In the world of mobile app development, there comes a time where you have put the finishing touches on your product and are ready to show it to the world. Unfortunately, without the proper tools and app store optimization, it can be difficult to get your app out there and easier to find. When you have spent so much time putting together your app, this is the last place that you want to lose ground by not adequately preparing yourself for app store optimization.

Thankfully, we have your back. In this article, we are going to take a look at the basics of app store optimization. Along with that, we will examine a few best practices that can take your app from a moderate success to an app store powerhouse. Additionally, for all of the Android app developers out there, these same practices can work wonders for you as well in the Google Play store.

Without further ado, let’s start by taking a look at the basics.

The Basics

When you are putting together your app store listing, there are a few basics that Apple makes you include. These basics include:

  • 30-character app name
  • 30-character subtitle
  • 170-character promotional text
  • Three preview videos
  • Screenshots prepared for the new store listing

While each of these is necessary for all listings, there are still a few ways you can use app store optimization to get the most out of your name, subtitle, and more. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these elements.

App name and subtitle

After all the time spent coming up with your mobile app idea, you likely already have an app name set in stone. However, with the subtitle you are able to target a few alternative keywords that may not be captured by your app’s official name. Use the subtitle area to give a brief overview or description of your app. Try to make it enticing so that users want to find out more about your app and then seal the deal with the next part: promotional text and description.

Promotional text and description

Until recently, there wasn’t a distinction between these two aspects of app store optimization. Now, you need to put together a description of your app that will stay the same until your next app store listing, while the promotional text can be updated as you create new features for the app.

Use the description to sell the core value of the app. Talk about its use cases and what customers can expect. Since such a high percentage of app users only use the app once after download, you want to be honest with your audience to avoid rapid churn. Then, use the promotional text area to sell them on new updates and features.

Screenshots and preview videos

Another recent change that has occur effects the way you approach app store optimization in regards to screenshots and preview videos. While it used to be that screenshots were a main attracter when it came to the app store, preview videos take this to a whole new level. Although you should know that these videos often auto play right within the search on mute, so make sure that customers can still get what they need without audio.

Use this as an opportunity to show off your mobile app design. Since actually using an app is the best way to understand how it works, show users common ways to get the most out of your app with these videos.

woman using phone

Best practices for being found

Once you have set up the basics for your app store placement, you can really start to hone your approach and optimize everything to the best of your abilities. While not all of these app store optimization best practices necessarily take place within the actual app store, they will help you be found. Keep this in mind as we review these best practices.

Understand your customers and competition

In order to make sure that your mobile business ideas stand out amongst the crowd, you will want to take time to analyze both your customers and competition. First, your customers. Find out what they like about your app, where they are from, and how they would describe it. By picturing these ideas, you can get an idea of keywords with which they will find you. Then, include those keywords in your description or promotional text so they can find you.

The same goes for competitors. Take a look at other apps in the space and the keywords they are using to get a good understanding of what you are up against. If there are keywords that you didn’t think to use, try to include them somewhere on your page for best app store optimization results.

Create a unique icon

Even if you have a beautifully designed app and a description that hits all the right marks, customers can still be frivolous in their choices. By creating a unique icon for your app, you can better differentiate yourself from other apps in the store. Especially now that the amount of space dedicated to one app in the search results is so small, icons are more important than ever. Try to create something that grabs users’ attention to recoup your app development cost.

Outside promotion

When it comes to app store optimization, sometimes you have to think outside the box, or in this case, outside the store. Outside promotion can include anything from SEO to mobile marketing tools. Anything that can increase traffic to your app store listing will rank your app higher in the results, making you easier to find.

One way of doing this that doesn’t rely on the app store is to create a one-page website for people looking for your app online. Typically, this site will just include a link to download the app in the store, but having an off-site place to keep this information can really help your app store optimization in the long run.

Update frequently

In the same way that we encourage mobile app maintenance for our developers, we recommend updating your app store listing frequently with the latest news on your app. This is where you can use the promotional text to increase app store optimization by bringing in new keywords, letting users know about the latest updates, and more.

Additionally, updating your listing frequently shows that you care about getting your name out there. Many developers will simply put up an app and hope for the best. Instead of finding its way to the top, these developers often find their listing near the bottom or even completely removed. Keep it updated and you should be able to avoid this issue.

Encourage feedback

The final way to increase your app store optimization is through reviews and feedback. Although users will often be prompted when downloading or updating the app to leave a review, unless you actively encourage and even welcome feedback, not many will take this opportunity.

Some companies have tried incentivizing reviews, while others simply send push notifications asking for feedback. The best way to do this is by looking at how you have communicated with your audience in the past and ask them to give feedback through this trust channel. The better your reviews, the better your placement.


Final thoughts

While it can seem as though a lot goes into app store optimization, we hope that this article has made it feel less daunting. Since you likely have spent a good amount of time and money on your app development, don’t let being found be what causes you to lose ground. After all, we want the best for your app and we hope that you do too.