platforms developers can use to increase relevancy for the campaign’s organic targeted terms. By appearing at the top of search results, developers can potentially improve their clickthrough rate, leading to increased relevance for the keyword searched. With this increased relevance, the App Store and Play Store algorithms can more easily determine if a term should continue to rank favorably or not in organic searches.
Developers can take this opportunity to assess their ASO strategy by testing different keywords and creative assets. By using your search ads to evaluate different variants, you can determine exactly what elements and terms currently work, and which ones need adjusting in your organic strategy.
Once you’ve developed your app, it may be tempting to simply write a few lines of copy, throw in some screenshots and call it done. However, downloads will not start pouring in after launch and any business owner knows the importance of having an effective marketing strategy to attract customers. By treating your app in the same manner and seeing each written and visual field as a growth driver, you can avoid missing out on the potential for higher visibility and downloads from the start.
Adopting a quality ASO plan to support your marketing efforts is just the first step in setting your app up for success. Once in place, you have the foundation for creating a quality user experience, both in-app and outside it.