App Store Optimization [Complete Guide 2023] – check Tip 7!

App Store Optimization is one of the main foundations of android app marketing.

But the whole process includes more than just quick keyword research and some keyword stuffing in the right places.

Acquiring new users for your android app can be quite cost sensitive, especially with the huge competition that you face when you first launch a new app to the play store or even if your app is running for quite some time but does not get the recognition it deserves.

Wouldn’t it be great if there would be a more cost-effective way to increase your user base without spending a big budget for little to no success?

Many new app developers are stuck with the old ways of promoting android apps. They use Facebook ads or AdWords and waste all the money they have left after building a great app to find that they only get a few really active users from it.

There seems the be one huge detail that is missing for most app developers, especially in the beginning phase to get a true boost to there app installs. This key is aso – app store optimization. But what is that?

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

Maybe you heard the phrase App Store Optimization before and someone told you that it is the way to go when trying to increase your app installs and with that the money you make with your app. But this can be very expensive if you don’t find organic users in the long run.

Definition of App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a process or set of optimizations designed to improve the findability of a mobile app in the Google Play store and the Apple App Store.

But why is ASO important?

The search input in the stores is usually by far the most common way for an app to be found (other effective ways are the top charts and editorial recommendations in the app stores).

Ideally, the process is simple: a user enters the app he needs into the App Store and the store delivers the best matching result.

To do this, however, the app must first fulfill an important criterion – the search term (keyword) must be assigned to the app, it must appear in the title, keyword list or description of the app (Google Play), otherwise, the app cannot be found under the term. With Google Play, a number of other factors are added. For Apple, the most important thing is the title and a list of app keywords (app store) that are not visible to the user.

New Android Apps Discovery Methods
Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/app-store-optimization/

The user will realistically not scroll through several pages of results for his search query, but (similar to the web search) choose from the first 5-10 results what appeals most to him at the moment and best fits the intention behind the search. App Store and Play Store decide which apps are at the top of popular search terms such as ‘fitness’ according to their own criteria, which are not transparent. What is certain is that the number of downloads plays an important role, as do user ratings and the quality of the app. There are also some tools on the market that make it easier to see which apps appear for which search terms and in which order. If you go through these competing apps according to criteria such as ratings and the number of downloads (Google Play has guide value for download numbers, Apple relies on the estimates of external providers), at least there are indications of the ranking.

Advаntаgеѕ of App Store Optimization

  • Inсrеаѕе vіѕіbіlіtу: Whеn уоur арр ѕtоrе lіѕtіng іѕ орtіmіzеd, іt wіll ѕtаrt rаnkіng іn thе Sеаrсh Rеѕultѕ. Yоu wіll lіkеlу gеt noticed bу thе uѕеrѕ whо аrе lооkіng tо trу аn арр lіkе уоurѕ.
  • Tаrgеt Rеlеvаnt Users: Uѕіng mеthоdѕ оf ASO оn уоur арр mаkеѕ ѕurе thаt уоu rеасh уоur tаrgеtеd аnd mоѕt rеlеvаnt аudіеnсе.
  • Hіghеr Rаnkіngs: An optimized Playstore Page wіll іmрrоvе уоur rаnkіng іn арр ѕtоrеѕ fоr раrtісulаr kеуwоrdѕ аnd саtеgоrіеѕ.
  • Inсrеаѕе іn Dоwnlоаdѕ: Yоu аrе vіѕіblе аnd аrе аt thе tор оf thе rаnkіngѕ уоu аrе bоund tо gеt dоwnlоаdѕ еаѕіlу thеn bеfоrе.

Keywords for App Store Optimization

Typing on a smartphone is tedious. Most users try to type as little as possible. As a result, short search terms are requested much more frequently than longer ones. A special feature here is the auto-completion in the search. This allows the user to select longer search terms with a simple tap. If, however, a long term does not appear in the auto-completion, one can usually assume that it also has no search volume.

The following tools and techniques should help to create a complete list of all relevant keywords. Simply work through the following points and collect all keywords in an Excel file or Google Spreadsheet.

Which keywords are suitable?

The exact search volume for different keywords is not known. One clue is the Autocomplete feature, which makes suggestions for completing a search to make it easier for users to find what is actually meant. This also allows conclusions to be drawn about the frequency of certain search words and combinations.

Google’s App Store Search Ads, and more recently Apple’s, now provide valuable insights into which keywords are most popular.

If you bring an entirely new app to a popular topic like fitness to market, you can assume that obvious keywords are already being used by competitors. Most likely no downloads will be generated via the search function using the well-known keyword ‘fitness’ because the new app appears too far back in the search results.

Since the space for keywords is limited (Apple App Store: 100 characters plus keywords in the app title), not all apps can set all conceivable keywords at the same time. Therefore, it is a viable way to focus on less populated keywords where a higher placement is achievable. The disadvantage of these less popular keywords is that fewer users are searching for them – there is less traffic.

How to find the best keywords?

The aim is to identify those keywords that have a chance of being placed at the top of the list and yet are not so obscure that hardly anyone is looking for them. To do this, it is important to put yourself in the user’s shoes.

His search behavior is determined by his intention, which does not necessarily have to correspond to the most accurate keyword or the ideas of the app developers. In order to approach the intention, the user reviews of competing apps are an important first point of reference. In these, you can see which words the users themselves use to talk about the app on the topic.

Brainstorming, colleagues and customers can be a great source for keywords

In the beginning, just write down everything you can think of. Friends and colleagues can also be very helpful here. If you have the possibility, customers should also be asked how they found the app. User tests and focus group discussions are also excellent for discovering new search terms.

Mind the app reviews for potential keywords

One of the most obvious places to search for possible keywords is often overlooked. It is, of course, the user. And where could you find out something about him more easily than in the App Store reviews?

Reviews of your own apps and those of your competitors are a great source for new keywords. You should pay attention to the language, which words and phrases are used. Sometimes customers use terms that don’t immediately come to mind. Maybe the app is also used by users for other things than what you first thought. An example from practice is an app that was actually designed to learn new daily routines, but most users use it to stop smoking. Accordingly, you would optimize to a keyword like “quit smoking”.

App Store Optimization Tools to find more keywords

There are also numerous ASO tools for researching keywords. One thing they all have in common is that no one gets internal non-public data from Google or Apple. If, for example, an ASO tool displays keywords of a competitor, these are data determined by the respective provider and not frequent search terms or the like. Generally, a dictionary is simply thrown against the search of the respective app store and you see who appears. You can find good keywords but also keywords that a user would never enter. It is important not to trust the tools blindly.

Most ASO tools work much better in English than in other languages and have their strengths in apps that are available internationally. Especially the easy switching between different countries and access to data from the autocompletion or “relevant searches”.

There are a number of ASO tools that we all take a closer look at on occasion. At this point, we recommend two services that work best in our experience. AppAnnie already offers some good features for free. SensorTower starts at 79,- USD and offers a lot more ASO features than AppAnnie at this price.

Google AdWords Keyword-Planer

The Google keyword planner is classic among SEO tools and can also be used for keyword research for apps.

The keyword planner is part of Google AdWords and you need a corresponding account, which you can create for free. If you are registered in Google AdWords you will find the tool in the upper menu under “Tools” > “Keyword Planner”. Next select the option “Search for new keywords using a group of words, a website or a category”.

By now we should have collected a number of keywords and can simply enter them into Google. Based on our keywords, a list of relevant terms is created. This list can be exported and copied to your own list of keywords.

Please note that these keywords come from the Google search (mobile and desktop). So they are not specific mobile or app-store keywords. Therefore, always critically question whether one of the search terms really makes sense for the app stores.

Auto-Suggest in the App Stores

If you have an iOS device on hand, try it out. Type the word “camera” in the App Store Search field and you can immediately discover some interesting search terms for a camera app, such as “camera effects”, “camera filter” or “camera self-timer”.

Here are also some helpful tools. One is the already mentioned SensorTower, with whose help you can easily retrieve the data in different countries. On the other hand the free ASO-Tool “App Keywords” which tries different variants of the search term.

Apple Search Ads – The Most Reliable Source for App Keywords

The youngest member of the family is the Apple Search Ads. A kind of Google AdWords for the Apple App Store. Unfortunately, it is not yet available in worldwide but only in the USA. It is to be assumed, however, that this product will soon be introduced in Europe and the rest of the world.

If you want to use the Apple Search Ads for keyword research, there are two simple possibilities:

Recommended Keywords

Simply indicate that you want to create a new campaign. Select your own app or that of a competitor and Apple will display recommended keywords. You can also enter a term in the search field and it will display relevant keywords. Also exciting is the “Search Popularity” and some other possibilities which we will examine in detail in our article on the use of Apple Search Ads in App Store Optimization.

Campaign Reports

This procedure is a bit more expensive and you need a budget but in the end, you get the best keyword and data on its effectiveness.

First, you create a campaign. Either you enter some short keywords and set the “Match-Type” to “Broad”, then Apple has a lot of leeways to decide for which exact keyword the ad will be placed. Or you don’t enter any keywords at all and activate the option “Search Match” in the campaign settings, then Apple decides completely autonomously to which keywords the ad will be placed.

Once the campaigns have been set up, they are placed. After some time, the first reports are sent. In the section “Search-Terms” you can now see exactly at which keyword the app was clicked and how many installs were generated. The best of these keywords have to be added to the optimization list.


How to find keywords with App Annie for free

Onе оf thе bіggеѕt аѕресtѕ оf іmрrоvіng уоur арр ѕtоrе ѕеаrсh rаnkіngѕ іѕ thе сhоісе оf kеуwоrdѕ.

Thuѕ, уоur арр ѕеаrсh орtіmіzаtіоn еffоrtѕ ѕhоuld ѕtаrt frоm іmрlеmеntіng thе rіght арр ѕtоrе kеуwоrdѕ.

Hіgh ԛuаlіtу kеуwоrdѕ аrе

  • Highly rеlеvаnt tо уоur android арр,
  • Gеnеrаtіng an lаrgе аmоunt оf trаffіс from the play store and have
  • Lоw lеvеl оf соmреtіtіоn.

Tо fіnd thе rіght kеуwоrdѕ fоr уоur арр, уоu nееd tо рrореrlу аnd саrеfullу реrfоrm thе kеуwоrd rеѕеаrсh.

Thе fіrѕt thіng tо dо іѕ tо соmе uр wіth a list оf роѕѕіblе kеуwоrdѕ. Yоu mау wаnt tо ѕtаrt wіth brаіnѕtоrmіng аbоut 50 rеlеvаnt сhоісеѕ. Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl ѕоurсеѕ for уоu tо gеnеrаtе уоur kеуwоrd lіѕt.

The folks over at cardinal digital marketing also have a great article about SEO analysis tools that you can actually use for keyword optimization in the play store as well.

It саn bе уоur соmреtіtоr’ѕ kеуwоrdѕ.

But how do you actually find out the keywords for your competitor’s apps?

Let’s take a look at a great tool for this: AppAnnie.

As an example, I use one of the major trends in mobile marketing: Match 3 Games.


The first step will be to find out which apps really rank for this term. Doing that is quite simple, go to https://play.google.com/store/apps and type in “match 3 games”.

We will see a list of all the search results for that term.

app store optimization for match 3 games
Search results in google play for the term match 3 games

Now we have a list of the most successful apps in terms of app store optimization for our main keyword.

Let’s have a look at the top app in AppAnnie to see what keywords they also use.

For this, you can actually use a free account, a paid account will give you more in-depth data of course, but you don’t actually need it in the beginning.

After you signed up and logged into AppAnnie, you will be presented with this page.

App Store Optimization with AppAnnie
Main Page after Login for AppAnnie

On the upper left, you can search for your competitor’s apps. I will show you how it works with the number one app, but you can and should do this with as many competitors as possible until you find at least 25 keywords to work with.

water splash cool analysis

Copy Paste the App Title into the Search bar. This way you should be presented with a complete overview of the apps app store optimization – the title, graphics, video, and texts. Now let’s take a look at the actual juice we want, the Keywords for ASO – found in the lower left under User Acquisition

app store analysis match 3 games
AppAnnie Analysis for App Store Optimization

We are now presented with a huge list of the keywords that the app is actually ranking for.

This also includes the position of the app for each of the individual keywords and can also be filtered for different countries as well.

app store optimization keyword search results appannie
keyword search results appannie

If you go with a paid plan, you will additionally get some traffic estimations and the difficulty for the keyword – which is huge if you target low difficulty keywords. The problem is, that AppAnnie is quite expensive and you should only go with a paid plan if you are already making enough money to invest some of it into this upgrade. It can result in a huge ROI.

There is actually another way to estimate the traffic potential yourself, for free.

The Google Keyword Planner.

Neil Patel made a great video about keyword research for SEO which will also feature everything you need to know for App Store Optimization.

Uѕеr rеvіеw аnd rаtіngѕ аrе an rісh ѕоurсе fоr уоur kеуwоrdѕ lіѕt tоо. Sсаn thrоugh your competitors reviews tо ѕее іf thеrе аrе аnу соnѕtаntlу uѕеd tеrmѕ.

Once уоu created уоur роѕѕіblе kеуwоrd lіѕt, thе nеxt thіng tо dо іѕ tо nаrrоw thе lіѕt dоwn tо аbоut 25 kеуwоrdѕ thаt bеѕt fіt уоur арр. Fіltеr уоur lіѕt bу іtѕ difficulty аnd thеn ѕеаrсh vоlumе tо mаxіmіzе уоur сhаnсе оf hіgh rаnkіngѕ.

Rеmеmbеr thаt уоur арр ѕtоrе kеуwоrdѕ muѕt bе rеlеvаnt tо уоur аррѕ. Dоn’t bе tempted tо uѕе a рорulаr, but іrrеlеvаnt kеуwоrd tо уоur аррѕ. Yоu wаnt уоur аррѕ tо bе fоund bу uѕеrѕ whо wіll асtuаllу dоwnlоаd аnd еnjоу уоur аррѕ. After you found your keywords, there are still some factors you should keep in mind when creating your page.

Other Factors of App Store Optimization

App Name

The name of the app is important for two reasons. Firstly, it logically plays a role in the search results because the user enters a keyword in the search mask and the App Store searches for this keyword among the apps. In addition, the URLs of the apps are also scanned. The URL of a mobile app is always generated automatically and contains the name of the app. This means that the most important keyword should be part of the name so that the search can find the keyword for the app.

App Tags

We already addressed keywords at the previous point. Of course, it is essential for your app marketing that you find out the keywords your potential users will be looking for. This is easier done than said! Your app collects and evaluates the best recipes for vegans? A perfect keyword is “Cooking App Vegan”. With tags, you can make the stores even better aware of the search terms for which your app is a good solution.

App Description

The description must contain the most important and unique features of your app. The focus is on the unique selling point. The first few lines should answer the question of “Why? So: Why should the user download your app? If an external website or a press article refers to your app, make sure to mention this. In addition, it is important to keep an eye on the target group when designing the language. Example: An app for children is logically aimed at children. But the description could perhaps be addressed much more to the parents of the children, as they decide about the download. You should also consider offering the description in several languages – low effort, high yield! Keywords in the description do not help with the positioning in the store but support the findability in the search results.

Audiovisual attractions

We all jump on pictures and videos. Every marketer knows that they work better than text. Images and videos play a particularly important role in app marketing because the user can assess the quality of the design and the general attractiveness on the basis of the visual or audiovisual offers. The App Stores have different requirements for size and number of pictures and videos. However, you play a very important role for the App Store Optimization everywhere. It is empirically proven that apps advertised with images/videos have significantly higher download figures than applications in which the representations were neglected.


So you should always create a promotional video for your app.


Hаvіng a рrоmоtіоnаl vіdео fоr уоur app іѕ іmроrtаnt аѕ іt іѕ an аddіtіоnаl fасtоr when іt соmеѕ tо Andrоіd App Store Optimization. Google Plау аlrеаdу hаѕ thіѕ орtіоn whеrе уоu саn ѕhоwсаѕе уоur арр vіа a рrоmоtіоnаl vіdео, ѕо you ѕhоuld tаkе аdvаntаgе оf іt. Thіѕ іѕ оnе wау tо mаkе реорlе еxсіtеd аbоut уоur арр; ѕо еntісе thеm!

Bе ѕurе tо kеер уоur vіdео ѕhоrt. Juѕt dynamically hіghlіght thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt fеаturеѕ оf уоur арр. Nоbоdу іѕ gоіng tо wаtсh a 10-mіnutе рrеѕеntаtіоn оf whу thеу ѕhоuld dоwnlоаd уоur арр. Thеу mіght gеt bоrеd аnd fаll аѕlеер.


Tаkе hіgh rеѕ ѕсrееnѕhоtѕ оf уоur арр. Mоѕt vіѕіtоrѕ dоn’t ѕее mоrе thаn thе fіrѕt 2-3 ѕсrееnѕhоtѕ. Hоwеvеr, I fееl somewhere bеtwееn 6 – 10 ѕhоuld ѕаtіѕfу еvеn thе mоrе jаdеd mоbіlе uѕеrѕ. Shоw аѕ muсh оf thе іnѕіdе оf уоur арр аnd fеаturеѕ thаt mаkе уоur арр unіԛuе. A рісturе іѕ trulу wоrth a thоuѕаnd wоrdѕ іn mаrkеtіng. Sо dеlіvеr уоur арр’ѕ ѕtrоngеѕt bеnеfіtѕ thrоugh thеѕе fіrѕt ѕсrееnѕhоtѕ tо mаxіmіzе соnvеrѕіоnѕ. Add ѕhоrt сарtіоn tеxt tо еасh ѕсrееnѕhоt ѕо thаt еvеn реорlе whо knоw nоthіng аbоut уоur арр ѕtіll саn gеt іt аt оnсе. Focus оn hоw уоur users bеnеfіt from уоur app, nоt juѕt lіѕt out аll оf іtѕ fеаturеѕ. Alѕо, A/B Tеѕtіng уоur ѕсrееnѕhоtѕ саn іmрrоvе уоur арр реrfоrmаnсе uр tо 20%.

Localize уоur арр ѕtоrе lіѕtіng

Whеn уоu аrе lосаlіzіng your арр fоr a dіffеrеnt соuntrу, уоu аrе gеttіng іn tоuсh wіth a dіffеrеnt сulturе, wіth dіffеrеnt ѕеаrсh аnd behavioral hаbіtѕ. Evеn fоr thе US аnd thе UK еnglіѕh lаnguаgе thеrе mіght bе dіffеrеnсеѕ іn ѕреllіng. When ореnіng an nеw соuntrу fоr уоur арр, аdарt уоur tеxt, рrоvіdе ѕсrееnѕhоtѕ іn a dіffеrеnt lаnguаgе, thіnk оf сulturе-ѕресіfіс еngаgеmеnt орtіоnѕ.

And іf уоu dесіdе tо рublіѕh уоur арр іn an nеw соuntrу uѕіng аn еnglіѕh vеrѕіоn, thіnk оf hоw mаnу реорlе іn thіѕ соuntrу асtuаllу ѕреаkѕ thіѕ lаnguаgе аnd іf thеу wіll bе еаgеr tо uѕе уоur арр іn еnglіѕh.


The App Detail Page

From the list view, the user now gets to the app detail page. There are several ways to get the user to download the app. It is important to understand from the user’s point of view that downloading an as yet unknown app is a big step (compared to clicking on a website, for example): time and data are used, memory space is used, the app receives certain access rights and can send notifications. In order to minimize the risk of having an unwanted app on your mobile phone, the App Details page is used. Here the advantages are to be clearly emphasized, in order to obtain a risk-free, as comprehensive as possible positive impression with the help of screenshots and App videos.

Since visual stimuli are much more powerful than text, most apps have started to advertise the advantages of the app with small headlines within the screenshots. Here you can experiment with different motifs and their order (Google Play offers the function of A/B tests).

The description text itself should be clearly structured and contain the most important information at the beginning. Which is the most important information varies depending on the app and the competition and should be determined by user tests (for one app it can be an award in a well-known competition, for another perhaps that it offers free features that cost money elsewhere).

Advertising and distribution

As soon as your app is ready to be distributed, you must start using all the channels available to you. You should definitely play online and offline. Of course, every good app also includes a promotional website and social media accounts. But you won’t get on alone. You need external websites, blogs, magazines and other channels. You don’t even have to invest money. Write press releases and send them to important providers. Introduce your app to bloggers and offer them a goodie or free trial. There are many ways to attract attention. Beyond the online world, you can participate in contests, accelerators, trade shows, and meetings so everyone in the industry can hear about your app.


How successful is ASO

Overall, it can be said that the ASO is less plannable than the success of an SEO campaign. But a good ASO is something that automatically puts you among the top 10% of all apps in the stores, because hardly anyone really runs ASO professionally. In addition, you can use the tricks just mentioned to draw the attention of one or the other interested party to your product.

We assume that more and more providers will come to a professional ASO. That means you should start giving yourself a competitive edge today at the latest.

If you have any questions regarding your ASO, feel free to contact our support! We are happy if we can support you in your marketing with out expertise.


Trасk аnd mоnіtоr your apps success with app store optimization

Thе bеѕt рrасtісе іѕ tо kеер trасk оf thе mоѕt іmроrtаnt KPIѕ оf your арр wееklу (іdеаllу, dаіlу): thе vоlumе оf installs (оrgаnіс + nоn оrgаnіс),

kеуwоrdѕ rаnkіngѕ , tор сhаrtѕ rаnkіngѕ (оvеrаll, саtеgоrу, еtс.), rаtіngѕ аnd rеvіеwѕ. Rеvаmр уоur kеуwоrdѕ аnd rеmоvе thе оnеѕ thаt dоn’t реrfоrm аnуmоrе, trу еxреrіmеntіng mоrе wіth thе grарhіс еlеmеntѕ and kеер оn A/B tеѕtіng untіl уоu fіnd thе bеѕt-соnvеrtіng соmbіnаtіоn оf thе еlеmеntѕ оf уоur lіѕtіng оn Google Plау Stоrе.

Tаkе саrе оf уоur uѕеrѕ, trу tо рrоvіdе thе bеѕt uѕеr еxреrіеnсе, аnd kеер uр wіth thе uѕеr rеvіеwѕ. Gооglе Plау оffеrѕ a роѕѕіbіlіtу tо interact with uѕеrѕ, rерlу tо thеіr rеvіеwѕ аnd еvеn соnvеrt nеgаtіvе rеvіеwѕ іntо роѕіtіvе. A ѕtrоng роѕіtіvе uѕеr ѕеntіmеnt іѕ аn іmроrtаnt fасtоr, thаt fаvоr bоth ѕеаrсh ASO (Gооglе rаnkѕ thе аррlісаtіоnѕ wіth mоrе аnd bеttеr rеvіеwѕ hіghеr), аnd Cоnvеrѕіоn Rаtе оf уоur lіѕtіng (соnvіnсіng uѕеrѕ оf thе hіgh ԛuаlіtу оf the арр).


App Store Conversion Optimization

Once you’ve done it and found keywords with which your own app appears in the top places, it’s time to set yourself apart from the competition with a similar placement. This is done by three elements:

In the result list, the user sees:

  • the app icon,
  • the app title (truncated),
  • and a star rating.

On the basis of these, the user decides in seconds which app to tap and which one to take a closer look at.

How an app icon is designed depends on the type of app. Best practices and studies have often shown that users instinctively prefer a clear design that is not too small and, for example, the font on the app icon is unsuitable because it is displayed too small. The app title should fit well to the app, but should also be memorable (‘fitness app’ as the name would be relevant, but without recognition value).

User reviews are one of the most important criteria to get new users to download the app. It is therefore important to keep user satisfaction high, always respond to negative feedback (Google Play) and encourage users within the app to give a positive rating. Many apps do this after the user has just had a sense of achievement with the app – e.g. reached a new fitness level.

Common mistakes of ASO

Mistake #1: Titling of the app

Choosing the title is one of the most important parts of App Store Optimization. The title of the app is the first thing the user sees and can decide whether to download or not.

One of the most common errors is using the 255 characters in the title field (iOS; Android limits you to 25 characters). It does not apply: the more the better! Limit yourself to what best describes the app and avoid unimportant information in the title. Please do not spam users with countless keywords. Too many keywords in the title have an extremely unattractive effect on the addressee.

What you should do instead

The title must contain the name or brand of the app. It should also contain one to three keywords. Use a suitable tool for keyword finding. Note that the keyword should be within the first 25 characters of the title (preferably at the beginning of the title).

Mistake #2: Details about the app

Another important part of App Store Optimization is the description, which belongs to the app. With Android there is a limit of 4000 characters and the description is included in the positioning on Google Play. With iOS, the description for positioning in the store is irrelevant. Nevertheless, it is also there an important tool for mobile marketing.

Don’t use unnecessarily complicated words or grammatical finesse when writing. The longer the text is, the more boring it becomes to read. And nobody suspects an exciting app behind a lengthy description.

What you should do instead

The aim is a description that provides useful and more detailed information about the app. Describes how the app works and what it offers the user. Write an easy-to-read text with a list of functions and, for example, a summary of the new features through the latest update.

Mistake #3: The App Icon

The icon plays a very special role in app development. There are a lot of things to consider when designing an icon.

One of the most common reasons why addressees choose not to download an application is that the icon is not appealing, for example, because it is too complex. Icons with too many different colors or too much text are too complex.

What you should do instead

The most important thing is to make an icon 100% self and unique. There are some basics you can stick to. The icon should, of course, match the app and its functions. Maybe there’s a recurring symbol you can pick up on. It also shows that users react strongly to dynamic colors. The better the icon is designed, the more downloads the app will reach.

Mistake #4: The general design of the app

The general design of the app also influences App Store Optimization. In the App Store, images can be shown as examples of situations in the app. This allows users to be captured, but also easily frightened away. Because the pictures give a very good first visual impression of the app and affect people much faster than, for example, descriptions in text form.

There’s no point in just uploading five loveless screenshots. You should choose the pictures well because bad impressions can do as much damage as good ones can do!

What you should do instead

Utilizes the possibilities of the stores. So post five pictures or screenshots to illustrate the benefits of your app in the Google Play or Apple Store gallery. Uses screenshots that introduce users to the heart of the app, its main features, and main characteristics. So you can inspire the users already before the download.

Mistake #5: Updates

If an application has been developed and is available in the store, the ASO will quickly become ineffective unless regular updates are available. Updates can introduce new features, new versions for upgraded operating systems, bug fixes, etc. If this never happens, the stores will punish the app. If there is something you should avoid if possible, if you want to be successful with your apps, then it is to forget your apps! Thus, the best app degenerates into a “zombie app” that there are thousands of in the stores. An app without or with too few updates automatically destroys the App Store Optimization and falls in the ranking. With Android as well as with iOS.

What you should do instead

Try to update your mobile apps or games regularly and above all always provide a real upgrade. Provides a description that illustrates the quality improvement. Users need to know what they can win and especially what they would miss if they didn’t get the update.

Mistake #6: Ratings and Reviews

The dots, or stars, of an app, clearly influence the download numbers. It is clear that well-rated apps are downloaded much more frequently. The App Store Optimization is thus directly influenced. Don’t think your app is perfect! It does not help to ignore the negative comments about your own app. Take clues seriously and try to heed criticism regarding the User Experience (UX) and the User Interface (UI) in particular. If your app should fall despite all attempts, this is probably due to bugs within the app. These should, of course, be removed in any case!

What you should do instead

To get the first positive ratings, you can contact the users and ask them for a rating. This can be done via direct links to the stores. Together with a friendly request, you can quickly achieve success.

Try to get at least 100 ratings for each version of your apps. As soon as you notice that the app falls in the ranking, deal with the criticism of the users and try to counteract with updates.

Mistake #7: The price

The price of an app is usually the most important determinant for a download. Even if the price does not affect the ranking, you have to deal intensively with the pricing, because the download numbers depend on the price. What should be avoided is to offer your own app more expensive than the competitors do. And if you do it anyway, it would be a crucial mistake not to make clear to the user what is better about your app than about others.

What you should do instead

If you want to promote your app successfully, you have to find a competitive price for your product. Free apps may offer the possibility to buy within the app (e.g. shopping app or paid upgrades). These should be listed in the description and also require a good pricing strategy.

Mistake #8: App reach

The reach achieved with an app directly affects the ASO. The range refers to all downloads, but also the users who view the app. It also has a negative impact on the App Store Optimization when apps are downloaded and quickly deleted. In the interests of perfect App Store Optimization, you shouldn’t just publish your apps in one language. It is also not recommended to develop the app only for the latest version of the operating system. If you improve the reach of the app, the ASO will also be improved and consequently, the ranking of the app will increase.

What you should do instead

One way to increase download numbers is to offer the app in multiple languages. That’s how you increase the range. While the majority of the world’s population understands English today, most users feel much more comfortable using an application in their native language.

It is also helpful to make the app available for different operating systems and multiple versions.


App Store Optimization (ASO) includes all the steps outlined above. In principle, App Store Optimization is everything that the developer of an app can do at the interface to the user – directly in the App Store – to make it easier for the user to choose between hundreds of apps. ASO is therefore not a marketing trick for more downloads, but rather a service for the user to make the most important information about the app easily accessible. In addition, App Store Optimization is an ongoing process: keywords have to be tested, evaluated and, if necessary, updated. Screenshots must be up-to-date and informative. Release notes for a new version of the app are also part of this because they show that the app is still being further developed and responds to user feedback. In the end, app developers not only benefit from better ranking and conversion to optimize their app for the App Store – but they also receive valuable feedback and better understand what their users are really looking for.

What’s the next step?

At this point, the list of collected keywords should be quite long. The next step is to evaluate the keywords so that they can be prioritized and then decide for which of them to optimize first.

Once you have completed the research of keywords, the result is a very long list of keywords. This list may include several hundred keywords (a keyword may consist of several words). Unfortunately, it is not possible to optimize all keywords at the same time and you have to make a selection. The best way to do this is to sort the list. At this point, our list should only contain relevant keywords, so it is a good idea to sort by search volume.

Easier said than done because the actual search volume of a keyword in the Apple App Store or Google Play is not published by the operators. In the past, they relied on various App Store Optimization Tools, but most of them don’t do a very good job – especially when it comes to non-English keywords. Meanwhile, at least for the USA, you can access data via Apple Search Ads that comes directly from Apple and is therefore much more reliable. The first providers of App store optimization tools have already started to access this data – so their data should also be more reliable in the future.

But until the Apple Search Ads are introduced in Germany and Europe, one has to make do differently. In our experience, the best source for evaluating keywords is the auto-completion of the search in the App Store or Google Play.

Why this works becomes clear when you consider how auto-completion works. The completion function suggests the most frequently searched terms or if there is no matching search term, the name of an app. The more frequently a term is searched for, the faster it appears and is higher up. If a term appears after entering the first 2 letters, it will be searched more often than a term that appears after the first 3 letters.

This can be used to prioritize the keyword list. You start typing the word and note in a list the letter where the word appears among the first 3 suggestions.

Suppose the following keywords have to be rated “smoke”, “stop smoking” and “smoke-free”. You start typing the word in the search mask: “s”, “sm”, “smo”. In the Apple App Store, “smoke-free” and “quit smoking” appear among the top 3 suggestions for the first time. You continue typing: “smok”, “smoki”, “smokin” and “quit smoking” appears in the first 3. Create yourself a table and write this information down.

If you repeat the process for all keywords in the list, you can sort by this value at the end. The lowest value is the one with the highest priority. If two words have the same value, the shorter word wins.

The process is a bit tedious, but in the end, you will be rewarded with a good list of keywords. This list forms the so-called “keyword bank”. The keywords with the highest priority should then also be the first to be tried out in the optimization process.

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What do you think about app store optimization? Did you have success with it? Comment below!