ASO is a very new thing to many companies and thus, there are common mistakes made. Hopefully this list will save some of you from either doing mistakes or overall improving your ASO behavior.
1. Not understanding and studying ASO and its benefits
If you’ve already overcome the first mistake - not knowing the existence of ASO - you’ve overcome a lot. However, after realizing that this awesome tool exists, ASO can seem new, weird and confusing. Thus, you need to study it - just like everything new. If you use ASO, you are not dependent on cooperation deals with users and other marketing tools. Obviously these other tools won’t hurt you, but ASO alone will take you far. I have also written an ASO Vocabulary which you can find here; hopefully it will help you with your first steps when understanding ASO.
2. Not taking a look at competitors
When you take a look at competitors and what works for them and what doesn’t, you can save a bunch of time from whirling around wodering whether something will work or not. You can also use your competitors to get inspiration from, for example on keywords.
3. Trusting only on what competitors do
Even though competitors are a valuable source of information, don’t rely your whole business plan on them. You also have to be bold and brave and try what could suit precisely YOUR app and YOUR values. Not everything has to be based on trends. Maybe you have the next big trend hiding in your imagination.
4. Not seeing the difference between App Store and Google Play
If you're not familiar to how algorithm works in App Store or Google Play, now it's time to start learning. If you use the same keywords for both platforms, you won’t get the full benefit. In Google Play, all the content you have in your listing, including short and long description, title, reviews and much more, is indexed. In App Store there are much less characters which will be working as your keywords, so pay attention to distinctly making these two different.
5. Usage of the keywords
5.1. One of the common mistakes is not using your keywords in the name and subtitle as well. This means, that there is a possible user searching for your app, but doesn’t remember the actual name of it, and thus will try and search it with keywords. However, they won’t find your app because you did not include keywords in your name and subtitle - thus they will most probably find competitors who have done so.
5.2. Don’t use extremely difficult keywords. I know, that you are familiar with your app, and you know all the technical features and aspects to it. However, an outsider doesn't, so make sure your keywords don’t require professional knowledge. You should use the advantage of optimizing your keywords so they match your app perfectly, but in addition, don’t forget to make the keywords relevant as well. Easier keywords tend to sometimes blend in, and don't do your app any justice regarding more views and downloads.
6. Ignoring the relevance of visuals
If you are ignoring your visuals, you are ignoring your conversion rate (visits turning to installs). Make sure you take the time to plan and test your icons and screenshots. You need to think of a color scheme, do A/B testing and see, what works for your App the best. People are visual, and they won’t download the app only based on what is written in the description.
7. Not running A/B
This is the best tool you can use, so don’t miss out on it. AB testing gives you exactly what you are hoping for; the data of how your app is doing on stores. It shows you how different options succeed, or whether they do succeed in the first place, and which options work best for you. You could think AB as feedback - it tells you exactly how people react when you make changes.
8. Not localizing
If you ignore localizing, you are throwing away so many potential downloads. Localizing means translating the metadata for a specific language and deeper localization takes cultural differences into account holistically throughout visuals and all the meta-data. But remember NOT to use crappy translations - it will be next to nothing.
9. Not keeping on track with App Store changes
Making sure you are up to date with changes in the algorithm of App Store and Google Play, assures that you will be on time when changes are required. Without being on track, you can easily fall behind of competitors and thus lose possible users and downloads. One factor that could help you be on track with these possible changes, is to follow experts. There are several experts of ASO, who will most likely give information on possible changes.
10. Mixing up ASO and SEO
A common though is that App Store Optimization is the Search Engine Optimization for Apps, but that is not fully how it should be seen. Yes, they are similar and yes, their visibility comes from searching, but there are many differences which should be known. Main difference with these two is their goals: ASO aims for organic downloads where as SEO aims for organic traffic. It's also relevant to understand, that ASO is for iOS and Android devices, App Store and Google Play Store but SEO is for web search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
11. Doing it only once and not frequently enough
Once you’ve done A/B testing and found the right keywords, screenshots and other aspects for your app, you would think that’s it. However, you have to continue optimizing your app, because ASO is a continuousness process. In addition, if you try multiple keywords, you should keep those specific keywords for a couple of weeks or even more, to see how they interact with possible downloaders. It's not a one time thing, nor a quick one. It takes a lot of effort and time.