All You Need to Know About App Store Optimisation (ASO)

Given that there are more than 6.3 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that the mobile app sector has experienced tremendous growth. In fact, research into mobile usage has shown that the average American looks at their phone 344 times every day!  

The widespread use of smartphones and the continuous increase in app usage is not showing any signs of slowing, so if your business has its own app, you must employ the proper App Store Optimisation (ASO) techniques. Millions of apps are available in both the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. You must use this opportunity to benefit from the $935 billion in potential income that mobile apps could generate by 2023. 

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What is App Store Optimisation (ASO)?

App Store Optimisation is the process of enhancing an app’s visibility on the major app stores, causing an increase in downloads, as well as an increase in routine visits to your page by existing users.  

As you know, the two most well-known app stores are the Google Play Store for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices. With the correct knowledge, anyone can create and upload apps to both stores, which makes the competition for businesses extremely high.  

Google asserts that 40% of apps are found through app store searches. If you aren’t using ASO to raise your app’s search ranking, you’re missing out on a great opportunity for people to discover you. 


If you want to stand out, you must be aware of how App Store Optimisation works and how to use it effectively. Although ASO and SEO are relatively similar, there are a few important differences to be aware of if you want your app to rank at the top. 

The main difference is in the execution and optimisation goals. While SEO focuses on internet search engines, ASO is solely focused on app stores. Also, results from your ASO strategies might be visible earlier than with SEO.  

The good thing about ASO is that paid traffic can influence an app’s ranking. On the other hand, paid traffic won’t necessarily improve a website’s ranking. In other words. SEO depends more on organic factors than ASO (although factors such as crashes and user experience do influence an app’s position in the search results).  

In comparison to SEO, ASO search phrases are more focused and concise. New apps are frequently highlighted and given preference in app stores whereas with SEO, search engines prioritise the most relevant material over the most recent. 

Overall, App Store Optimisation is a quicker process, but the competition is very high. 

Google Play vs. The App Store

Since the day of their conception, the two companies have been in a constant state of competition. Both Google Play and the App Store keep getting better, with regular updates and modifications benefitting customers and developers in various ways.  

The biggest difference lies in the approval process. Apple and Google have each developed an app review process so they can guarantee that only the best apps are available in their stores. However, Apple’s approval process often takes longer than Google’s. Google Play is pretty quick  – any new software or update should always be released within three days of submitting it for approval.  

Although keywords are important for ASO on both platforms, they are used in different ways. Google Play indexes material in a manner akin to Google Search – this means that every textual component is considered by Google when indexing phrases for your app. A keyword should be used 3-5 times throughout all fields in order to rank for it.  

On the Apple App Store, you enter your keywords into a specific field, and it is not advised to repeat keywords from the title in that field due to character limitations. In some circumstances, the App Store even draws keywords from your competitors.  

In the App Store’s search results, changes to keywords usually have an immediate effect on how highly the app ranks. On the other hand, the Play Store algorithm often takes a lot longer to adapt – up to two or three weeks.   

Another factor to keep in mind is that users of each store have different buying habits and tend to interact with the page in different ways. For example, Android users are less likely to download paid apps due to the large number of free apps available on the Play Store. Make sure you consider such factors when planning your ASO strategy.  

Benefits of App Store Optimisation

  1. Target the Relevant Audience 
    Discovering your app is not enough; consumers looking for apps similar to yours should be the ones who find it. ASO helps you target the correct customers – the ones that are genuinely looking for your product.  This makes the customer acquisition process easier. 
  2. Stand Out from the Competition 
    The higher you rank, the greater your chances of standing out from the competition – one reason being the common tendency for people to download or buy the top ranked product. Your organic installs will increase with a sound ASO campaign, which will guarantee long-term success, and your app will appear in the search results when consumers type in keywords associated with your application. Regularly improving your ASO will guarantee that you maintain good ranks.
  3. Sustainable Organic Growth 
    The stronger your ASO strategy is, the less you have to spend on paid search. This also means your growth will not depend on external measures. You will have to keep up with new policy updates but once you set up your app based on optimisation principles, you won’t have to make constant changes.  

Considerations for ASO include: 

1. App Title and Name 
The name of your app is vital. It should be catchy and relevant to your industry, but it should also include relevant keywords. Just like with SEO, you will have to do proper keyword research and look for keywords with high search volumes. For example, if your company’s name is “Sana’s Flowers”, you could use this title instead – ‘“Sana’s Flowers – Purchase Plant Seeds and Gardening Equipment”.

2. Keywords  
Knowing the keywords that your target market uses most frequently will help you improve your search rankings, and monitoring rivals might help you see how you stack up week on week. Once your keywords are in the right places, the app store algorithms will determine whether you’re eligible to rank for a particular keyword, how relevant a given keyword is to your app, and how much ranking strength your app has. (Note that the app’s metadata includes index app keywords e.g., app title, name, short/long description, keyword field, and so on.) Apple suggests avoiding using the following keywords in your content: 

  • The unauthorised use of celebrity names, trademarked terminology, and other protected words and expressions 
  • Term combinations that are unrelated to the app 
  • Alternative app names 
  • Terms that are irrelevant, improper, or offensive,

3. Subtitle 

A subtitle is displayed beneath the title in search results and there is a 30-character limit for it. Your app’s subtitle should give a brief overview of what the app does. Avoid using generic terms like “world’s best app.” Instead, highlight the app’s features. 

4. Number of Downloads 
In the digital world, numbers matter a lot. An already viral video gets more and more views, and this herd mentality is present all over the internet. The App Store and Google Play both rank apps based on the number of downloads they’ve had.  

The best way to ensure your app gets more downloads is by having a strategic marketing plan. Click here to see how my team and I can help you increase your app downloads. 

5. Reviews and Ratings  

We all judge an app based on the number of stars it has. Customer reviews and ratings are taken into consideration by not only users (especially those who aren’t familiar with your brand), but also by the ranking algorithm.

Users must have a way to give feedback within the app and having efficient customer care is key here. Don’t worry about negative reviews – consider them as constructive criticism and work towards improving the features the customer complained about. You can also help the reviewer personally by providing a practical solution to their complaints. After making improvements, you can always ask them to give you an updated review.  

All these measures will help you optimise the performance of your app, but there are additional ways to improve user experience. Most importantly, focus on the quality of your app. Far too many people rush while launching an app, and this can greatly affect its quality and ultimately, its ranking.  

The ranking of your app will not retain users by itself. It might attract them, but it’s not enough to make them stick around. So, make sure you develop an app that provides genuine, measurable value that your audience needs.  

If you need help in developing a robust marketing strategy for your app, click here to see how my team and I can help.  

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