Top 30 App Store SEO Tips to Boost App Downloads - MobileAppDaily
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Top 30 App Store SEO Tips To Boost App Downloads

With these SEO tips, you can fully optimize your app on App Store 30 App Store SEO Tips To Boost App Downloads

There are so many apps out there in the App Store, which means there are thousand or even more apps similar to yours? So, what makes your app stand out? How can you make people download your app?

Do you know that there are around 65 percent of App store users who are depending on App store search results for relevant downloads?

Did you know that Apple is paying developers a whopping $10 billion?

Well, if your app is not getting high ranks in the App store, it simply means you are losing your hands on a lot of money.

Just like search engine optimization for websites, it can benefit app ranking on the App store as well.

App Store Optimization plays a crucial role in the success of mobile apps. If you are planning to launch a new app, then you can surely boost the ranking by increasing the download.

In fact, in 2008 Apple launched 500 apps, one year later there were 5,000 apps available. And now there are around 2 million apps available in the App store.

According to Forrester, 63 percent of iOS are found through searches. The App store sees 500 million visitors every week, so is your app being seen by these visitors. This is why you need App Store Optimization to make your app more searchable to the audience.

Before going further, let’s know about App Store Search Engine Optimization

What is App Store Search Engine Optimization?

App Store SEO is basically a series of methods that you use to optimize apps in the app store in order to boost ranking and consequently get better downloads.

The rights App Store Optimization can be very beneficial for the increasing the presence of app on the App Store.

Now, let’s have a look at steps that can help in getting you a higher ranking and improving search results. Let’s see how?

How to Get Your App Ranked on App Store

1. App name/title

Out of all the keywords that are stuffed in your app, the keywords in the title are given high importance by Apple.

In fact, the apps that include keywords in the title have 10.3 percent more chances of ranking higher. So, it is important to add keywords in the title.

It is important to use relevant keywords and create a title that is engaging. Keep your title limit within 30 characters.

App name

2. Keep your keywords within 100 characters

You can add keywords to your App store listing. It is an essential step as the search algorithm uses the keywords to show the results, so make sure you are using keywords that best describe your app.

You can use as far as 100 characters for writing the keywords. Avoid the use of long tail keywords, app name, plurals. Try to separate the keywords by using commas and don’t use spaces.

But this certainly does not mean that you stuff the titles with keywords, try to use relevant keywords. You can also use free keyword suggestion tools to generate relevant keywords.

Consider an app for makeup lover ‘Glam Up.’ If you rename the app to Glam Up: Makeup Hoarders. Is it going to make the app less brandable? Certainly not!

In fact, the modified app title will help you in boosting ranking by targeting keywords in the title.

3. App format

Try to keep the app name short and precised. Try to add the keywords with the app name with a semicolon or a dash.  In the App store try to use URL characters, and make sure to omit any special characters.

For example, ‘App name: keywords’ and ‘App name – keywords.’

App format

4. App store name length

Back in 2016 Apple restricted the app name length to 50 characters but now it has been again limited to 30 characters. Now, Apple also provides subtitles whose limit is 30 characters that you can check below the app name. Try to describe your app briefly and concisely to encourage users to download.

Try to make your description unique avoid using common terms like best application. Instead, try to use unique subtitles that can best describe your app.

5. Categorize to describe the basic functions of your app

The App store algorithms also consider categorizing to display search results. So, categorize your app in a way that best describes the fundamental features and elements of your app.

For example, Snapchat is categorized under Photos and videos, and on the other hand, Twitter is categorized as social networking.

basic functions of your app

6. Make a user-friendly app description

App descriptions are vital for your application. Imagine a customer who taps on your app, checks the screenshot, feels interested, until he comes to the app description and hits a back button. Sigh!

  • Make a point to use bullet points and write in small paragraphs.
  • Make use of social proofs like testimonials etc.
  • Mentions the assistance and use cases.
  • Add the version number, changes made in the updation, bug fixes, etc.
  • Attach links to support and website.

7. Optimize the short description

Well, only 2 percent of people tap in the read more button on App store. The number is actually less if the total number of users on the App Store are taken into account. And surely, you don’t want to have a disappointed customer.

That is why every character and word in the short description matters, try to best describe your app in the first few lines otherwise all your descriptions are of no use. Make sure to add your best possible lines in the short description.

 the short description

8. At first focus on low competition and short search volumes

Make the use of keyword research tools to generate relevant keywords that have less search volume, less competition.

Try to rank well for those type of keywords. Once you have the right social proof and reliability, start your focus on the more significant competition.

9. Create screenshots

Around 60 percent of users don’t swipe more than the first two screenshots. If your app falls in the other 40 percent than your app is surely impressive to the users. However, it is essential to make those two screenshots worth the talk.

Tips on screenshots:


  • Post high-resolution screenshots.
  • Display the best features of your app in the first two screenshots.
  • Use a subtle background for a better look.
  • Improve messaging by using annotations and overlay texts.


10. Show app preview video

Apple strongly endorses attaching short videos of 20-30 seconds featured in your app listing. Add unique features and functions of your app. Also, use an impressive thumbnail that drives people to tap on it.

You can increase 20-30 percent of conversion rate by adding a short video to your apps first page.

A good video will not only increase your conversion rate will also give your customers who understand your app in the best way.

11. Localize your app

Do you know that only 31 percent of app revenue is generated from North America whereas 41 percent of the revenue is generated from Asia?

So, if your listing is written only in English then, you are surely losing a lot of potential customers across the globe.

Make sure to globalize your code base by using these tips:

  • Title of the app
  • Keywords
  • The lines of the short description

Once you can see a visible increase in the conversion rate, it is strongly recommended to change other elements like screenshots, data formats, currency, reviews, and descriptions.

Localize your app

12. Update your apps from time to time

Apple doesn’t consider apps good enough if they are not updated regularly. For Apple, frequently updated apps simply mean that the developer wants a better experience for the users.

At the same time, you will also have to follow the changes in the Apple policy, and even ASO (App Store Optimization) that you are making are visible in your app listing too.

It is simple if your app is out of date or forsaken it will surely be deleted from the app store.

13. App icon

How many times you see an app on the App store and remember it just by the icon? It is very important to be particular about the app icon.

To make your app icon eye-catching try to keep it simple by using sober and restricted use of colors.  You can also use colors that give a sort of glossy look, and to give an effect of shadows that make the icon unique and catchy.

If you are designing an icon for your app, you can check Apple iOS guidelines for designing the icon.

App Icon

14. Use keyword tools to generate competitive keywords

While starting with App store optimization and keyword research for your app make sure to research about the keywords that your competition is using. To do this, you can you competitive keywords research tools that do a stellar job in generating highly valued keywords.

You can use tools like AppCodes, Mobile Action, App Radar, Meatti, Searchman, etc. to generate keywords or keywords optimization.

These tools are superb in generating relevant keywords that give you a competitive edge and keeps you way ahead of the competition.

15. Check your keyword ranking from time to time

There is no point of using keyword generating tools and keyword optimization if you are not keeping a track on it.

From time to time keep checking the rankings of your keywords update your keywords frequently and remove the ones that are old. However, remember the 100 character limit and update your keywords from time to time.

keyword ranking

16. A/B testing for app listing

From icons, screenshots, keywords, description, videos, descriptions all these elements are equally important for App Store Optimization. You can notice around 25-35 percent conversion lift by upgrading the app elements.

To start with, test the elements that have high visibility for titles, images, description, images, and videos, after that look for other segments that are listed in the app store.

17. App store ratings

Just like for websites ratings and reviews are important, the same is for Applications. Ratings and reviews do affect your app downloads. A recent survey found out that 59 percent of users download apps from high ratings.

However, for a fact, the majority of the users do not leave a review and ratings on the app even if they like it. But if your app is not good or it crashes a lot, the majority of the customers are bound to leave negative reviews and ratings.

If you want your app to get high ratings, then make sure to monitor the users of the app, ask yes/no questions to the users, if they say yes prompt a rate review and if the answer is no the prompt internal feedback.

 App store ratings

18. Reply to the reviews and feedbacks

Leaving a reply to the user's feedback is essential. You can answer their query or consider their comment as an improvement for your app. It clearly shows that you do care about their input and it is crucial for you to consider their comments.

In fact, this way the users know that you are active and constantly looking for ways and means to improve the user experience.

You can do it for the app store as well go to:

  • My apps > pick your app > activity > ratings and review.
  • There you can check a reply option.

19. Read poor reviews

Poor reviews are a good thing for you. Understand their point of view and get to know the details about what they don’t like.

Learn from their comments and understand what they want and expect from you. This way you are not only helping the users in better experience but also improving your app in general. You learn from the negative comments and turn it into a positive with your efforts.

Read poor reviews

20. The App size

Make your app small in size which means lesser than150 MB for the app store. It is because using cellular internet services users are not able to download the apps higher than the given size. There are a number of fantastic apps on the app store that have a size below 100mb.

21. Use Apple 19 bonus keywords

According to the recent analysis done by the Incipia on App store descriptions, they found out that a set of 19 keywords can simply be neglected during the process of optimization.

It includes keywords like free, iPhone, iPad, for, by, etc.

It is beneficial information for you as you only have 50 characters for the title and 100 characters for the keywords.

22. Use latest topics for keywords

Consider using the latest buzzing topics for the keywords. For example, during the presidential elections search results showed 2109 search results for Donald Trump and 334 search results in the app store for Hillary Clinton.

These results had nothing to do with the app store, but this shows that people do look forward to such events. So, get creative and focus on major events, activities and optimize your keywords accordingly to generate traffic.

For example, if you have an exercise app, during the Champions League ,you can add your favorite player's name in the description to increase the buzz.

23. Do some qualitative and quantitative research

Performing research-based qualitative and quantitative analysis is actually one of the best techniques to optimize the app store. It gives you a valuable piece of information that can be used to perform the process of optimization.

It will help in making your app look out of the box. To do this, you can use relevant keywords, point out the language being used for the audience, use high-res images, etc.

quantitative research

24. Make the use of videos

According to a survey, around 55 percent of the audience is more inclined towards watching videos. It means that visual impression does have an impact on the audience and greatly influences the decision of the target audience. It can indeed be used in optimizing the application as well.

It means you shall create an impressive video that highlights the functions and features of the app. You can use this video to attract customers by putting it on social media and other channels to drive potential users to download your app.

25. Use outside promotion to increase traffic

Apple does consider the total amount of backlinks as well as the number of visits to the page. The more traffic a listing is able to generate, the better chances it has to rank well. But the question is how you can get the desired traffic?

So, here are some of the techniques that you can use.

  • Make optimal use of social media, online advertisement, reviews, ratings, press, and articles.
  • You can use app indexing to make your content more linkable and searchable on the mobile devices and web searches for potential users.

promotion to increase traffic

26. Competitive research

The key to success is knowing every step of your competition. As per 2018, there are around 2 million apps in the App store. It means as much as you would like to believe that you have the best and the unique app there are chances you have a high level of competition, and you must do everything to give your app a competitive edge. The best ways to make your app stand out from the competition you need to analyze their every step.

Keep a check on your competitors, the keywords they are using, the descriptions, and their unique selling point. Make effective use of tools and your wisdom, and accordingly update your apps from time to time.

27. App price

Knowing the worth of your app is very dicey. There are many free apps available out there, so asking the customers to pay for your application is a little tricky. But if you want your app to get featured in the app on sale segment, you shall name the price of your app. Make it a point to use an appropriate price for your app, launch special offers during the holiday season.

If you have some special offers on your app make it a part of your advertisement, online promotions, and press release.

App Price

28. App analytics

App store optimization is an on-going process, and there is no end to it. It’s not like you did it once or twice and you’ll hit the bullseye. You got to be consistent and patient to see useful results. Once you are done with the title, descriptions, videos, and images, it is essential to analyze, evaluate, and optimize the results. Make sure to use creative and impressive content and update it regularly.

29. App engagement

Are people engaging with your app in the app store matter a lot and is an answer to a lot of questions. While spending dollars in the marketing of your app, you shall also look forward towards users engagement and look for resources that help in achieving the same.

As discussed earlier screenshot, videos and images also help in engaging customers. However, it is the app download that is most important.

App store uses many downloads to decide the ranking of an application which is called a CDR (current download rate). Most of the applications in the App Store utilize app preview to engage the audience and increase CDR ultimately.

App engagement

30. App retention

It is imperative to retain the customers which help in mobile ranking. According to the statistics, the retention rate of a standard app is around 35 percent, in the second months it reaches 25 percent and gradually falls to 20 percent around the 3rd month.

Furthermore, the statistics show that on an average an American download around only uses 30 apps each month out of the 90 installed apps.

It means that your app is more likely to sit in one’s phone without being used after the initial 2-3 days.

So, to retain the users, you must keep updating your application from time to time, improve users experience, remove bugs, etc.

Final Words

App store optimization is a continual process, and actually, there is no limit to it.

These 30 tips are just a few of the ways that you can use to improve your application for the users and ultimately improve the app listing in the App store.

Also, by using these 30 tips on your application, you will surely be better than most of the app developers who are struggling to rank the app on the App Store.

Mandeep Singh
Written By
Mandeep Singh

Mandeep is the ideator of Strivers Edge. He manages product roadmap and business strategy along with digital marketing. Before Strivers Edge, he has led products teams in developing state of the art web and handling various marketing projects of different companies. He has done his engineering in IT and loves to explore new business ideas. He loves reading and building his book collection & visiting new places.

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