How to Optimise Your App Store Listing for Maximum Discoverability
05 Mar 2021
Launching a successful app takes more than just putting it on the app store and watching the downloads roll in, you need to optimise it to make it visible to as many people as possible and generate the most installs.
To help get your app to the top of the store, we’re going over various aspects of app store optimisation (ASO) and the best practices for each of them in this article.
Before we start, you need to know the best keywords for optimising your app listing. If you’re not sure where or how to find them, here’s a useful guide on finding the best ASO keywords.
1. Use the Right Keywords In the Right Places
1.1 App Name
Your app title is one of the most important factors in ASO.
When a user searches for an app on both App Store and Google Play Store, the search algorithms scan the app name for keywords and give higher priority to apps with names that contain the search input. That means naming your app strategically is a surefire way to expand your app’s discoverability and increase impressions.
Here’s a list of best practices to help you choose an app name that makes a positive first impression.
1.2 App Subtitle (App Store)
Your app subtitle is located underneath the app name and is limited to 30 characters. The content of your subtitle is indexed in App Store search so it’s crucial that you optimise it using keywords that communicate the value of your app.
Pro tip: To make the most out of this field, use relevant keywords that are different from those in your title and keyword field.
1.3 App Description
On Google Play Store, you have a short description field (up to 80 characters) and a long description field (up to 4,000 characters) to describe your app. You can repeat your strongest keywords up to five times here to tell the Google Play algorithm that your app is most relevant to those keywords.
On the other hand, descriptions are not taken into account in the Apple App Store algorithm, but that’s no excuse to overlook it. Emphasising the unique values of your app in the first few lines can help potential users grasp what you’re offering.
1.4 Promotional Text (App Store)
The promotional text is located at the top of the description and is limited to 170 characters. Similar to the app description, it’s not indexed by the Apple algorithm but it is a great opportunity to convince users to download your app.
1.5 App Store Connect Keyword Field (App Store)
This metadata determines how your app gets discovered in search results, so be sure to fill it in with your most important keywords whilst keeping to these guidelines:
- Use all 100 characters, and make each of them count!
- Separate every keyword with a comma
- Avoid space, articles, and prepositions
- Use numbers, not words (i.e. 3 instead of three)
- Don’t include your company name, app name, and app category names
Pro tip: App Store automatically caters for singular or plural, so you don't need to repeat the same keyword in multiple forms.
1.6 In-App Purchases
The names of in-app purchases (IAPs) are indexed on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
On the App Store, IAPs can appear in app search results and even be featured on the Today, Games, and Apps tabs. To maximise your app store search exposure, you can include some keywords in the names of your IAP items. You can even feature the products or subscriptions you'd like to display at the top of your App Store listing!
2. Add Graphic Assets
2.1 App Icon
Research by SplitMetrics shows that a great icon can increase downloads by up to 560%! This makes perfect sense since your app icon is your first point of engagement for a user; your first chance at making a lasting impression.
Here are a few pointers to design a great app icon for ASO:
- Don’t use words; that’s what your app name is for.
- Keep it simple.
- Pay attention to details – even if no one else sees them! You’re required to provide 1024×1024 icon, so make sure it looks great full-size.
- Keep your app icon consistent everywhere to avoid confusion.
- Innovate to stand out from the crowd.
According to StoreMaven, 60% of users won’t swipe past your first two screenshots, so overlooking this element could cost you a lot of downloads.
Leverage screenshots by making sure they showcase your app’s core value and latest features – and don’t confuse them with onboarding! Avoid showing the ‘Welcome’ screen, login, purchase form, etc.
Pro tip: Remember to localise your screenshots to reach out to your target markets around the world.
2.3 Promo Video
Did you know you could include a video as one of your screenshots? This is brilliant news if you can’t fully depict what your app is about in static screenshots.
In the same SlideShare, StoreMaven also revealed that displaying a promo video in your app listing can increase install rates by more than 23%. So even though it may take time and effort to create, a promo video will pay off in the long run.
3. Improve Your App Ratings and Reviews
Getting ratings and reviews is no easy feat, let alone positive ones! It takes some behind-the-scenes legwork to amass 4 or 5 star ratings that collectively boost ASO.
We’ve touched on this topic a couple of times: Read how we helped Deliciously Ella grow their App Store rating from 3.8 to 4.9 and how you can turn a one-star rating into five stars. We’re sure you’ll find them helpful!
Here’s to more downloads!
Being found is a difficult first step, but you can overcome it by following the tips above.