What’s App Retailer Optimization?

With over 4 million mobile apps in the major app stores, discovering your app is one of the biggest problems mobile app publishers face today. This is why understanding App Store Optimization is so important.

But what is App Store Optimization and how can you get the most of it? Here's what you need to know in order for your app to rank well.

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

With App Store Optimization, mobile apps are optimized in such a way that they rank higher in the search results of an app store. The higher your app is in the search results of an app store, the more visible it is to potential customers.

This increased visibility tends to drive more traffic to your app's page in the App Store.

The goal of ASO is to drive more traffic to your app's page in the App Store so that searchers can take a specific action: Download your app.

The ASO process also requires a critical understanding of your target customer base, including the keywords your prospects use to find apps similar to you.

Learning more about which keywords are being used will help you understand your prospect's language better so you can identify the best keywords to use.

Why is ASO important?

Forrester says 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This makes searching the App Store the most common way to discover and download new apps.

Recently, Ankit Jain reported on Google I / O: "For an average app, search actually makes up the vast majority of installs." Simply put, this means:

If you don't use ASO to increase your app's search ranking, you are missing out on the largest discovery channel available for your app.

With hundreds of thousands of apps in each app store trying to rank one above the other, the amazing reality is that most publishers don't invest in optimizing the app store.

Here is my present to you: ASO is your secret weapon. Spend time every week improving your ASO and you will have a huge impact on the ranking and overall success of your app.

How to Help Your App Ranking: The Basics of ASO

Much of what I'm going to explain will be SEO basics.

If you already know these for web search, there are still a few important differences in the App Store.

Let's start by breaking down the different components that can affect your ASO:

Main ASO factors:

  • Title: The keyword placed in the title should be the one with the highest search traffic. Take the time to figure out which keyword this is as changing your title too often can be detrimental. As your app ranks higher and gets more reviews, your app's news spreads verbally. Changing the title can make it difficult to get the message across through your app.
  • Keywords: To improve your search rankings, you need to know which keywords are relevant and used the most by your target audience. It is helpful to monitor the competitors to see how they compare week by week.

Not only are titles and keywords the most important ASO factor, they can also be easily changed for regular tweaking.

Secondary ASO factors:

  • Total Downloads: Your number of downloads is important to ASO, but you do not have complete control over them.
  • Ratings and reviews: Also important and difficult to control. However, there are ways to encourage satisfied users to rate and review

Here is a full breakdown of all the factors to consider when optimizing your app for better rankings.


The title is our first impression online. It got you to read this post, and it's what draws users to your app.

Optimizing with a keyword in the title increases the search ranking for this title by 10.3%!

Obviously, some restrictions apply as the App Store is very regulated.

You only get 30 characters for a title in iOS 11, and keyword padding is a surefire way to take the risk of a ban.

Users are also wary of downloading dodgy looking apps for privacy reasons.

Think about it – would you rather have "Evernote" or "note-taking note app" on your smartphone?

Be smart about how you optimize.

Pandora, for example, does everything right.

Pandora ASO example

The symbol is elegant and simple, and with a short name it could fit into three main key words.

If you search for "free," "music," or "radio" in the App Store, you will find Pandora at the top or at the top.


It's getting a little cloudy here. Technically, the App Store algorithm ignores the description.

Users are a different story, however.

Instead of optimizing for SEO, focus on explaining the features and benefits of your product.

And while you seem to have plenty of room for it, in fact you don't.

You see clipped snippets on your product page, and some readers will ever click "More" to read beyond what you see here.

You have 252 characters to set your pitch and convince someone you want to download.

There's no room for lint, and you may have to run several iterations of A / B testing to find out which works best.

Keyword metadata

iOS 11 gives you 100 characters to enter keywords separated by commas.

These help your app to be discovered through search and related content.

You don't have to make a double effort here. So choose keywords that you haven't used in the title yet.

Some in-depth keyword analysis can be done using Apple Search Ads.

Apple search for ASO

This feature is only available to iOS app developers and is an important tool for listing projects.

You can also use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to find and test common keywords.


A subtitle appears below the title in search results. This is also limited to 30 characters.

It gives you another way to use more descriptive keywords.

ASO example

For example, TypeShift uses the disk space to enter its SEO.

This is a clean look and can work well.

I would still have taken the opportunity to use some keywords in the title, but that's out of my control.

Which is a good transition to my next topic.

App ratings and reviews

Customer ratings and ratings are an important consideration for users, especially users who are unfamiliar with an app brand.

Apps with higher ratings also ranked higher. This creates a delicate dilemma: you want more ratings and reviews, but not when they are negative. So you need a way to connect with your customers in your app and give them a place to share and speak directly to the developer.

On the other hand, you want to guide happy customers to leave positive reviews for you.

The average rating of the 100 best free apps in the App Store is 4 stars!

Quality is clearly important.

The lower your rating, the fewer consumers are willing to consider downloading.

Think about it. When was the last time you downloaded a one-star app?

You may have rated an app with one star, but when you downloaded it it was likely rated 3 or more stars.

Reviews also affect conversions.

Maintaining a high rating is often easier than upgrading one from 2 to 4 stars.

For this reason, it is important to get reviews from customers within the app.

All that is required is one-time and must be done within the first 72 hours.

That's how long 77% of users will be using an app before they never turn it on again.

It is also important to wait until the customer can use the app.

Instead of relying on a timer, consider getting a push notification when the customer takes certain actions.

Examples of good times to do this are after the first level of a game or after a customer has sent their first message through your encrypted messaging app.

However, try not to be too spammy and keep in mind that your app's performance can affect its rating.

Ultimately, you want a page full of glowing reviews.

And don't be afraid to respond to negative reviews.

You may have had a bad customer experience due to an error or malfunction that has since been resolved.

Thanks to users for their ratings whenever possible, good or bad, and for the correct issues. This is your time to collect valuable user feedback.

This is your time to collect valuable user feedback.


Ultimately, it's a download that matters.

An app preview video and screenshots help convert undecided users.

Both the app and Google Play stores use the number of times an app was downloaded to determine its ranking.

In particular, this is the current download rate.

For example, while one app has a total of 1 million downloads, a newer app can top that by getting more downloads this month.

The preview video and images can play an important role in this.

Most of the top apps on the App Store use app previews to drive customer conversions.

However, once you have a user, you need to keep them.

It's harder than it sounds and Apple is paying attention to it.

What can you do to get more downloads for your app?

Improving your ASO is a good start. In addition, work on the marketing of your brand and app to increase awareness, awareness and attractiveness, from the description of the app store to pictures, ratings / reviews and presence on social media.

Impact on retention ASO

Retention rates are important for mobile placement, but the bar isn't very high.

The average app only has a retention rate of 36% in the first month.

ASO average retention rate

If we break things down further, we can look at retention rates by industry.

Media / entertainment, lifestyle / travel, and ecommerce / retail apps have the best retention rates for three months.

There are so many apps on the App Store that users download many to never use.

One study found that of the roughly 90 apps installed, Americans use an average of 30 apps each month.

Even if your app is downloaded, it is unlikely to be used beyond the first 72 hours.

How long your app stays installed and how often it is used during installation can improve its ranking in the App Store.

Now that you understand how search rankings work, it is time to examine best practices for publishing an app to make sure it is showing and downloading.

Are apps with higher ratings higher in search results?

This test was conducted by taking a random sample of keywords and categorizing them according to their difficulty level in terms of rankings.

A "simple" keyword results in fewer than 25 apps trying to rank for that keyword. "Medium" keywords are found in 25 to 100 apps, and "competitive" keywords are found in over 100 apps.

How app ratings correlate with search rankings

Based on this test, there is a clear trend that shows that apps with higher ratings also rank higher for keyword difficulties.

Are apps with better ratings ranked higher? Yes.

(But don't beg for them. Earn better reviews for your apps the right way.)


ASO is a process that must be monitored over a certain period of time and continuously optimized. Your optimal set of keywords is rarely the one you put on the App Store first.

In most cases, little or no keyword research is done prior to app submission, so most apps remain hidden and the chances of detection are very low.

To reap the benefits of ASO, you need to invest time and effort. When you do this, you will have a consistent channel directing traffic to your app.

Getting found is one of the toughest challenges facing mobile apps, but it's a problem that the tips above can help you actively resolve.

Have you had success with ASO? What helped your app rank better?