Appnique Debuts as Transition from SEO to ASO Heats Up
Bloggers, techies, webmasters, and writers alike are all familiar with the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The SEO world has been in a state of transition through much of 2011 and 2012 as SEO professionals adjust to changing algorithms and tactics. There is a new shift on the horizon for SEO professionals in 2013 and it doesn’t involve any of the changes to Google’s ranking algorithms.
No, this shift offers SEO professionals a chance to flex their brains and test their knowledge in the field of mobile technology. More specifically, there is an increasing demand for SEO-style talents in the emerging field of App Store Optimization. ASO, as it is known, refers to the method of developers optimizing their apps for the mobile stores on iOS and Android.
Just as writers and web developers will optimize a website with particular keywords to ensure a higher ranking and placement on search engines like Google, Bing, and others; app developers are struggling to optimize their apps for a stronger appearance in search results in the iOS and Android app stores. For many developers, all the focus is placed on creating an app and the optimization of that app is left as an afterthought. It is not that developers don’t care where their app lands on search results or that they don’t under SEO tactics. The problem is that few understand how the algorithms work for iOS and Android app stores.
ASO, much like SEO, is the practice of optimizing keywords within apps. In order for an app to appear in higher and in more search results, developers need to identify the proper keywords within the app, its title, and description that will garner more attention. The goal, similar to websites, is to create a set of keywords for the app that will help it appear in the right searches and rank higher than its competitors. When that app starts appearing higher and more frequently than its competitors, it climbs up the charts in a given app store.
ASO has been on the rise in 2012, but it is not a new profession by any means. App stores have existed since the release of the first iPhone in 2007. Changes from Apple with the release of iOS 6 is what is going to lead to a surge in the importance of ASO in 2013, and SEO professionals can play a big role.
Unlike Google’s changes to search algorithms that led to changes in SEO practices, ASO practices are adjusting due in large part to Apple’s shift in the appearance of results on the iOS App Store. Up to the release of iOS 6 this fall, app store results were presented in a simple list format. Now however, app results appear in a card-style page setup. The change is making it more difficult for developers to get apps noticed because fewer results show up on each page.
For app developers in the crowded markets, such as games, the challenge has become very difficult. Services have blossomed in recent years, such as SearchMan, MobileDevHQ, and App Annie, which help developers determine which keywords have the biggest impact and track changes related to different keywords.
Appnique is a newcomer to the world of ASO and is hoping to make a big splash with a new approach to ASO. While Appnique offers what many other ASO specialists offer, such as SEO analysis, comparison, and impact tracking, it also provides a new approach that other ASO companies do not.
Appnique is taking ASO analysis to a new level by offering developers with a full analysis of their niche and the competition within. Using their own algorithms, Appnique helps app developers identify who their big competitors are, what keywords they are using, and how their tactics and changes are impacting rankings.
Users of Appnique are provided with online comparison charts that tell them all the information they need. Appnique can tell developers when a competitor makes changes to an app’s description and how that affected their ranking. Other information Appnique provides includes changes to rank after new versions are released, what happened to competitors after a new version was released, and how rankings go up and down with little changes.
The competition in the mobile world is intense and app stores are at the epicenter of SEO and ASO tactics in the mobile market. There are more than one million apps in US app stores, including Android and iOS, and the competition to stay on top is fierce. From September to mid-December 2012, app stores saw 580,000 version updates, 503,892 description updates, 402,012 description changes, and 350,000 title updates.
As mobile technology increases in popularity and prevalence, app developers are going to be fighting for a bigger slice of a greater pie. Apps are only successful if they are getting attention, and the tactics of ASO and SEO offer the best option for increasing the visibility of apps in app stores. ASO has become the new SEO and that status is only going to increase in 2013.