The Basic Principles of ASO (App Store Optimization)

App Store Optimization


ASO – App Store Optimization is a process of improving the rankings and visibility of a mobile app in the app store. There are two main popular ecosystems – Apple’s App Store for all the iOS apps, and the Google Play store for the android apps. Most of the publishers will have their app on both of these platforms; therefore it is important to know the differences between the two. In this post we will focus on the Apple App Store.


Is ASO the next big thing in search marketing?


Possibly. The mobile App market is huge. According to there are 1.3 million apps on the Apple App Store, and in the period from July 2008 to October 2014, 80 billion apps had been downloaded. This should give some idea of how lucrative, and at the same time competitive, the market must be. Of course, for all of us working in the search marketing

this is very good news. The harder it is for publishers to get their app seen, the bigger the demand for ASO experts.


So how do you optimize an app?


When it comes to optimizing for the app stores, some of the ASO principles are similar to Search Engine Optimization. Before we even start optimizing, we have to make sure that our app provides good value, just like with websites and content. Promoting a low quality app which doesn’t offer much to the user is probably not going to end well. Unfortunately the app store is flooded with poor quality apps. If you are about to build your first app or thinking of getting someone to build one for you, please do check this article as it contains some useful tips on finding a good app developer.

Keyword Research – just like with SEO, keyword research is  essential. Picking wrong keyword can be a disaster. Ideally you want to find keywords with high search volume and low competition but as we all know most of the time this will be just like finding a unicorn.

You’ll most likely need to compromise and pick the keyword which you can realistically rank for. Apple doesn’t share any official search volume data but there are many tools which use a variety of factors to make an educated guess. Some of the most popular include SensorTower and AppTweak.




App Name – this is an absolutely crucial element of your ASO. App name is the first thing potential users will notice after the icon. It much be descriptive so your user know what to expect when they download the app. Your app name is also where you want to include your most important keywords. But make sure you don’t make it look spammy. Here is a good article from AppTweak explaining the process in more detail.

App Keywords – when submitting your app the the app store you can put up to 100 characters worth of keywords into your keyword field. You do not need to include any of the keywords which are in your app name as this will be automatically included. Hugh Kimura from SensorTower posted a very insightful post on the subject, explaining the ASO keyword research in more detail.

User Review and ratings – these are important for two reasons. Good rating and reviews can encourage more people to download the app. We also believe they are an important part of the app store ranking algorithm.

Monitoring your performance. Once your app is published you need to monitor its performance. Some of the tools mentioned above as well as other tools like SearchMan can help you track your rankings across multiple categories and keywords.


ASO Ranking


It’s important to remember that ASO is an ongoing process – it never stops. You will need to regularly review your keywords and work on promoting your app. I think we covered enough of the basics to give you some idea of what ASO is about and we will be posting more articles explaining App Store Optimization in more detail.


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