Get Ranked: Complete App Store Optimization Checklist

October 17, 2016

Ranking high in the App Store is impossible if you don’t how to optimize your app. Use our app store optimization checklist to boost your app’s quality and crush your competitors.

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1. Know Your Users

The key to a winning App Store Optimization strategy is understanding how your users think and engage with your app. So do you really know your target audience and users? Ask yourself these five questions:

  • How would they describe the app?
  • What language do they speak?
  • What’s my value proposition?
  • Why are they downloading the app?
  • What problem does my app solve?

2. Know Your Competition

Your users should be your main priority but competition should be a close second. Keeping tabs on your competitors is the best way to figure out what you should be doing in the App Store. Ask yourself these four questions to gain a competitive edge:

  • Which keywords are my competitors targeting?
  • Can I compete against their keywords?
  • Should I create seperate keywords that are different than my competitors?
  • What is the competition doing that I could do better?

3. Keywords

Keywords are the words which people search to find your app. This element is arguably the most important part of ASO, so every section of your app listing needs to be built from strategically placed keywords. Consider these strategies when choosing and implementing your app’s keywords:

  • Use all 100 characters in the App Store keyword field.
  • Do not repeat the name of your app in the keywords.
  • Include the most relevant keywords as much as possible.
  • Find the right balance between keyword difficulty and traffic.
  • Figure out which long-tail and short-tail keywords would work best.

4. App Name

Choosing a name for your app can be fun but extremely difficult at the same time. It needs to make an amazing impression but also have a lasting impression. Use these tips for brainstorming:

  • Make it relevant, unique and easy to remember.
  • Keep it under 11 characters.
  • Include keyword/s if possible.
  • Don’t try to copy or imitate other app names.
  • Make it easy to pronounce.

5.  App Description

For the app description, targeting keywords isn’t necessary, instead you should focus on creatively selling your app to your users. Tell people why they should download your app and show off! Don’t hold back on any important details or information. The description should highlight all of your apps amazing capabilities and features. Try utilizing these tips to write an attractive description:

  • Grab your reader’s attention with the first three sentences.
  • Showcase your app’s unique features.
  • Keep your brand’s tone.
  • Include your value proposition.
  • Add some of your app’s successes – but keep it towards the end of your description.

6. App Icon & Screenshots

The first thing people see in the App Store is your App’s Icon, so investing time and energy into creating the perfect icon is worth it. Whether you hire a designer or create it yourself, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Have a single focus point.
  • Keep it simple and creative.
  • Make it memorable and distinctive.
  • Don’t include words.
  • Don’t use screenshots or pictures.

Screenshots are a great way to provide users with visual information. Use this section to showcase your app’s UI. If you don’t know which types of screenshots work best, follow these guidelines:

  • Focus each screenshot on a main feature.
  • Choose screenshots that full convey your app’s purpose.
  • Don’t focus on uninformative features, like the login page.

7. Trailer

It’s been proven that when consumers enjoy a video ad their purchase intent increases by 97% and brand association by 139%. If your app doesn’t have a trailer you may want to invest in one. Here are some things to keep in mind when filming your preview video:

  • Give users a fun realistic idea of what they’ll actually experience if they download your app.
  • Maximize the 30 second have.
  • Keep your audience entertained and informed.

8. Localization

If you plan on targeting other markets beside the U.S. you need to revise your content to fit those languages. By doing this, you can expand your audience and increase downloads. Here are a few ways to go about localization:

  • Translate your app description to your audience’s language
  • Change your brand’s tone and communication to better accommodate each segment you target.
  • Caption your screenshots and trailer videos for each market.

9. Ratings and Reviews

The number and value of ratings and reviews you receive also affect your ranking. While acquiring reviews is not directly in your control, you can make it easier for users to rate your app. Here are some ways to earn positive reviews:

  • Include subtle but strong CTA’s in your app.
  • Incentivize your current users.
  • Run social media contests.
  • Time your review prompts appropriately – never interrupt users while they’re doing something.

10. Analytics

You’ll always need to be working on your App Store Optimization because it’s an ever-changing continuous process. With that said, you need to be on your toes and iterating on your ASO strategy at all times. Follow these steps to guarantee success:

  • Check on your App Store performance weekly.
  • Test your keywords on a regular basis and change keywords with poor performance.
  • Update your app frequently or seasonally.
  • Track your competitors and take the necessary actions.
  • A/B test your screenshots to find out which ones drive the most downloads.
  • Utilize different tracking and analytic tools.