ASO – App Store Optimization: How to be found in the App Store

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the art and science of how to get found on the App Store and if you are an app developer or planning to develop an app then this is something you need to know out.

“Similar to SEO (search engine optimization), where the marketer applies specific strategies and techniques to optimize their website’s metadata to make their app easier to find for searchers.”

In layman’s terms, search engines like Google and Yahoo work with special algorithms that find keyword-related information (websites) based on your search terms. The App Store is basically just another search engine full of apps instead of websites, and the art of getting found is based on how well you use the strategies.

What is ASO?

This is the organic approach and by far the best option. While other marketing tactics aim to increase download volume in order to rank higher, ASO aims to achieve a high and consistent download rate over a period of time. And the cost is practically zero!

“So what is the difference between ASO and SEO?”

At a high level, they’re basically the same thing. SEO is the optimization of a website for search engines like Google and Yahoo, while ASO is an optimization strategy specific to the App Store. And the same elements persist.

How to optimize your app for the App Store

We focus on many of the same strategies:

On-App Store Optimization

app name




Off-App Store Optimization

Downloads (volume/speed)





Most marketers and app developers only focus on getting a high volume of downloads in the shortest possible time, which is expensive and not very rewarding. Download spikes can be exciting, but what goes up must eventually go down, and at the end of the day, consistency is the be-all and end-all of any business venture.

Application of the ASO strategy

Research & Planning

One of the most important parts of ASO (& SEO) is keyword research and implementation planning. It’s important to get a basic understanding of what search terms your potential “customers” are using to find similar products.

By figuring out what those keywords are, you can optimize your app for each search term and ensure your app is seen first when those keywords are searched.

If you are inexperienced in keyword research, I would recommend seeking advice or using software such as Copyblogger Media’s Scribe.

App name and description

Include your main keyword in the app name, e.g. B. If you’re creating a camera app, then use the keyword “camera” in the name. For example: Camera Attack.

Also include the keywords in your description. But here’s the rub: ASO is all about writing your description for search engines, but you also need to write it in a way that’s attractive and engaging to the user. And that’s called writing a ‘sales copy’.


The screenshots are about Conversion Optimization rather than ASO, but since it’s part of the same process, I’ve included it here anyway.

Many app developers get it GREATLY wrong by only submitting the screenshots that are the most attractive to look at. Not a good move.

The key is to provide a variety of screenshots that clearly highlight the app’s key features.


The developer/publisher also has a certain level of credibility. If you develop an app under the same developer/publisher name as another high-ranking app or apps, your app will automatically show up in the App Store search engine.

Basically, the first app might be a bit slow, but as you release more and more apps, your authority will grow and your apps will naturally (organically) be ranked higher by the App Store.


People care deeply about what other people think and will base their entire shopping experience on that. Therefore, the search engines have adjusted their algorithms accordingly and even to the point that app users can rate and rate the apps in the app store.

Consequently, these reviews will either make or break you as far as being found in the App Store. The result of poor reviews is that people will have a hard time finding your app. Alternatively, lots of positive reviews will make your app shoot through the roof.

The only thing you can do for this element is:

  • Ask as many of your friends and family as possible to download the app, give a positive rating and a 5-star rating;
  • And hardcode a push notification in the app to request a 5-star rating after using the app for the fifth time.


I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this term, but if there’s one thing that works when it comes to ASO and SEO, it’s lots of healthy backlinks.

Be aware that before starting any type of “backlink” campaign, make sure you are working with a good company that uses the right techniques, as the search engines will penalize you for using shady tricks.

We speak to Melbourne SEO Services about our own SEO needs as it can be difficult to find a good SEO and backlink provider that you can trust.

social media

Social media is everything these days. Accompanying ASO is a relatively new concept (to most): SMO (Social Media Optimization) used by successful companies around the world.

Social media optimization has a major impact on ASO and SEO as search engines place a high value on the information we share.

Why? Because at the end of the day, SEO and ASO is all just a big popularity contest, and high engagement on social media, by real people, is a clear indication of how popular something really is.

A good example of using social media to market your mobile app is:

  • Open an official Facebook page and start spreading your message there, and;
  • Hard code a sharing option into the application that allows users to share the app via Facebook and Twitter etc.

The wrap!

In short, try to be realistic about what you spend. You need to market your app intelligently, and if you’re making $0.70 per app downloaded, you’re paying no more than $0.10 for that download.

What we’re seeing in the industry is a high level of success with app developers who are marketing their apps with a long-term perspective. Try to resist the temptation to work towards those quick wins, because they’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but will get you very little ground in the long run.

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