App store optimisation: A beginner’s guide to ASO

What is app store optimisation?

App store optimisation (ASO) is the process of getting better rankings in the app store than your competition. Being ranked higher in the app store tends to lead to more downloads, so this is a crucial element in the marketing process.

How does app store optimisation work?

There are several principles which you will need to understand in order to effectively optimise your iOS app store presence:

  • What keywords should people use to find your app?
  • Have you added a suitable title & description to your app?
  • How is your app rated?
  • How often has it been downloaded?
  • How well does your app store visual represent your app?

We’ll outline each of these steps and what should be considered to give your app the best possible chance of ranking well.

What keywords should you include?

The phrase “keyword” is often misunderstood in marketing. Think of a keyword as a phrase that someone would use to find your app. For example “run tracking app” or “music player.” Think of the words and phrases that your audience might use to search.

Try to find a balance between broad and niche. Keep it specific to your product but not so specific that no-one searches for it. For example, “run tracking app” is better to target for a tracking app than “running app” as the latter could be someone looking for tips on running, or wanting to buy kit rather than a specific tracking app.

Have you added a suitable title and description?

If you’ve ever visited the iOS app store you’ll notice that there are some quite lengthy descriptions available to use. This can include options, and paid-for or subscription elements, features benefits and even user case reviews (as distinct from the reviews section).

This gives you an opportunity to talk more to your audience about why they should download your app versus your competitors. It also gives more of an opportunity for the app store search algorithm to understand and rank your app effectively.

You should also make sure you include your keywords in the title without it looking too forced.

Later considerations

You’ve launched your app, you’ve added your keywords to the app title and to the description. It’s time to check how you’re doing on the softer signals that the store uses to rank apps.

How is your app rated?

Think about Apple as a market trader. Do you think they would rather sell a product that has a high returns rate, and a high complaints rate than one which their customers love? No one would. You’d go for what you perceive to be the best quality.

Reviews are not only important to convince potential customers to download your app but will also make a difference to how well positioned your app will be. As you can see in the graph below, the better the rating, the better the search ranking.

ratngs vs position in app store

Source: Neil Patel’s Blog

How often has your app been downloaded?

If your app is being viewed in the app store but not downloaded it may be worth taking a look at your competitor landscape, revisiting your keywords and targeting slightly different ones, or asking yourself honestly why people aren’t downloading your app.

There could be a combination of factors affecting your download rate. If your app isn’t downloaded regularly it’s unlikely that Apple will continue to give it prominence in the app store. Linked to this point is how your app is visually represented in the store.

How are your app icon and your screenshots representing you?

The first thing a prospective downloader is likely to see in search results is your app icon. Apple’s developer forum gives full guidelines as to how to design an icon for example embracing simplicity and ensuring it is recognisable. Don’t forget to test your idea against different background colours. You will also be required to provide different sizes of icons for use in the store.

Our free iOS app icon generator tool takes the pain out of creating your icons and ensures this often overlooked step is completed with minimal fuss.

Once you’ve encouraged someone to click your listing, the next thing they will see are the screenshots you have chosen to represent your app. This will either give people a good idea of what your app is about, or alternatively it could put them off completely.

Again, we understand the complexity involved in this, so we have provided a free app store screenshot generator to help.

Conclusion

These are some basic pointers as to things you can do in your first attempts at app store optimisation. If you’re still in the early stages of developing your app idea we’d love to help. Contact us today for all of your iOS app development needs. We can also help with Android app development if that’s your preference. Speak to one of our friendly team today.

ENQUIRE TODAY







Related Projects

Prestonpans battlefield tour app

The app was created to make taking a tour of Prestonpans Battlefield more engaging and easier to navigate.

This application provides an interactive walking tour for all visitors to the Prestonpans Battlefield.

Related Services

10 Cast - Sales forecasting mobile application

The 10 Cast mobile application uses Evidence Based Forecasting to dramatically improve the quality & accuracy of B2B sales forecasting.

Related Services

You may also like:

What is a QR code and how can it help your business?

There has always been a debate around the longevity of QR codes in marketing publications. Are they a “flash in the pan” or are they a useful tool in your marketing playbook? In this post we’ll examine what is a QR code and how it can be helpful to achieve your business objectives.

5 of the best android apps to improve productivity

It’s fair to say that most of us are glued to a screen of some kind or another for most of our waking hours. Whether you work at a desk, are on the road using your phone to keep in touch or even find your way to your next meeting, it is increasingly common to use a mobile during your working day.

Where to get app ideas to steamroll your competition

At Atom Engine we are all about developing innovative apps with beautiful yet functional designs. But how do you come up with a ground-breaking app idea? How do you think of that idea that will make your competitors wish they’d come up with it first? Read on to find out.

NEW free to use online tools developed for you

We’ve developed some new tools that are free to use to help you to create barcodes, QR codes and iOS app store iconography. Try them for yourself today.

CollectionView Tutorial Swift

A tutorial showing how to create a simple app with a collection view that will display recent headlines from a News API, this tutorial assumes you know very little about iOS development.

The Importance of a Prototype

A prototype is an initial version of your potential final product. Learn why they are important and whether it should be used in your next project.

Objective C vs Swift. Which platform should you use for your next application?

Developers programming for iOS currently have two choices for creating an App, Objective C and Swift. While Swift is seen as the 'offspring' of Obj C there are many differences. Learn about them here.

Importance of offline compatible apps

Here we explain the benefits of an offline first approach to app development.

How to make your next app idea a success

With over 5 million apps online today, more than a good idea is needed to create an app that people will want to use. We discuss a few things to consider before launching your next project.

5 Reasons to invest in a mobile application

Here we look at reasons how you could possibly save your business some money as well as improve customer engagement.

Waterfall vs Agile Development Processes

Learn the differences between the two most popular methodologies in development today and the benefits of each. See if you have any preference on which you'd rather use on your next project.

Social media and it's importance to your business

Are you undecided on whether your company needs social media? Read on and we will try to convince you as to why it's essential.

Analytics within mobile apps

See how analytics are just as important within mobile apps as your website.

Choosing a Mobile Development Platform for your App

Native vs Cross Platform App Development. Read ahead and decide which you think would be most beneficial for your business

User Interface Design in Mobile Apps

Find our how a great user interface can lead to happy customers and better user retainment

Machine Learning

What is machine learning and how can it be used to improved your mobile application.

Business Mobile Applications

How in-house mobile apps can give your business an efficiency boost.