Optimizing Your App Platform (ASO) The Right Way

When it comes to optimizing a website, you can find information everywhere. But when it comes to optimizing the site on the platform you’re presenting your APP on, be it App Store or Google Play, there’s very little information you can really rely on.

And out of a need to have a direct and effective checklist for optimizing our apps, we created this post. Here you’ll find everything you need to not only showcase your apps but really give something to the platforms’ ranking algorithms so they can place your apps in better positions in their respective search results.

Understanding and following this app optimization checklist doesn’t get any easier than this. So get comfortable, remove all distractions and let’s get started.

Choosing a Unique App Name

How to Name Your App for Growth (ASO)
  • Your app name should be memorable and consistent with your brand
  • Don’t use generic app names or ones that your competitors commonly use
  • Your app title carries a lot of weight in the app platform algorithm. It would help if you used the available characters wisely to include your important keywords. It is better when you place these keywords at the beginning of the app title
  • Use different languages to localize your app name for each audience or local language
  • The character limit for app names is 30 characters for iOS and 50 for Android

Create an engaging App subtitle

  • A subhead appears under your app name in search results and on the app page. It should summarize what your app is about
  • This field is used to highlight the features and purposes of your app
  • Always use “strong keywords” in your subheading to increase your app’s visibility
  • Avoid repeating keywords that you already use in the app name. Repeating keywords does not give them more weight in the app platform’s algorithm
  • For apps, the subtitle character limit is 30 characters for iOS and 80 characters for Android

Optimize your App keyword field

App Store Optimization in 2021 – Keyword Research
  • The keywords field helps the app platform determine your app’s presence in search results, and keywords fields are usually not visible to app platform users
  • When conducting “keyword research”, consider the specific search queries your target audience might use when browsing the app platform
  • Focus on keywords that have a high search volume, but you need to consider the competition, for this, you need a competitive analysis. (We can help you with this)
  • Commas separate the keywords, not spaces
  • Preferably use single keywords and not combinations. The iOS algorithm, for example, automatically combines search queries into long-tail keywords
  • Avoid repeating keywords from your app name, subtitle, or publisher name. Again, when you repeat keywords, you don’t give them any additional relevance in the platform’s algorithm. Therefore, it is a waste of characters
  • Use singular keywords, because in most cases your app will rank for plural keywords as well
  • Avoid including the category name in the keyword field, App Platforms automatically maps your app to that keyword
  • Geo-localize your chosen keywords for the local language
  • Always use all 100 characters available

🏆 Best practices for “App Platform optimization”: Don’t include the words “app”, “free”, “iPhone” or “iPad”. The ranking algorithm automatically ranks your app for these keywords

For the App Store, the Keyword Field Character Limit is 100

Write a thorough App description

🏆 Pro-tip: Your app description gives the algorithm power to rank your app.

  • Please don’t confuse the Google Play long description function here because it is not a ranking factor on the App Store platform. This means that keywords in the app description on App Store will not help your app rank better on App Store, but it will on the “Google Play Platform”
  • However, this does not change the fact that the long description plays a big role in increasing the conversion rate through optimization. The users who scroll down and click to read your app’s long description are the ones who are interested in learning more about your app before they download it
  • Your first paragraph should be enticing to improve conversion chances: The first 3 lines and the “More” button will be displayed below your screenshots when users from one of these platforms land on your offer page
  • Your app description should highlight your app’s best features and functions and how users will benefit after downloading your app
  • Don’t forget to mention awards, reviews or testimonials
  • Don’t forget to rewrite the text for the languages of your target countries
  • For App Store, and Google Play platform the description is limited to 4000 characters

Leveraging the promotional text field

  • Promotional text is not used as a ranking factor, meaning the keywords you use in this promotional text will not help your app rank in search results
  • It does, however, provide a direct and unique way to get people excited about your app when you highlight promotions, upcoming features, and other time-sensitive content
  • This is the only field on your app page that can be edited without resubmitting your app to the platform
  • In the App Store, the promotional text is limited to 170 characters

Inform your audience about the changes

  • When you update your app and release a new version, you can use the “What’s new” text box to inform your app users about the changes. The “What’s new” section should be displayed on the app page for users who have already downloaded your app
  • Therefore, the “What’s new” section doesn’t play a big role in conversion rate optimization, but the power in it lies in communicating the new features and important updates to your existing users
  • Using keywords in the “What’s new” field will not help improve your app’s ranking
  • Use this field to get users excited about new features and updates to your app
  • Avoid listing things like “bugs fixed” and focus on telling a story about new features or improvements you’ve added to your app

Optimize your App Brand Name

3 App Store Optimization (ASO) Strategies You Should Be Testing for 2020
  • Your brand name will appear on your app page below the app title in App Store and search results on the Google Play platform
  • Your brand name will appear for a few seconds and then be replaced by your app’s subtitle
  • App developers who use a personal account to promote an app have a lower chance of gaining trust, and a brand has a greater chance of doing so
  • However, it has been proven that keywords used in the seller name field help with rankings. You have the opportunity to increase the visibility of your app if you use the most important keywords of your app
  • On App Store, it is difficult to change your brand name. If you are starting, it would be good to choose a brand name that includes your targeted keywords

Design an Eye-Catching App Icon

How To Make An Eye-Catching Mobile App Icon
  • The app icon is an essential element because it represents one of the first impressions users will have of your app
  • As the name of your app, the image must also describe what your app is about
  • Always prefer a clean and appealing design to stand out from your industry competitors
  • Work on having a single focal point to grab the user’s attention
  • Work with borders, shadows, and gradients to increase contrast
  • Work with high-resolution images and maintain dimensions for each device

Create captivating Application screenshots

Free Tool to Create App Store Screenshots
  • Screenshots represent an important element in influencing your app install rate on app platforms
  • Screenshots are displayed in the search results of app platforms and are one of the first elements users see when they open your app page
  • When using screenshots in portrait mode, the first 3 screenshots are displayed in the app platform search results pages (not in Google Play) below the app title and subtitle
  • When using screenshots in landscape format, only the first screenshot will be displayed in the search results pages of the App Store but not in Google Play
  • Use all screenshots to visually convey the user experience of the app
  • A panoramic image and visual experience will tie your first three screenshots together
  • Work with short captions and always use a large font
  • There are 10 screenshot slots in the Apple Store and 8 on Google Play, use all available slots and add screenshots for each device
  • Translate the text in your app screenshots for each language needed

🏆 Pro Tip when adding screenshots: Always use an A/B test period to project the effectiveness of your screenshots

An A.p.p video preview is a must-have

How to Create the Best App Preview Video for the App Store
  • One of the most important strategies for optimizing your app download rates is a video preview
  • App preview videos enhance the user experience on app platforms and automatically play in App Store search results when you mute them. Google Play, on the other hand, allows you to do more with your preview videos than the App Store
  • In the App Store, you can add up to 3 app preview videos
  • For Google Play, the videos should be between 30-40 seconds long and they are hosted on YouTube. For the App Store, the videos should be between 15-30 seconds long
  • For the App Store, if you design preview videos in portrait format, the first preview video will show up in search results, with your first two screenshots. If you style your videos in landscape format, the first video will appear in the search results, without any additional screenshots
  • App previews appear before screenshots on your app page, and each video plays automatically when the previous video ends
  • Your app preview videos should show users how to use the app. You need to explain the experience to your users when they use your app
  • Make sure to keep the videos simple and focus on one feature per video
  • Design HQ thumbnails or poster frames for each video
  • The videos will play automatically, but if users are using a slow internet connection, the poster frame will appear first for a few seconds
  • Create separate videos for each mobile device
  • A/B testing is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your app previews

Optimize In-App Purchases for Apple Store

In-App Purchases Tutorial (Consumable) – Swift 5, Xcode 12, 2020 iOS Development
  • In-app purchases are an important factor for keyword ranking and conversion optimization.
  • You have the ability to promote up to 20 in-app purchases on your app page, and for each IAP you can optimize a custom name, description, and icon
  • Individual IAPs can also show up in App Store Search results, giving you the opportunity to rank for far more keywords than just the keywords in your app title, subtitle or keyword field
  • While IAPs used to show up in search results only for exact matches, recent findings show that IAPs on iOS 12 also match for close variants
  • The best practices for optimizing your app should also be used for optimizing the IAP icon, name, and description
  • The character limit for the IAP name: 30
  • The character limit for the IAP description: 45

Caring about your Application reviews

Requesting A Review For Your App | Swift 5, Xcode 10
  • Your app reviews are an important factor in your app’s ranking on app platforms
  • When you have positive app reviews, it helps your app stand out from other competitors, which leads to more downloads
  • Focus on getting as many positive reviews as possible
  • You can use family and friends to rate your app after launch to quickly build a large pool of genuine reviews Work with the time when your app users are most likely to use your app to ask them to rate your app
  • Including your contact details in the app, description is necessary so that your users can contact you directly if they have any difficulties. This might discourage them from writing bad reviews
  • Responding to negative reviews is just as necessary as responding to positive ones to show potential users that you are trustworthy

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