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Million Dollar Apps - App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization is all about making the app rank higher in the search results by growing visibility in the app stores. This means more users would be able to find and use your app.

More downloads would equal more customers and more users would bring more revenue. Looks easy, does it? Well, this is not so simple. If you are wondering how App Store Optimization works, we got you covered. 

Follow this guide to App Store Optimization and you can expect your app, no matter what kind it is to rank high and make your business grow.


What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of improving your app's visibility in an app store, mostly with major ones being the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. In addition to placing high in the app store search results, the fundamental concept of ASO is the emphasis on click-through performance (CTR).

It ensures that if they discover it, you need to persuade them to actually check your app by clicking on the listing.  Some of the optimizations include app name, title, icon, screenshots, rating, and description. But there's more to ASO than this.

When users click on the listing page of your app in the app store, you need to ensure they download it or make a purchase. This aspect of Optimizing the In-App Store is also regarded as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).


How does ASO differ from SEO?

 How does ASO differ from SEO?

ASO is considered as the SEO for the app store. Both processes have parallels, such as optimizing keywords, backlinking and other optimizations. The key variations between ASO and SEO are the factors involved in ranking. For comparison, ASO is used for mobile applications while SEO is used for websites.

Google currently evaluates over 200 factors and the number is going to grow.  ASO's list of ranking factors is much smaller, but the exact factors are yet to be determined. 

The various ways that ASO and SEO differ are:

Search Engine

ASO: Google Play Store, Apple App Store 

SEO: Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo


ASO: App name, description, keywords, uninstalls

SEO: Page title, Heading, Keyword density, page speed, bounce rate, etc.


ASO: Backlinks, ratings, reviews, downloads

SEO: Backlinks, Anchor text, Social signals


Importance of App Store Optimization

Importance of App Store Optimization

About 5 million applications can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. This means your app faces very stiff competition.

App Store Optimization's main aim is to boost downloads and user base. The first move to maximize your installs is to make things easy for the right visitors to locate your app. Yet how do you manage it?

To learn how to improve your organic development, you must first consider how users look for applications and discover them.


How are mobile apps found and downloaded?

How are mobile apps found and downloaded?

Users, in leading app stores including Google Play Store and Apple App Store often search for specific apps. A staggering 70% of mobile users make use of search to find new apps. 65 percent of all downloads occur directly following a search. Clearly, the most popular approach for finding new applications is to search the app stores.

What's more, an app's search ranking role corresponds strongly with the number of installs. The higher the app ranks in the results of the search, the more significant it appears to users. Higher ranking applications are also getting more downloads because users don't normally browse through every search result.

Typically they glance at the first 5, or so. That's why achieving a top rank is critical to success with the app. You 're losing out on the biggest distribution outlet for smartphone devices and sports, without App Store Optimization.

Learning about ASO, and spending time in it, would also be your hidden tool that will deliver long-term success. Curious regarding ASO's other advantages? Keep reading and you'll find out!


Advantages of ASO

Advantages of ASO

You already know that most users find applications in the app stores by browsing. Because of this, optimizing the App Store is a must if you want to get the device in front of the right users. Currently, several people believe that the most successful marketing tactic for mobile apps and games is to optimize the app. Here's how you would profit from ASO:

Boosts your exposure in the app stores

If they can't find your app, people can't access and use your app. So no matter how awesome your app is, if it's not easily findable, you 're not going to achieve the app's success you deserve. Don't let that waste all of your effort, start optimizing!

Ensure discovery by relevant users

It's not enough that users find your app, it has to be discovered by the right users – users who are in fact on a hunt for an app like yours. ASO gets you to the right users because it matches the relevant keywords with your application. These are the terms people will use when searching for your app.

Increasing your organic downloads

Without a question, a successful plan for ASO can improve your organic installations and ensure long-term success. That's how users can still consider yours while they are searching for keywords specific to your app. 

Cut costs for acquiring users

Rather than spending money on ads, you can reduce your user acquisition costs by using ASO to focus on organic growth. Not only does this save you money but it also ensures steady growth.

Increasing  profits and conversion rates 

There are many avenues to get your app monetized. It covers in-app advertisements, app purchases, and premium models. As a consequence, many of you may choose to run advertisements to pull in more users and thus more sales. So if the App Store listing page doesn't convert, which is to persuade people to download your app, then the ad investment has been wasted. Remember, App Store Optimization also involves optimizing the conversion rate, getting people to click through and download.


Ranking factors for Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Ranking factors for Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Google Play Store and the Apple App Store use complex algorithms to organize search results. While the precise details are not available, variables determining the rankings of the app stores may be inferred.

Google Play Store ranking factors

  • App Name
  • App Description
  • Rating and Reviews
  • Backlinks
  • Downloads and Engagement
  • App updates
  • In-App purchases
  • Other unknown factors

Apple App Store Ranking Factors

  • App name
  • App subtitle
  • App URL
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Downloads and engagement
  • Keywords
  • Updates
  • In-App purchase
  • Other unknown factors


Guide to App Store Optimization

Guide to App Store Optimization

By now, we have established the importance of ASO for increasing your app's ranking and visibility. Simply follow these moves to start developing your mobile development with ASO:

Choose the right name for your app

Choose the right name for your app

Your App Name (App Title) is what every user first sees. This is why it is essential to choose the name of your app wisely. Make sure your App Title fits your app, is simple to read and distinctive. If the title is compelling, users may remember it, which in effect gives the product a higher value for attention. Forget not to consider the number of characters when picking the right name.

You currently have 50 characters in the Google Play Store and 30 in the Apple App Store.


Perform keyword research for your app

Perform keyword research for your app

You need to target a set of keywords for which you want to be found when searched in the app stores. You can find your keywords when you know what the main features of your app will be, what related terms can be attributed to the features, under what category your app falls into, and what terms people use when browsing for apps in this category. The keywords will evolve with time, so your current keywords may not be your final one.


Write an app description for your app

Write an app description for your app

Another important element of metadata of your app is the App Description. It gives users information about what your app is about, and provides an overview of its main features.

The App description is important not only to the consumers but also to the algorithm of the app stores.

This is the situation where Google finds the keywords to index the app, especially for the Google Play store. That doesn't mean you should only define all the keywords and wait for the magic to happen. Aim to add the keywords naturally into the sentences. While ensuring the description is pleasing to the readers and important to the algorithm.

In terms of keywords, the description in the Apple App Store is less important because you may describe it in an additional area. However, enticing future customers to use the app is another reason why app descriptions are important. 

Your description should be preferably clear, simple to comprehend, and well organized. You should be imaginative and use bullet points or even emojis. Just keep in mind that the app description in both stores is restricted to 4000 characters.


Importance of app icon

Importance of app icon

The app icon attracts a lot of interest and maybe one of the biggest factors users click on a result of an app search. Hence, it is considered another key aspect of optimizing the app store.

Consider what your app is about as you craft your app icon, and think how you can creatively express it. Whatever the type or purpose your app has, it should be mirrored in your icon. Bear in mind that less is better, but avoid too many items or text in the icon.

A/B research is a perfect way to test what's really effective for the target market. The idea behind this is to create more variations in icons and find out which one gets the most clicks. Checking what colors or characters the users want, for example, might be important. When the data from the testing is available, you can customize your icon accordingly.


Include app screenshots and videos

Include app screenshots and videos

Visual communication is not just about the App icon. Once you get the users to your app page, you need to persuade them to download. Although screenshots and videos may not directly affect your app ranking, they play a role in optimizing the conversion – which is a vital factor in the app store optimization process.

App Screenshots and videos allow you to showcase your app functionality and demonstrate its identity. In reality, about 50 percent of people base their decision on the first experience, which is why for your visuals you have to pay attention to detail.

When it comes to screenshots you can choose between a layout of Portrait and Landscape.  In short, that means you can decide whether you want a horizontal or vertical screenshot. Similar to your icon, finding out what works best with the A/B testing might be a good idea. Well-designed screenshots generally give your users a teaser of your app. 


Consider ASO localization

Consider ASO localization

All the above steps mentioned should not just be limited to English. You need to tailor it to the market because you intend to introduce the app internationally. This is localization or international ASO. That doesn't mean that you need to begin from the ground up. You can use and locate your existing metadata, keywords, or screenshots in other languages.

With localization, visibility of your search app store can be improved and your target market expanded. Basically, you put your app at the disposal of users searching in their native language. It can lead to more downloads and revenues by presenting your app to a wider audience.

Consumers consider an app as more trustworthy in their mother tongue – they 're more likely to click on it and access it.


App reviews matter

App reviews matter

The user feedback on your app is an integral part of ASO. Both app stores will take the reviews into account that the user's leave for your app. The higher the rating, the more significant the app is considered by the stores.

Moreover, 80 percent of smartphone consumers read at least one review before installing an app. Consequently, the answer to feedback is also important. Potential users like to see devs who care about user feedback and consider user requests.

Users prefer to leave ratings when they really like the app. You can also allow them to do so inside the application itself, however. But be cautious, if you push things too hard, you might get penalized. For example on iOS, you can seek a review up to 3 times a year.


Royex Technologies is a mobile app development company based in Dubai. We have worked with more than 300 clients globally since 2013. We have developed over 50 mobile apps of all kinds so we have the skill and expertise to deliver you a quality finished product that will grow your business. For more information please visit our website at or call us now at +971566027916

About the Author

rajib roy

Rajib Roy

Rajib Roy, a seasoned industry professional with 18 years of experience in developing groundbreaking tech projects. With six published books available on Amazon, his expertise is recognized worldwide. Rajib Roy is the visionary CEO and Founder of Royex Technologies, leading the way in innovative solutions.