App Store optimization has a crucial role in an app’s ranking, number of downloads, and visibility. A new app has a slim chance of penetrating the market because there are over 3 million Android apps in Google Play.

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If you want to increase the number of downloads by 30%, download the FREE Complete App Store Optimization checklist. Now, let’s take the first steps into ASO and see which are the most important app store optimization elements.

1. App Store Optimization – App Keywords

Before you start optimizing the name, the URL, and the description, you will need to find something that needs to be included in all of them: keywords. Just like with SEO, keywords are the key to optimization.

What to do:

  • Find out the keywords your competitors are using.
  • Analyze user-generated content. Every review should be monitored and used to create new keywords.
  • Use tools such as UberSuggest to find the right keywords for your app.
  • Don’t stuff the title and description with keywords; use only relevant ones and place them strategically.
  • Think about what users would search for to find an app like yours.

2. App Store Optimization – App name

The app name is the most important thing when it comes to ASO, yet most people don’t give it enough credit. However, the app name is the first thing people see when they open Google Play. Also, people use keywords to find apps and that’s why it’s important to choose an app name that suits the app.

What to do:

  • Find a suitable name for your app.
  • Include keywords (if possible) in the app’s name because they help increase your ranking.
  • Use an appropriate format for the name: Brand name: Keywords or Brand name – Keyword.
  • Don’t choose a name that’s similar to other apps’.
  • Keep in mind that Google Play has a limit of 50 characters for the app name. Out of those 50 characters, 20 should be keywords.

3. App Store Optimization – App URL/Package

Although you might think that the URL is not important because people don’t search for the URL, this can affect your ranking. Not choosing the most relevant URL for your app can make your app rank for a different keyword. Apart from being an important part of ASO, the URL is part of the aesthetics.

What to do:

  • Your URL is going to look like this http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=<package_name>, where the package name is declared in the manifest file. Keep in mind that you can’t change your URL once you chose your manifest file.
  • Use your app’s name in the URL.
  • Keep the URL short and relevant.
  • Include a keyword (if possible).

4. App Store Optimization – App Description

Just like any other product, your app needs to have a description where you list the key features and functionalities. The description is crucial as it helps users decide whether or not they want the app. Think about what your ideal customer expects from your app before writing the description. Google Play needs two descriptions, a short one and a long one.

Let’s start with the short one:

What to do:

  • Tell users why your app is unique and what it can offer in addition to your competitors’ apps.
  • The short description can only be 80 characters long, so avoid blank spaces and long stories.
  • Use the keywords for which you rank best.
  • Make it catchy to provoke users to read the long description; in general, in this short description you’ll want to insert your Unique Selling Proposition.

What about the long description?

What to do:

  • Google Play gives you up to 4,000 characters, so you have plenty of space to explain your app’s functionalities.
  • Split the text into paragraphs to make it easier for users to scan the info.
  • Only focus on features and key benefits and explain each one of them.
  • Always focus on what’s in it for the users, what they gain, how do you solve their problems.
  • Here you should definitely use as many keywords as possible (without being spammy).
  • Include a catchy call-to-action to persuade the user.
  • Add contact information at the end of the description to help active users who need support.

5. App Store Optimization – App Icon

The icon is the thing that sticks with the users. Many of them remember the icon without knowing the name of the app. If you want to make the icon memorable, be as creative as possible.

What to do:

  • The icon should have the same design as the one used in the app.
  • Use vibrant colors to captivate the user.
  • Do not use text on the icon.
  • Do not use your competition as an inspiration.
  • Follow Google Play’s requirements: 32-bit PNG (with alpha), Dimensions: 512px by 512px, Maximum file size: 1024KB.

6.  App Store Optimization – App photos

Your app page needs photos to show users what to expect. Photos have a significant impact on the conversion rate.

What to do:

  • Use screenshots because they show the users a little bit of the app and they give you the possibility to highlight the best features.
  • All images should have the same design as the app and the icon.
  • Follow the requirements for Google Play: JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha), Minimum dimension: 320px, Maximum dimension: 3840px.
  • Provide an explanation for every screenshot to help users understand the app’s functionalities.
  • The first photo should showcase the most important feature of the app or the key value you’re adding to your potential users.
  • When you have a promo or discount, you can change the first photo to increase your conversion rate.

Although most people focus on UX and paid promotion for their app, ASO has a major impact on an app’s visibility, number of downloads, and ranking. Help your users see and remember your app instead of focusing on selling it to them.

These are just the first changes you need to make to help your app rank better in Google Play, but why stop here? Download the FREE Complete App Store Optimization Checklist which contains 20 ASO elements for Google Play and Apple App Store.

Download the App Store Optimization Checklist for FREE.

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Now that you have an app in Google Play Store, maybe you would like to also promote it on Social Media? Check out our Social Media guide for mobile apps!

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