Also known as ASO, App Store Optimization makes your app more visible to an in-store app search, helps them stand out from similar apps, and gives people more reasons to download them.
Once your apps are live in the app stores, you want to make sure that people can find them. While you can tell friends and customers about it on your website and social network accounts, how do you make people who don't know your shop to find your apps, download them, and become your customers?
The answer is easy: take advantage of all the marketing features the app stores offer you. In this article, you will find ASO tips to make your apps more visible, attractive, and compelling in the iOS and Android app stores.
Seven ways you can maximize ASO:
- App icon
- App name
- Keywords & categories
- Feature image
- App description
- Promotional text
- App screenshots
- App ratings & reviews
ASO Tip #1: Create a simple app icon
People are unlikely to download an app with a cluttered and confusing icon design. A good app icon tells the story of your shop and grabs the attention of a potential customer. Before you learn how to configure your app's icon and other graphics, find out below what makes an icon pique the curiosity of app store surfers.
To please the eyes of your picky customers, follow these tips:
✓ Use your shop logo.
✓ Keep it simple.
✓ Use graphical elements.
✓ Try colors and see if they fit.
✓ Pay attention to details.
✓ Use the same icon across platforms.
Try to avoid the following mistakes:
✘ Too much detail on the icon.
✘ Including shop descriptions in the icon.
✘ Too many colors or irrelevant colors.
✘ Making an icon too small.
✘ Using different icons for each platform.
ASO Tip #2: Add keywords to your app name
"Around 60% of apps are discovered through app store browses and searches."
Your app name is the most important factor in search. You can learn how to enter an app name and other key information here, but keep reading here to learn how to maximize the effect this information can have!
Feel free to use your shop name as your app name, keeping in mind that you have a maximum of 30 characters in both app stores. However, adding a few keywords to your app name could greatly increase your chance of being discovered.
Try these tips when adding keywords to your app name:
✓ Keep it short.
✓ Make it interesting.
✓ Be explicit.
✓ Use URL-safe characters.
ASO Tip #3: Choose a subtitle (only)
You also have the option to add a subtitle for your app that will show in the App Store. This will be displayed directly below the app title and cannot exceed 30 characters. The subtitle is also used by Apple to index search rankings, so you should consider it carefully.
Tips for choosing the right subtitle:
✓ Formulate your subtitle as a call-to-action.
✓ Use your subtitle to convey an idea, an intention or even a slogan.
✓ Choose something simple and straightforward.
ASO Tip #4: Choose research keywords & categories ( only)
Keywords and categories have a huge impact on search. The App Store ranks your app in a search according to the keywords and categories you selected. Therefore, selecting competitive, best-fitting keywords and categories are crucial to making your apps visible.
Follow these tips when selecting your keywords:
✓ Use relevant keywords only.
✓ Use a thesaurus to help you find alternative words.
✓ Research your competitors' keywords.
✓ Analyze keywords' popularity and difficulty.
An easy style guide on keywords:
✓ Separate your keywords with commas only.
✓ Use single words instead of phrases.
✓ Use the singular form of a word instead of the plural form.
✓ Use numbers instead of words.
Beware of the following mistakes - some of which may result in a rejection from the app stores:
✘ Don't use names or brands from existing apps or third party companies.
✘ Don't use offensive words.
✘ Don't use irrelevant keywords.
✘ Don't use your app name or company name as keywords.
✘ Don't add the word "free."
ASO Tip #5: Adding an eye-catching feature image ( only)
The feature image is a wonderful opportunity to highlight your Android app and promote your brand in a big and visual way.
Follow these tips when creating your feature image:
✓ Image needs to be 1024 x 500 pixels and designed to scale.
✓ Create fun and enticing graphics.
✓ Use colors that stand out on a black or white background.
✘ Don't use a text-heavy advertising-style graphic.
✘ Don't overload the graphic with details.
ASO Tip #6: Adding a smart description
You can describe your shop's products and services in 4000 characters. This description will help customers to understand your business in more details. Please note that you need an app update to change the description.
If you're looking for tips to write a good description, read these tips:
✓ Place your most important info first.
✓ Explain what you sell and why should people buy from you.
✓ List the features and benefits your app provides.
✓ Include social proof.
ASO Tip #7: Create promotional text (only)
In addition to the standard description, you’re able to add promotional text which can be used to share the latest news about your app, such as limited-time sales, important updates, or other events within your app. This text can be up to 170 characters long. A simple sentence or two can capture the user’s attention and persuade them to install the app.
To get the best results from your promotional text, follow these tips:
✓ Avoid long run-on sentences, instead opting for something short and sweet.
✓ Be persuasive enough to convince curious users to download your app.
ASO Tip #8: Personalized screenshots
App screenshots are your best trick to turn potential customers into buyers. If someone has come so far to look at your screenshots, you need to be prepared to show them your best work, catch their eye, and make your app scream "download me!"
At Shopgate, we generate screenshots for each device/size (iPhone 6, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad, and Android smartphones and tablets). However, if you'd like to use personalized screenshots, feel free to upload them to your Shopgate Admin by clicking Design → Logos.
If you're making your own personalized screenshots, try out these tips:
✓ Use as many screenshots as possible.
✓ Put your most relevant screenshots first.
✓ Upload a video.
✓ Beautify and explain your screenshots.
Please note that Shopgate automatically generates and updates screenshots for all shops when a new app design rolls out. If you noticed that we updated your screenshots, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can reverse the update for you.
ASO Tip #9: Ask for ratings and reviews
It's no secret that mobile users tend to trust apps with good reviews and a fair amount of downloads. Once your app is live, it's in your hands to get a good start!
Try these tips to get ratings and reviews for your apps:
✓ Advertise your apps to your current customers.
✓ Ask existing customers to review your products and services.
✓ Tell your fans and followers about your apps.
✓ Give a little incentive.
Going live in the app stores
It's always a good idea to preview your apps before you let them go live in the app stores. This will provide you an opportunity to see what your customers see, and correct any mistakes or features you aren't happy with. Learn how to preview your apps here.
After you've taken your big leap into the app stores, you may want to update your apps, as we've advised above. Fortunately for you, we have a whole article dedicated to what you should update and how to do it. Read How do I request an app update? for this information and more.