October 29, 2013 Grant Ruxton

Making An ASO Of Yourself: Looking At App Store Optimisation

We here at Boyd Digital do one thing really well: SEO. Helping to get sites at their top of the respective field is something we take pride in every day. This kind of work doesn’t just happen for sites though. There’s a growing market that does the same kind of work but for all the apps we have on our phones. This practice is called ASO (App Store Optimisation) and we’re going to give you the essentials on its importance in the app world.


Firstly you have to realise that people purchasing apps have to have their attention grabbed quickly. Most purchases come about through searches and general browsing (roughly 63{262b22605905d7bdadc9d0423a4a46028d1c16e5c2069f052c9de36584b442a6} of purchases on Apple happen this way). When you have your app sitting there waiting for someone to purchase, the biggest mistake you can make is having it listed in the wrong category or have the wrong keywords attached.

Adapting your app to stay visible in a respective marketplace means having all your app’s information in check. Everything from the keyword associated to the icon to the app description have to be not only key to what you’re offering but concise. When you want a site to rank better on Google, you can go about changing certain keywords to help boost the effort.

free music

Do that with an app though and you can face a plethora of problems. If your app gains traction and you all of sudden try to broaden your reach with a new keyword, those word of mouth downloads won’t happen.

Many popular apps in any category are top of their lists because they’ll have very well defined terms. It’s the reason why you’ll always see apps like ‘FREE TORCH’ and ‘FREE MUSIC’ at the top of free downloads constantly. If the keyword is in the title of your app, you’re likely to see 10{262b22605905d7bdadc9d0423a4a46028d1c16e5c2069f052c9de36584b442a6} more download than if not.

productivity apps

Just look at the chart for productivity apps. Show anyone the names of an app like Evernote or 1Password and they’ll know exactly what that is. The only reason for Gneo (a to-do list app) being 2 is the fact that it’s new. bitstrips

Apps also are unlike regular search terms in that a lot of the focus can be on trends. The start of summer will see apps for ‘pollen’ rise up the charts along with translation and other holiday terms. Right now one of the most popular apps is Bitstrips. It’s a simple app where you make your own comic strip style drawing. But because it’s integrated with Facebook it has exploded in the last week because it is essentially trending on two platforms at once.  Right now it’s still ad-free but rest assured that in the coming weeks users will see a sudden implementation of ads that will turn them off from the product.

This turn around is what app makers fear most. Any updates to an app are supposed to make it easier to use. Any ASO campaign will be about giving that new customer an easy experience with your app. If and when you begin to see revenue increase from your app, the implementation of a new interface or increase in ads will only create problems.

draw something

Think of apps like Draw Something. Last year it was the hottest app for 2 months due to its competitive and lean towards creativity.It then was bought by OMGPOP and implemented more ads (and add-ons). This caused it’s customer rating to plummet. Ratings are the be all and end all when it comes to ASO. Investing time to making sure a user leaves positive comments pays dividends. It’s the reason why popular apps like Facebook Messenger and TV Guide always seem to have pop-ups asking for your feedback in the form of a marketplace review. They want to rank highly and need you to do it.

So where does that leave you when you’re about to launch an app? You’ll have to find out in our next post tomorrow about what factors you need in place for effective ASO.

About the Author

Grant Ruxton I increase sales, traffic and brand engagement using digital marketing.

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