There are many valid ASO methods that can increase your visibility in the app stores. As you know by now, many of these strategies and techniques take time, patience, and a tremendous amount of knowledge. Over the past few years we have seen many startups and brands try to “hack” the app store and execute alternative “creative” solutions to get their app to the top of the app stores quickly. Some of these solutions do indeed help, but others can seriously hurt your app’s ranking. In this article we highlight some of the popular “hacks” that get startups and brands in trouble.
The Crime: Fake Reviews
Great app reviews convince potential customers to downloads apps. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of users actually take time out of their day to rate the apps they love. Thus many developers choose to “hack” the app stores by buying reviews.
This is not a good idea, as the app stores will most likely discover your methods and drop your app substantially in the app store rankings or, if you’re really unlucky, you can be fined a hefty sum of money.
The Solution: We recommend implementing this legal hack.
The Crime: Spammy Link Building
Many methods are considered spammy in the world of link building. Linking to your app pages on blog comments and article directories are big no-nos. In addition, we definitely do not recommend buying links. If you are unsure whether or not a specific technique you are practising is spam, odds are that it probably is.
If you do implement spammy link building techniques, Google will most likely catch on and punish your app in the rankings.
The Solution: Run a PR campaign and get quality links that lead to your app pages. Afterall, not all link building is spam.
The Crime: Adding Competitors in your Description
Adding direct and indirect competitors to your app description and the Apple App Store keyword bank sounds like a great method to steal your competitor’s installs. Companies online and offline practice this method all the by advertising where their competitors are.
Unfortunately for you, app stores will punish you if you include a competitors name as part of your ASO.
The Solution: Include your competitors in your Google Adwords campaign instead.
The Crime: Keyword Stuffing
When you want to rank high for a keyword, it intuitively makes sense that you choose to place these specific keywords many times throughout your description. Well, your intuition is misleading you. Don’t do that, unless you want your app to fail, as the app stores have caught onto this trend a long time ago.
The Solution: Create a great app description and place the your chosen keywords in natural, coherent sentences.
The Crime: Maximizing Every Character
Google and Apple allow users to write a 4000 character description for their app to be featured in the app page. We are unsure why these app stores allows for such a long description, since apps that choose to maximize it are ranked lower in the app stores.
The Solution: Write however much you need to make a strong and compelling story that convinces users to download your app.
You work hard developing your app and marketing it. The potential benefits of any of the methods we elaborated above do not outweigh the risks. Instead, go back to the drawing board (or just read our blog) and think of other helpful ASO methods you can execute to get your app to the top. Good luck!