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What is App Store Optimisation?

Jun 21, 2024

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You’ve put a lot of effort into developing a great app, but that’s just the beginning. To get people to download and use it, your app needs to be easily found in the app stores. This is where app store optimisation (ASO) comes in.

Similar to what we do in SEO, app store optimisation is all about improving your app’s visibility and ranking in app stores. In this article, we’ll be explaining what ASO is, why it’s important, and how you can use it to enhance your app’s success. We’ll cover the key components of ASO, common mistakes to avoid, and best practices to follow.

What is App Store Optimisation (ASO)?

App Store optimisation is the process of enhancing the visibility and ranking of a mobile app in an app store’s search results. The main goal here is to increase organic app downloads by making the app more discoverable to potential users.

ASO involves improving various elements of the app’s listing, such as the title, keywords, description, and visuals, to other things that’ll appeal to more users. And, although ASO is often compared to SEO (we even did it in the intro!), the focus is specifically on optimising mobile apps for app stores only – instead of websites for search engines. The ultimate aim is to boost the app’s presence and drive more downloads.

Why is ASO Important?

You could create the best and most user-friendly app in the world for your audience – but if they don’t know about it, they can’t download and use it. The higher your app ranks in the app store search results, the more likely users are to discover it and download it.

To put it into context, there are nearly 2 million apps available to download in Apple’s App Store and over 2.5 million apps available in Google Play. So, given the level of competition, it is important that users can find your app; otherwise, you will lose out to competitors who have grasped ASO and the advantage it can give your app in terms of visibility.

Unlike paid advertising, ASO is also a cost-effective way to acquire new users. By optimising your app store listing, you can attract organic traffic without spending money on ads. A well-optimised app not only ranks higher in search results but also has a better chance of being featured in the app store, further increasing its visibility and credibility.

Optimising your app’s metadata and visual assets can lead to higher user engagement and retention rates. Users are more likely to download and use an app that appeals to them.

Key Components of ASO

Different app stores have different ways of doing things, and there are algorithmic factors they take into account. But the good news is that there is some common ground. Shared components to consider across both platforms include:

App Name and Title

Your app’s title and subtitle are the first things users see. Including relevant keywords in these fields can significantly improve your app’s search ranking. Aim for a clear, descriptive title that reflects your app’s core purpose.

Of course, this may not be possible with every app especially when you are going for a brand name that is not descriptive. You should have a good think about what you want the app to be called and what other marketing strategies you have in place. If you have created a unique word, for example, your app may struggle to pick up visibility

App Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is crucial for ASO. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify terms that potential users are searching for. You can use tools like App Radar to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords and gauge keyword difficulty.

App Description

Your app description should be compelling and informative. Highlight your app’s key features and benefits, and naturally incorporate keywords to improve searchability. Remember, the first few lines are the most important, as they are visible without expanding the description.

App Icon

An eye-catching and memorable icon can significantly impact your app’s click-through rate. Ensure your icon is unique, visually appealing, and representative of your app’s purpose. A/B testing different designs can also help you choose the most effective one.

App icons can increase your click-through rate on the app store and help users return to your app once downloaded. People will associate the icon with your app, and if it stands out against other app icons, this will help users navigate back to your app easily.

App Icons

App Screenshots and Videos

High-quality screenshots and videos are essential for showcasing your app’s features and functionality. You can use these visual assets to demonstrate the user experience and highlight what sets your app apart from the competition.

App Reviews and Ratings

Positive reviews and high ratings can boost your app’s credibility and influence potential users to download it. Encourage satisfied users to leave reviews and respond promptly to any negative feedback to show that you value user input.

Positive reviews can also correlate with higher positioning, so attaining positive reviews should be a priority. Apps with a lot of reviews look more trustworthy and this could be the deciding factor in downloading your app against competitors.

App Category

Choosing the right category for your app is important for its discoverability. Select a category that accurately reflects your app’s purpose and audience. If your app fits into multiple categories, you could choose the one with less competition to increase your chances of ranking higher until it is in a position to compete with the most successful apps in your sector.

Common App Store Optimisation Mistakes

You can make mistakes with your app that can hurt its visibility. If you have an app with a high uninstall rate because it is plagued with ads, it may not fare well against other, more user-friendly apps. If you try to stuff your app with keywords and try to game the system, you will also deserve low visibility, as nobody likes spammy practices.

  • Neglecting user experience and app quality: no amount of optimisation can compensate for a poor-quality app! Ensure your app is user-friendly, bug-free, and offers real value to users. We have all downloaded apps and deleted them straight away due to poor user experience. Make sure this does not happen with your app. If your site is not responsive, poorly designed or unusable due to advertisement frequency, you will deserve a low placement, as this is not what people expect from a quality app.

Fun fact: A huge 90% of people have deleted an app due to poor user experience. 

  • Overstuffing keywords: A big no-no. Of course, it’s important to include keywords – but unnaturally overstuffing them can make your app listing look spammy and unprofessional. Aim for a readable flow in your title and description.

Fun fact: Apple’s app store has a limit of 100 characters for keywords. So, make sure you’re using accurate, relevant keywords!

  • Ignoring App Store Guidelines: Each app store has its own set of guidelines and requirements. Ensure your app complies with these rules to avoid rejection or removal from the store.

Fun fact: There are around 1.77 million app rejections a year. The main reasons for this are submitting an app that’s still in beta and non-compliance with guidelines, so make sure your app follows the rules of that specific app store.

App Store Optimisation: Best Practices

You should continuously monitor your app’s performance and make changes where necessary to boost its performance and visibility.

Regularly Update Your App and Metadata

Regular updates not only improve your app’s functionality but also signal to app stores that your app is active and maintained. Update your app’s metadata (title, keywords, description) periodically to reflect any changes or new features.

Localise Your App Content

Localising your app for different regions can significantly increase your app’s reach and downloads. Translate your app’s title, description, and keywords into multiple languages to attract a global audience.

Monitor and Analyse ASO Performance

Use analytics tools to track your app’s performance and make data-driven decisions. Monitor key metrics such as downloads, rankings, and user engagement to identify areas for improvement.

Leverage Social Media and Marketing Channels

Promote your app through social media, blogs, and other marketing channels to increase visibility and drive traffic to your app store listing. The more external traffic you can direct to your app, the higher its chances of ranking well.


Contact Us

App Store Optimisation is a crucial aspect of mobile app marketing that can significantly impact your app’s visibility, downloads, and overall success. By implementing effective ASO strategies and continuously monitoring and updating your app’s performance, you can stay ahead of the competition and attract a loyal user base.

Here at Maxweb, we both develop ios and Android apps in addition to helping businesses increase traffic through our optimisation techniques.

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