Last updated: July 2022
Optimising your Shopify App Store listing can be tricky. By following the correct optimisation methods, including App Store specific SEO, internal link building and other techniques, you will be far more likely to be discovered by merchants.
Shopify wants merchants to thrive using their platform. This is why they created an app store with a built in, well organised search engine. If every Shopify app developer optimised their Shopify listing correctly, merchants would be able to easily find the right app they need at exactly the right time.
Alas, this is not the case. Shopify app developers tend to neglect their listings which can be very frustrating for merchants. So, if you decide to do the right thing and optimise your Shopify App Store listing, you will be a step ahead of your competitors who don’t.
We have talked about ASO (app store optimization) before, and have covered a broad range of tips on reaching a higher ranking in the Shopify App Store. This article delves deeper into how you can use SEO techniques to optimise your listing, so that you consistently show up in the app store and ultimately increase downloads.
First, let’s cover the basics. This useful checklist is designed for developers who would like to launch an app on the Shopify App Store. It covers everything you need to get started.
- PRICING – The merchant needs to be able to see what your app is going to cost their business and why it’s worthwhile to invest in your app. What packages are available, do you have free trials? If yes, how long are they? Is this a monthly or one-off payment? Make it obvious from the start. No one likes hidden costs.
- FAQ/SUPPORT – This is a biggie. Merchants need to know they can rely on you for support. They are using your app to improve their business, so naturally, they will want to be able to ask questions and remedy any issues as and when they arise.
- REVIEWS – Positive customer reviews on your Shopify App Store listing can encourage merchants to install and use your app. The more reviews you have, the more attractive because merchants will look for benefits you’ve brought to people just like them.
Positive reviews can make your app appear higher in search results or on category pages. Reviews are also an important part of getting featured on the Shopify App Store.”
Please DO NOT pay for fake reviews, this will damage your reputation and Shopify will penalise you. Instead, consider putting a positive spin on this and run a mindful campaign such as letting your customers know “when we reach 100 reviews, we will plant 1,000 trees in the UK!”
Shopify have said that Shopify app developers need to consider and optimise for the following if they want to stand a chance of being featured by Shopify on the app store:
- Is your app proven to be useful to merchants?: First and foremost, you’ve got to have an app of high-quality. Shopify qualifies this through the total number of installs, how recent those installs are, how often merchants uninstall your app, and the number of stars a merchant gives in their review. You can track the app usage metrics - learn more here.
- Is your app extremely easy to use?: Merchants are busy people! Shopify apps should be completely seamless, easy and quick to use and Shopify love a well-integrated app. Shopify rates the ease of use by determining whether or not they are embedded through the app bridge.
- How fast is your app performing? Ease of use also means apps should have a fast performance - at scale. Shopify measure this through Lighthouse scores over a period of time. Note: Shopify only feature apps with a sufficient number of installs to ensure a stable measurement.
- Quality merchandising: App listings should have a clear brand identity that spells out exactly how the app will help the merchant. Taglines, images or video, key benefits, demos, websites, and FAQs all improve the quality of an app's merchandising. More on this below :)
Shopify's featured spaces
All Shopify apps want to get featured by Shopify in the spaces that are most obvious to merchants, right? Shopify want to help merchants to grow their business and a way for them to do this is to make high quality apps more visible and accessible.
That’s why Shopify built what they call “surfaces” in the Shopify App Store and in the Shopify admin area - enabling merchants to quickly find apps to solve their specific problems and help a brand to grow their business. This includes a Picked for you modal - which is awesome because this would pop in when a merchant is working on something and the options presented to them are personalised to their individual business.
As an added bonus, embedded apps can be pinned in the Admin, making it easier for merchants to access apps they regularly use.
Know your customer
Now we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s move on to the heart of optimising your listing. It truly pays to know who your target audience is and why they need your app to solve some of their problems. So let’s get to know your customer.
Take the time to understand your customers and the core benefits your Shopify app provides them. This means, research, research, research.
Consider building persona profiles by interviewing and surveying your existing customers. Use these interviews to reveal interesting insights like what they were feeling when they were searching for a solution like yours, what motivated them to choose your app over your competitors, and so on.
Figure out their biggest pain points and establish how they like to do business. You can then use your persona profiles to craft a highly tailored listing that resonates with your ideal customers.
Understanding whether or not the copy you have crafted for your Shopify App Store listing is engaging your customers is extremely important. Ask yourself: are customers successfully finding us? Test this consistently and adapt accordingly for maximum results.
The more a merchant can relate to your app, the more valuable your product will become. (We help with this for Shopify app teams).
Being a tech-savvy developer, you likely know about keywords and how to rank on the first pages of Google. But did you know you need to consider this in order to make your app visible on the first pages of the Shopify App Store too?
Ranking on the Shopify App Store is a little bit trickier than ranking on Google. This is because the app store has specific categories and filters you need to rank well for. The Shopify App Store is structured in a way that sorts apps into different categories and collections like “Inventory Management” and “Marketing”, “Launching your store” or “Growing your business”.
This means you need to use the correct keywords and phrases to ensure merchants find your app in the various categories and filters, based on keywords and search terms they put directly in the search bar.
Keywords you choose should relate to your app in some way and should be considered when writing your app listing content. For example, if your app provides a solution for abandoned checkouts, the keyword or phrase would relate to this with some variation around it, such as “cart abandonment”.
Consider using tools like Google’s keyword planner and Ahrefs to find the right keywords or phrases you can use to craft your copy in order to get in front of your ideal customers. These tools also provide you with related terms and keyword suggestions which you might not have thought of before.
Don't misslead customers
Don’t include keywords that do not represent your product features and benefits. You want to build trust in your app and your business. Attracting potential customers with false expectations will not only destroy the reputation of your business but will decrease the likelihood of merchants finding your app for the right thing. For example, if you have a free trial that lasts 14 days - don’t use the key phrase “free forever”.
The way you present yourself on your Shopify app store listing in terms of your brand is extremely important in persuading merchants to download your Shopify app.
Shopify will also begin reviewing apps according to the App Design Guidelines. (2022 update)
Taking your customer profiles and keywords into account, also consider the following:
- YOUR LOGO- Make sure your Shopify app logo is attractive and unique. A memorable logo will have a massive effect on the popularity of an app and help build a strong, trustworthy brand.
- INFORMATIVE IMAGERY- The use of visuals on your listing will immediately capture the merchant and display what you do and how. The merchant is more likely to respond to images on your app listing before they read what it does.
- DEMO VIDEO - Engage the reader by uploading demo videos, images and screenshots that clearly display the key benefits to choosing your service.
- CONTENT AND COPY- Keep your copy memorable and attractive. What you put across in your content and copy should be as clear, concise, and desirable as the messages in your visuals.
- CONTENT MARKETING – Shopify will rank you higher and potentially feature your app on the Shopify App Store if you're driving traffic to your listing from external content. So, it is extremely important to dedicate time to the development of a content marketing strategy that consistently drives traffic to your Shopify App Store listing.
- INTERNAL LINK BUILDING – Internal link building is a powerful strategy that is often overlooked. When done right, internal link building can do wonders for your Shopify app’s visibility. This involves placing strategic hyperlinks between web pages on the same domain and creating a web of connected pages that are all driving traffic to your app listing.
- KEYWORDS – Know your SEO. Use your new keywords and related phrases that directly relate to your app and its benefits. If done carefully (no stuffing!) keywords in the content of your app listing will not only relate to the merchant’s pain points but will also help you with SEO in the Shopify App Store's search engine.
- DEMO STORE - Engage your audience by creating and uploading a demo store. A demo store is one of the easiest ways to show customers how your app works in a real store and clearly displays the key benefits of choosing your service. If you haven't created a demo store yet, we recommend building one - it’s free for Shopify partners.
Remember that carefully crafted copy goes a long way when it comes to ASO (App Store optimisation) – it needs to be clear and consistent. If you’re unsure of where to start, there are plenty of experts who can do this for you.
Advertise on the Shopify App Store
The launch of the new Shopify App Store offered established developers an almost immediate bump in conversion rates as merchants reacted favourably to the enhanced store UX. But for new devs on the block, things weren’t quite so straightforward.
More than 60% of app installs are driven by searches. But as is so often the case, popularity counted and lesser-known apps didn’t stand a chance. This is why it was big news when Shopify announced that they would allow apps to place ads within the app store for the first time.
Ads open up the playing field for any developer who wants to try their hand at luring customers to their app. Through keyword auctions, developers can “win” better rankings by offering the most relevant ads through effective keywords.
Not sure how to do this? We can help — it’s well-worth it. The less relevant Shopify considers your ad, the less exposure it will get. So get educated, stay relevant, and you’ll watch your conversions climb.
NEW September 2023:
🎉 Shopify have introduced the ability to showcase your ads on the App Store homepage - helping you to stand out and get noticed as soon as a merchant lands on the App Store.
We aren't certain yet but we think the cost per click for homepage ads might be more expensive.
However, soon, Shopify are expanding ads from the homepage to category pages across the Shopify App Store, which is going to be great for you and merchants with much more relevancy! Merchants will be so hot and ready and hopefully, because of the relevancy, cost per click will be lower.
🎉 Full-funnel Google Analytics attribution! WHATTT, Finally!
This was something our clients at Kollectify and the wider ecosystem have been asking for, for so long!
Shopify have added GA visibility into the app install event itself as part of their integration with Google Analytics.
"This addition enables you to more easily and confidently compare the performance of your Shopify App Store ads with your other marketing activities outside of Shopify"
(Flipping excellent news for everyone! Now we will be able to better compare all marketing activities and which is bringing the most installs - allowing us to analyse and improve.)
Which are you most excited about?
Need expert support with your Shopify App Store ads? We can help! Kollectify have proven results from Shopify App Store ads with our clients - will you be next?
Track your conversions
Last but not least, by any means, is analytics. Always keep track of how your listing is performing by using Google Analytics and SASI. This will help you see how many merchants your listing is reaching, when and how they are finding you and if there are opportunities for further optimisation.
Optimising your Shopify App Store listing is a great place to start, and you should optimise this before concentrating on external marketing campaigns. Once you have optimised your listing, it’s important to know this should not be your final port of call, you need to start driving traffic to your listing through external marketing activities such as content marketing.
👉🏽 Want to learn more about how to optimise your Shopify App Store listing and build a solid content marketing strategy? We have built a program specifically for you! For more details on the program lessons and 1-1 support, click here.
Or, if you would you like a fantastic team of experts who understand Shopify to take care of this for you, schedule a call with us today!