App Search Optimization (ASO) 101

App Search Optimization (ASO) 101



After you’ve spent a considerable amount of resources getting your app published in the Apple App Store, how do users find it in the Apple App Store?  After all, there are currently 1.2 million apps in the Apple App Store.  This post will go over the concept of App Store Optimization (ASO) and the factors that impact an apps’ search ranking.

When you do a search on the Apple App Store, these are the factors that dictate which apps show up at the top of the search list:

  • Key Words: Specifically, what’s shown in the key words in the apps meta data and the app’s title.  Apple allows 100 characters for the key words and 30 characters for the title.  Unfortunately, the app description has no bearing on the app’s searchability within the app store (however, it does help in being found outside of the app store using a Google search).
  • Number of Downloads: when searching the app store using the key words, apps with a higher number of downloads will appear at the top of the search.
  • App Reviews: all things being equal (key words and downloads), the tie breaker is the number of reviews.  Higher rated apps will have the advantage.

This just covers the basics of ASO.  Entire industries have sprung up to provide data and strategies to increase an app’s exposure and consequently downloads.    I always advise our clients to develop a marketing plan; ASO needs to be part of that plan.

By Rich Foreman, CEOApptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014.  Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.

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About Rich Foreman

Rich Foreman is the CEO of Apptology. He leads Apptology with 20 years of experience in leadership, engineering, mobile application development and sales. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the US Navy. Rich recently co-authored his first book, “Tap into the Mobile Economy." He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee.

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