App Search Optimization (ASO) is one of the most important things to utilize for promoting an app, especially when it comes to submitting one to the App Store. Without it, developers would be finding themselves with unfair competition and might not be able to reach potential users.
Below you’ll discover some of the best practices and guidelines to use for ASO. You’ll also find a handful of sites and tools you can use to monitor your SEO rankings.
The Five Best Practices for App Store Optimization
Be Creative With the App Name
One of the best ways to ensure you properly implement App Store SEO is to be creative with your app’s name. A unique title will not only catch the attention of the store quickly, but will help to direct traffic to your app. This also prevents your app from competing with other ones that may sound similar.
The top apps of all time have unique, short, and distinct names: Tik Tok, Clash of Clans, Vine, Candy Crush, and more – all of which make them easy to remember. Naming your app something generic like “file storage” or “task planner” does not set it apart from the thousands of other apps just like it. And it definitely doesn’t get people interested.
Use Descriptive Words
A good description is key when it comes to perfect App Store SEO. Your description should include a handful of keywords, but be written in a way that captivates a potential user. Keep in mind that there is a 100 character limit in the App Store, so you’ll want to choose your words wisely.
If your app is a financial tracker, using keywords relevant to the niche like “personal finances,” “money,” and “budgeting” will help your app be found by those searching for these queries.
Many apps also add a relevant descriptive tagline to their title as well to further improve searchability. One great example of this is “ESPN: Live Sports & Scores.” When users search “live sports”, a descriptive tagline such as the one ESPN has will increase exposure.
Only Pick the Top Keywords
Many people often make the mistake of trying to cram in as many keywords as they can. For the best App Store SEO practices, you want to narrow your keyword usage down to only the top few options.
One way you can tell whether or not a keyword is good to use is to do careful research. While one keyword might have high traffic, this usually means it’s overused. Because of this, your app won’t get the recognition it deserves. You should choose a keyword that has somewhat high traffic but also low competition.
Long-tail keywords are usually best for this. For example, “strategy game” is an extremely popular keyword. But the competition is so heavy, it’s nearly impossible to rank for when you’re competing with app development giants.
Instead, turning this into a long-tail keyword like “medieval tower defense strategy game” will give you great exposure without heavy competition.
You might also consider testing certain keywords. By including one or two, you can monitor how well it performs.
If you’re unhappy with it, change the keyword(s). Many App Store SEO tools can help you with finding the right ones for your niche.
Check Your Icon
Your app’s icon plays a huge role in determining how the App Store will rank it. Developers should make sure that their app is around 1024 x 1024 pixels.
You’ll also want to make sure the icon is of a simple design and not cluttered. Unless a word or piece of text is an important piece of the app’s design, it’s best to not use it. Your icon should creatively reflect your app and what it stands for.
Top social media app icons like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great examples of incredibly simple and distinct icons that are easily recognizable.
Regularly Update Your App
Regularly monitoring your app shows that you are keeping up-to-date with your competition. You can do this by adding new screenshots or an icon.
This also includes making sure to update your app’s description. By doing so, you’ll be able to change keywords and adjust the description to the current market.
Updating your app also means releasing improvements for it. This might be to stop certain elements from crashing or to add new features. While the number of times you need to update the app will vary, it’s usually recommended that it’s at least once a month.
Not to mention that new content that comes with the updates will inevitably bring in more traffic and reinvigorate apps who’s traffic has started to fall off.
The Top Sites & Tools for App Store SEO
App Radar is one of the best sites to use if you want to improve your App Store rankings. This site will provide you with plenty of information, such as graphs that show how your app currently ranks in the iOS store. Other benefits of this site include:
- Allowing you to check your app’s performance
- Ways to easily monitor your competition
- Recommending the best keywords for your app
ASOdesk is designed to increase app visibility while providing you with the best keywords to use. This tool comes with a handful of features like organic reports, advanced traffic source analysis, competitor charts, and keyword analytics. ASOdesk does offer a few free tools, but for in-depth analysis you’ll need to invest in its premium version.
This app has grown to be one of the most trusted App Store SEO tools. App Annie provides users with helpful data relating to mobile performance.
With it, you’ll be able to not only find your top competitors, but learn how to market yourself. App Annie also gives you insight into how many times your app has been downloaded.
Mobile Action not only helps you with optimization, but marketing as well. Some tools you’ll gain access to with it include:
- Keyword tracking
- Keyword suggestions
- Keyword spy
- Keyword trends
- Revenue estimates
- Category ranks
Meatti works to expand your customer base by analyzing AI data. With this data, you’ll be able to understand what users are looking for and how to best market to them. This option does offer a few free tools if you want to test it out beforehand, like ASO reports and keyword suggestions.
It might seem like using ASO to market your app would be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these practices, sites, and tools in mind, you’ll be able to reach thousands of potential users.