Will App Store Optimization Kill Search Engine Optimization?

App store optimization (ASO) has become a popular term with businesses and marketers. This is the result of a growing need to get apps discovered among the millions of other mobile apps available today. That’s where ASO comes in handy because it involves optimizing your apps for a higher rank in the search results of an app store. It’s closely related to SEO, which involves optimizing websites for a higher rank in search engines.

Surprising App Statistics

Let’s look some useful facts to help you understand just how much apps are growing. These statistics will give you better insight into the importance of app store optimization.

  • Android – According to the latest statistics from AppBrain.com, Google Play currently has over 1.8 million app choices for Android users, making in the largest app store. In December 2014, it had 1.5 million apps and the number has continued to rise steadily. The number of apps on Google Play has increased by 300,000 in just under a year.total Android apps in play store
  • iOS – Apple’s App Store comes a close second after Android with over 1.5 million apps as of June 2015. In June 2014, the app store had about 1.2 million apps available for users. As you can see, the number of apps has increased by 300,000 within a year’s time. The growth in Android apps and iOS apps is quite similar.

Growing Number of Apps Compels Moving to App Store Optimization

From the above statistics, it’s clear that the biggest challenge for mobile app developers and marketers isn’t building the mobile app itself. The real challenge is getting your app found and having it rank higher than your competitors. Therefore, marketers are realizing the importance of app store optimization and are gradually moving towards it. App store optimization is basically search engine optimization that’s repurposed for mobile apps.

In its Web Server Survey, published in October 2014, NetCraft reported that there were over 1 billion websites throughout the Internet. However, this number has declined subsequently according to Internet Live Stats. There are approximately 956,814,926 websites online currently. This decline is a result of the monthly fluctuations in the inactive website count. It’s possible that the inactivity is partly contributed by the rise in the number of apps. With apps being a lot more convenient and accessible for many users, some websites have become less frequently used.

Check out the table below showing the growth in websites through the years until 2014:

Total no. of websitesAccording to the 2014 year-end report published by the mobile analytics firm Flurry, there has been a significant growth in mobile app usage in the past year. The report showed that overall app usage increased by 76% last year. The most popular app categories were Shopping and Utilities & Productivity, followed by messaging. An increased usage of these top three apps made a huge contribution to overall app usage growth. Flurry tracked over 2 trillion app sessions throughout the year. In fact, December 31st saw a daily session record with 8.5 billion sessions.

Take a look at the following detailed chart showing the growth of app usage in several categories:

Mobile use growth over time

This growth goes hand in hand with the ever-increasing number of apps across various app stores. In 2014, popular app stores like Google Play Store, iOS App Store, and Amazon Appstore all grew by at least 50% according to App Figures. The number of apps in Google Play is shown to have doubled within the same year. This means that between January and November 2014, the number of apps in the app store grew by over 200%.

Review the charts below to see the growth in app development between 2010 and 2014 and also within 2014 itself:

Total no. of app in app store

With so many apps being developed every day, it’s easy for an app to go undiscovered. App store optimization is the answer. A report by Forrester says that more than 60% of apps are found through searches conducted in app stores. This means that search is the most popularly used method for customers to discover new apps and download them.

That’s why you might want to check out some of these useful tools to help you with app store optimization:

  • SearchMan
  • es
  • Distimo
  • Appnique
  • Flurry
  • Sensor
  • AppFigures
  • Mopapp

Benefit of Apps

Whether you’re a popular corporate brand or a small business, having your own mobile app and using app store optimization could be the next best thing to drive organizational growth. Here I’ve outlined some of the ways you can benefit from your own mobile app:

  • Improve engagement – Designing a mobile app through which customers can easily reach out to you is a great way for you improve engagement. Many people prefer to communicate through messages than through calls. So, you can connect better with your customers or clients with your own mobile app.
  • Build loyalty – By being just a fingertip away, your mobile app could be an effective way to stay closer to your customers. Apps can help you bond with customers and develop strong, sincere connections. As a result, mobile apps successfully build customer loyalty.
  • Increase visibility – With people spending more time on their phones, having your own mobile app could help you become more visible. Even if customers don’t use your app regularly, they still notice your app icon every time they unlock their phones or other mobile devices.
  • Create a direct marketing channel – Your mobile app can be a convenient way for your customers to gain access to your services. It gives them access to prices, booking forms, general company data, and more. Then, your customers will be able to do business with you even on-the-go.
  • Stay ahead of competitors – Mobile apps are especially useful for small businesses to stay ahead of their competitors. Not many small businesses have their own mobile apps, so developing your own and using app store optimization could put you ahead of the game.
  • Increase social media interaction – By linking your mobile app with your social media accounts, you can easily drive more interaction on those platforms. This will help you maximize the investments you have made for social media.
  • Boost brand exposure – Your customers will have more opportunity to share information about your brand with friends and other connections through your mobile app. This means that you’ll create a social buzz and get more exposure for your company.

What is more important? Mobile Websites or Mobile Apps

So, here’s the big question – should we go for a mobile website or mobile app? Which option works best depends on a number of different factors. You’d have to consider the type of audience you have, the amount of budget you can set aside, and your overall objective.

  • Audience – Take a look at your prospective audience. Are they likely to use mobile apps on a regular basis? Or are they more inclined to use browsers to access your business? Will they take the time to discover and download your app? If the last answer is no, remember that a mobile website can be viewed by everyone with a mobile phone.
  • Budget – Budget is a critical factor, especially for small and medium sized businesses. You may need to spend a lot of money on developing an individual mobile app for various operating systems. It may be wiser to start off your mobile initiative through a mobile-friendly website if you’re on a small budget.
  • Purpose and objective – One of the biggest considerations before deciding between a mobile site and an app is what you’re trying to achieve. Maybe your regular website isn’t driving the desired amount of traffic from mobile users. It might be that you want to make it more convenient for your customers to place their orders through a mobile app. Consider the exact purpose you have in mind for either initiative. You’ll be able to get a clearer picture of which will work best for you.

Find out a more detailed comparison between mobile sites and mobile apps in the infographic below:

Mobile site vs mobile app Source: adobe

Conclusion

Mobile apps are the way of the future and can’t be ignored. App store optimization is needed to get exposure, but search engine optimization will continue to exist as long as websites and search engines do. App store optimization is quickly evolving and the demand for it will increase down the road. This makes it imperative that you start taking care of your app store optimization needs.

Have any questions or comments about app store optimization or looking for ASO service then get in touch via contact form or comments below!

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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