ASO, the New Kid on the Block in the Localization industry!
In my previous post Why Content Marketing and ASO is like peanuts and beer I made some references to ASO.
ASO which is the acronym for App Store Optimization is the New Kid on the Block in the Localization Industry!!!!!
In the past, I saw ASO was not grabbing the attention it deserves.
I have seen a weird approach towards ASO. First app was translated ….. and then we launch it and then …. oh-oh!!! we focus on the ASO optimization. If you recognize yourself (or your company) in this situation I invite you to try something different when you localize your next app.
I will divive this post in 2 parts as there a few areas we need to focus our attention
Why ASO is so important? Firsts thing first; let’s start with an ASO definition
And what’s the main goal of ASO? To make it simple the main goal of ASO it to increase the visibility of our app so it can be found easily and generate more organic installs.
I was reviewing last week the Apple’s iTunes Connect Developer Guide and this graphic brought my attention
Apple iTunes Connect
There are millions of apps nowadays in the Store. For this reason, designing ASO strategy is absolutely necessary!!!!
Otherwise, our app is going to be a small fish in the middle of the ocean!!
According to statista.com just for iOS, as of January 2017, 2.2 million mobile apps were available to download for various iOS devices ….. and if we have a look at the Android market the ocean for our little fish is even more intimidating! This other report concludes the number of apps in Google PlayStore in December 2016 surpassed 2.6 million apps.
As you might imagine with this solid and impressive competition around our app we need to take a serious and professional approach when it comes to design the ASO Localization strategy around our app.
Having a process for ASO localization is essential to secure traffic and installs, but there’s another important reason why ASO deserves a professional approach.
This other reason is that it’s our presentation card to millions of users, and we all know we only have one opportunity to cause a good impression!
If we have our AppStore page with translation errors, messy screenshots, poor quality videos … what’s the message we are sending to our potential buyers? For me, ASO is like the shop window … if I see for example in a clothing store weird old mannequins, or chaotic decoration ….. chances that I get inside that shop are not so much if I compared it to an elegant shop window who plan every little detail and it has perfect props.
Therefore, the question is how do I cause a very good impression when it comes to ASO?.
Below is my list of suggestions based on the different projects and A/B tests I’ve been involved in the last years.
It contains 9 key areas; and today I will cover the first 4 parts.
1. Use a sticky app name
2. Write a nice app-description
3. Understand the importance of screenshots
4. Video! We like videos!
Use a sticky app name
When my wife was pregnant with our first kid, I remember we talked for hours about his name. We wanted to choose a name that it was somehow not very very common and easy to pronounce, even in different languages! Our first app might be like our first baby :) a lot of care and hope there! This is why I believe this approach is also valid when it comes to choosing a name for an app.
In my opinion to find the perfect name for an app can be summarized as this: .
It has to be unique because we don’t want to sound very similar to other apps, right? How many Photo apps are there in the App Stores?
If we use a common name... then when we try to stand out will be even more challenging.
Use a sticky name to stand out of the crowd of the App stores, try to include it when possible in the title a word representing what the app will do: Booking, Skyscanner, Flipboard are very good examples of sticky names
Last but not least ... don't forget to do a name sense check to ensure your app name is not offending anyone around the globe! We want to be in the news because our app is great, right? Not because we messed up when choosing the name for a specific language :) 20 epic fails when global branding
Write a nice app-description
Again, here, we need to capture the attention of our potential clients. One of the “secrets” to increase the number of downloads is to be able to explain in a few words what problem our application is solving
We need to think also why our application is different from our competitors.
Benchmarking our app vs our competitors will help us to come up with a list of benefits we can get from using our app. If what we are developing is a game then we need to focus our attention towards explaining why our game is fun and how it will help us to escape from our problems for a few minutes (or even for a few hours!) For a good game app description being able to identify why our game is fun and where’s the challenge are 2 main pillars that we need to include in the game (app) description.
When we write these texts it's very important to focus all our best efforts in the first words, to be exact in the first 2 sentences. In the AppStore we have 255 characters to write our description. In the PlayStore we have to get to the point even quicker, we just have 80 characters to write our description.
When it comes to create short texts, but effective descriptions, my favourite technique is KISS (more details about KISS can be found HERE)
Understand the importance of screenshots
Here the old saying is once again totally right …... A picture paints a thousand words!
When a potential customer is looking for a new app to install, according to a study research done by App Annie , the screenshot is the factor that it will influence the most in the decision of the download … this is our opportunity to impress them!! and as average potential customers pay attention only to the first 2-3 screenshots (you can upload up to 5 in the Appstore, 8 in PlayStore)
Therefore we have to work our heart out in the first screenshots. Below it’s a list that I think it might help you to decide in what to focus when creating the screenshots for our app:
· We should focus all our efforts in the first screenshot. It’s like our elevator pitch
· Use the right screen size resolution. According to AppShots (great app!) this is the guideline to produce beautiful nice resolution images
· Explain some of the main features of your app in at least one of the screenshots. And use one screenshot per feature if you plan to show several. I do like how Spotify solved this challenge
· Quick overview about how to use the app in the shown screenshots
· Use proper tools to create your screenshot. Some Apps show very amateur screenshots in the stores. This won’t help to stand out our app in the crowded ocean of apps …. Among the tools I have used to create screenshots AppShots is my favorite.
Easy to use, easy to scale to different resolutions and a great offer in the templates & image library. Let’s not over complicate the screenshots with complex backgrounds!!!
Video! We like videos!
If a picture paints a thousand words .. I guess that a video might “paint” a million! I love video in Stores, specially in the games.
That’s the very first thing I do personally check in the Store before downloading a game.
The plan to design a video can be similar to what we just mentioned above with the screenshots. We have to focus on the video to show what makes our app unique. It needs to rank our main features and I would suggest to include music and text (localized text, of course!).
And we have to execute all this between 15 and 30 seconds which is the time Apple is giving us. If you need some guidance about which software to use for this … well, there are many apps. I personally like iMovie. Please check HERE to find instructions about how to create App previews with iMovie
That's all for this week!, join me next week in the part 2 of ASO, the New Kid on the Block of the Localization Industry!
Meanwhile... have a fantastic day!