UK and US Show Different Approaches to App Store Optimisation

appstoreBig retail brands in the UK and US are taking different approaches when it comes to App Store Optimisation (ASO) but both have a big room for improvement, according to a new study.

Research by mobile marketing agency Yodel Mobile focused on three criteria for how retail brands were conducting ASO within Apples App Store – how many of the 20 available keywords were used, how successful were each of the brands at connecting users with the app through effective keywords, and how many keywords were misspelled or irrelevant.

The UK brands sampled (including Debenhams, Waitrose, Zara and H&M) fared poorly when it came to using their allowance of keywords. Overall, the sample used just 23 per cent of its collective allowance, with five of the 16 brands not filling in any keywords at all. The US brands (which included Walmart, Costco and Target) made much better use of their allowance, with 59 per cent of their total capacity used, and every brand using at least three keywords.

However, when it came to the effectiveness of those keywords used, the UK brands came in far ahead. The research showed that 79 per cent of the keywords used by the UK companies were deemed as relevant to their brand identity, compared with just 36 per cent for the US companies.

In addition, the UK brands were more likely to be accurate with their keyword use, with only 10 per cent of keywords misspelled, compared to over 25 per cent for the US brands. There was plenty of waste on both side of the Atlantic though – one US company used the word “in” as one of its three keywords, while a UK furniture store managed to misspell the word “room”.

“Making sure your app offers some kind of utility or benefit to reward the download and repeat usage is essential,” said Mick Rigby, CEO of Yodel Mobile. “But your app development must be backed up by strategic ASO. Using the right keywords offers a quick, easy win to help get your app found in a crowded marketplace, so app owners should really maximise these 20 words with relevant, accurate search terms.

“App store optimisation is essentially doing what you can to give consumers the best possible chance of finding your app on their app store. Appearing in search listings drives downloads, so its crucial you get it right.”