12. September 2016

App Store Optimization (ASO)


The two leading distribution channels for mobile apps are the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for iOS offering almost five million apps to download. The competition is huge and apps have to level the playing field. App Store Optimization (ASO) enhances an app’s likelihood to be found in the App Store. ASO pursues two goals:

  • Creating better search visibility
  • Enhancing the In-Store-Conversion-Rate to Download.

Similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ASO can be divided into OffPage and OnPage-activities (pertaining to the App Store page).

OffPage ASO activities

Overall objective of OffPage ASO activities is to increase an app’s visibility and therefore direct more traffic to the corresponding App Store page.

Keyword Analysis
A thorough and extensive keyword analysis forms the basis of any App Store Optimization process. Fundamental questions should be:

Which keywords lead to maximum traffic?
Is it realistic for my application to rank for these keywords?
Does the keyword fit to my application?
Which keywords are used by the competition?

There are different ASO tools which may facilitate your keyword research. The most prominent ones for App Keyword Analytics are

Keyword Optimization

Once the most important keywords are listed and sorted according to their “difficulty” they have to be included in the App Store Page. Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store vary significantly from each other in this regard.

Keywords in the app title
Both stores put emphasize on the app name when it comes to the weighting of keywords. App titles in the Apple App Store may consist of up to 255 characters, however, it is not recommended to make full use of them. In general the app title must follow some unwritten rules set by Apple’s App Store in order to pass the review process and not be considered as key word spam. Google’s Play Store however allows only 30 characters and it is therefore recommended to focus on 2-3 most important keywords.

Keywords in the actual keyword field
The keyword field is the point where the two stores vary the most. Apple offers a dedicated keyword field where you can insert keywords which are taken into account for the organic search ranking. Keywords may consist of up to 100 characters/language (app localization) and are comma separated.

Keywords in the app description
In contrast to Apple, where keywords are simply gathered within the keyword field, Google is creating internal keyword lists for each app based on the app description. This makes the Google keyword optimization comparatively difficult.

Keyword Monitoring
Your category ranking should be monitored closely in the long run in order to be able to react to changes in the app store algorithm and adapt to keyword changes of the competition.


OnPage ASO focuses on maximizing the in-store-conversion-rate (visit of the app store page to actual download). These activities do not only increase the CVR of your organic traffic but also lead to your other app marketing activities becoming more efficient.

The most important elements of On-Page ASO are:

  • App Icon
  • App Description
  • Short Description (Android)
  • Screenshots
  • Videos

There are a few additional factors which can only be influenced to a certain degree – count of downloads for example which is visible within Google Play or also the app rating. We are happy to recommend measures which will positively influence your App Store Rating (average user rating displayed as a number of stars).

App Icons, Screenshots & Video

Those 3 graphic elements are also strong elements of conversion for your app store page and they heavily influence the users decision to download the app. Paying attention to the (diverging) design guidelines of each store as well as an optimized screenshot flow helps facilitating the decision to download an app.

Whoever wants to continuously improve the conversion performance of its App Store page should furthermore consider AB testing its various elements. Unfortunately, native AB testing is only supported by Google for the time being, however there are third-party providers which also offer AB testing for Apple’s App Store. Those providers vary in terms of quality of their testing results and only very few can be recommended without hesitation. We are happy to help you find the right provider.

Beschreibungstext & Kurzbeschreibung

The description is not only relevant for keyword optimization reasons. Many users use the information given here to understand your app’s value proposition. Therefore the text should not focus on a placing the right keywords but also on providing relevant information for the user.

Again, both stores vary when it comes to the description text – Google offers a short description option with up to 80 characters whereas Apple shows only 255 characters by default, the user then needs to open up the text box in order to be able to read the full description. It’s important to consider those specific requirements when creating the description texts for each store.

Our extensive experience when it comes to App Store Optimization may help you cover the entire ASO-process – starting from the keyword analysis to the design and creation of graphic elements. We are happy to create a customized concept according to your needs, which contains icons, screenshots and app descriptions as well as the Feature Graphic and short descriptions for Android and iOS. We make sure that all graphic elements are being delivered in the right resolution and guarantee that they meet all design guidelines.

Request ASO Support

Consult. Implement. No Buzzword Bingo