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The Simple (But Complete) Guide to Video Marketing

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The Simple (But Complete) Guide to Video Marketing

We hopped onto the video bandwagon in 2018 and never looked back.

Today, we have more than 300,000 subscribers and 14 million views, and that has led to thousands of new customers.

No. of Ahrefs subscribers on YouTube

For a “boring” industry like SEO, I’d like to think that’s pretty impressive.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use video marketing to grow your business.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCgDIhvFkCM

Video marketing is using videos to promote and educate your target audience. It’s also used to increase brand awareness and social engagement, allowing you to reach new and bigger audiences.

Why is video marketing so powerful?

In other words, why is video marketing effective? Why should you do video marketing? Here are a few reasons:

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1. Video is accessible

You watch it. I watch it. We all do. Videos are everywhere. Go to any major metropolitan area like New York or London, and you’ll see videos playing on massive billboards.

Not only that, today, you can literally watch them on any device—your smartphone, tablet, PC, TV, and so on.

In fact, in a 2018 study, 85% of U.S. internet users watched online video content every month. (And that’s not even the highest penetration for video content.)

Bar graph showing percentage of people in various countries who watch online video content every month

That’s how ubiquitous video is.

2. Video allows you to demonstrate concepts faster and more clearly

Watching a video is an interactive experience. You’re using both your senses of hearing and sight. Viewers can actually see something in action, be it a product or a concept.

Compare that to text-based content. Not only are you limited to just sight, but you also can’t see something in action. You have to imagine it.

For example, one of my hobbies is breakdancing. So let’s say I wanted to learn the windmill and had to learn how to do it from this text-based description:

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We’re going to start off by kicking into our backspin. And when we get to this position, we’re going to turn onto our head and my left hand.

I would have given up on my dreams of becoming a Red Bull BC One champion within seconds of starting. But everything will be clear if I watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swId_MFHywI

3. Video allows you to create a personal connection with viewers

The same interactive elements that make it easy for you to demonstrate concepts also make it easy to create a personal connection with your viewers.

Watching a video—especially a talking head one—can feel as if the speaker is having a conversation with you, even if it has been watched by millions of other people.

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Sam Oh, who runs our YouTube channel, is beloved by our subscribers. In fact, because he appears on screen so often, he is regarded as a mentor by many of them:

YouTube commenter saying they like the video and Sam is their mentor

YouTube commenter saying they like the video content about niches and Sam is their mentor

YouTube commenter saying they like Sam's teaching style and that he is a great mentor

Creating this effect through text is much, much harder. For example, the Ahrefs blog team has created hundreds of articles. Yet no one has ever called us “mentors.”

Sometimes, people even get our authors confused. They may think that an article written by our Michal Pecánek was written by me instead. This never happens with video, as it is impossible to watch one and confuse Sam with our head of content, Joshua Hardwick, for example.

4. Video allows you to reach audiences on major platforms like YouTube

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users. The only way to reach them is to produce videos.

TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users. The only way to reach them is to produce short videos.

You get my point—there are untapped opportunities in the space, and you lose out if you don’t even try.

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Types of marketing videos

We mainly produce tutorial-style videos on our YouTube channel. But it’s not the only type of marketing video you can create. Here are more options you can consider:

1. Product demos

This type of video shows your product in action. It can be done by yourself (e.g., a tour of your software) or done by others (e.g., an influencer unboxing your product).

Here’s an example of a “tutorial-style” video we made that is basically a product demo:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oU8lclN114

2. Tutorials/how-tos

This type of video teaches your audience how to do something. Here’s an example from our channel where Sam teaches how to scale content creation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQmH8LH9p20

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3. Brand videos

The purpose of brand videos is to raise awareness around your brand, products, or services. You’ve probably seen plenty—a lot of them are ads on YouTube. Here’s an example from Monday.com:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l‑7awVpecvU

4. Animated videos

As its name suggests, this style of video uses animations to explain something, be it a concept, product, or more. While we don’t do full-fledged animated videos, we do typically utilize animations in our tutorials.

But here’s an example of a fully animated video:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN6g2mr0p3Q

5. Event videos

This type of video showcases the highlights of an event. It can also feature interesting talks, presentations, or speeches that took place at the event itself.

Here’s an example from the Chiang Mai SEO conference:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqisePhYD2Q

6. Talks

If you (or anyone in your team) give talks regularly, the speech can be recorded and uploaded as video content too.

GaryVee often does this:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHHl35TBHQc

7. Entertaining/storytelling videos

Tell a story about your product or make your videos entertaining. Here’s one from ClickUp:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9JiY0mdfNo

8. Expert interviews

Pick the brains of the experts, thought leaders, and influencers in your industry. Get them to share their knowledge with your audience.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRr-wdE0RlA

9. Case studies/testimonials

Get your satisfied, loyal customers to share how your product or service helped them with their problems.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2GB7avRrIE

10. Webinars/livestream

The purpose is to either share knowledge or teach an audience (usually live) how to do something. The video can later be uploaded as a form of video content.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn2XCFqREbU

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How to get started with video marketing

Ready to market your business with video? Here’s how to get started.

1. Define your audience

You can’t just create a video and hope that someone will be interested in it. You need to know who should be consuming your content so that you can create content for them.

If you have an existing list of customers, start there. Define who they are, what kind of problems they face, how they found you, and why they choose you over your competitors.

Don’t assume you know the answers. You should actually talk to them. Reach out to your customers and ask if they are OK with jumping on a call with you. Ask them those specific questions and get to know their business. If calls are out of the question, customer surveys work too.

If you don’t have an existing list of customers, then start by thinking of who your product or service serves. Feel free to keep it broader for now.

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For example, as providers of SEO software, something like this makes sense for us:

People who want to drive more traffic to their website(s).

It’s somewhat oversimplified, but it can get us started on the right foot and prevent us from creating content around topics that don’t make sense.

2. Define your primary objective

There are three main categories for objectives.

A. Brand awareness

The goal here is to create videos that make people aware of your existence. After watching your videos, your audience should know your brand name and have an idea of what exactly it is you do.

B. Education

The goal here is to create videos that teach your customers how to solve their problems, especially those that your products help with.

This is basically what we do with our channel: We create tutorials on SEO and marketing strategies, then show our viewers how our tools make the processes easier and more effective.

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C. Entertainment

This is pretty self-explanatory. If you are subscribed to Netflix or Disney+, you already know what this looks like.

For example, the Red Bull YouTube channel does a great job of creating series and videos around extreme sports, effectively drawing in its target customers.

3. Create the video(s)

Since your audience, goals, and creative process will differ from us (and everyone else), it is almost impossible to tell you exactly what to create or how to create it.

But we can discuss a few subcategories that may guide you in the right direction.

A. Planning the video

Before you begin recording or filming the video, you need to plan it out. Specifically, you need to know the topic you’re creating content about.

This depends entirely on your goal.

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If your goal is to create a brand video, ad, or storytelling series, then it’s really up to your creativity and the concept you want to show. There’s no model answer here.

If you’re creating educational content—like what we do—then you can do keyword research to see what kind of topics or questions people are searching for on YouTube.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Switch the tab to YouTube
  3. Enter a relevant keyword or keywords
  4. Go to the Matching terms report
  5. Switch the tab to Questions

Matching terms report results

Here, we can see over 6,700 questions we can potentially create videos about. Look through the list and pick out those that are relevant.

Recommended reading: How to Do YouTube Keyword Research in 3 Easy Steps

B. Video length

The length of your video is usually determined by your primary objective.

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For example, a brand awareness video can be as short as 15 seconds and usually won’t exceed a couple of minutes. Educational content is usually anywhere from five to 120 minutes. Our videos are around 7–20 minutes long, while a webinar can be up to an hour.

Entertainment-style videos can also vary in duration. This can range from 10 to 180 minutes, depending on the format.

C. Scripting your video

Unless you’re blessed with incredible improvisation skills like Dave Chappelle, we highly recommend that you script your video.

This will make your video recording smoother, prevent bad speaking habits like “ums” and “ahs,” and so on. The last thing you want to do is to go off on a random tangent or click the wrong link in your screencast and end up losing the attention of your audience.

For educational videos, we’ve found a script format that works well for us:

  1. Problem – Lead with the problem your video is solving
  2. Teaser – Show that there’s a solution to the problem without giving it away
  3. Solution – Teach how to solve the problem

For brand and entertaining videos, again, there’s no fixed way of doing things. It’s up to how you want to tell your story. If you’re stuck, I recommend watching this video from YouTuber Casey Neistat on his process of filmmaking:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLSUrTxquyE&ab_channel=CaseyNeistat

D. Recording the video

I asked Sam about a few aspects of the video-making process. Here are his tips:

Location

Sam recommends choosing a location where you can control the environment, specifically the amount of echo and light.

An example is to not film right beside a window because the changing amount of sunlight can affect how your videos look.

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Sam records most of his videos at home:

Sam recording his video behind a black backdrop

Whereas our very own Tim Soulo and Rebekah Bek record their videos in the Ahrefs office:

Rebekah recording her video in Ahrefs' office

Camera

You can start with any modern-day smartphone. If you’re looking for something more “advanced,” you can’t go wrong with a DSLR camera.

Teleprompter

According to Wikipedia, a teleprompter is a display device that prompts the person who is speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script.

Use it if you’re scripting your videos.

Audio

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In Sam’s opinion, this is even more important than the camera equipment you’re using.

While this depends on the type of videos you’re recording, here are Sam’s suggestions based on using a DSLR:

  • Shotgun mic – Good if the subject is in one place (i.e., a “talking head” video)
  • Lavalier mic – Works well if you have multiple subjects or you’re moving around a lot

Lighting

Some people prefer natural lighting, but Sam finds it hard to control. He recommends a key light and a fill light.

Learn how to set up lighting for your YouTube videos here:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXe3rEWrDVg

Soundproofing

When recording, you’ll want to prevent additional or random sounds from affecting your video quality.

For example, you can use furniture to dampen the sound. Sam uses two rugs and a couch; others may use thick moving blankets.

If you have the budget, you may even opt for foam or acoustic panels.

E. Editing the video

Once you’re done with all the recording, it’s time to edit the video. Watch this video to learn how we edit our videos for high engagement:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5EOWffq-gk&ab_channel=Ahrefs

Overcoming common roadblocks and struggles

Making videos does not come naturally to everyone. There are many people who feel awkward in front of the camera. But these roadblocks can be overcome.

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Here are some common struggles and how to overcome them:

1. I’m not good in front of the camera

Watch our videos, and Sam may look like a complete natural in front of the camera. But that only came after years of practice. And still, Sam feels awkward when he has to record.

Don’t feel like you have to be “natural” or get it right the first time. The “trick” to making videos is actually in the editing.

B‑rolls like screencasts, animations, and text screens help to take the attention off Sam while creating a better educational experience.

Another way to combat the jitters is to use the teleprompter. This helps you deliver information without worrying about going off on various tangents.

2. I don’t have equipment or the budget to buy it

You already have one of the most powerful cameras with you. It’s right in your pocket, and it’s called your smartphone.

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In fact, there have been tons of movies made just from phone filmography. You’re overthinking it if you think your smartphone isn’t good enough.

Plus, when we first started our YouTube channel in 2015, Tim, our chief marketing officer, recorded all his tutorials on a GoPro. No fancy cameras, no microphones, and no backdrops—but our channel grew from 0 to 2,600 subscribers in five months.

Line graph showing Ahrefs' subscribers going from 0 to 2,600 in 2015

3. English is not my first language/I have a strong accent

Tim is Ukrainian. English is not his first language. In fact, Tim was worried about this in the beginning and even asked GaryVee how to overcome it.

Watch GaryVee’s advice to Tim on accents:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8CiFPwLOIs&t=303s&ab_channel=GaryVee

How to promote your videos

Don’t publish your video and wait for someone to discover it. Actively promote it to your target audience.

Here are some video promotion tactics you can use:

1. Rank your videos on YouTube and/or Google

One of the best ways to promote your video is to have it rank on YouTube and Google. For as long as your video ranks, you’ll be able to get views continuously over the long term.

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To do this, you need to target video topics people are searching for.

We’ve already shown you how to find these topics for YouTube, so let’s look at how to find these topics for Google.

To rank your video on Google, you need to find topics that have “video intent.” That means that when someone is searching on Google, they will prefer to watch a video about the subject than read something.

Here’s how you find these topics:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Run this search site:youtube.com inurl:watch title:topic
  3. Sort the results by Page traffic
Content Explorer search results

For example, “Beginners Eye Makeup Tutorial” gets around an estimated 15,500 clicks from organic search every month. If you have a beauty channel, it may be worth creating a video on this topic.

Once you have a list of topics, watch this to learn how to create a video that’ll rank:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY3y0V9UDwM

2. Embed your videos on your blog or landing pages

In the past year alone, our YouTube videos got around 275,000 views from our website:

Table showing data for Ahrefs is 275K

This is because we embed our videos almost everywhere—on relevant blog posts, landing pages, and even our homepage:

Ahrefs' video on "what is SEO" embedded on its homepage

Embedding your videos can also help you win a spot in the “Videos” tab on Google:

Google SERP for "how to do affiliate marketing"

The easiest way to begin is to use common sense. If you have a blog post and a video on the same topic, then simply embed the video in that post.

Another option is to look for high-traffic pages that can drive views to your YouTube videos:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter your domain
  3. Go to the Top pages report
Top pages report results

3. Share it with your audience

If you have an existing audience, then you should share your newly published videos with them. This is what we do every time we publish a video.

For example, we share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook:

Shared post on Linkedin about DoorDash's landing page; below, picture of Sam riding a bike while carrying a food pack

We also share it in Ahrefs’ Digest, our weekly newsletter:

Article on DoorDash's landing page featured in our newsletter

4. Repurpose your videos

Making a video is hard, hard work. So don’t let it end by just hitting the “publish” button. Make your content go the extra mile by repurposing it.

For example, you can turn your video script into a blog post. We do this often at Ahrefs. In fact, this blog post you’re reading was originally a script (with some additions) from one of our videos. We’ve also done this for other videos too—this post was originally a video.

You can also turn your video into multiple shorter videos. With YouTube Shorts, this can be done quite easily. Just hit “Clip” on any of your videos:

Clipping videos to create a YouTube Short

You can then take this short video and repost it on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on.

If you’ve created a bunch of videos, you can consider repackaging them into a course. This is exactly what we’ve done with our “Best of AhrefsTV” course:

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"Best of Ahrefs TV" page on Ahrefs Academy; below, Sam holding a logo of YouTube

Finally, if your video is an expert interview or a presentation, you can extract the audio and turn it into a podcast. Many popular podcasters have done this, including Tim Ferriss (YouTube channel/podcast), Peter Attia (YouTub channel/podcast), and more.

Recommended reading: The Complete Guide to Content Repurposing

5. Create “sequels” that keep people hooked

Leave people wanting more by creating a connected series of videos. At the end of your first video, hook them in by leaving some things unsaid and get them to follow your series (or even your channel, if it’s on YouTube).

For example, we did a case study on building links to a statistics page. Rather than give away the entire process in a long video—which people may not watch—we decided to create a series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTF6OBwidhc&list=PLvJ_dXFSpd2u_ABxIRO6RVK3ucKyzn96Y&index=1&ab_channel=Ahrefs

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Then, at the end of each video, we left a call to action (CTA) to tell people to subscribe so they won’t miss out on the next video:

Frame of Sam's video where he does a CTA, telling viewers to check in next week for the next video

6. Run ads

If you have the budget, the best way to get more views for your videos is to pay for them. And you can do that using YouTube ads.

Here are some tips from Sam to get your ads running:

Here are some examples of businesses succeeding with video marketing.

1. Ahrefs

I’ve already discussed a lot about our channel, videos, and results. We’ve used video marketing with great success and have acquired thousands of customers.

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Data on search results for YouTube; below, "29K" appears next to "Messages"

Number of people who have signed up for Ahrefs and indicated that they found us via YouTube.

The strategies and tactics that I’ve talked about in this post are from our experience. If you want to hear from the horse’s mouth, aka Sam, then listen to this podcast that he did on the Growth Marketing Today show.

2. Slidebean

Slidebean is a pitch deck design platform for startups and small businesses. Its YouTube channel covers topics related to startups.

I actually reached out to Caya, Slidebean’s CEO, two years ago to ask about the platform’s YouTube strategy. From what he told me, the strategy was twofold:

  1. A recurring video series about startups that targeted startup-related keywords.
  2. A series called “Company Forensics” focused on targeting topics higher up the marketing funnel and, therefore, generating brand awareness.
"Company Forensics” playlist on YouTube

3. ClickUp

Unlike both Slidebean and us, ClickUp has taken an approach that is more creative. Rather than produce educational content, ClickUp has decided to go for the entertainment angle. Its videos, especially those targeting remote workers returning to the office, are like comedy skits designed for virality.

And it’s working because its videos get millions of views:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olMlR9Mf0I0&ab_channel=ClickUp

This approach is interesting, but it may not be for everyone. ClickUp’s videos seem relatively high-budget, and the main purpose is likely to raise awareness of its brand.

Its space is extremely competitive, with entrenched brands like Monday.com, Asana, Trello, and so on. So this strategy works in the sense that it puts ClickUp’s brand in the minds of its target customers.

Final thoughts

I hope this guide has served as a good primer for understanding and executing video marketing. It should be a decent foundation for learning more about the topic.

Did I miss out on anything important about video marketing? Let me know on Twitter.

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SEO

E-E-A-T’s Google Ranking Influence Decoded

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E-E-A-T's Google Ranking Influence Decoded

The idea that something is not a ranking factor that nevertheless plays a role in ranking websites seems to be logically irreconcilable. Despite seeming like a paradox that cancels itself out, SearchLiaison recently tweeted some comments that go a long way to understanding how to think about E-E-A-T and apply it to SEO.

What A Googler Said About E-E-A-T

Marie Haynes published a video excerpt on YouTube from an event at which a Googler spoke, essentially doubling down on the importance of E-A-T.

This is what he said:

“You know this hasn’t always been there in Google and it’s something that we developed about ten to twelve or thirteen years ago. And it really is there to make sure that along the lines of what we talked about earlier is that it really is there to ensure that the content that people consume is going to be… it’s not going to be harmful and it’s going to be useful to the user. These are principles that we live by every single day.

And E-A-T, that template of how we rate an individual site based off of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, we do it to every single query and every single result. So it’s actually very pervasive throughout everything that we do .

I will say that the YMYL queries, the Your Money or Your Life Queries, such as you know when I’m looking for a mortgage or when I’m looking for the local ER,  those we have a particular eye on and we pay a bit more attention to those queries because clearly they’re some of the most important decisions that people can make.

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So I would say that E-A-T has a bit more of an impact there but again, I will say that E-A-T applies to everything, every single query that we actually look at.”

How can something be a part of every single search query and not be a ranking factor, right?

Background, Experience & Expertise In Google Circa 2012

Something to consider is that in 2012 Google’s senior engineer at the time, Matt Cutts, said that experience and expertise brings a measure of quality to content and makes it worthy of ranking.

Matt Cutts’ remarks on experience and expertise were made in an interview with Eric Enge.

Discussing whether the website of a hypothetical person named “Jane” deserves to rank with articles that are original variations of what’s already in the SERPs.

Matt Cutts observed:

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“While they’re not duplicates they bring nothing new to the table.

Google would seek to detect that there is no real differentiation between these results and show only one of them so we could offer users different types of sites in the other search results.

They need to ask themselves what really is their value add? …they need to figure out what… makes them special.

…if Jane is just churning out 500 words about a topic where she doesn’t have any background, experience or expertise, a searcher might not be as interested in her opinion.”

Matt then cites the example of Pulitzer Prize-Winning movie reviewer Roger Ebert as a person with the background, experience and expertise that makes his opinion valuable to readers and the content worthy of ranking.

Matt didn’t say that a webpage author’s background, experience and expertise were ranking factors. But he did say that these are the kinds of things that can differentiate one webpage from another and align it to what Google wants to rank.

He specifically said that Google’s algorithm detects if there is something different about it that makes it stand out. That was in 2012 but not much has changed because Google’s John Mueller says the same thing.

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For example, in 2020 John Mueller said that differentiation and being compelling is important for getting Google to notice and rank a webpage.

“So with that in mind, if you’re focused on kind of this small amount of content that is the same as everyone else then I would try to find ways to significantly differentiate yourselves to really make it clear that what you have on your website is significantly different than all of those other millions of ringtone websites that have kind of the same content.

…And that’s the same recommendation I would have for any kind of website that offers essentially the same thing as lots of other web sites do.

You really need to make sure that what you’re providing is unique and compelling and high quality so that our systems and users in general will say, I want to go to this particular website because they offer me something that is unique on the web and I don’t just want to go to any random other website.”

In 2021, in regard to getting Google to index a webpage, Mueller also said:

“Is it something the web has been waiting for? Or is it just another red widget?”

This thing about being compelling and different than other sites, it’s something that’s been a part of Google’s algorithm awhile, just like the Googler in the video said, just like Matt Cutts said and exactly like what Mueller has said as well.

Are they talking about signals?

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E-EA-T Algorithm Signals

We know there’s something in the algorithm that relates to someone’s expertise and background that Google’s looking for. The table is set and we can dig into the next step of what it all means.

A while back back I remember reading something that Marie Haynes said about E-A-T, she called it a framework. And I thought, now that’s an interesting thing she just did, she’s conceptualizing E-A-T.

When SEOs discussed E-A-T it was always in the context of what to do in order to demonstrate E-A-T. So they looked at the Quality Raters Guide for guidance, which kind of makes sense since it’s a guide, right?

But what I’m proposing is that the answer isn’t really in the guidelines or anything that the quality raters are looking for.

The best way to explain it is to ask you to think about the biggest part of Google’s algorithm, relevance.

What’s relevance? Is it something you have to do? It used to be about keywords and that’s easy for SEOs to understand. But it’s not about keywords anymore because Google’s algorithm has natural language understanding (NLU). NLU is what enables machines to understand language in the way that it’s actually spoken (natural language).

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So, relevance is just something that’s related or connected to something else. So, if I ask, how do I satiate my thirst? The answer can be water, because water quenches the thirst.

How is a site relevant to the search query: “how do I satiate my thirst?”

An SEO would answer the problem of relevance by saying that the webpage has to have the keywords that match the search query, which would be the words “satiate” and “thirst.”

The next step the SEO would take is to extract the related entities for “satiate” and “thirst” because every SEO “knows” they need to do entity research to understand how to make a webpage that answers the search query, “How do I satiate my thirst?”

Hypothetical Related entities:

  • Thirst: Water, dehydration, drink,
  • Satiate: Food, satisfaction, quench, fulfillment, appease

Now that the SEO has their entities and their keywords they put it all together and write a 600 word essay that uses all their keywords and entities so that their webpage is relevant for the search query, “How do I satiate my thirst?”

I think we can stop now and see how silly that is, right? If someone asked you, “How do I satiate my thirst?” You’d answer, “With water” or “a cold refreshing beer” because that’s what it means to be relevant.

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Relevance is just a concept. It doesn’t have anything to do with entities or keywords in today’s search algorithms because the machine is understanding search queries as natural language, even more so with AI search engines.

Similarly, E-E-A-T is also just a concept. It doesn’t have anything to do with author bios, LinkedIn profiles, it doesn’t have anything at all to do with making your content say that you handled the product that’s being reviewed.

Here’s what SearchLiaison recently said about an E-E-A-T, SEO and Ranking:

“….just making a claim and talking about a ‘rigorous testing process’ and following an ‘E-E-A-T checklist’ doesn’t guarantee a top ranking or somehow automatically cause a page to do better.”

Here’s the part where SearchLiaison ties a bow around the gift of E-E-A-T knowledge:

“We talk about E-E-A-T because it’s a concept that aligns with how we try to rank good content.”

E-E-A-T Can’t Be Itemized On A Checklist

Remember how we established that relevance is a concept and not a bunch of keywords and entities? Relevance is just answering the question.

E-E-A-T is the same thing. It’s not something that you do. It’s closer to something that you are.

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SearchLiaison elaborated:

“…our automated systems don’t look at a page and see a claim like “I tested this!” and think it’s better just because of that. Rather, the things we talk about with E-E-A-T are related to what people find useful in content. Doing things generally for people is what our automated systems seek to reward, using different signals.”

A Better Understanding Of E-E-A-T

I think it’s clear now how E-E-A-T isn’t something that’s added to a webpage or is something that is demonstrated on the webpage. It’s a concept, just like relevance.

A good way to think o fit is if someone asks you a question about your family and you answer it. Most people are pretty expert and experienced enough to answer that question. That’s what E-E-A-T is and how it should be treated when publishing content, regardless if it’s YMYL content or a product review, the expertise is just like answering a question about your family, it’s just a concept.

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Google Announces A New Carousel Rich Result

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Google Announces A New Carousel Rich Result

Google announced a new carousel rich result that can be used for local businesses, products, and events which will show a scrolling horizontal carousel displaying all of the items in the list. It’s very flexible and can even be used to create a top things to do in a city list that combines hotels, restaurants, and events. This new feature is in beta, which means it’s being tested.

The new carousel rich result is for displaying lists in a carousel format. According to the announcement the rich results is limited to the following types:

LocalBusiness and its subtypes, for example:
– Restaurant
– Hotel
– VacationRental
– Product
– Event

An example of subtypes is Lodgings, which is a subset of LocalBusiness.

Here is the Schema.org hierarchical structure that shows the LodgingBusiness type as being a subset of the LocalBusiness type.

  • Thing > Organization > LocalBusiness > LodgingBusiness
  • Thing > Place > LocalBusiness > LodgingBusiness

ItemList Structured Data

The carousel displays “tiles” that contain information from the webpage that’s about the price, ratings and images. The order of what’s in the ItemList structured data is the order that they will be displayed in the carousel.

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Publishers must use the ItemList structured data in order to become eligible for the new rich result

All information in the ItemList structured data must be on the webpage. Just like any other structured data, you can’t stuff the structured data with information that is not visible on the webpage itself.

There are two important rules when using this structured data:

  1. 1. The ItemList type must be the top level container for the structured data.
  2. 2. All the URLs of in the list must point to different webpages on the same domain.

The part about the ItemList being the top level container means that the structured data cannot be merged together with another structured data where the top-level container is something other than ItemList.

For example, the structured data must begin like this:

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "ItemList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type": "ListItem", "position": 1,

A useful quality of this new carousel rich result is that publishers can mix and match the different entities as long as they’re within the eligible structured data types.

Eligible Structured Data Types

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  • LocalBusiness and its subtypes
  • Product
  • Event

Google’s announcement explains how to mix and match the different structured data types:

“You can mix and match different types of entities (for example, hotels, restaurants), if needed for your scenario. For example, if you have a page that has both local events and local businesses.”

Here is an example of a ListItem structured data that can be used in a webpage about Things To Do In Paris.

The following structured data is for two events and a local business (the Eiffel Tower):

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "ItemList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type": "ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@type": "Event", "name": "Paris Seine River Dinner Cruise", "image": [ "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg" ], "offers": { "@type": "Offer", "price": 45.00, "priceCurrency": "EUR" }, "aggregateRating": { "@type": "AggregateRating", "ratingValue": 4.2, "reviewCount": 690 }, "url": "https://www.example.com/event-location1" } }, { "@type": "ListItem", "position": 2, "item": { "@type": "LocalBusiness", "name": "Notre-Dame Cathedral", "image": [ "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg" ], "priceRange": "$", "aggregateRating": { "@type": "AggregateRating", "ratingValue": 4.8, "reviewCount": 4220 }, "url": "https://www.example.com/localbusiness-location" } }, { "@type": "ListItem", "position": 3, "item": { "@type": "Event", "name": "Eiffel Tower With Host Summit Tour", "image": [ "https://example.com/photos/1x1/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/4x3/photo.jpg", "https://example.com/photos/16x9/photo.jpg" ], "offers": { "@type": "Offer", "price": 59.00, "priceCurrency": "EUR" }, "aggregateRating": { "@type": "AggregateRating", "ratingValue": 4.9, "reviewCount": 652 }, "url": "https://www.example.com/event-location2" } } ] } </script>

Be As Specific As Possible

Google’s guidelines recommends being as specific as possible but that if there isn’t a structured data type that closely matches with the type of business then it’s okay to use the more generic LocalBusiness structured data type.

“Depending on your scenario, you may choose the best type to use. For example, if you have a list of hotels and vacation rentals on your page, use both Hotel and VacationRental types. While it’s ideal to use the type that’s closest to your scenario, you can choose to use a more generic type (for example, LocalBusiness).”

Can Be Used For Products

A super interesting use case for this structured data is for displaying a list of products in a carousel rich result.

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The structured data for that begins as a ItemList structured data type like this:

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "ItemList", "itemListElement": [ { "@type": "ListItem", "position": 1, "item": { "@type": "Product",

The structured data can list images, ratings, reviewCount, and currency just like any other product listing, but doing it like this will make the webpage eligible for the carousel rich results.

Google has a list of recommended recommended properties that can be used with the Products version, such as offers, offers.highPrice, and offers.lowPrice.

Good For Local Businesses and Merchants

This new structured data is a good opportunity for local businesses and publishers that list events, restaurants and lodgings to get in on a new kind of rich result.

Using this structured data doesn’t guarantee that it will display as a rich result, it only makes it eligible for it.

This new feature is in beta, meaning that it’s a test.

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Read the new developer page for this new rich result type:

Structured data carousels (beta)

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A Complete Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)

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A Complete Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)

A mobile strategy is critical to your business presence, considering the saturation of mobile devices.

This is where app store optimization (ASO) comes into play.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is app store optimization?
  • How does app store optimization work?
  • How do you optimize for Google Play & Apple App Store?

Whether you are new to app store optimization or simply keen to refine your approach to ASO, this post shares practical insights that are proven to maximize app store success.

What Is App Store Optimization?

Downloads, usage, and in-app spending continue to rise, but many users prefer to use a select few apps more consistently.

Discoverability has never been harder, but the rewards of locking in loyal users are bigger than ever – so maximizing visibility in app stores is crucial.

App store optimization (ASO) describes the process of optimizing the listing pages for your mobile app in app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

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You may come across alternative phrases like “app store marketing” or “mobile app SEO,” but they all refer to the same thing.

The goal is to maximize the visibility (and downloads) of your app for relevant searches – basically, SEO for your mobile app rather than your website.

In many ways, the optimization process for ASO is very similar to SEO; in others, not so much.

Ultimately, ASO aims to maximize app installs while product development works on monetization, engagement, retention, etc.

An effective app store optimization strategy keeps new users coming in while your development team (hopefully) keeps existing ones active and spending.

With the right retention rates, app store optimization acquires the new users you need to drive meaningful growth.

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The goal of ASO is nearly always app downloads, but supplemental goals can include items such as:

  • Increased brand exposure.
  • Positive app reviews and ratings.
  • More frequent and increased volumes of app reviews.
  • Audience engagement.
  • Additional marketing channel diversification.

How Does App Store Optimization Work?

If you’re new to app store optimization, it might help to think of it as SEO for your mobile app.

Except, rather than optimizing a website to show in search engines, you’re optimizing your mobile app listings for the relevant app stores.

In this sense, you could argue ASO is more like optimizing a Google Business Profile to show in Maps and local results.

The other key difference is you’ve got two major mobile app stores to optimize for: Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

These aren’t the only two app stores worth considering, especially if you’re developing apps for other devices (TVs, games consoles, etc.), but they are the biggest – by far.

According to Statista insights from Q3 2022, here are the top three app stores based on the number of available apps:

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  • Google Play: 3.55 million.
  • Apple App Store: 1.64 million.
  • Amazon Appstore: 0.48 million.

As a result, most ASO guides focus on optimizing app listings for Google Play and Apple App Store. Aside from being the top two platforms, the optimization process is a little different for each.

This is mostly due to each app store having its own algorithm – much like different search engines.

In practice, most app store algorithms are more alike than they are different. So, the basic principles of app store optimization apply to all of them. However, some stores may use the odd ranking signal that others don’t.

To keep this guide simple, we’ll start by running through the most common ranking signals for app stores, in general.

Then, we’ll take a closer look at Google Play and Apple App Store to see how they’re different.

Organic Optimization: Your ASO Foundation

The key ingredient missing from many ASO marketing delivery approaches is organic search optimization and integration of app stores within the broader organic marketing mix.

There is more overlap between ASO and SEO than direct competition between the two.

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The integration of these areas, and the application of consistent focus on ASO, can support numerous search marketing gains.

You may be surprised to discover that many of the traditional search engine optimization tactics that work for search engine performance, such as Google and Bing, can also be directly applied to ASO.

Examples of this include:

  • App name, title, and URL optimization.
  • Keyword research for ASO.
  • App rating and reviews generation and handling.
  • Deep linking within mobile apps.
  • Indexation of Apps in Google search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Click-through rate (CTR) optimization.

The biggest marketing mistake, however, when it comes to integrating SEO and ASO is overlooking the role of the website in driving volumes of referral visits directly to your store page and app downloads section.

Your website should be seen as the driving force behind leading people throughout the information-seeking and buying funnel from your main online entity (your website) through to an engaged, ready-to-buy/download audience (your app store).

As content levels are limited within the app stores themselves, the more you can leverage your website content to increase app awareness and discovery to build external app authority and visibility, the greater the value, traffic, and downloads your app will receive.

The Most Important App Store Ranking Factors

Like search engines, app stores don’t reveal the details of their algorithms to the public.

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That being said, the following seven ranking factors are key, functional components of all major app stores:

  • App name or title.
  • App descriptions (including keywords).
  • Installs.
  • Engagement.
  • In-app purchases and events.
  • User reviews.
  • Updates.

You can break these ranking factors into three categories: discovery, conversion, and validation.

Discovery signals help app stores connect your app with relevant searches. This includes your app name /title, description, keywords, and other contextual signals.

Conversion signals tell app stores that your listing compels users to download your app – a strong indicator that your listing should show for more relevant searches.

Finally, you’ve got validation signals (engagement, in-app purchases/events, reviews, reports/flags, etc.). These help app stores determine whether users get a positive experience after installing your app.

Positive validation signals (strong engagement, positive reviews, etc.) are an even stronger indicator that app stores should show your app to similar users.

What Do Users Want From An App Store Listing?

Optimizing your app listing for visibility is one thing; getting users to actually download your app is something else entirely.

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The catch-22 here is that installs directly impact your ranking in app stores.

The more people install your app, the higher it should rank. This, in turn, should result in more installs, higher rankings once again – and so forth.

So, what are the key factors on your mobile app page that determine whether users hit the install button?

  • App icon: On most app stores, your app icon is the most visually prominent element on results pages and recommendation lists.
  • App details: This includes your app name/title and, usually, some short descriptive text explaining the purpose of your app.
  • App rating: Most platforms show the average rating/review score for your app in search results and at the top of your app listing page.
  • App description: With Google Play and the App Store, users can see a brief description on your listing page and they can click to see the full description – so that first sentence or two is crucial.
  • Visuals: This includes any feature images, screenshots, and demo videos that you can add to your listing, showcasing the key benefits and user experience of your app.
  • User reviews: Unless users are already familiar with your app, they’re probably going to browse through some reviews from existing users.

Here, you can see this in action.

Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024App Store Optimization Elements for ASO

Much like SEO, app store optimization is a careful balance of optimizing to maximize visibility in app stores while prioritizing the needs of your users.

Google Play Vs. App Store: Key Differences

Google Play and the App Store are more similar than different when it comes to app store optimization.

Firstly, the ranking factors are very similar, and the differences are mostly technical – for example, Google and Apple handle keywords differently.

Here’s a quick summary of the main ranking factors for Google Play and the App Store.

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App Store Google Play
Listing Listing
App name App title
Subtitle Short description
Long description
Keywords (app name, keyword field) Keywords (all inputs), incl. keyword density
Ratings & reviews Ratings & reviews
Listing CTR Listing CTR
App performance App performance
Downloads Downloads
Engagement Engagement
Uninstall rate Uninstall rate
In-app purchases In-app purchases
Updates Updates

As you can see, there’s not much of a difference here – in fact, most of your time will be spent on things like specifications for icons, videos, and other assets for each app listing.

As a general rule, Apple is more strict with its developer guidelines and it’s usually harder to get an app approved for the App Store.

So, if you’re promoting iOS and Android apps, optimizing your listings for Apple’s guidelines will often satisfy both app stores while maintaining consistency and reducing workload.

Now, let’s take a closer look at app store optimization for Google Play and, then, the App Store.

App Store Optimization For Google Play

To give your app listing the best possible start, you’ll want to dedicate the most time to the following nine elements:

  • App title.
  • App category.
  • App descriptions.
  • App icon.
  • Feature graphic.
  • Screenshots.
  • Promo video.
  • App rating and reviews.
  • Google Play Android Vitals.

We’ll take a closer look at optimizing each of these elements, but always refer to official Google guidelines while managing app listings for Google Play.

App Title

Optimizing your app title for Google Play will feel familiar if you’re used to optimizing website titles for search.

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You want to start with the product/branded name of your app and then include a brief description – in no more than a few words – using your primary keyword.

Google Play SearchScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Search

You can use up to 30 characters in your app title, but try to keep it as short and punchy as possible.

Prioritize accuracy over keyword targeting and highlight the key benefits of using your app.

App Category

Selecting the right category for your app is essential for matching with relevant searches.

For example, let’s say you’re promoting a heart rate monitoring app. In this case, “Health and Fitness” is the most appropriate category.

Google Play example 2Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play example 2

When users specifically search for “heart rate monitor,” the keywords in your title are a stronger signal.

However, your app category can help your app show for more general searches like “health and fitness apps” or “productivity apps.”

Crucially, users can also browse categories in the Google Play store to discover new apps without searching.

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Google Play Categories ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Categories Example

For more info on selecting the right app category for Google Play, take a look at this Play Console Help page.

Short & Long Descriptions

In Google Play, your app listing includes two descriptions: A short description that shows under the About this app preview and a full description that users can reveal by clicking on the arrow highlighted below.

Google Play Descriptions - ExampleGoogle Play Descriptions - Example

You can use up to 80 characters for your short description and 4,000 characters for your full description.

In your short description, try to describe the core functionality of your app in the most compelling way possible.

Accuracy is key here, but you want to convince users to install your app – so highlight the most attractive benefits.

Your full description provides a more in-depth summary of what your app offers.

Remember that most people won’t click through to read the full description, and those who do are looking for information, not a sales pitch.

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You’ll find Google’s official guidelines for creating app descriptions under the “App descriptions” section of this Play Console Help page.

App Icon

App icons show on the left side of search listings in Google Play and the top-right of app listing pages.

Google Play App Icon ExampleGoogle Play App Icon Example

These are the most prominent elements on app store results pages.

Ideally, you want an app icon that either visually describes the role of your app or leverages your brand image as a differentiator.

Designing a unique icon is more challenging if your app has a specific purpose and many competitors – e.g., a heart monitoring app.

Google Play example 3Google Play example 3

If this applies to your app, use design principles like contrast to make your listing stand out from other results.

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Notice how Pulse App’s Heart Rate Monitor app stands out from the other listings above?

This is thanks to a combination of simple iconography with strong contrast, using a black background to stand out from the white Google Play results page.

Compare this to the REPS app, which uses similar iconography without a black background, and the Bodymatter app, which uses a black background but a more complex design.

Google Codelabs has an excellent tutorial on designing and previewing app icons. It includes best practices and tips for making an icon that stands out on results pages and the latest Android features, such as adaptive icons.

Feature Graphic And Promo Video

Feature graphics show on your app listing page and can also show for branded searches, paid ads, or recommendation sections on Google Play.

Until recently, you could only use images as featured graphics, but you can now use promo videos in their place.

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Google Play Feature Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Feature

This is one of the most visible assets on your Google Play listing, so use feature graphics to capture attention and showcase the best of your app.

Google suggests:

“Use graphics that convey app or game experiences, and highlight the core value proposition, relevant context, or story-telling elements if needed.”

You’ll find more guidance on creating feature graphics under the Preview assets section of this Play Console Help page.

App Screenshots

App screenshots show in the same horizontal panel as feature graphics on your app listing page.

They’re designed to showcase the best features of your apps while showing users what the in-app experience looks like.

Google Play Screenshot ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Screenshot Example

You can include descriptive text in your screenshots to emphasize the key benefits of your app’s most important features.

Keep things descriptive, though.

Google prohibits the inclusion of performative or ranking text in screenshots, such as “app of the year” or “most popular…” and promotional information like “10% off” or “free account.”

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If your app supports multiple languages, you’ll need to provide screenshots for each language version, including any translated descriptive text.

See the screenshots section of this Play Console Help page for more info.

App Ratings & Reviews

App ratings show prominently in results and at the top of the app listing pages in Google Play. Besides this, you’ve also got a prominent Ratings and reviews section as the largest element on your listing page.

Google Play Rating ReviewsScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Rating Reviews

Aside from being a ranking factor, app ratings and reviews are one of the biggest trust factors that help users choose which apps to install.

You don’t need perfect review scores but a positive (3.5+ stars) is a great asset for rankings and installs.

Your review profile also allows users to view the feedback left by others – and how you respond. Once again, how you deal with user problems is often more important than the scores or feedback itself.

You’ll need a framework in place for generating regular reviews and replying to them, engaging with reviewers, and solving user issues.

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Your replies are also visible, so avoid generic responses – show new, potential users how good you are at dealing with problems.

In fact, don’t take inspiration from Google’s own support team for Google One. Privacy is great, but the tone of the reply below is more dismissive than helpful, and the exact same response appears throughout replies.

Google Play Review ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Review Example

This feedback can also help you develop a stronger product, and users often edit their reviews, following updates or resolved tickets.

Always remember: Long-term revenue is the goal, which starts with quality app experiences, engagement, and retention.

Google Play Android Vitals

Google provides an extensive toolkit for optimizing your mobile app. Its Android vitals initiative sets out the most important usability metrics that affect the visibility of your app on Google Play.

If you’re used to optimizing websites for search, this will sound a lot like Google’s Core Web Vitals.

The principle Android vitals is similar in terms of performance affecting your search ranking, but this is a far more extensive initiative than Core Web Vitals, as it stands.

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Android vitals are broken into two key components:

Core vitals

All other vitals

To maximize the visibility of your app in Google Play, keep the user-perceived crash rate below 1.09% across all devices and 8% per device, with the user-perceived ANR rate below 0.47% across all devices and 8% per device.

Google Play Bad Behaviour ExampleScreenshot from developer.android.com, February 2024Google Play Bad Behaviour Example

Take a look at the official Android vitals documentation page for more information.

App Store Optimization For App Store

For the App Store, we’ve also got nine key elements to optimize, but they’re not quite the same as Google Play:

  • App name.
  • App subtitle.
  • Categories.
  • Keywords.
  • Description.
  • App icon.
  • App previews.
  • Screenshots.
  • App ratings and reviews.

One of the key differences here is how the two platforms handle keywords. While Google analyzes your whole listing for keywords, Apple provides a single field for you to add keywords.

Again, always refer to official Apple documentation when optimizing listings for the App Store.

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App Name

In the App Store, your app name simply provides a recognizable and memorable name for your mobile app.

You don’t need to worry about keywords or descriptive text here – that comes later.

App Store NameScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Name

For now, concentrate on coming up with an app name that’s easy to remember and spell while somewhat describing what your app does.

Apple offers the following advice:

“Choose a simple, memorable name that is easy to spell and hints at what your app does. Be distinctive. Avoid names that use generic terms or are too similar to existing app names.”

You can use up to 30 characters for your app name in the App Store, but try to keep it as short and punchy as possible.

App Icon

As with most app stores, the app icon is one of the most prominent elements as users browse the iOS app store. Apple provides extensive design guidelines for app icons and it’s more strict than most.

App Store IconScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Icon

So, if you’re promoting your app across the App Store, Google Play, and any other platforms, you might want to start with Apple first. In most cases, this makes it easiest to maintain a consistent design across all platforms.

Generally speaking, the same design principles apply. Keep it simple and impactful with intelligent use of iconography, color, and contrast.

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Look at your competitors and try to come up with something that stands out from the other apps your target audience is likely to see.

Subtitle

Your app subtitle provides a brief description below the app name. Use this to highlight the purpose and benefits of your app in the most compelling way possible.

App Store SubtitlesApp Store Subtitles

This is your first opportunity to excite potential users about your app, so try to make an impression here. You’ve only got 30 characters to work with, which means punchy subtitles tend to do best.

You’ll want to test and refine your subtitles over time, paying close attention to CTRs and installs as you try different variations.

Categories

As with Google Play, categories are key for discoverability in the App Store.

You can assign primary and secondary categories for iOS apps to help users find your app; the primary category has the strongest weight. – so choose the most relevant one.

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App Store Categories Screenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Categories

Apple provides extensive guidance for choosing app categories. Make sure you follow Apple’s guidance because selecting the wrong categories violates the App Store guidelines.

In some cases, you may find multiple categories that match your app.

For example, if you’re running a photo-sharing social media app, you could select either Photo & Video or Social Networking as your primary category.

In such cases, Apple suggests considering the following:

  • Your app’s purpose: Your primary category should be the one that best describes your app’s main function or subject matter.
  • Where users look for an app like yours: Understanding your audience will help you identify the category in which they will likely look for your app. Will they consider your app more of a social network or a photography app?
  • Which categories contain the same type of apps as yours?: Research how similar apps are categorized — users may already know to visit these categories to find this type of app.

If multiple categories accurately reflect the purpose of your app, you’re unlikely to run into any violation issues.

At this point, it’s more a question of which category matches the search and everyday use of your app – not only to maximize visibility but also to set the right expectations for users who install your app (think engagement and retention).

Keywords

While Google Play looks for keywords throughout your app listing (similar to how Google Search analyses web pages), the App Store provides a dedicated keywords field.

You can use up to 100 characters to add keywords (separated by commas – no spaces) to help users discover your app. Apple offers the following advice for choosing keywords:

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“Choose keywords based on words you think your audience will use to find an app like yours.

Be specific when describing your app’s features and functionality to help the search algorithm surface your app in relevant searches.”

Apple also recommends considering “the trade-off” between ranking well for less common terms versus ranking lower for popular terms.

The most popular keywords may generate a lot of impressions and traffic, but they’re also the most competitive, which can impact CTRs and installs.

App Description

Your app description should provide a short, compelling – and informative – description of your app, highlighting its main purpose and benefits.

Similar to Google Play, you can use up to 4,000 characters in your app description, but users can only see the first two lines (and most of the third) without clicking to see more.

Apple suggests the following:

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“Communicate in the tone of your brand, and use terminology your target audience will appreciate and understand. The first sentence of your description is the most important — this is what users can read without having to tap to read more.”

App Store Description ExampleScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Description Example

If you want to update your app description, you’ll have to resubmit your app listing, so it’s important to try and get this right and only make considered changes.

You can also add up to 170 characters of promotional text to the top of your app description.

Crucially, you can change this text at any time without having to resubmit your app listing, making this a great place to share the latest news and info about your app – such as limited-time sales, the latest features, or fixes from the last update.

App Previews

App previews are the App Store equivalent of promo videos.

You can add up to 30 seconds of footage to illustrate the key benefits of your app and the experience of using it.

App Store App PreviewScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store App Preview

Again, Apple has strict guidelines and specifications for app previews – make sure you tick all the right boxes.

As with most things, if you’re listing your app in the App Store and Google Play, getting your app preview approved for the App Store first should mean you can use the same format for Google Play – as long as you include footage from the Android version of your app.

Screenshots

You can add up to 10 screenshots to your app listing for the App Store.

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If you don’t have an app preview, the first one to three screenshots will show in search results, so make sure these highlight the core purpose of your app.

App Store ScreenshotScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Screenshot

In your remaining screenshots, you can focus on the main features or benefits of using your app.

Try to stick to one feature or benefit per screenshot to communicate each purpose clearly.

App Ratings & Reviews

Once again, app ratings and reviews are important for maximizing visibility and installs in the App Store.

If anything, user reviews are more prominent in the App Store than Google Play, but we can’t say whether this has any meaningful impact on downloads.

App Store ReviewsScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Reviews

The same general principles apply here: try to develop a regular stream of reviews and manage a positive app rating.

Again, you don’t need perfect scores, but you do need to respond to user reviews and address potential issues.

Prioritize negative reviews and respond as quickly as possible with responses that deal with issues – avoid generic, unhelpful responses.

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Extra App Store Optimization Tips

App store optimization is an ongoing process that needs ongoing attention. Getting your listings approved for app stores is only the beginning.

Maximizing visibility and – more importantly – revenue from your mobile apps requires a complete product development strategy.

Here are some final, additional tips to help you drive long-term success from app store optimization:

  • Know your KPIs: Don’t get distracted by the wrong metrics and KPIs – know what you’re optimizing for and center every decision around your business goals.
  • Prioritize user experience: Visibility is one thing, but you’re not going to maximize it or take full advantage of it if people uninstall your app or rarely use it – so make sure quality product development and UX design are at the heart of your ASO strategy.
  • A/B test key app store elements: Test and optimize the most important elements on your app listings to increase visibility, CTRs, installs, and retention (descriptions, videos, screenshots, reviews, etc).
  • Master each app store’s analytics system: Google Play and the App Store both provide capable (albeit in different ways) analytics systems to help you improve visibility, revenue, and product quality – so make full use of them.
  • Promote your app with ads: Both Google and Apple provide dedicated ad systems for their respective app stores to get your app in front of more eyes.
  • Promote your apps outside of app stores: Use other marketing channels to promote your apps – social media, app directory websites, app review websites, affiliate marketers, tech publications, etc.
  • Localize your app listings: App stores can connect you with global audiences, but only if you optimize your listings for each target language and location (this is called localization) – with translated text, screenshots, videos, etc.

Conclusion

The mobile app industry still shows growth despite smartphone penetration being way past saturation.

Smartphones aren’t the only devices in people’s lives anymore, either.

Apple Vision Pro launched with over 600 compatible apps, opening another space for mobile experiences beyond the confines of traditional smartphones.

App store optimization (ASO) will become more complex as new devices and app stores emerge.

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However, the rewards will also grow, and the companies already mastering ASO for today’s app stores will be first in line to benefit as emerging technologies bring new opportunities.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

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