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What is app store optimization (ASO)? Learn how to optimize your app

Find out how to make your app stand out in app stores with ASO!

App store open on a smartphone with a magnifying glass enlarging the search bar - app store optimization

Nowadays almost everyone owns a smartphone, so it’s no wonder mobile apps are so popular. With millions of active apps on online stores, you need to think of ways to be among the first results in search queries. This is where app store optimization, or ASO, comes into the picture.

Specialized app stores are very competitive showcases, because it’s through them that users search for tools to help them perform everyday tasks.

This app optimization strategy is good for every type of business, because it can bring the brand closer to its customers in order to fulfill the demands of digital marketing: engagement, education, conversion, and loyalty.

In this post, you’ll learn about ASO, as well as its advantages, application, and differences between the two major app stores. If you have an app or are thinking about developing one, this strategy can help your business.

What is app store optimization (ASO)?

App store optimization, or ASO, is a search result optimization strategy for app stores; much like SEO for Google. However, there are differences between the two.

In SEO, the optimization of a website is for search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, while ASO targets app stores, such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The goal here is to increase the number of downloads and decrease the uninstall rate.

There are differences in their structures as well. For app store optimization, it’s important to pay attention to the title, description, keywords, backlinks, and user ratings. For SEO, you need to pay attention to title tags, keyword volume, meta-tags, and backlinks.

Furthermore, ASO’s main task is to optimize the app for improved search ranking. The logic is simple: the better the ranking, the more organic traffic the app’s page attracts. This way, you can direct users to perform the main action: downloading the app.

This process is important for every type of business: those that are growing, as well as those that already have apps. Because of this, everyone involved in development and promotion needs to know about ASO strategies.

What are the advantages of optimizing applications?

Applying app optimization is very important in order for your app to be found easily and at the right time. The main advantages of this process are the following:

Improved visibility in app stores

One of the goals of app store optimization is to improve your app’s ranking, and consequently, its visibility also improves. If the right users search for an app such as yours, but can’t find it, they will choose another option.

On the other hand, there are also users who don’t know they need your tool- until they find you as one of the top options and discover your brand as the ideal solution. This is also another reason why your app needs to be easy to locate.

Increased number of organic downloads

An increase in the number of organic downloads occurs when an optimization strategy is in place, such as choosing the relevant keywords. We’ll also talk about this subject in a moment, just read on.

With these organic downloads, it’s possible to reduce the amount invested in ads. Consequently, the customer acquisition cost (CAC) goes down. This metric is often used to measure a company’s profitability. In other words, the lower the CAC, the better.

Conversion rate growth

Users who have downloaded organically tend to be more engaged and satisfied. As a result, building customer loyalty becomes less of a chore. Furthermore, businesses can become references in their niche, and will be increasingly recommended to other users.

What are the main differences between the iOS and Android app stores?

We have already talked about defining an optimization strategy for apps as well as the great advantages. However, we haven’t mentioned the difference between the two top app stores available today. Both the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android) put the user experience first.

Still, there are differences, such as how keywords and review time are evaluated. Check it out:

App Store (iOS)

The App Store provides a specific 100-character field for adding keywords, but they cannot be repeated in any other field. 

The title can be a maximum of 255 characters, and you’ll obtain a good ranking if you add the keyword in the title. However, be careful: do not add all of your keywords, since Apple may your app classify as spam.

Google Play Store (Android)

The Google Play Store on the other hand, has a similar process to the Google search engine, because it takes into account all text elements, including the way in which the keyword was used. Here, you can only add the keyword within the 30 characters available.

How to perform ASO

App store optimization is very much related to how an app looks, and doesn’t interfere with its quality. Plus, all optimization requires attention to the specialized stores’ requirements in order to improve user experience.

We are saying this because users analyze several factors in a matter of seconds. These are points that determine these people’s decision-making.

1. Have an optimization strategy 

A good optimization tactic is to choose the right and most relevant keywords. In other words, the words users enter into the search field.

To do so, you need to conduct market research to get to know your persona, i.e., an ideal  semi-fictitious profile for your business.

2. Make good use of the name, icon, and description

Did you know that choosing the right name for your app is also critical to rank well? A good name has the power to describe the app’s function and cause different sensations in users, depending on the niche. Also, remember that the name should be easy to pronounce.

The icon is also very important to increase trustworthiness, because it’s one of the user’s first contacts with your brand identity. There’s also the description, and as we’ve said from the beginning, it must contain keywords and be objective, describing the app’s main function.

3. Choose the right category

The choice of category will influence the ranking of any software, because some categories are more crowded than others. Your app will have fewer downloads in the wrong category, because it won’t be relevant to your ideal customer.

4. Use good-quality images and videos

This tip is simple and powerful: use good-quality images and videos on your app page. This is when you need to convince the audience with visual aids to increase the perception of the app’s reliability.

Moreover, photos and videos serve to guide users through the operation of the app in a dynamic manner. Therefore, opt for high-quality visuals, okay?

5. Encourage user reviews 

User reviews have a lot of influence on app store rankings and the reputation of your app. Therefore, encourage repeat customers to rate their experience and even recommend it to friends and family.

To further help rankings, always answer questions and comments to show that you care about your users’ experience.

Is app optimization really that important?

Once you’ve decided to optimize your app in app stores, you’ll benefit from the following advantages: your app will be found more easily, your persona will understand that your business is the ideal solution, and your number of organic downloads will increase.

Speaking of optimization, did you know that there’s the possibility of optimizing videos to reach the top of Google searches? We have prepared an article especially focused on video SEO. Check it out!