Is your app not seeing the download numbers you’d like? Developers can often feel frustrated when, in spite of their best marketing efforts, their apps still seem to be reaching just a small group. There are a number of reasons why an app might not get installed, including using web data rather than mobile data, updating keywords before they’re fully indexed, or simply not maximizing the metadata fields. Here are some underlying factors that could hold back your downloads:
Using Web Data to Determine Keyword Strategy
In order to properly execute your ASO strategy, you’ll need a solid foundation based on data from an ASO platform. Specifically, you’ll need an ASO platform that uses mobile data. While there has been a surge in the number of available tools for gathering search data, many of them use web data designed for SEO rather than mobile data for ASO.
There is only a 20% overlap between web and mobile search trends. This means that using web data to optimize a mobile app will provide inaccurate information that could hinder an app’s optimization. Considering 70% of installs come from search, you’ll want to ensure that the app uses the right data to appear in mobile search results.
If you want to optimize an app properly, you’ll need to use data that reflects how users actually search. Using web data will not provide you with that information. With the proper mobile data, your app can target terms users are searching for and gain more downloads, but with web data, you won’t be able to obtain nearly as many downloads. This could be why your app is still not seeing downloads, no matter what updates you give it.
Updating Keywords Before the App’s Indexed
When an app goes live with new metadata, the App Store and Google Play algorithms crawl it for keywords. The stores merchandise the app for any keywords it determines are relevant, although this process takes time. In fact, it could take anywhere from two weeks to five or more to fully merchandise the app.
During this time frame, the best thing a developer can do for keyword indexation is to wait. Changing the metadata during the merchandising period can interrupt the algorithms and limit the number of keywords the app would otherwise rank for.
Furthermore, even if an app does index for its keywords during that time frame, updating too early could impact the rankings for them. The process includes detecting keywords in the metadata, indexing them and adjusting the app’s rankings according to its click through rate. Changing the keywords too soon starts the process of merchandising and indexing the app over before it can see results.
It’s important to let the algorithms finish their job in order to maximize visibility. Be patient and let the algorithms work, then you can update the metadata again in due time. If you update too soon, your app will not index properly, which will prevent it from reaching its potential users and downloads.
Underutilizing Metadata Fields
On a related note, it’s important to make full use of all the metadata space you have available. Both Apple and Google provide fields for metadata on their stores, although they work in different ways. The stores crawl these fields when merchandising apps, so failing to fill them out properly can substantially lower the app’s chances of being discovered.
It’s important to understand which metadata fields are indexed for searches and utilize them to their fullest. Any empty space is an opportunity for additional keywords which can be used to improve an app’s indexation. Apple offers developers a 100-character keyword bank, while the title and subtitle are also crawled for keywords. Google pulls keywords from the app’s title and short description first, then crawls the long description to identify other keywords.
Some developers only include a few keywords in their App Store keyword bank and call it a day, while leaving the title short and the subtitle space empty. Others leave their Google Play short descriptions empty or only use 300 of the 4,000 characters the description provides them with no thought given to keywords. When they do this, they miss out on important opportunities for adding and merchandising for keywords.
If your app isn’t indexing for all the keywords you’d like, this could be a self-inflicted setback. If you’re worried about this, now may be a good time to audit your metadata and ensure you’re making the most of the space you have.
If your app isn’t getting enough installs, there are several factors that could be causing it. If you’re using web data instead of mobile data, your data will be a fake compass that leads you in the wrong direction. Updating your app’s metadata too quickly may also be having a negative effect on your visibility and installs. Lastly, whether you’re a startup or a large company, failing to utilize the metadata fields to their fullest will hold your app back.
App Store Optimization can do wonders for an app’s visibility and installs. If it’s not done properly, however, it can have the opposite effect. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you understand what updates you need to make and the best practices to follow – missteps can hold you back from getting all the downloads your app deserves.