What Is App Store Optimization (ASO)

In 2021, there are around 3 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store alone. So getting more exposure to your apps is difficult these days. I’m not saying it’s impossible. But if you want to be discovered, you have to learn and apply a few important things. Apps store optimization (ASO) is one of those things.

But what exactly is app store optimization? And more importantly, how it can help you? Read on to find all about how to rank your app.

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What Is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

If you know about SEO, then understanding ASO is not difficult. In fact, these two concepts are quite similar. SEO helps your website rank well in search engine results. ASO helps you app rank well in app stores. You optimize your mobile apps to rank higher in an app store’s search results.

If your app ranks higher in an app store’s search results, you have more chances of being visible to potential customers.

More visibility means that you’ll get more traffic to your app’s page, which translates to more revenue and customers. So the goal of ASO is simple: To get more people to download your app by driving more traffic to your app’s page.

How well do you know your audience? If well enough, then you’re already over a crucial part of app store optimization: keywords. By knowing the keywords your potential customers are using to find apps similar to yours,  you will better understand your potential customers’ language. This way, you can hone in on the best keywords to use.

Here are a few app store optimization factors to keep an eye on:

Screenshot of Pandora’s app page

  • App name and title
  • Keywords
  • Description
  • Subtitle
  • Total number of downloads
  • Ratings and reviews

I’ll talk about each one of these factors in detail. But first, let’s talk about why ASO is important.

Why Is ASO Important?

Google tells that more than one-third of apps are discovered through app store searches. So if you want your apps to get discovered and downloaded, pay attention to search.

In other words, you have to utilize app store optimization. Because without it, you are leaving a lot of results. And also, you are reducing your chances of success with the largest discovery channel available to your app.

If you see most of the apps (most things on the internet for that matter), people are competing to get ahead. But in reality, they are not using all the methods at their disposal, especially, an important one: App store optimization.

So don’t underestimate the power of ASO. Spend some time on it weekly, and you’ll see good results soon.

How To Use ASO To Rank Your App Well

Here, we’ll discuss the basics of SEO because ASO is also related to search engines. If you are familiar with the world of web searches, app store optimization will not be that difficult for you. However, there are still a few key differences within the App Store.

Let’s talk about these factors:

Main ASO Factors

Someone using an e-commerce site

Keep an eye on these factors because they have  the largest impact on where your app ranks:

App Name/Title: What related keyword has the highest search traffic? Place it in the title. You should spend some time researching that keyword because it’s an important part of ASO. If your app starts to rank well, people will talk about it (Word of mouth). But changing the title can cause confusion, so avoid doing it.

Keywords: Like the keyword in the title, you want to search overall keywords for your app. Make sure that they are relevant and used most often by your target audience. Conduct a competitor analysis if necessary.

These two factors are important. So, apart from spending some time on them for the first time, optimize them regularly.

Secondary ASO Factors

Title and keywords are important for that first impression. But take your ASO to the next level by paying attention to the secondary factors. You never know what can impact users to tap that download button.

Total # of Downloads: This impacts ASO, but you don’t have complete control over it.

Ratings and Reviews: Similarly, you don’t have direct control over them.

Now, let’s take a look at all the factors to keep in mind when optimizing your app for better rankings.

App Title

You came to this post by clicking on the title. The same goes for your app. The title is the first impression. Make it count.

Optimizing with a keyword in the title can increase your rankings. But be smart about it. App stores are regulated. So if you try shady techniques like keyword stuffing, it’s an excellent way to get your app banned.

App Description

Technically, the App Store algorithm ignores the description. But not all users do that. So focus on talking to the users instead of search engines. Explain the features and benefits of your product.

But you won’t have much space to do that. So make the best of what you’ve got.

Keyword Metadata

On Apple’s store, you get 100 characters to enter keywords separated by commas. This space helps you get discovered through search and related content.

Use keywords here you haven’t already used in the title.

App Subtitle

A subtitle limited to 30 characters gives you another chance to use more descriptive keywords.

Other things to pay attention to are App Reviews and Ratings and app Downloads.

Do you know about any other key element to app store optimization? If so, let me know in the comments below!

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