App Store Optimisation: A Complete Guide To Optimizing Your App

With billions of smartphone users in the world, mobile applications have emerged as a big business – really big. Don’t just take our word for it, but analyse the staggering numbers in the graph below, and you will realise that the app industry is one hot sector right now.

And this is why App Store Optimisation (ASO) seems to be red hot for digital marketing and search optimisation companies. However, it’s sad to say that there is a lot of mythologising happening with respect to this topic. But, if you’re someone who is trying to make your app stand out from those millions of apps out there, you cannot afford to screw it up.

So today, we are going to shed some practical insights to help you accomplish the right ASO strategy through this guide.

In Fact, What Is ASO?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is basically the process of optimizing your application to improve its visibility within the App Stores. However, be informed, ASO isn’t just about search. It is more about making your potential customers click into your App Store listing, and once they click through to your listing page, the next is about convincing them to download your app.

To proceed with the process, you certainly need a crucial understanding of how each App Stores work, who are your target user base, and what are the keywords your potential users may type in to find your app, and much more.

Before proceeding with the rest, we recommend you to run your eye over our article on keywords to get a better understanding of picking keywords for your app. Done? Well, let’s move on to the different factors involved in ASO.

How To Rank Better With ASO Factors?

Although ASO is commonly referred to as App Store SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the ranking factors are significantly different for ASO and SEO. While SEO factors for Search Engines involve more than 200 aspects, the list for ASO is much more concise. However, we know most people would be uncertain of the part each of these factors plays in the app optimization process. Let’s put an end to that now!

The below list will speak about all the ranking factors for ASO in detail.

#1. Title

The title is the very first thing people will see about an app and so there’s no chance for an argument that it is the most crucial element of ASO. While choosing a title for your app, try to keep it short. Otherwise, it will get cut off. Being experienced in delivering App Store Optimisation services for different clients, we’d advise you to keep your titles within 25 characters.

And while you make it short, remember to make it creative as well. When it is creative, it is more likely to be spotted out. See how creatively the “Angry Birds” team have chosen their name, rather than keeping it plain as “bird game”!

Now the next thing you will have to memorise is to place the most appropriate keywords in the title because it increases the search ranking by 10%. But don’t just stuff keywords for the sake of doing it, because that can build an unpleasant user experience. Keep in mind – you have very few characters to play around with – a short title along with a short, relevant keyword is all you have room for in it.

#2. Subtitle

The subtitle, which is placed underneath the app title, is the next crucial ranking factor. So, think hard about writing a subtitle for your app.

While creating it, don’t just put together a string of random words, but insert keywords with higher search volumes in order to increase your application’s chances of ranking better. We will say, it is good to avoid generic ones likeSingapore’s best app”, and describe what the app does in a way that resonates well with your target viewers.

Also, try to localize your subtitles. See how sensibly Airbnb has localized the subtitle for their applications for the US and the UK markets. ?

For the US market, they have used the phrase ‘vacation’, while for the UK market, they have chosen the word ‘holiday’. People will always search using such localized words, so it’s an excellent choice to try such keywords in your subtitles.

#3. Description

Some ASO specialists say, “the app description doesn’t have an impact on search rankings“.

Yes, we do agree. The quality of the content of the description and the keyword inclusion in it have no role as per the ranking algorithm; however, it can unarguably convince users to download an application. And the download numbers, indeed, have a tremendous impact upon the ranking algorithms.

So, try to use the description as a creative space to engage your customers by explaining all the cool features and benefits of your app. As only the first few sentences are shown as a preview feature, make sure to entice your audience with the app’s utility in their everyday lives in an initial couple of sentences.

#4. Keyword Metadata

Most people think keywords are just for SEO, and not for ASO. However, the truth of the matter is that both the App Store and Google Play follow conventional search algorithms, which gives importance to keywords. So, never neglect them. Try placing relevant keywords in your app title and subtitle. But we repeat, don’t stuff it. Instead, use them wisely.

And when it comes to the App Store of Apple, it provides a separate section for you to add keywords. As you’re equipped with the maximum limitation of 100 characters in this segment try using single words (which you haven’t used in the app title), separated by a comma.

#5. Retention

Just developing an app and getting it downloaded is not the only thing that’s going to judge the success of your app; whether people are using it efficiently is also a crucial factor. How many times your app has been used after installation, and how long it stays installed – all will impact your App Store search rankings.

In order to meaningfully enhance user retention, you need to deeply know your customer wants and tending to their requirements in time.


And ultimately, it’s the download numbers that matter. Increased download rates will make your app more trustworthy and help convert more indecisive users. Both App and Google Play stores consider the download rate as a significant factor to determine the rank.

You can try out better preview videos and images to increase customer conversions. And beyond that, do work on the marketing part to improve your app’s recognition, and update everything from description to images in the best way possible.

#8. Ratings & Reviews

Ratings and reviews are important concerns for users. Apps with higher ratings are also ranked higher in the search results.

Here arises a tricky question: you need more ratings and reviews, but what will you do if they are negative? Let’s get you a simple solution – create a way for your customers to talk directly to the developers from inside of your app. This will allow you to correct any issues brought up by your customers instantly before they leave a negative review on the App Stores. On the other side, remember to guide satisfied users to leave positive comments for you on there.

Just like reviews, ratings also affect conversions. So, ask for ratings from customers within the app. You may consider sending push-notifications when users complete specific actions on your application. But, never be too spammy, because that can adversely affect your app’s rating.

Now, It’s Time To Optimise!

As we already said, just developing an app is not the whole thing, but optimizing it the right way to make it discoverable for your target audience is something that you need to consider. While part of App Store Optimization can be accomplished with the help of the tips above, part of it might need assistance from ASO experts.

Being in the mobile app development and optimization industry for over a decade, we at Parel Creative have enough savvy to help you get ahead of the game. If you need to keep your hand in the ASO game with us, please let us know.


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