What is app store optimization (ASO)?

Glossary App store optimization (ASO)

The definition of ASO

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a tactic that improves an app’s visibility in an app store. App stores rank each app based on a variety of factors. By successfully using optimal keywords, useful images and localized descriptions, you can rank higher and drive more downloads due to that visibility.

ASO is often compared to SEO, but the former only applies to an app store’s search function and ranking algorithms. That being said, there are several ways SEO and ASO overlap - which may help you when first looking into improving App store rankings.

ASO is effectively a closed-site search engine. Just like SEO, it relies on the right indexation, discoverable content and manipulation of the App store’s ranking algorithms. If you can successfully communicate the uses of your app, both to the store and potential users, there’s huge potential to increase reach and drive installs.

How important is ASO?

App Store Optimization helps you connect with a relevant audience and push your app’s unique selling points. Quality ASO can considerably boost installs, making it valuable to app marketers. Furthermore, these are organic installs, which often prove to be an app’s most valuable users.

What are the main ways you can improve ASO?

Here’s a short list of ways you can improve your app’s ranking with ASO:

  • Using keywords in your app’s name
  • Including keywords in your app’s description
  • Localizing content
  • Using the right primary and secondary app categories
  • Screenshots and other useful images

Let’s take localization as a prime example of how to benefit from ASO. Consider the increased likelihood of conversions when your app’s language and currency have been localized for various users. This small change could immediately increase your app’s reach and further drive installs.

Your app and the needs of its audience will inevitably change over time, and your ASO should also follow suit. It’s no coincidence that the app store’s highest ranking apps regularly maintain and update their content. They aim to reflect user feedback in their ASO and ensure that new features are included in the description.

Another way to learn how your ranking can be improved is by researching the practices of the highest ranking apps in a category relevant to you. By observing your competitor’s ASO, you can optimize your content and get ahead of the competition.

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