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App Store Optimization (ASO): An Introductory Guide

App Store Optimization (ASO): An Introductory Guide

App Store Optimization (ASO) is an essential process for any mobile app owner looking to improve their app’s visibility and performance in the app stores. Optimizing your app’s visibility within the app stores can increase the number of downloads and boost your app’s reach to potential users. 

Implementing an ASO strategy offers a great opportunity to gain visibility, improve app store rankings, and drive traffic to your app. Here is everything that you need to know on how to do app store optimization. 

What is ASO?

ASO, or App Store Optimization, is the process of optimizing an app’s visibility and discoverability in app stores with the goal of increasing downloads and app revenue. 

ASO is a mix of marketing and product development, focusing on the user’s experience in the app store. The goal of ASO is to rank as high as possible in app store search results, leading to more downloads, in-app purchases, and revenue. 

Why is App Store Optimization Marketing Important?

ASO marketing is critical for the success of any app, especially as the number of apps on app stores increases and lowers the chances of anyone finding your app organically. 

App Store Optimization makes it far more likely that users will find your app out of the thousands of other available options. Apps that rank higher in the app store search results see far more traffic because the higher your app ranks in search results, the sooner potential users will see it.

For each position you move up, you exponentially increase your chances of gaining new users. If your app is below your competitors, you have a much lower chance of acquiring a new user. That’s because most users won’t scroll far down the search results list to find what they are looking for. 

App store optimization helps you move up toward the top of the search results, which means more potential users will look at your app before they decide which one to try.

How Does ASO Work?

Every app store has its own algorithm that ranks apps in search results. This algorithm ranks apps based on various factors and aims to show the most relevant apps in search results. 

The best way to rank higher in the app store is to optimize your app listing to make it as relevant as possible to users using the factors that each algorithm considers for its rankings. 

Steps to Optimize Your App Store Listing

Each app store algorithm is different, but they often share a basic set of factors that they consider when ranking search results. If you optimize the following elements of your app listing (in this order), you’ll get the best performance out of your app.

1. Title

The title is one of the first things the app store algorithm considers. Make sure it’s a memorable and easy-to-understand name that effectively references what your app is all about. Pro tip: Including keywords in your app title is extremely important for ASO.

2. Image

Image optimization can be difficult since some computers struggle to understand images. However, you can improve performance by giving the algorithm the image stats it wants—which means achieving the right image size, orientation, and resolution for the app store. 

Also, make sure you fill out things like ALT tags, which computers and assistive technologies use to help people understand what is in the image without seeing it. 

In addition to how your image performs with the algorithm, you’ll want to consider how it will resonate with users. Choosing an image that’s most likely to convert is a skill. We recommend working with an experienced marketing team to help choose the right image. If you don’t have a marketing team yet, you can enlist friends and family as a focus group to see which image resonates most.

Pro tip: When applicable, overlay your image with text, including any awards or “Best Of…” it might have won.

3. Description

The description should clearly explain the purpose and function of your app. Focus on app store keyword optimization while also optimizing your description for human readers. The clearer you can describe the app, the higher it will rank.

4. Long Description

The long description goes into the details of your app. It includes everything people need to know about the product. Include screenshots, highlights, feature lists, and other details that people need to know about your app before they feel confident downloading it. 

5. Update Info

Include information about app updates, including the current version and a log of changes. Keeping this up-to-date improves ASO because users need to know that an app is being maintained in order to trust it. 

6. Reviews

Nothing convinces users to download an app more than social proof. Honest reviews from verified users carry a lot of weight with people and algorithms. Once your app is out, try getting user feedback and reviews.

Pro tip: If you respond to a user’s review, make sure you do it in a positive way. Negative interactions with users over their comments will hurt your ranking and drive away new potential users. 

7. Category

Setting the category for your app helps group it with other similar apps. Choosing the right category could make it much easier for the right audience to find your app. And vice versa, choosing the wrong category will hurt your app store ranking. So make sure you choose a category that accurately reflects what your app does. 

App Store Optimization Strategies

Aside from each of the above factors, there are a few other app optimizations and marketing methods that you can try to get better performance. These strategies allow you to push your app to the next level and maximize its potential.

Test Your App’s Metadata

The metadata of your app helps it rank in search results. It is essential to test your app’s metadata to see what works best. You can change the metadata, such as the title or description, and test which resonates best with users.

Choose a Promotional Period

Choosing a promotional period is a great way to boost your app’s downloads. You should employ every strategy possible during this period to boost your app’s downloads. Strategies include social media marketing, investing in paid ads, and more.

Don’t Try To Tackle ASO Alone

While you can do it all yourself with the help of App Store Optimization tools, you don’t have to tackle ASO alone. It is a complex practice to get into, so you will likely see better results if you get help from more experienced teams. There are companies with the experience and resources to optimize your app for multiple app stores and make the entire process easy. 

If you are looking for a way to master ASO, we’re here to help. Let us help you find the best ways to optimize a new or existing app project to get the performance you need.

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