App Store Optimization 101: The Ultimate Checklist
Getting dizzy with what to do with your app name and keywords in the iTunes App Store? Confused how to do and improve your app marketing? These are some tips that could help you to master the process.
If you aren’t convinced that ASO works, you should read these case studies. That post should change your mind.
Now that you know it works, here is the checklist….
For your app name and keywords
Select an app name that is descriptive. After the app icon, your app name will be the first thing users will see. In fact if they used their iPhone and browsing the App Store, what they will see will be your app name’s first 19 characters. That means your app name, especially those that are non-games, should be explicit in what it is or what it does. Users are most likely to check out an app that has a name relevant to what they are looking for.
For example, your app provides weather updates and alerts 24/7 in your city. You might want to use the word “weather” and the name of your city in the app name. That way, people will automatically think that your app is something about the weather situation in your area (and rightly so). People who are interested in such a service will most likely check out your app.
- The most relevant keywords should be included as much as possible. Choose the keywords wisely. The keywords you will use for your app should be the most relevant ones possible. Write keywords which users are most likely to search for or use.
Apple allows you to have only 99 characters to state your keywords. So it would be best that you should provide only the best keywords. A comma should separate every keyword you have created.
Do not repeat the name of the app in the keywords. Remember that you have limited characters for your keywords, so make sure you make the best out of it. You may also want to localize the keywords you want to use, especially if you prefer local users searching for your app.
If the keyword or combination of keywords is already overused in the App Store, you might want to use a synonym or an alternative which people might be able to use. It is better, for example, if your app lands in the top five results for a keyword that is averagely searched than, say, landing in the top 100 results for a keyword that is highly searched.
- For your URL, do not use special characters. Apple will use the app name in creating the URL for your app. The characters you should use therefore for your app should not contain special characters. Characters such as copyright or trademark symbols should be avoided in the app name. Otherwise, the iTunes app page will most likely use your id.
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For your app icon
Your app icon is the first thing that users will see when they browse app stories, and most likely the one that will give them an immediate visual impression. That makes the selection of your icon as very important for the app marketing strategy you are thinking, since you are going to use that icon not only in the App Stores but also in your website, press releases, news articles, video reports, among them.
- Do not use words. Your app icon should contain a striking image, and not just another way to present your app name (this time in a visual way). As much as possible you should keep the icon simple, offering users a clear and striking message to the users.
- The icon should be consistent with the design of your app. Some developers tend to forget this basic visual design principle: The app icon should be consistent with the app design. Design of apps should be about consistency. Having an icon consistent with the design creates a lasting visual image to your readers.
- Stand out. Try to make your icon stand out from the rest of the competition. Innovate as much as possible. If you need some good examples of icons, you may want to check out the icon gallery of apps. Just make sure that you do not want an icon that is too similar with another icon, especially, of a rival app. Aside from the possible legal entanglements you could face due to trademark issues, users might have a hard time differentiating your product from the completion.
While you may not have the direct power to produce positive user reviews or change negative ones about your product, there are several things you can do to get better ratings and thus may convince more people to get your app.
- Be reachable. Sometimes, developers tend to forget that even as basic as being reachable to your users has a big effect on your user review. Make sure that you are reachable in website, in the app page, or even in the app itself for complaints or questions. In that way, users who have something to complain about or unhappy with the service can directly ask you about their concerns rather than immediately posting scathing reviews about your product.
If it is also possible, you may want to give your email address or twitter handler, especially if such avenues make it easier for users to reach you. Remember, you do not want negative reviews about your app. It is therefore recommended that you are almost readily available to the users who may have questions or complaints about your app.
- Kindly ask your friends and family to give positive reviews of your app during its launch. You can also solicit the help of your family and friends to boost the popularity of your app by initially providing good reviews about your app during the product launch.
- Keep the app users always happy and engaged. One of the top priorities you should have as an app developer is engaging your users regularly, and making them happy. And how do you make them happy and engaged? Make sure you are open to complaints and you are willing to recommendations. Fix any app bugs and add features recommended by users.
Hi Carter, hello from Spain. Just discovered ur blog, love it! Here despite huge economic crisis, mobile market booming! I´m getting into the app world and want to make money out of it. Question for you: do you believe in app curators? do they add value? which ones do you follow? Thx – Rocio
@Rocio – What do you mean by app curators?