China App Store Optimization: A Local Developer’s Experience

This week, Chinese app developer Yiwen Kang shared his experience and opinions on app store optimization for the Chinese Apple App Store. Kang is an experienced SEO and blogger who started testing different Chinese-language ASO strategies last year. His apps, which provide wireless printing management, currently rank #1 and #11 for keyword ‘打印’—Chinese for ‘print’—in the China app store. Here’s an overview of how he got there:

App Name: 打印管家 (Print Manager)

Overview: The app was uploaded to the China Apple App Store in July, 2011. Kang started playing around with various ASO elements on October 3rd, 2012. Before optimization, the app ranked #5 for keyword ‘print’. By January, 2013 it ranked #1 for keywords ‘print’ and ‘wireless printing’

App Name: 打印管家FREE (Free Print Manager)

Overview: Since Kang’s previous app had already been in the app store for a while before he started ASO, it’s rankings were being affected by more than just keyword data. In order to isolate these factors, Kang recently uploaded a new free version of his app. After one week of submission to the China Apple App Store, Kang’s new app had not broken into the Top 100 for the keyword ‘print’. After ASO, the app now ranks #11.

Kang’s test factors included:

  1. App name
  2. Copyright information
  3. Keyword density in keyword listings
  4. Keyword density in app description
  5. Grammar and description structure

Kang had the following comments on the relation between his selected test factors and Chinese app results page rankings:

  1. Similar to SEO, ASO requires 2-3 months before having a noticeable affect on rankings
  2. Copyright information has no weight on rankings, do not both to include keywords
  3. Keyword density in keyword listings had little weight on rankings
  4. Keyword density in app description had moderate weight on rankings
  5. Grammar and description structure had significant weight on rankings, specifically:
    1. The Subject – Verb – Object logic must be simple and clear (ex.: Print Manager app supports wireless printing)
    2. Apple’s App Store has a poor understanding and interpretation of more complex Chinese sentence structure
    3. The first few words of the app description have significant weight

Thanks to Mr. Kang for sharing, you can read more about his full experience (in Chinese) here.