App Store Optimization Tips (2021): A Step-by-step ASO Guide for iOS & Google Play Apps

App Store Optimization Tips (2021): A Step-by-step ASO Guide for iOS & Google Play Apps

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing mobile apps for the purpose of achieving a higher rank in the app store search results and top charts rankings. Due to its similarities to search engine optimization (SEO) for websites, app store optimization is also referred to as App Store SEO, App Search Optimization, and Mobile App SEO.

The Story behind this App Store Optimization Guide

When I launched my first game app in the app stores years ago, I thought the app was so awesome that it would get a lot of downloads.

Then I waited, and waited…

… until I finished all the PlayStation games I could play at that time 🙂

Well, as it turned out, the opposite happened – there were only a few downloads each day.

Frustrated, I turned to paid advertisement campaigns.

But the cost-per-install of an advertising campaign can easily cost you US$1 to US$5.  In addition, you need at least 40k installs per day to get to the top 25.

One look at the prices got me like:

app store optimization tips free

However, all is not lost. Through countless hours of hard work and research, I learned many techniques to “get my app off the ground”.

For the sake of brevity, I will mention the strategy that was the most quintessential to my then-future success … app store optimization.

At last, I managed to increase the amount of the app downloads by 1478% in a month!

app store optimization 10x growth

Free Bonus:

You may wonder:

“This ASO thing sounds so useful, but how can I do it?”

To help you get started, here are three steps that guide you through the app store optimization process:

How to do App Store Optimization?

Step 1: Find the right app store keywords

Step 2: Put the app store keywords in the right places

Step 3: Convert visitors to users

Note: If you find the tips below useful, remember to get the summary checklist here.

How to do App Store Optimization?

app store optimization tips keyword ranking strategyStep 1: Find the right app store keywords

One of the biggest aspects of improving your app store search rankings is the choice of keywords. Thus, your app search optimization efforts should start from implementing the right app store keywords.

a) App Store Keyword Ideas

To start, try and come up with at least 50 app store keywords. Here are some great ASO tools to guide you through the hunt for quality keywords. These tools will provide you many other keywords to consider. And the best part of all – they’re all free!

app store keyword optimization

Remember that your app store keywords must be relevant to your apps. Don’t be tempted to use a popular, but irrelevant keyword to your apps. You want your apps to be found by users who will actually download and enjoy your apps.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

App Store Review Keywords
Did you know the words in your app user reviews are indexed by the app store search engine?

This is why review mining is a very good method for getting app store keyword ideas. In addition, app reviews are an extension of the users’ minds and the words within the reviews are highly related to the things users would look for in an app. You will be surprised by the amount of keywords you might discover just by observing app reviews!

There are review analysis tools on the market you can use to identify keywords from app reviews, and this one uses Artificial Intelligence on your user reviews to identify what your users like and don’t like about your app.

Time-sensitive App Store Keywords
Let’s illustrate the idea by an example. If you had used the word, “Rio” (the city, not the movie) in conjunction with its related app store keywords during the 2016 Olympics, you would have definitely received greater exposure for your sports app.

b) Optimize Your App Store Keywords

Now with your initial set of app store keywords, it’s imperative you develop a strategy to filter and select the best keywords for your app. Here are some app store keyword tools that can help you with this optimization process. These tools provide the popularities (or search traffic) as well as difficulties (or chances) of your app store keywords. In general, carefully select around 25 app store keywords for the next release of your app.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

App Store Keyword Optimization Strategy
For a new app, choose the app store keywords with low difficulty and reasonable popularity. They help your app gain the initial momentum. After gaining the initial momentum, start using app store keywords with higher popularity and reasonable difficulty. They help your app stack up more downloads. Work your way up gradually as your app gets more popular.

If you don’t know what difficulty and popularity you should use for your keywords, use this tool that makes the decision for you using AI.

Long-tail App Store Keywords
Use longer app store keyword phrases (i.e. long-tail keywords) to outrank the competition. For example, it is hard to outrank Zynga Poker by the competitive keyword “Poker” (high difficulty). However, you would have a better chance to outrank it by utilizing keyword phrases such as, “Poker Casino”. This is because “Poker Casino” is less competitive (lower difficulty).

Retiring Poor App Store Keywords
If you have already released your app with your target app store keywords, check your current app store keyword ranking. Keep those app store keywords that your app ranks within top 10, and replace the rest with new keywords in your next release.

5X Your App Store Keywords
You can multiply the character space to store your app store keywords using this trick. That means you can use up to 500 characters to store your keywords for getting a lot more app store search traffic!

app store optimization tips guideStep 2: Put the app store keywords in the right places

Now that you have chosen and optimized your app store keywords, you are ready for step 2 of app search optimization: putting the app store keywords in the right places.

There are a couple of metadata where you must fill in the text with your app store keywords.

a) App Name

Name your app in a creative and searchable fashion. Not only is it the first piece of the puzzle in telling your potential users what your app is, it also gets your app in the app store search results.

According to MobileDevHQ (now renamed to Tune), using keywords in your title can result in up to 10.3% increase of rankings.

app store optimization tips keywords titleImage courtesy of MobileDevHQ via John Rampton on Forbes

Both Google Play and iOS App Store search algorithms scan the app name for keywords when a user performs an app store search and give higher priority to apps with names that contain the search input. As such, it is a good idea to include a few keywords in your app name.

However, moderation is key. Don’t stuff every app store keyword you know into your title or your app will look spammy. You need to find a good balance between keywords and branding.

Also, iOS App Store limits the app name to a maximum of 30 characters in iOS 11, while Google Play Store also sets the limit at 30 characters. Thus, efficiency and moderation is the name of the game.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

App Name Format
Keep the actual brand name short and sweet. You can then append this short brand name with a few keywords, typically preceded by a dash or a semicolon.

Use this tool to analyze your app name and get the recommendations of best name format and length.

Here are some real examples:

app store seo increase app downloads google map
Google Maps – GPS Navigation

app store seo increase app downloads amazon icon
Amazon – Shopping made easy

app store seo increase app downloads ebay icon
eBay: Buy & Sell – Find Deals

app store seo increase app downloads pandora icon
Pandora – Free Music & Radio

app store seo increase app downloads weather channel icon
The Weather Channel: Forecast

It’s also important to use only URL-friendly characters in your title, particularly in the App Store, as the iOS uses the app name to create your app URL. Also, avoid any special characters in your app name, like the trademark or copyright symbol. They will cause iTunes to refer to your app’s numeric ID to scan for relevant app store keywords instead of your app name.

b) App subtitle (for iOS App Store only)

App subtitles were introduced in iOS 11, available in the Apple App Store only.

app store optimization subtitle

This field appears under your app name and is limited to 30 characters only.

It is ideal to include some keywords in this field to communicate the value of your app. More importantly, the contents of your subtitle will be indexed in app store search, so be sure to make good use of the app subtitle to cover important keywords.

c) App description (for Google Play Store)

The Google Play Store provides you with a short description field (up to 80 characters) and a long description field (up to 4,000 characters) to describe your app.

More importantly, Google indexes words in both these two description fields to become your app store search keywords. By repeating your most important keywords up to 5 times in your description fields, you tell the Google Play algorithm that your app is most relevant to those keywords.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

There is a major difference in using keywords between the Google Play Store and Apple App Store:

In Play Store, you are encouraged to repeat important keywords throughout App Title and Description (Short and Long) up to 5 times. However, in App Store, repeating keywords in App Title, Subtitle and Keyword fields is considered a waste of precious keyword space.

That said, it’s important to incorporate keywords into the description in natural and sensible sentences. Use bulleted lists and paragraphs to make it easy-to-read.

d) App description (for iOS App Store)

The iOS App Store does not search for app store keywords in the app description, but that does not mean iOS developers can be lazy with it.

You should mention the unique values – the provided benefits of the app – in the first three lines so that visitors can catch them easily from the description preview. If possible, list out all the social proofs, awards, and honorable mentions your app has received. Try to compile the list of complete features in the description box for new visitors, and don’t forget to include your app’s social media links.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

Short Description Text

According to StoreMaven, only an average of 5% users will click the “read more” button below the short description on Google Play.

This number is even lower on the iOS App Store, clocking in at only 2%.

This means that every character in the short description counts!

On mobile, you only have 252 characters for this short description.

app store seo increase app downloads app description

You don’t want to waste any space here. Avoid blank lines and interrupted sentences.

Tell users what makes your app unique and why they will love it. Add a strong call-to-action text to encourage visitors to install your app.

e) App Promotional Text (available only for iOS App Store)

Like the app subtitle field, the app promotional text was introduced in iOS 11. It is situated at the top of the description and is limited to only 170 characters.

Though the promotional text is NOT indexed in the app store search, you can change this text anytime without releasing a new version.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

A/B Test on Promotional Text
You can use the promotional text to perform an A/B test of different messages quickly without publishing a version update. Once you’ve found the message that gives you the best conversion rate, you can then input the contents of the message into your app store keywords.

f) App Store Keyword field (available only for iOS App Store)

app store seo increase app downloads keywords

This metadata decides how your app gets discovered. Fill in the keyword metadata with your selected app store keywords. Follow the rules below and make each character count!

  • Use all 100 characters
  • Separate every keyword by a comma
  • Avoid space, articles, and prepositions
  • Either singular or plural works
  • Don’t repeat keyword
  • Use numbers instead of spelled out words
  • No need to include the words of your company name, app name, and app category names.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips: 

App Store Keyword Optimizer
You can use the App Store SEO Grader to optimize your app store keyword metadata. The tool applies the above rules to your app store keywords and informs you on techniques to improve.

How To 5X Your iOS App Store Keywords
Do you want more app store keyword space for your iOS app? You can get up to 500 characters for your iOS app store keywords using this optimization tip. That’s FIVE TIMES more than before!

g) In-App Purchases

Both Apple and Google index the names of in-app purchases (IAP) in the app store search.

And in iOS 11, each IAP has its own display name, promotional image, and description. In-app purchases can also appear in app search results and be featured on the Today, Games, and Apps tabs. You can display a maximum of 20 IAPs on your product page.

To maximize your app store search exposure, be creative and include some app store keywords in the names of your IAP items.

ASO service - App Conversion RateStep 3: Convert visitors to users

After app store keyword optimization, optimizing the app store page is the next core step of ASO.

The first goal of app search optimization is to increase the app installs. To this end, the app detail page has to be persuasive enough to convert the app store page visitors to app users.

Here are a few things related to the app store page that developers have to look out for:

a) App Icon

A better icon can increase your downloads up to 560%!

To design a good icon, keep your design simple and eye-catching. Do not cram the small space with many items or words. You want people to remember the icon after the first impression, so simple designs without much noise is best. Also, make sure your icon will still look good when it is scaled down to the smallest size required by App Store/Google Play. It should also look good against light and dark backgrounds.

To get inspiration for designs, browse the top-rated apps in your category and Apple/Google’s top picks. Also, make sure your icon is different from your competitor’s to avoid brand confusion.  Contrasting colors, different shapes, or the addition of a frame can also help.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

Branded vs Functional Icon
If your app is a functional app, use one object to describe your app. If your app has an established brand, use the logo to make your brand and your future products recognizable.

ASO - Branded App Icon Uber
Branded App Icon: Uber
app store optimization tips service - App Icon  7 Minute Workout
Functional App Icon: 
7 Minute Workout

Color Scheme
Use the science of colors in designing your icon. The color scheme should align with the message that you want your brand to convey.
app store optimization screenshot colors

b) Screenshots

According to StoreMaven, 60% of users won’t swipe past your first two screenshot images. Using your two best screenshots can increase your conversions by 25%!

To produce better screenshots, make sure each screenshot is telling a single message about your app. Display your strongest messages in the first two screenshots. Add a short caption text on a clean background into your screenshots and impress a positive impression in the viewers’ mind.

Avoid login, registrations, purchase forms, ads and even “Welcome” screen in your screenshots. Make the best use of the screenshots to tell your users why they should love your app.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

Screenshot Orientation
Keep the screenshots vertical. The users can see more screenshots on the narrow screens when the screenshots are vertical.

app store seo increase app downloads clash of clans 1 app store seo increase app downloads clash of clans 2
Vertical screenshots of Clash of Clans

Screenshot Dimension (iOS only)
Not so long ago app publishers had to upload screenshots of various sizes matching different iPhone models. Now it’s possible to upload screenshots for the screen of iPhone 7 Plus (1242 x 2208 pixels) and iOS App Store will adjust screenshots to sizes of all other iPhone generations automatically.

Optimize Your App Screenshots
To optimize your app screenshots, use this tool to checks your screenshots’ dimensions, count, orientations, and their compatibility with various iOS devices, and lets you know how to improve in the screenshot department.

c) Preview Video

Making a video may be difficult but it can increase install rates by more than 23%, according to StoreMaven. Don’t forget to use a good poster frame (iOS)/feature graphic (Google Play).  This graphic has a big impact as to whether your visitors would watch your video.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

App Marketing Video
Here are some of the essential elements of an effective app marketing video, as recommended by Apptamin, a company well-known for its app videos and trailers:

  • Use the first 5 seconds to grab the viewer’s attention
  • Focus on the best features, instead of all features
  • Your video should make sense even with the sound turned off
  • Include a call-to-action

Remember, 80% of users don’t watch past first 12 seconds of the video. It’s imperative you keep it concise and to the point. Avoid any fade-in and “welcome” type of message at the beginning of your video.

d) Ratings & Reviews

Ratings and reviews have a great impact on your app downloads. Check out this infographic:

app rating infographic

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips

User Review Sentiment
Use this tool to get a user sentiment analysis of your app. It applies Artificial Intelligence on your user reviews to find out what your users like and don’t like about your app.

But how can you get more 5-star ratings for your app?

Delay asking for a rating until there’s a likely moment of constructive feedback. For instance, ask when the user completed a reservation, finished a mission in a game, etc. When the time comes, ask nicely, and don’t beg.

What does that mean? Circa News app is a perfect example. It has an astounding 90% 5-star ratings for every major version. Here is a flowchart of how it asks users if they would like to provide feedback:

app store optimization tips Service - Cicra News feedback flowchart
Image courtesy of Circa News

The key is to encourage satisfied users to leave positive reviews and deflect negative reviews by using a “send feedback” option.

For iOS App Developers:

Since the released of iOS 10.3, you can only ask a user for an app rating three times per year.

To make the most of these scarce rating opportunities, you should first identify your app lovers, and then ask them for ratings at the right time.

You may be wondering:

“How can I identify who are my app lovers?”

You can do so by utilizing simple surveys or dialogs.

For example, you can ask this famous “Net Promoter” question on a 10-point scale:

“How likely is it that you would recommend our app to a friend or colleague?”

aso tips nps survey

Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are your “Promoters”, or app lovers.

aso tips nps

And they are likely to give you 4 to 5-star ratings when you later ask them for app ratings at the right time.

To do this, you can either develop your own version of rating and feedback flow or simply use the tools like Apptentive.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

The Right Paths To A Review
Direct only positive reviews to App Store, and negative reviews to support.

Plus, remember to reply to the app reviews and feedback! Only the ones who care about your app will spend the time to leave a comment. Show them you care about them as well! This is a great way to let the visitors know that the developer is active too.

For Google Play, there is a “Reply to a review” option in Developer Console for you to do just that.

app seo increase app downloads reply review

For iOS App Store, you can also do this since the iOS 10.3 release in March 2017.

On iTunes Connect, go to ‘My Apps > Choose your app > Activity > Ratings and Reviews’.

There you can see the “Reply” option in each of the reviews.

app store optimization tips reply to review

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips

How to Reply to Reviews

Try to reply to all feedback immediately following a major release of your app.

If you can’t respond to every review, try prioritizing reviews with the lowest star ratings or those mentioning technical issues with the most current version of your app.

When you release an app update that fixes issues users mentioned in older reviews, consider replying to the relevant reviews to let them know that your update addressed their concerns.

Once a user indicates that your response answered their question or fixed their technical issue, consider asking them to update their rating and review.

You can also foster deeper engagement by asking users for feedback on future app updates as part of your reply.

But what should I do if I already have many bad reviews?

Luckily, from iOS 11 onward, you can decide when to reset the average ratings and start over with a clean slate.

In iOS 10 or before, you can use these tips about how to sweep bad reviews under the rug. He also tells you how to give a positive first impression about your app by making good use of the five-star reviews.

e) App Size

Try to make your app smaller than 200MB for iOS app, or 100MB for Google Play app. It is because users cannot download apps that are bigger than these sizes using cellular service.

So for example, if a user on a bus or a train can’t download “now”, it is unlikely the user will write down the name and try again X hours later when they’re home.

Need some proof? This post from appfigures shows that ~98% of the top 100 free and ~62% of paid iOS and Android games can be downloaded are under 100 MB.

You don’t think 200MB is enough for your app? Take a look at Clash of Clans. Its iOS version is just 85.3 MB.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

Make Your App Smaller
To reduce the app size, consider compressing some of the graphical assets or make some of the contents downloadable after install.

Compare with the Top 100 Apps
Do you want to know how your app size compares to that of the top 100 apps? Use this App Store Optimization tool. It tells you whether your app size falls in the reasonable app size range of the top 100 apps.

f) Update Frequency

Statistics indicate a high correlation between high ratings and app update frequency. In fact, releasing regular updates has many benefits. It improves user loyalty and keeps an app top of mind because your app will show up in the updates list in the app stores. Apple and Google also like  to see app updates because they show you’re committed to the app and that it’s still being maintained.

How often should you update your app?  Check out this chart first:

app version update frequency chart

For these 25 top iOS apps, the average was about 30 days between updates. I’d recommend at least an update a month, and up to once a week.

Of course, you shouldn’t do an update just for the sake of doing an update. Your updates should always improve your app in some ways, either by bug fixings or enhancements.

g) App Localization

App localization gives you a larger audience to download your mobile app. But localizing the whole app to many languages can be a daunting task.

Before doing a full localization of your whole app, consider localizing your app listing first. It means translating your app name, app store keywords, screenshots, etc.

David Janner of MAKE APP Magazine conducted a localization experiment. In his experiment, he only localized the app name, the app store keywords, and sometimes the top line in the app description. After this simple localization, his app received a massive 767% increase in downloads.

Before localization, the downloads were mainly from within the US. After localization, his downloads looked like this:

ASO App Store Optimization Keyword Localization Keyword Translation
Image courtesy of MAKE APP Magazine

According to OneSky, only 31% of the world’s total app revenue came from the U.S., while 41% came from Asia, and 23% came from Europe. In particular, China has already surpassed the U.S. by both iOS app download and revenue.

If your app only has an English version for the U.S. market, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips:

App Localization
Localize your app listing first to see how well your app performs in different countries. You can then decide if you should perform full localization of the whole app for the best performing countries.

Predict Your Next Successful Markets
This app analytics tool predicts where your next successful markets are based on ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), Conversion Rates, and more. With this information, you can proactively localize your app to grasp the market opportunities.

h) Conversion Rates

Track the number of impressions of your app preview, the number of app page visitors, and app installs. Identify the step where the most people leave.

For example, are there more than 90% users who didn’t make it to the app page after seeing the app preview? Are there more than 50% users who didn’t install your app after seeing the app page?

Once you have identified the step where people leave, make appropriate changes and see if any conversion improvements occur.

App Store Optimization (ASO) Tips: 

Benchmark Your Conversion Rate
Use this App Store Optimization tool to benchmark your app’s conversion rate (CR). It compares your download CR with your app category’s median and best CR, and tells you what you should do.

More about Conversion Rates
Find out how to improve your conversion rates in this post about App Store SEO.

i) Apple’s Spotlight Search and Google’s Firebase App Indexing

aso ios spotlight searchFor iOS App Developers:

Apple’s Spotlight Search allows users to search for their iOS apps installed on their device. This feature helps app developers engage existing users more frequently.

For iOS app developers, enable Core Spotlight and NSUserActivity for your app. They improve your user engagement, which in turn improves your iOS app store search ranking.

In fact, 35% of top 20,000 apps on the iOS App Store have Spotlight search enabled. What are you waiting for?

aso google firebaseFor both iOS & Android App Developers:

Google’s Firebase App Indexing allows users to search the dynamic content in your app, and it works for both Android and iOS devices.

Firebase App Indexing not only helps improve your user engagement, it is also a user acquisition opportunity. It is because it allows users to search for your app contents no matter your app is installed or not.

If you have a content-rich app, you should enable Firebase App Indexing to make to most of these opportunities. See the official documentation here.

j) A/B Testing

A/B test each app store fields for continually improving your conversion rates. This type of hypothesis testing helps you make the most out of all your ASO effort above. The good news is: Google Firebase has a free A/B testing tool for both iOS apps and Google Play apps.

Putting It All Together

Here is a cool infographic produced by Y Media Labs. It sums up the most important points about app store optimization.

app store optimization tips strategies increase visibility

Also, if you wonder what are the differences between iOS App Store and Google Play on app search optimization, here is a great summary:

app store optimization tips apple vs google

After you have published the changes, keep an eye on the app store keyword rankings. The app store keyword rankings change right after you published the new version. The target is to make all your app store keyword rankings reach at least top 10. If your new keywords are too hard to rank, you might have to replace them with another set of app store keywords.

Repeat the three steps every three weeks or four because that’s roughly when big trends of app store keywords change. Don’t give up if the results of first few optimizations are not turning out well. App marketing takes time and app store optimization requires many observations to master.

Good luck in your journey!

Here’s What To Do Next…


You’ve read to the end of this mega post (4,000+ words).

Give yourself a BIG hand!

Now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned.

app market opportunity

The first step?

Click here to get a free summary checklist of all app store optimization tips in this post, and apply them to your app.

The checklist also includes 2 bonus strategies and additional details that I didn’t have room to include in this post.

app store optimization checklist
[Get the ASO Checklist]


  1. 10 Killer App Store Marketing Tips. StoreMaven
  2. 13 steps to perfecting your app store optimization. Moburst
  3. 14 Compelling Statistics About the Importance of Localization. OneSky
  4. 25 Top iOS Apps And Their Version Update Frequencies. Sensor Tower
  5. 3 Reasons Why You Should Launch Your Mobile App & Game In China Now. Meatti
  6. 7 Ways to Find New Keyword Idea. Smart App Marketer
  7. App Marketing Tools For Developers. Apptamin
  8. App Store Optimization – 11 Strategies To Make Your App Visible. Y Media Labs
  9. Google discloses how search for Google Play works for the first time. SocialTimes
  10. Have an App? The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing It Free. Neil Patel
  11. How many downloads per day does one need to be a Top 10 Free iPhone app? Quora
  12. How Often Should I Update My App? Businesses Should Consider The Benefits Of Frequent App Updates. Business Insider
  13. How to Market Your Small Business Mobile App. Bizness Apps
  14. How to Gain Visibility Using ASO. Ryan Clutter on SEJ
  15. How to Select Name for Your Mobile Application. AppsDevPro
  16. Increasing The Number Of Keywords In App Store Optimization By Localization. Moritz Daan on Mobile Growth Stack
  17. iPhone App Localization: 7x More Downloads By Localizing App Keywords. MAKE APP Magazine
  18. iOS 11: The Ultimate App Store Guide. Storemaven
  19. Marketer’s Guide to App Store Marketing. SingleGrain
  20. More Than 25% of Top iOS Apps Will Soon Need to Change Their Names. Sensor Tower
  21. Optimize Your Google Play Store App Details Page. Apptamin
  22. Quit my full time corporate job. Built an iOS game. It became #1 in the App Store. Reddit
  23. Ratings Prompts. Apptentive
  24. Search Ads – App Store – Apple Developer. Apple
  25. The App Store Optimization Checklist: Top 10 Tips. Apptentive
  26. The Beginner’s Guide to App Store Optimization. John Rampton on Forbes
  27. The One Secret To Effective App Store Optimization. Meatti
  28. The Ultimate Guide to App Store Optimization. BuildFire
  29. The Ultimate Guide To App Store Optimization In 2015. AppFreak
  30. What’s a Good App Store Page Conversion Rate? SplitMetrics
  31. Why Facebook Is Blue: The Science of Colors in Marketing. Buffer
  32. Winning Mobile: First, You Have To Win App Store And Google Play Search. John Koetsier on Forbes
  33. Your Guide to App Store Optimization [Infographic]. Optimizely

234 thoughts on “App Store Optimization Tips (2021): A Step-by-step ASO Guide for iOS & Google Play Apps

    1. Hey Kerri, thanks for the compliments.
      I shared your post because it has so many awesome statistics! They give people lots of insights about the importance of localization. Keep up the good work!

  1. Interesting article. In my opinion, the app icon plays an important role in the App store optimization. Always include your logo as your app icon, so that people can quickly recognize your app. It will help to increase your downloads and will also improve reviews and ratings.

    1. Agreed.

      For icon design, you should consider doing A/B tests to find the one with best conversion.

      You can also try asking app marketer communities, such as those groups on facebook, to vote for the icon designs that you’ve made.

  2. Very effective article the App Store Optimization very helpful to improve the keywords rank in App Store as well as in Play Store also. It also Re-Engage your app users using different-different strategies like App Name, Title, Description, Keywords, Video.

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful!

      Just want to clarify that app Name, title, description, keywords, video are not really for re-engagement.

      It is the value and quality of your app that matter.

  3. Hi and thank you for sharing this awesome post about app store optimization tips..all tips are explained very clearly.

  4. This is actually a nice topic about pp store optimization tips..clear explanation and simple.Thanks for en-lighting us with your knowledge, it is helpful for many of us.

  5. I’ve definitely bookmarked your extremely detailed guide. ASO is hard and you need a ton of luck. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Hi Marcus, You have picked a topic much relevant in the present time. Nowadays, it is quite difficult for a business to survive without a mobile app. Having a mobile app is not enough, there are millions of apps in the major play stores, and there are high chances that your app may get lost in this crowd of apps. Hence, app store optimization is so important and should leave no stone unturned to optimize your app properly.

  7. Marcus, thanks for the great tips! Indeed, it’s not an easy thing to get noticed in the crowd of over 2 million apps in each store, be it for iOS or Android. I’m trying to figure how to boost my app now, and I’ve been studying the topic for a while. Your article helped me a lot.

  8. Very informative article. Great work. I think it will help many developers to know more about ASO and how to work on it.

  9. By creating an app is not gonna give you successful business anymore, there is a need of proper marketing for that. Your guide is required to let the business run successfully.

  10. App store optimization is must for any app that is developed. Listed tips and suggestions for optimizing apps is really very helpful. Looking forward for more articles from you.

  11. I really love your dedication in your post.I love your insights and I have applied some of your tips and it was really effective.

  12. Extremely viable article the App Store Optimization exceptionally supportive to enhance the catchphrases rank in App Store and in addition in Play Store too. It additionally Re-Engage your application clients utilizing diverse distinctive techniques like App Name, Title, Description, Keywords, Video.

  13. Amazing post! I very like your success story. Yes, we must know what our audiences need and what strategies our competition aims to apply to better deploy our marketing strategies!

  14. Thanks for a great read – very informative.
    The tip regarding keywords in reviews, is that also valid for Google Play, or only for the App store?

  15. Thanks for this useful post. I implemented these tricks for my app ExamUp quiz and start getting results after 2 days. Initially my app was not in search results for keywords but after changing description and name, it starts getting visibility. I want to improve it’s ranking now. Can you please suggest some tips for ASO after reviewing my app.
    This is the link of my app.
    Thanks in anticipation sir

    1. Hello Mukesh,

      Great to know the tips have helped you get more downloads!

      While I’m afraid I can’t do an in-depth review for your app here, I will suggest you improve the design of the icon and screenshots to give users a better first impression. Try a professional designer at or other similar sites.

      Let me know how it goes.

      Good luck!

  16. Thanks for sharing this kind of valuable blog. Mobile App Store optimization is the methodology of getting better ranking of mobile app in the app store. So this article is helpful for getting ideas of doing ASO.

  17. Did you see the latest update of Google Webmastertools? Their new interface has a pretty good rank tracker per keyword (over time) too. Do you think there is still a future for paid ranking trackers with this change?

    1. Yes, tracking of top search keywords of your app in Google Play Console is really awesome.
      Though it doesn’t have country breakdown for now, I believe Google will add that soon.

      If a third party tool that only helps you do keyword tracking alone, it is not useful regardless of that new keyword tracking feature of Google Play Console.

      The key value of most app keyword optimization tools is really about keyword suggestions and optimization. So, a good ASO tool that provides these features can still provide business value to its users.

  18. It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Thanks for sharing! This articles is very useful. I just wonder how to separate long tail keywords in App Store (iOS) keywords field?

    1. Just separate each word in a long tail keyword by a comma.
      For example, if you want to use the long tail keywords “apple juice”, “apple pie”, “orange juice” and “orange pie”, you only need to enter “apple,juice,pie,orange” in the keyword field. Also, avoid empty space between the words to make the most of it.

  20. This sounds new to me. Very interesting. I hope you’ll post more updates on this one. I am planning to try this in the near future.

  21. Finally, an article that is clear and concise on this subject. Great article! Thanks for this useful list.

  22. Great job! I was familiar with some of the sources you mentioned, but it’s really helpful to have everything in one place. Do you plan to continue updating the guide? Cheers, Berenika

  23. App store optimisation is very important for those are having apps or is planning to launch, otherwise it will be lost among other apps. In past, we have seen that we have to make people aware of ASO and its benefits. They thought just develop the app and rest magic will happen. But when gave them clear idea about ASO power and why ASO is a must then they realised what they were lacking.
    Your infographic data with proper information and stats will help people understand better the important of ASO. Great effort made by you.
    We wish you all the best for future and hope to get more things coming from you 🙂

  24. Being an IOS app developer this article is extremely helpful for me I appreciate your work and thanks for sharing this amazing blog with us.

  25. Hi Marcus,
    Thanks a lot for such detailed explanation on iOS apps optimization. Surely, these tricks will help me and my team to get more organic visibility on app store. Moreover, infographic made your article more interesting.


  26. Very nice work extremely helpful for me I appreciate your work and thanks for sharing this amazing blog with us. keep posting like this.

  27. This is a good read. I personally enjoyed your breakdown of all the different elements of App Store optimization. Truly an interesting article. This a must read result.

  28. Hi Marcus Kay, Hi and thank you for sharing this awesome post about app store optimization tips..all tips are explained very clearly.

    Here i share my knowledge / Checklist / Steps For App Store Optimization. I hope you like this.

    1. Keyword Optimization
    2. App Name
    3. App Description
    4. Use of a Unique Icon
    5. Including Videos And Screenshots
    6. Localizing the App Listing
    7. Regular Updation Of The App

  29. i will read all these artical it will be informative and helpful for those people who will be not know how to optimize app store i will also read a artical like this it will be also helpful for me and also for you

  30. This is exactly what I am looking for. I was wondering if there is seo in app store search. Now I will apply this tip and see how my app will rank.

  31. Nice article. To keep your app on the top among your competitors you have to follow some effective strategies. However, the users can decide your app status within no time and this would be a major setback to achieving your app ranking.

  32. I could understand, it’s a nice post to learn about app keywords thanks to you sir for giving an opportunity to learn.

    1. Though it doesn’t affect how App Store indexes your app in the search ranking, putting more appealing screenshots in the front will increase the chance of the user to download your apps. So yes, it matters.

  33. These 7 tips are for Mobile App Store Optimization.
    .Choose the right app name.
    .Maximize your keywords.
    .Create a compelling description.
    .Stand out with a unique icon.
    .Include screenshots and videos.
    .Localize your app listing. …
    .Increase traffic with the outside promotion.

  34. One of my friends enjoys designing apps, but he could use some help getting it on the app store. It was helpful when you mentioned to choose keywords for your app that are relevant to the app. These tips could really help my friend with any apps he makes, so thank you for sharing them.

  35. Amazing article. Love the way this useful information has been presented. Mobile apps developer have worked tremendously in this digital era to elevate the quality of mobile apps no doubt.

  36. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  37. Nice blog. Very useful information has been conveyed in this article. Developers have worked really hard in the provision of unlimited apps, still I think that mobile app development price should not carry a hefty-price tag. So that all of us can afford to make a mobile app from software houses.

  38. I have been examinating out many of your posts and i can state clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

  39. Cool list, this is certainly helpful for anybody with a quality app design that just needs to get that initial exposure to catch on.

  40. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What an ideal web-site.

  41. Thanks for sharing this info, it is quiet rare to find this topic, but thanks to you it will help me in making my final year presentation.

  42. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It’s the little changes which will make the greatest changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  43. Thanks for highlighting the importance of ASO (App Store Optimization). Most of the time, mobile app owners get so engrossed in the mobile app development process that they completely forget about the next step, which in fact, would have been planned in detail.

  44. Nice article, thanks for sharing these amazing tips for me. You explain very well about optimization tips. Now I got a complete idea about the optimization process. keep on updating for latest trend topics.

  45. Very informative post on ASO.

    Awesome tips and step by step explanation.

    Really appreciate the way you have written and explained. Especially Convert visitor into a customer section.

    Worth reading it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Good work..!!!

  46. hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you

  47. Interesting post and very helpful as now I can optimize my app and increase the downloads. I would like to share it with my friends too. Keep sharing your useful knowledge with the readers.

  48. I am assuming you have an iPhone 6 and above? If so, make an appointment at your Apple store to get it replaced. If you have a different phone, you may have to contact the manufacturer to see if that model phone has a replaceable battery or not. Many models don’t. Best of luck

  49. I am genuinely grateful to the owner of this website who has shared this
    impressive paragraph at at this place.

  50. Great infographic on how to do app store optimization. I never knew there is an app store optimization as I am focused on the on-page and off-page optimization for Google. Good thing I saw this, additional information that can be used in the future.

  51. Wow, this is a really amazing Tips. I have tried some of these tips and rest I will try in my next project. Thank you for sharing useful information. App name, Screenshots, rating & reviews are the most important factor to rank any app.

  52. So much useful information in this article. I ant believe i was missing so much. I guess its time to get ro work now and improve our rankings. Thanks

  53. I shared this with my mobile app development team and they found this article to be informative and a must share to others. Keep up the good work.

  54. Nice post. Thanks for sharing unique content. I would like to express my gratitude on this blog.

  55. I just bookmark your article and share it with my friends as well thanks for sharing keep sharing such post that really help to boost ASO

  56. Very important information for newbies . thumbs up! i have question my Islamic Photo Frames 2019 app is on top on keywords but its number of download is low?? why its happen?

    1. In that case, it means the keywords that your app ranks for do not have enough search traffic. Another possibility is that they are not relevant enough for the users to download your app.
      Hope this helps.

  57. This is a great guide for people building apps for Android or iOS store. You can also use them for your personal apps. I love these store optimization apps as a newbie. Building app is one thing and promoting to the user base is different.

    The most important point is you should rank for long tail keywords. If you can have that, 80% of traffic is for 3-7 keyword phrases in Google.

  58. Thank you for sharing this amazing post. Hope readers will like it. I really appreciate for putting such efforts.

  59. It’s very useful for beginners. Interesting to read this article. Thank you for posting this. We are conducting app store optimization training in coimbatore for all college students.

  60. Ranking on Google might be easy but ranking video on YouTube and mobile app on App Store / Playstore is surely tough. App Store Optimization depends on plenty of metrics for sure as you mentioned above in the article. Our main practice is to use proper targeted keywords in title (Both primary and secondary keywords) – First kickstart of the ASO. But before setting up ASO we prefers to run small App Install campaign so, it can boost certain downloads and some reviews.

  61. Hi there,
    This article contains really good stuff about ASO, search engine marketing and digital marketing new tips & tricks. Keep up the good work…

  62. It’s astoundingly enchanting article for me or every one considering the course that in this article you have to done various information that is the explanation it’s in a general sense stunning for me..

  63. Hi…I just want to thank you to share your information on your blog for App Store Optimization Tips & Checklist (2020 ASO Guide for iOS & Google Play Apps), I admire you

  64. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  65. Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!
    It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  66. It was really amazing article and a lot of things explain here which I was not used in our Apps. Honestly it was so helpful for improving my techniques. Keep it up good work

  67. App store optimization is the process of enhancing the visibility of a mobile application in the app store. The main goal of App store optimization or ASO is to optimize an app through SEO for mobile app

  68. These are really helpful tips. Understanding the target-market of mobile app is of utmost importance. You have to continuously work on mobile app’s seo and for such purpose, one should on board professionals for their product.

  69. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy
    your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

  70. Hi Marcus, So can you help me in listing out what are the off-page optimization techniques one can incorporate for boosting app ranking in google play store.

  71. Nice post on App store optimization and steps to do that. Its going to be very useful for me. Thanks for posting.

  72. I just came across your blog post and must say that it’s a great piece of information that you have shared. Great article with very helpful information!

  73. Very Helpful tips it was which helps developers app owners very much. ASO App Store optimization is a needful and useful for all Apps to grow on Market.

  74. Hi, yes this piece of writing is really good and I have
    learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  75. App store optimization (ASO) has been slightly unnoticed of late with the development of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence AI, Google’s mobile-first index progression, and other obvious industry vicissitudes commanding the attention of every marketer.
    Whether you are fresh to app store optimization, or intense to refine your approach to ASO, this writes up will provide some applied visions which are proven to get the most out of app store success.

  76. App store optimization (ASO) has been slightly unnoticed of late with the development of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence AI, Google’s mobile-first index progression, and other obvious industry vicissitudes commanding the attention of every marketer.
    Whether you are fresh to app store optimization, or intense to refine your approach to ASO, this writes up will provide some applied visions which are proven to get the most out of app store success.

  77. Awesome ASO Blogpost. Thank you very much for alle the optimisation Tipps and links to other ressources! That was a great introduction!

  78. The thing I really like about ASO is how such a small change like updating the app icon can make such a big effect on clicks over to the app page.
    Still, that being said its only one small factor when dealing with how to optimize your app.

  79. Blogs would definitely be a labour of affection that requires time, effort and often brain-power.

    With the right keywords, you can get high rankings in the major search engines results.

  80. As part of efforts to optimize apps’ organic performance in the Google Play Store, ASO experts have many tools and techniques to work with. The key is understanding how to piece it all together to achieve better performance and attract the right users.

  81. Understand your customer and your competition. It’s equally important to survey your competition to identify which keywords are being targeted by apps similar to yours. Great info you have shared here.

  82. Great post Marcus. It is a well written post and includes good explanation on each individual point. I agree with the point of how to convert visitors into users. Keep writing.

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