10 Best Practices for ASO (App Store Optimization)


Kevin Urrutia




January 23, 2022

Among the many methods you can use to take your new app from the ground to the top rankings in the App Store, App Store Optimization (ASO Guidelines) is by far the most resourceful and possesses the best cost-benefit ratio of all. That said, ASO affects organic traffic and increase app downloads and organic traffic is never simple. Poorly executed, it can quickly waste precious hours spent on iOS app development where you end up only with a few installs per month. But done well, the App Store Optimization can support your iOS app as it launches on the market and helps with mobile app marketing

How to Do ASO the Right Way

Apple is pretty strict with the iOS app development guidance in most areas. But why some apps that follow the guidance end up at the top and others don’t is a typical developers’ conundrum. Despite the App Store setting somewhat of a partially transparent set of criteria for ranking iOS apps that are subject to interpretation, you can optimize your app with some simple rules so that you don’t get lost in the fierce competition.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

How do you do App Store Optimization?

1. Choose a title that best describes the app.

The app name must be concise, specific, easy to remember and incite curiosity. It’s the most important factor on the ASO list and will motivate users to investigate your app further, so spend more time on it because you can only use 30 characters in the title and as many on the subtitle, so use this allowance wisely.

2. Select the most relevant keywords.

Research is easy, but keyword selection is art. Combine autocomplete tools and Apple Search Ads to find relevant keywords and use less populated keywords to reduce the likelihood of being pushed to the back of search results because most of your competitors have used them.

3. Write an app description like you are explaining it to someone who doesn’t have a clue what’s it about.

Make it readable, use two to three keywords relevant for your app, but don’t overstuff it with keywords. If the user has browsed the store and reached this stage – you’re lucky, you’ve already ignited a spark. Keep the fire burning by describing functionalities and features in more detail. Tell why is it worth the download or how it solves a user problem.

4. Screenshot quality matters.

Screenshots are the epitome of user experience. You can write the best app description but if the visual delivery doesn’t support your story, the user will quickly lose interest. Choose clear, high-quality screenshots that represent the most important features of your app. This is how users will get the real feel of the app.

5. Video is even more important.

Mobile video traffic accounts for nearly 60 percent of total mobile data. Read our guides on great facebook video ad examples – 30-second long App Preview videos are powerful instigators of user interest as they will bring the app closer to your audience by providing them with greater visual insights.

6. Select the right app category.

Go for the category that best describes your app. Having a great mobile marketing agency can help you select the best one for your app. If there is more than one, choose the one with fewer competitors. Don’t put the wrong category as such mistake can affect the app review process and mess up your overall rankings.

7. Design a compelling icon.

The icon is what your app will be recognized for in the App Store.

Image by Parampreet Chanana 

You get only one chance – you can only upload one great image. To achieve that, pay more attention to the design, develop more versions, and test them relentlessly because what you like may not necessarily be what your users like, too.

8. Ask for a positive review but do it subtly.

Users who have rated your app highly are unintentional brand ambassadors. They will be most likely to leave a 5-star review. Encourage them to do that by asking them after a certain number of app engagement actions, for example, opens. You can do it in-app pop-ups or send a push notification. Initially, use the good old word-of-mouth to collect good feedback from early installers.

9. Use analytics tools.

As with any other marketing strategy, keeping track of your performance via various app store analytics tools can help you with App Store Optimization. They come in free and paid versions, so make your choice according to pricing, but don’t underestimate features because some paid versions offer more.

10. ASO never ends.

Just as iOS app development and mobile app marketing is not a finite process and asks for regular updates so is ASO. If your analytics reporting shows poor ranking results after two weeks or a month of reevaluation, check what’s the underperforming area. Is it the description? Are the screenshots low-quality? Can you do more for reviews?

Wasting money on paid marketing (mobile marketing) such as Apple ads can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. ASO is a cost-effective method to bring the right app to the right users. It drives exponential growth since it increases store visibility, encourages positive user reviews, and raises the number of downloads. In turn, the app feeds on quality and is more likely to rank high.

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