App Store Optimization (ASO), is the process of optimizing your app so that it can rank higher in the search queries of the app store. It’s like SEO but for the app store. The more likely people see your app in their search, the more likely they will download it.
1. Title and Keywords: Like in SEO, keywords and title are incredibly important for app search, especially keywords in the title. Research carefully what type of keywords to use. It might be worthwhile to spend a little money on tools like searchman.com and appcodes.com for tracking and managing keywords for better ASO. It might also make more sense to try and rank for less competitive keywords and more niche searches. Additionally, make sure the first four lines of description are concise and let your target audience know exactly what the app is for.
Once you carefully craft your description and decide on a title, you shouldn’t frequently change that title. As word of mouth spreads on your app and people search for it, changing the title can be harmful for your search result as people may not see your app when they search for it.
2. Visuals: Attractive images will be very important in enticing users to download your app. Among the sea of icons, you have to find a way for yours to stick out and make the users want to click and find out more about your app. Once they click on your app, your screenshots better be attractive enough to entice them to download. It should also be visually descriptive and demonstrate what the app is about without words. People are lazy. They may not read the description.
3. Ratings & Reviews: Higher ranked apps do rank higher in search. Give users an incentive to rate and write a review for your app. It will help with getting more downloads and ranking higher in search. People usually also trust the opinion of other users so a great review will help a new skeptical user decide on whether your app is worth their time and data.
4. Use other forms of promotion: Finding other forms of promotion to get the word out about your app will be extremely important. Whether it be PR, Web advertising, SEO or simply bugging friends, anything that translates to an increased number of downloads will result in better ASO. Be creative. Simply submitting your app into the app store will not be enough to get it discovered.
Overall you want to optimize for whatever you can to get more downloads. More downloads will result in higher search ranking and help you get even more downloads. Optimize for keywords, write careful descriptions, use icons that stand out and take attractive screenshots. You should also try other means to get the word out about the app. All of these methods build on top of each other and contribute to a better ranking. However always remember, if your app isn’t what users want, no amount of marketing and ASO can help.