A Full Information to App Retailer Optimization (ASO)


A cell technique is important to what you are promoting presence, contemplating the saturation of cell units.

That is the place app retailer optimization (ASO) comes into play.

On this article, you’ll be taught:

What’s app retailer optimization?
How does app retailer optimization work?
How do you optimize for Google Play & Apple App Retailer?

Whether or not you might be new to app retailer optimization or just eager to refine your method to ASO, this publish shares sensible insights which might be confirmed to maximise app retailer success.

What Is App Retailer Optimization?

Downloads, utilization, and in-app spending proceed to rise, however many customers desire to make use of a choose few apps extra persistently.

Discoverability has by no means been tougher, however the rewards of locking in loyal customers are larger than ever – so maximizing visibility in app shops is essential.

App retailer optimization (ASO) describes the method of optimizing the itemizing pages in your cell app in app shops like Google Play and Apple’s App Retailer.

It’s possible you’ll come throughout various phrases like “app retailer advertising and marketing” or “cell app website positioning,” however all of them check with the identical factor.

The objective is to maximise the visibility (and downloads) of your app for related searches – mainly, website positioning in your cell app quite than your web site.

In some ways, the optimization course of for ASO is similar to website positioning; in others, not a lot.

In the end, ASO goals to maximise app installs whereas product growth works on monetization, engagement, retention, and many others.

An efficient app retailer optimization technique retains new customers coming in whereas your growth staff (hopefully) retains current ones lively and spending.

With the proper retention charges, app retailer optimization acquires the brand new customers that you must drive significant progress.

The objective of ASO is sort of at all times app downloads, however supplemental objectives can embody objects resembling:

Elevated model publicity.
Constructive app opinions and scores.
Extra frequent and elevated volumes of app opinions.
Viewers engagement.
Extra advertising and marketing channel diversification.

How Does App Retailer Optimization Work?

In the event you’re new to app retailer optimization, it’d assist to think about it as website positioning in your cell app.

Besides, quite than optimizing an internet site to indicate in search engines like google, you’re optimizing your cell app listings for the related app shops.

On this sense, you might argue ASO is extra like optimizing a Google Enterprise Profile to indicate in Maps and native outcomes.

The opposite key distinction is you’ve bought two main cell app shops to optimize for: Google Play and Apple’s App Retailer.

These aren’t the one two app shops value contemplating, particularly in the event you’re growing apps for different units (TVs, video games consoles, and many others.), however they’re the largest – by far.

In accordance with Statista insights from Q3 2022, listed below are the highest three app shops based mostly on the variety of obtainable apps:

Google Play: 3.55 million.
Apple App Retailer: 1.64 million.
Amazon Appstore: 0.48 million.

In consequence, most ASO guides deal with optimizing app listings for Google Play and Apple App Retailer. Apart from being the highest two platforms, the optimization course of is a bit totally different for every.

That is principally as a consequence of every app retailer having its personal algorithm – very like totally different search engines like google.

In apply, most app retailer algorithms are extra alike than they’re totally different. So, the fundamental rules of app retailer optimization apply to all of them. Nevertheless, some shops could use the odd rating sign that others don’t.

To maintain this information easy, we’ll begin by working by means of the most typical rating indicators for app shops, usually.

Then, we’ll take a better take a look at Google Play and Apple App Retailer to see how they’re totally different.

Natural Optimization: Your ASO Basis

The important thing ingredient lacking from many ASO advertising and marketing supply approaches is natural search optimization and integration of app shops throughout the broader natural advertising and marketing combine.

There may be extra overlap between ASO and website positioning than direct competitors between the 2.

The mixing of those areas, and the applying of constant deal with ASO, can help quite a few search advertising and marketing positive factors.

It’s possible you’ll be stunned to find that lots of the conventional search engine marketing techniques that work for search engine efficiency, resembling Google and Bing, may also be instantly utilized to ASO.

Examples of this embody:

App title, title, and URL optimization.
Key phrase analysis for ASO.
App score and opinions technology and dealing with.
Deep linking inside cell apps.
Indexation of Apps in Google search engine outcomes pages (SERPs).
Click on-through charge (CTR) optimization.

The largest advertising and marketing mistake, nonetheless, in relation to integrating website positioning and ASO is overlooking the function of the web site in driving volumes of referral visits on to your retailer web page and app downloads part.

Your web site needs to be seen because the driving power behind main individuals all through the information-seeking and shopping for funnel out of your principal on-line entity (your web site) by means of to an engaged, ready-to-buy/obtain viewers (your app retailer).

As content material ranges are restricted throughout the app shops themselves, the extra you possibly can leverage your web site content material to extend app consciousness and discovery to construct exterior app authority and visibility, the better the worth, site visitors, and downloads your app will obtain.

The Most Vital App Retailer Rating Components

Like search engines like google, app shops don’t reveal the main points of their algorithms to the general public.

That being mentioned, the next seven rating components are key, useful parts of all main app shops:

App title or title.
App descriptions (together with key phrases).
In-app purchases and occasions.
Person opinions.

You possibly can break these rating components into three classes: discovery, conversion, and validation.

Discovery indicators assist app shops join your app with related searches. This consists of your app title /title, description, key phrases, and different contextual indicators.

Conversion indicators inform app shops that your itemizing compels customers to obtain your app – a robust indicator that your itemizing ought to present for extra related searches.

Lastly, you’ve bought validation indicators (engagement, in-app purchases/occasions, opinions, reviews/flags, and many others.). These assist app shops decide whether or not customers get a constructive expertise after putting in your app.

Constructive validation indicators (sturdy engagement, constructive opinions, and many others.) are an excellent stronger indicator that app shops ought to present your app to related customers.

What Do Customers Need From An App Retailer Itemizing?

Optimizing your app itemizing for visibility is one factor; getting customers to truly obtain your app is one thing else fully.

The catch-22 right here is that installs instantly affect your rating in app shops.

The extra individuals set up your app, the upper it ought to rank. This, in flip, ought to lead to extra installs, increased rankings as soon as once more – and so forth.

So, what are the important thing components in your cell app web page that decide whether or not customers hit the set up button?

App icon: On most app shops, your app icon is probably the most visually distinguished ingredient on outcomes pages and advice lists.
App particulars: This consists of your app title/title and, normally, some brief descriptive textual content explaining the aim of your app.
App score: Most platforms present the common score/assessment rating in your app in search outcomes and on the prime of your app itemizing web page.
App description: With Google Play and the App Retailer, customers can see a quick description in your itemizing web page they usually can click on to see the total description – in order that first sentence or two is essential.
Visuals: This consists of any characteristic pictures, screenshots, and demo movies that you would be able to add to your itemizing, showcasing the important thing advantages and person expertise of your app.
Person opinions: Until customers are already aware of your app, they’re in all probability going to flick thru some opinions from current customers.

Right here, you possibly can see this in motion.

App Store Optimization Elements for ASOScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

Very like website positioning, app retailer optimization is a cautious steadiness of optimizing to maximise visibility in app shops whereas prioritizing the wants of your customers.

Google Play Vs. App Retailer: Key Variations

Google Play and the App Retailer are extra related than totally different in relation to app retailer optimization.

Firstly, the rating components are very related, and the variations are principally technical – for instance, Google and Apple deal with key phrases in a different way.

Right here’s a fast abstract of the principle rating components for Google Play and the App Retailer.

App Retailer
Google Play


App title
App title

Quick description

Lengthy description

Key phrases (app title, key phrase discipline)
Key phrases (all inputs), incl. key phrase density

Scores & opinions
Scores & opinions

Itemizing CTR
Itemizing CTR

App efficiency
App efficiency



Uninstall charge
Uninstall charge

In-app purchases
In-app purchases


As you possibly can see, there’s not a lot of a distinction right here – in actual fact, most of your time shall be spent on issues like specs for icons, movies, and different property for every app itemizing.

As a common rule, Apple is extra strict with its developer pointers and it’s normally tougher to get an app permitted for the App Retailer.

So, in the event you’re selling iOS and Android apps, optimizing your listings for Apple’s pointers will usually fulfill each app shops whereas sustaining consistency and decreasing workload.

Now, let’s take a better take a look at app retailer optimization for Google Play and, then, the App Retailer.

App Retailer Optimization For Google Play

To provide your app itemizing the absolute best begin, you’ll wish to dedicate probably the most time to the next 9 components:

App title.
App class.
App descriptions.
App icon.
Function graphic.
Promo video.
App score and opinions.
Google Play Android Vitals.

We’ll take a better take a look at optimizing every of those components, however at all times check with official Google pointers whereas managing app listings for Google Play.

App Title

Optimizing your app title for Google Play will really feel acquainted in the event you’re used to optimizing web site titles for search.

You wish to begin with the product/branded title of your app after which embody a quick description – in no various phrases – utilizing your main key phrase.

Google Play SearchScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

You need to use as much as 30 characters in your app title, however attempt to maintain it as brief and punchy as attainable.

Prioritize accuracy over key phrase concentrating on and spotlight the important thing advantages of utilizing your app.

App Class

Deciding on the proper class in your app is crucial for matching with related searches.

For instance, let’s say you’re selling a coronary heart charge monitoring app. On this case, “Well being and Health” is probably the most applicable class.

Google Play example 2Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024

When customers particularly seek for “coronary heart charge monitor,” the key phrases in your title are a stronger sign.

Nevertheless, your app class can assist your app present for extra common searches like “well being and health apps” or “productiveness apps.”

Crucially, customers may browse classes within the Google Play retailer to find new apps with out looking.

Google Play Categories ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

For more information on choosing the proper app class for Google Play, check out this Play Console Assist web page.

Quick & Lengthy Descriptions

In Google Play, your app itemizing consists of two descriptions: A brief description that reveals below the About this app preview and a full description that customers can reveal by clicking on the arrow highlighted beneath.

Google Play Descriptions - Example

You need to use as much as 80 characters in your brief description and 4,000 characters in your full description.

In your brief description, attempt to describe the core performance of your app in probably the most compelling approach attainable.

Accuracy is vital right here, however you wish to persuade customers to put in your app – so spotlight probably the most engaging advantages.

Your full description offers a extra in-depth abstract of what your app affords.

Keep in mind that most individuals gained’t click on by means of to learn the total description, and people who do are searching for info, not a gross sales pitch.

You’ll discover Google’s official pointers for creating app descriptions below the “App descriptions” part of this Play Console Assist web page.

App Icon

App icons present on the left facet of search listings in Google Play and the top-right of app itemizing pages.

Google Play App Icon Example

These are probably the most distinguished components on app retailer outcomes pages.

Ideally, you need an app icon that both visually describes the function of your app or leverages your model picture as a differentiator.

Designing a novel icon is tougher in case your app has a particular goal and plenty of rivals – e.g., a coronary heart monitoring app.

Google Play example 3

If this is applicable to your app, use design rules like distinction to make your itemizing stand out from different outcomes.

Discover how Pulse App’s Coronary heart Charge Monitor app stands out from the opposite listings above?

That is due to a mixture of straightforward iconography with sturdy distinction, utilizing a black background to face out from the white Google Play outcomes web page.

Evaluate this to the REPS app, which makes use of related iconography with no black background, and the Bodymatter app, which makes use of a black background however a extra complicated design.

Google Codelabs has a superb tutorial on designing and previewing app icons. It consists of finest practices and suggestions for making an icon that stands out on outcomes pages and the most recent Android options, resembling adaptive icons.

Function Graphic And Promo Video

Function graphics present in your app itemizing web page and may present for branded searches, paid adverts, or advice sections on Google Play.

Till lately, you might solely use pictures as featured graphics, however now you can use promo movies of their place.

Google Play Feature Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024

This is among the most seen property in your Google Play itemizing, so use characteristic graphics to seize consideration and showcase one of the best of your app.

Google suggests:

“Use graphics that convey app or recreation experiences, and spotlight the core worth proposition, related context, or story-telling components if wanted.”

You’ll discover extra steerage on creating characteristic graphics below the Preview property part of this Play Console Assist web page.

App Screenshots

App screenshots present in the identical horizontal panel as characteristic graphics in your app itemizing web page.

They’re designed to showcase one of the best options of your apps whereas exhibiting customers what the in-app expertise seems like.

Google Play Screenshot ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

You possibly can embody descriptive textual content in your screenshots to emphasise the important thing advantages of your app’s most necessary options.

Hold issues descriptive, although.

Google prohibits the inclusion of performative or rating textual content in screenshots, resembling “app of the 12 months” or “hottest…” and promotional info like “10% off” or “free account.”

In case your app helps a number of languages, you’ll want to offer screenshots for every language model, together with any translated descriptive textual content.

See the screenshots part of this Play Console Assist web page for more information.

App Scores & Opinions

App scores present prominently in outcomes and on the prime of the app itemizing pages in Google Play. Moreover this, you’ve additionally bought a distinguished Scores and opinions part as the most important ingredient in your itemizing web page.

Google Play Rating ReviewsScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

Apart from being a rating issue, app scores and opinions are one of many largest belief components that assist customers select which apps to put in.

You don’t want good assessment scores however a constructive (3.5+ stars) is a good asset for rankings and installs.

Your assessment profile additionally permits customers to view the suggestions left by others – and the way you reply. As soon as once more, the way you cope with person issues is usually extra necessary than the scores or suggestions itself.

You’ll want a framework in place for producing common opinions and replying to them, participating with reviewers, and fixing person points.

Your replies are additionally seen, so keep away from generic responses – present new, potential customers how good you might be at coping with issues.

In reality, don’t take inspiration from Google’s personal help staff for Google One. Privateness is nice, however the tone of the reply beneath is extra dismissive than useful, and the very same response seems all through replies.

Google Play Review ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024

This suggestions may provide help to develop a stronger product, and customers usually edit their opinions, following updates or resolved tickets.

All the time keep in mind: Lengthy-term income is the objective, which begins with high quality app experiences, engagement, and retention.

Google Play Android Vitals

Google offers an in depth toolkit for optimizing your cell app. Its Android vitals initiative units out a very powerful usability metrics that have an effect on the visibility of your app on Google Play.

In the event you’re used to optimizing web sites for search, it will sound loads like Google’s Core Internet Vitals.

The precept Android vitals is analogous when it comes to efficiency affecting your search rating, however it is a way more in depth initiative than Core Internet Vitals, because it stands.

Android vitals are damaged into two key parts:

Core vitals

All different vitals

To maximise the visibility of your app in Google Play, maintain the user-perceived crash charge beneath 1.09% throughout all units and eight% per gadget, with the user-perceived ANR charge beneath 0.47% throughout all units and eight% per gadget.

Google Play Bad Behaviour ExampleScreenshot from developer.android.com, February 2024

Check out the official Android vitals documentation web page for extra info.

App Retailer Optimization For App Retailer

For the App Retailer, we’ve additionally bought 9 key components to optimize, however they’re not fairly the identical as Google Play:

App title.
App subtitle.
Key phrases.
App icon.
App previews.
App scores and opinions.

One of many key variations right here is how the 2 platforms deal with key phrases. Whereas Google analyzes your complete itemizing for key phrases, Apple offers a single discipline so that you can add key phrases.

Once more, at all times check with official Apple documentation when optimizing listings for the App Retailer.

App Identify

Within the App Retailer, your app title merely offers a recognizable and memorable title in your cell app.

You don’t want to fret about key phrases or descriptive textual content right here – that comes later.

App Store NameScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

For now, focus on developing with an app title that’s straightforward to recollect and spell whereas considerably describing what your app does.

Apple affords the next recommendation:

“Select a easy, memorable title that’s straightforward to spell and hints at what your app does. Be distinctive. Keep away from names that use generic phrases or are too just like current app names.”

You need to use as much as 30 characters in your app title within the App Retailer, however attempt to maintain it as brief and punchy as attainable.

App Icon

As with most app shops, the app icon is among the most distinguished components as customers browse the iOS app retailer. Apple offers in depth design pointers for app icons and it’s extra strict than most.

App Store IconScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

So, in the event you’re selling your app throughout the App Retailer, Google Play, and every other platforms, you would possibly wish to begin with Apple first. Generally, this makes it best to take care of a constant design throughout all platforms.

Usually talking, the identical design rules apply. Hold it easy and impactful with clever use of iconography, coloration, and distinction.

Take a look at your rivals and attempt to provide you with one thing that stands out from the opposite apps your audience is prone to see.


Your app subtitle offers a quick description beneath the app title. Use this to focus on the aim and advantages of your app in probably the most compelling approach attainable.

App Store Subtitles

That is your first alternative to excite potential customers about your app, so attempt to make an impression right here. You’ve solely bought 30 characters to work with, which implies punchy subtitles are inclined to do finest.

You’ll wish to take a look at and refine your subtitles over time, paying shut consideration to CTRs and installs as you strive totally different variations.


As with Google Play, classes are key for discoverability within the App Retailer.

You possibly can assign main and secondary classes for iOS apps to assist customers discover your app; the first class has the strongest weight. – so select probably the most related one.

App Store Categories Screenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

Apple offers in depth steerage for selecting app classes. Be sure you observe Apple’s steerage as a result of choosing the mistaken classes violates the App Retailer pointers.

In some instances, chances are you’ll discover a number of classes that match your app.

For instance, in the event you’re working a photo-sharing social media app, you might choose both Picture & Video or Social Networking as your main class.

In such instances, Apple suggests contemplating the next:

Your app’s goal: Your main class needs to be the one which finest describes your app’s principal operate or material.
The place customers search for an app like yours: Understanding your viewers will provide help to determine the class through which they may doubtless search for your app. Will they think about your app extra of a social community or a images app?
Which classes include the identical kind of apps as yours?: Analysis how related apps are categorized — customers could already know to go to these classes to seek out such a app.

If a number of classes precisely replicate the aim of your app, you’re unlikely to run into any violation points.

At this level, it’s extra a query of which class matches the search and on a regular basis use of your app – not solely to maximise visibility but additionally to set the proper expectations for customers who set up your app (assume engagement and retention).

Key phrases

Whereas Google Play seems for key phrases all through your app itemizing (just like how Google Search analyses internet pages), the App Retailer offers a devoted key phrases discipline.

You need to use as much as 100 characters so as to add key phrases (separated by commas – no areas) to assist customers uncover your app. Apple affords the next recommendation for selecting key phrases:

“Select key phrases based mostly on phrases you assume your viewers will use to seek out an app like yours.

Be particular when describing your app’s options and performance to assist the search algorithm floor your app in related searches.”

Apple additionally recommends contemplating “the trade-off” between rating nicely for much less frequent phrases versus rating decrease for in style phrases.

The preferred key phrases could generate a whole lot of impressions and site visitors, however they’re additionally probably the most aggressive, which might affect CTRs and installs.

App Description

Your app description ought to present a brief, compelling – and informative – description of your app, highlighting its principal goal and advantages.

Just like Google Play, you should use as much as 4,000 characters in your app description, however customers can solely see the primary two traces (and a lot of the third) with out clicking to see extra.

Apple suggests the next:

“Talk within the tone of your model, and use terminology your audience will respect and perceive. The primary sentence of your description is a very powerful — that is what customers can learn with out having to faucet to learn extra.”

App Store Description ExampleScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

If you wish to replace your app description, you’ll must resubmit your app itemizing, so it’s necessary to try to get this proper and solely make thought-about modifications.

You may as well add as much as 170 characters of promotional textual content to the highest of your app description.

Crucially, you possibly can change this textual content at any time with out having to resubmit your app itemizing, making this a terrific place to share the most recent information and data about your app – resembling limited-time gross sales, the most recent options, or fixes from the final replace.

App Previews

App previews are the App Retailer equal of promo movies.

You possibly can add as much as 30 seconds of footage for instance the important thing advantages of your app and the expertise of utilizing it.

App Store App PreviewScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

Once more, Apple has strict pointers and specs for app previews – be sure to tick all the proper packing containers.

As with most issues, in the event you’re itemizing your app within the App Retailer and Google Play, getting your app preview permitted for the App Retailer first ought to imply you should use the identical format for Google Play – so long as you embody footage from the Android model of your app.


You possibly can add as much as 10 screenshots to your app itemizing for the App Retailer.

In the event you don’t have an app preview, the primary one to 3 screenshots will present in search outcomes, so ensure that these spotlight the core goal of your app.

App Store ScreenshotScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

In your remaining screenshots, you possibly can deal with the principle options or advantages of utilizing your app.

Attempt to stick to at least one characteristic or profit per screenshot to speak every goal clearly.

App Scores & Opinions

As soon as once more, app scores and opinions are necessary for maximizing visibility and installs within the App Retailer.

If something, person opinions are extra distinguished within the App Retailer than Google Play, however we will’t say whether or not this has any significant affect on downloads.

App Store ReviewsScreenshot from App Retailer, February 2024

The identical common rules apply right here: attempt to develop an everyday stream of opinions and handle a constructive app score.

Once more, you don’t want good scores, however you do want to answer person opinions and tackle potential points.

Prioritize destructive opinions and reply as shortly as attainable with responses that cope with points – keep away from generic, unhelpful responses.

Further App Retailer Optimization Suggestions

App retailer optimization is an ongoing course of that wants ongoing consideration. Getting your listings permitted for app shops is barely the start.

Maximizing visibility and – extra importantly – income out of your cell apps requires an entire product growth technique.

Listed here are some ultimate, extra suggestions that can assist you drive long-term success from app retailer optimization:

Know your KPIs: Don’t get distracted by the mistaken metrics and KPIs – know what you’re optimizing for and middle each determination round what you are promoting objectives.
Prioritize person expertise: Visibility is one factor, however you’re not going to maximise it or take full benefit of it if individuals uninstall your app or hardly ever use it – so ensure that high quality product growth and UX design are on the coronary heart of your ASO technique.
A/B take a look at key app retailer components: Check and optimize a very powerful components in your app listings to extend visibility, CTRs, installs, and retention (descriptions, movies, screenshots, opinions, and many others).
Grasp every app retailer’s analytics system: Google Play and the App Retailer each present succesful (albeit in several methods) analytics methods that can assist you enhance visibility, income, and product high quality – so make full use of them.
Promote your app with adverts: Each Google and Apple present devoted advert methods for his or her respective app shops to get your app in entrance of extra eyes.
Promote your apps exterior of app shops: Use different advertising and marketing channels to advertise your apps – social media, app listing web sites, app assessment web sites, affiliate entrepreneurs, tech publications, and many others.
Localize your app listings: App shops can join you with international audiences, however provided that you optimize your listings for every goal language and site (that is referred to as localization) – with translated textual content, screenshots, movies, and many others.


The cell app trade nonetheless reveals progress regardless of smartphone penetration being well beyond saturation.

Smartphones aren’t the one units in individuals’s lives anymore, both.

Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional launched with over 600 suitable apps, opening one other house for cell experiences past the confines of conventional smartphones.

App retailer optimization (ASO) will turn out to be extra complicated as new units and app shops emerge.

Nevertheless, the rewards may even develop, and the businesses already mastering ASO for at the moment’s app shops shall be first in line to profit as rising applied sciences deliver new alternatives.

Extra Sources:

Featured Picture: Billion Pictures/Shutterstock


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