ASO: App Store Optimisation

Friday, January 1, 2021

How is your app doing lately? It can seem like most of the hard work is done once you’ve put an app live for the public to access. Unfortunately, this is not the case if you want to create a successful app. This article is about app store optimisation, or ASO for short, and it will talk you through the basics of getting more downloads on the app store.

The app store is huge, there are more than 4 million mobile apps available to download. This means that for anyone releasing an app, ensuring your hard work is visible can be a real challenge. This is why you should do everything you can to make your app appear on search results within the app store.

What is App Store Optimisation?

ASO is about getting your app seen and downloaded more. It does this by making sure your app listing is optimised to certain criteria, which helps it to appear in front of more people when they search for products on the app store. Some of the factors you can optimise by are keywords, titles and descriptions. But we’ll go into more detail about these further down the article.

The closer to the top of the app store your app is, more people and potential customers will see it. The more people that see it, the greater opportunity there is to convert them into customers.

Why Should You Use ASO?

Some apps get lucky and others go viral, which means that people just hear about them and download straight away. While this can sometimes happen, for the vast majority of apps out there, the main proportion of their downloads are from people searching in the app store and coming across an app in the search results.

This means that if you’re not optimising for the app store, you are missing out on the main market and audience that would be downloading your product. 

How To Optimise for the App Store

If you are familiar with basic search engine optimisation (SEO) then you will have heard a lot of these terms and concepts before. We’ll begin by going through some of the main factors of ASO.

Keyword research

To optimise properly and increase the downloads of your app, the most important factor you have to understand is your target audience. Your listing has to appeal to them and be written in a way that they would also write and search in. You can do this with specific keyword research tools that help you find terms that people are searching for the most.

With this research, you can decide what is the most relevant to your product and begin writing your listing with these keywords peppered throughout. This isn’t just for the people reading your listing, it’s for the machine algorithms and to help them understand what is on your page.

To start this keyword analysis, look into Apple Search Ads if you are an iOS app developer. Otherwise, there are other tools available online that can help define search terms.

Title

The title of your listing has some of the heaviest weighting. You should put a keyword in your title that has the most relevant search traffic. You should put time into getting this right the first time around because if you change it too much, it can have a negative impact on getting your brand out there. 

Make sure not to stuff too many keywords into your title, which could get you banned. Also, you’ll have 30 characters if you’re using IOS to get your title right, so brevity is key. 

Keyword Metadata

iOS 11 gives you the opportunity to input the keywords your app is related to. You can input up to 100 characters, each separated by commas. Don’t repeat the keywords already used in your title and target new phrases.

Subtitle

Underneath your main title, you have the opportunity to write further text, which is also limited to 30 characters. For companies that want to keep their title clearer and on brand, this is a cleaner space to input keywords. 


Alongside the above factors, the app reviews, ratings, and downloads all have a big impact on your apps appearance in the search results. However, these factors are all more outside of your control than the others. You want to create an environment that makes people more likely to leave reviews, particularly if they are good ones, but you can’t directly influence them.


Getting to the top of listings in the app store is a sure fire way to get more downloads on your app. Doing this properly, in a non spammy way, is essential to creating long term sustainable growth for your app.