Top Essential Guidelines for App Store Marketing (ASO) By Guest Contributor on October 5, 2018 You have built your app. Great. The next thing you are trying to achieve is to make your app stand out from the rest. Isn’t it? Just like Apple and Google, the two market leaders, who have been trying to improve their experience consistently since day one of their launches. But how do they do it so well? Well, the answer is App Store Optimization (ASO). App Store Optimization or ASO is nothing but a technique to optimize the features of an app with the aim of making it more discoverable and visible. This optimization is led by a set of rules defined as an algorithm. Understanding How the Algorithm Works: Apps are indexed in an app store according to this algorithm and it is unique for each of the stores. This algorithm takes various characteristics of an app into consideration for making it rank higher. That’s how the term App store optimization was coined. Just like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is for the websites, ASO is for the apps. SEO affects the website ranking in search engines and ASO affects the app visibility in app stores. Best Practices for ASO: App Icon: The app icon is the first characteristic that users see while searching through the app store. It is, therefore, necessary for any app to have a perfectly designed app icon. The icon must symbolize the core essence of the app. It must allow the users to connect with the app. The ideal practice is to keep the icon simple yet effective and in line with the design of the app. One must also consider the dimensions of the app icons provided by app stores. Also, consider testing the final design with several backgrounds as it is necessary to make the icon visible against every background. App Title The app title is the next big thing for your ASO efforts after its icon. Try to keep it unique and descriptive while adding the main business keyword if possible. The title you keep is classified by the algorithm for better search results. Apple’s App store allows a maximum of 50 characters and Google’s Play Store allows for a maximum of 30 characters. Having this limit, it is wise to focus on one or two important keywords only. The app title is included in the URL of the app’s webpage. Hence, one must resist including symbols in the title. If the app is not recognized, the app ID will be used for reference and this is very bad for your app SEO. App Description The app description is important when it comes to search optimization. Therefore, it is necessary to include relevant keywords in the description as well. However, the focus here is not solely based on getting better visibility; it must also aim for achieving conversions. And so, do not overstuff the description with keywords only as keyword stuffed description shall not convince the user to download the app. Also, there is a limit (of 3 lines) for the visible description. These first three lines will determine if the user is convinced enough to click on the ‘more’ button for reading the full description or just move on. So, choose your words wisely. Make sure to update the description with popular keywords. Tools like AppTweak can assist you in doing so. Keywords The right set of keywords can boost your app store optimization efforts while the wrong ones can break it. It is therefore important for you to use keywords relevant to your business and app. Apple provides a special field that is ‘keyword field’ for inserting keywords to help algorithms in-app indexing. This field isn’t made visible to the users and it has the limit of 100 characters. Screenshots and Videos Visuals are as important as any other characteristic for an app. Screenshots and videos are great, especially for higher conversions. It allows you to showcase your app in a more effective way to convince users to download the app. Therefore, the screenshots of the app must be optimized for high resolution and clarity. It must also display one of the best features of the app. The first two screenshots are generally displayed in the app search results as well and so it is advised to place the best two in front. If the app has a video, then it will be displayed in the app search result instead of the screenshots. These videos have proved to play a significant role in terms of conversions and therefore one must not forget to focus on this feature. The app stores for both Apple and Google allow a maximum limit of 30 seconds for app promo videos. Conclusion The app store optimization is a process based on algorithms and these algorithms are dynamic in nature. So, it is necessary to update the features listed above to ensure your ASO works well. Also with every new update, the app’s rating and reviews go back to being nil and hence it is the perfect opportunity to wipe out those negative ratings. Author Bio.: Jency Methew is a full-time blogger, digital marketer and tech enthusiast. Currently working as a junior SEO at Tecocraft.