How to optimize your app in the app store

July 21, 2021
how to promote your app

Why do you need app store optimization? 

Just like any digital platform, an app strives to be competitive against the competition. If you’ve ever downloaded an app before, you know there can be dozens to choose from in the same or a similar category. So, it’s important to optimize your app for search within Google Play Store for Android or Apple App Store for IOS. 

When your app is optimized for search, you can expect better visibility, more downloads, more engaged users and more reviews. 

Identifying your customers and why they need your app

Determining your target audience comes first when optimizing your app. Aside from general demographics such as age, income, gender and geographical location, there are other questions that need to be answered. So, gather your team, and ask yourselves the following questions:

  1. Who is using our app?
  2. Who do we want to use our app?
  3. Who might be interested in using our app?
  4. Why would someone choose our app over the competitions?

Knowing your audience, and what makes your app different from similar apps, will serve as a guide to how you market your app to them. 

Choose your keywords for app store optimization 

Just like you’d do for a website or e-commerce platform, choose the keywords that best describe your app. Remember to also choose keywords that describe your apps functionality, but choose wisely. You’re wanting to outrank the competition, so choose keywords with high search volume and medium to low competition. 

In-app optimization is called ASO or App Store Optimization. Like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) it helps interested audiences find your app organically through app in-store searches. When trying to optimize your app for better organic search, there are several tools on the market that can help you determine your targeted keywords such as App Radar or App Tweak

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, be sure to place them strategically throughout your listing. Ensure the keywords are in your app store listing: app name, title and subtitles and description. 

It’s important to note that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store leverage different ranking factors. Be sure to understand what each store uses in order to determine search results:

Apple App Store Ranking Factors

  • App Name
  • App URL
  • App Subtitle
  • Keyword Field
  • In-App Purchase
  • Updates
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Download and Engagement Factors

Google Play Store Ranking Factors

  • App Title
  • Short Description
  • Long Description
  • In-App Purchase
  • Updates
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Downloads and Engagement

Both stores also consider other hidden factors not known to the outside community. 

Promote your app outside of the app stores

It’s great to have a highly optimized app in the app stores, but remember, people have to find it outside the app store as well. This is where your content marketing strategy comes into play. 

You’ve chosen your ASO keywords, now make sure they are applicable to digital channels outside the app environment. Use SEO tools such as Moz, SEMRush or even Google to create keywords people would search in order to find the features or functionality your app provides. 

how to promote your app

Next, build a suite of content around those keywords for marketing your app. Leverage social media, blogs, digital paid ads and more to promote your app and drive traffic to the app store. Be sure to choose the digital channel that best suits your target audience. 

Consider running a promotional campaign as well. For example, incentivize people to learn more about your app or even download it by giving them something they might want such as a piece of compelling content or even a giveaway. 

Have your app rated and reviewed

Rated apps help boost an apps’ store ranking by a lot. This signals to the app store that your app works and people like it, lending credibility to your app. 

You can create an in-app feature that will ask users to rate your app while they are using it, but be careful that you aren’t too disruptive with this feature. Give people time to try the app before asking, and only ask a couple of times in a short period of time. 

Also, use outside digital channels to promote app reviews by offering an incentive for doing so. The more positive reviews you have, the better your app will rank in the app stores. 

Update your app often

Just like a website, it’s important to keep your content, and the technology that runs it, up to date. Algorithms favor new content on a website, and favor better features and functionality in an app. 

Updates also provide something new for you to talk about when promoting your app. Be sure to include this in your content marketing strategy. The more buzz you can create around an update, the more downloads you’ll receive. 

Consider adding a new feature at some point to demonstrate your willingness to keep technologically advancing and providing the best app experience possible for your users. 

Pay attention to your analytics

Be sure you’re checking your app’s CMS dashboard and the app store analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not. Staying on top of this critical information can be the difference between whether your app succeeds or fails. App data can also provide you with insights on who is using your app and what features they are engaged with. Use this information to make updates on your features and to target the right audiences.