The perfect guide to AppStore search optimization (ASO)

By root

This article covers the ASO techniques for Apple’s AppStore. if you are looking for ASO in Google Play Store take a look at the similar article here.

App Name

Keywords in your App Name have a lot of weight in the App Store algorithm. Try adding your strongest keywords in your title to increase your app discoverability. You can use up to 30 characters.

Your app title is one of the most important factors in App Store Optimization. It has a significant influence on the App Store algorithm. The words contained in the title are taken into account for the referencing of your app. Therefore, every word should be carefully chosen in order to maximize your chances of success.

The name of your app should give at least an idea of what the app offers or does. Use your brand name only if it is already known by everyone; use a few words that describe your app if it is not.

Integrate the most relevant keywords possible in your title, as they will help to improve your ranking in the App Store. Plus, these keywords won’t need to be included in your App Subtitle or in the iTunes Connect Keyword Field of 100 characters (only!). This is a massive gain of space for new keywords!

The size limit is 30 characters. Use all available characters and don’t forget that your App Name will be cropped on some screens. You need to be sure that the first characters make sense on their own.

Sub Title

iOS 11 introduced an additional keyword indexing field to app’s metadata. Keywords from the Subtitle are indexed by the algorithm and have a lot of weight. We recommend using all available 30 characters by explaining your app using relevant keywords.

You can easily update your Subtitle through your iTunes Connect account. Keywords in the subtitle have a lot of weight in the search algorithm, therefore it’s a great opportunity to expand your app’s discoverability and increase impressions. The Subtitle can also help users get a better idea of what your app is about and thus increase conversions.

Expert tip: Repeating words that are already in your Title or Keyword field do not increase your app’s weight on those words. Try adding new relevant words to make the most out of this new field. Check out our Keywords Tool to find the best keywords for your app.

Promotional Text

The Promotional Text is not indexed by the Apple algorithm so the keywords used in this field will have no impact on your app’s rankings. However, it is a great field to convince users to download your app in one sentence.

See More: Since iOS 11, you can now add a Promotional Text to your app’s metadata. The Promotional Text can be up to 170 characters and should reflect your app’s new features, promotions or anything you’d like to highlight. It is a great opportunity to engage with your app users and showcase news about your app.

The keywords from the Promotional Text are not indexed by the algorithm but we do recommend to use relevant and strong keywords for SEO purposes.

App Description

Descriptions are not taken into account in the Apple App Store algorithm. However, don’t forget to add important and relevant keywords in your description to improve your iTunes app page and optimize your SEO.

Writing a good description is hard work and can take time. It is, however, essential to find the best way to entice and convince App Store users of downloading your app. Be as clear as possible: use line breaks, short sentences, small paragraphs, bullet points, symbols, etc. The point is to be easy to read!

Descriptions are not taken into account in the Apple App Store algorithm. However, Google indexes and ranks iTunes pages. Therefore, your app description needs to be optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is important to use relevant keywords.

In terms of best practices, make the first 255 characters of your description amazing. This first paragraph needs to be catchy and straight to the point, because it will be on your app’s page before the expand button (right under the first 2 screenshots).

App Icon

Your icon should be carefully crafted in order to improve your Click Through Rate (CTR) and increase conversion. Make sure that it’s original and descriptive enough, without too many details. Adding a border and avoiding text is highly recommended.

There are several best practices that can boost your app store visibility thanks to a good app icon optimization. It is important to understand that your app icon makes your app’s first impression, along with your screenshots. People love visual content so make sure that it is absolutely well designed and carefully thought out.

It’s very important to keep your icon simple without text or too many details. It needs to be attractive and original so that you get more chances to stand out from other apps.

You can use your brand logo if your app is directly connected to your brand and if you have a strong branding. Otherwise, it is recommended to create a unique icon for your app. Try to use a flat design as much as possible.

It’s also highly recommended to update your icon along with the seasons or special occasions: Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day… don’t hesitate to show users that your app is alive and updated.

Screenshots

Screenshots are a very efficient way to convince and influence users to download an app. People prefer to look at screenshots rather than read a description. It is, therefore, necessary to optimize them. You can add up to 10 screenshots.

Your screenshots can really help convince a user to download your app. They should give an insight into the look and feel of your app while showing your app’s best features.

On iOS, the first two screenshots are displayed in the Search Results of an app. These actually make the first impression of your app. They need to illustrate what your app does and showcase your best features. Be catchy, original and awesome; you will hopefully drive more downloads.

Best practice: use a short descriptive sentence on the top of each screenshot to describe the feature shown.

Also, be sure to localize your screenshots: use different languages for each different country. You want your audience to understand completely what you’re telling them.

App Preview

App Previews are a good way to convince users to download your app. Use this great opportunity to explain what your app does. Show off your best features. It will help you to get some coverage as well. Your video should be extremely short: 15 sec – 30 sec. It will autoplay in the search results.

It demands a lot of effort to create a convincing App Preview that demonstrates the features, functionality, and user interface of your app in less than 30 seconds. Be sure to respect the Apple rules to avoid your video being rejected.

With iOS11, App Previews are shown in the Search Results and will autoplay when the user scrolls down to it. Autoplay makes apps with App Previews much more attractive to users, the video draws their attention and thus increases conversion.

App Details

Changing the following App Details can be time-consuming as they are directly linked to how your application is built and with which other elements it be integrated.

Yet, it is still worth optimizing them as each can have an impact on your conversion rate. For example, a user might cancel the download of your app if it takes too long (if your app is too big), or they might be looking for an app that they can also use on their Apple Watch etc.

Versions

Regularly updating your app can have a positive impact on your app rankings. It is also well perceived by your users.

It is important to regularly update your app. Best practices recommend to update your app every 4 to 6 weeks. This means fixing reported bugs, improving existing features, launching new features etc. Keep an eye on users’ feedback. The next great features may already be asked by many users.

The Apple Store wants to provide fresh content to its user, that means that a regularly updated app will have more weight in the algorithm than an app that hasn’t been updated over a long time.

Take the occasion to update your app’s ASO by refreshing your visuals from time to time and by updating your keywords regularly.

Finally, this section can have a positive influence on your conversion rate. The latest bug fix or the newest feature might convince old or new users to download your app. Make sure you explain clearly what each update is about!

What about the Google Play Store?

This article covers the ASO techniques for Apple’s AppStore. if you are looking for ASO in Google Play Store take a look at the similar article here.

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