How to optimize your mobile app for success in 2024

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Every app developer’s biggest dream is to see their work getting downloaded and used by as many people as possible. The hours spent on developing an app and the amount of work that gets put into it, would all be nothing if the app sits unnoticed at the bottom of the app store.

In 2024, there are over 2,4 million apps available in Google Play and over 1,9 in Apple App Store, so if you want to make sure your app gets not only noticed but also downloaded, there are some things you need to take into consideration. The App Store Optimization (ASO) process is not extremely difficult, but it does need to follow some rules to ensure the best results.

Use relevant keywords

To market your app right and make sure it reaches users, you need to first understand what people search for. Usually, when looking for an app, users type in two to three words that they find most relevant. For example, if someone is looking for a photo editing app, they will type in “photo editor” as their keyword. Or, if they want something more specific, they could write “photo frame editor”.

For starters, put together a list of keywords that you find most relevant for your app. For better results, look at your competition and analyze the keywords they are using. After you have compiled your list, it is time to curate it and only pick the essential ones. Apple App Store, for example, only allows 100 characters per app, so narrowing down your list is extremely important. Eliminate the keywords that are too general, to avoid your app getting lost in a sea of “photo editing” apps.

Make the title relevant

When choosing the title for your app, keep in mind two factors: it has to contain at least one of the keywords and it has to be catchy. Keep the name short and concise, to make it easier for people to remember. Nobody is going to tell their friends about an app called “Mediation techniques inspired by Hindu practices”. Instead, if you go for a title like “App name – Hindu Meditation”, you will have a better chance of getting remembered. In this example, the relevant keywords would be Hindu meditation.

For iOS app developers, another thing to keep in mind is app subtitle, introduced with iOS 11. The subtitle is a 30-character description of the app that is shown right below the title. The App Store indexes the subtitle too, so make sure to use relevant keywords here as well.

Make use of graphic elements

Imagery is extremely important in catching people’s attention, so make sure to pay close attention to it. First, start with the app’s icon, one of the most important reasons people click on an app. The icon is usually very small, so make sure not to make it too crowded with elements. The best practice is to use either a character or the logo of the app. Never use words in the icon, as the image should be able to represent the concept of the app without the need to use specific words.

When selecting screenshots to represent your app, make sure they showcase the highlights of your product, not just some random screencaps of the app. Screenshots are meant to show users what they will be experiencing when using the app, to attract them towards downloading it. For example, if you are launching a game, use screenshots that show the characters, as well as the most catching moments of the game.

Write a relevant description

When writing the app description, it is important to keep in mind the store you are going to be launching your app on. Android’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store both have some rules you need to follow to ensure keywords are indexed properly.

Play Store has two descriptions, an 80-character one and a long one, where you can use 4000 characters. For the long description, make sure the keyword density is around 2-3%, to avoid spamming. Go for a text that is easy to understand and includes the best features of the app. It is important to keep in mind that Play Store indexes the app description, while the App Store does not.

Make sure to include the most important information in the first few lines of the description, as the number of people who actually read the entire text is very low. You can also include bullet points to highlight the most important information. For enterprise mobile apps, for example, you can line down a few key elements of the app that will benefit their business, such as time management or organizational features.

Pay attention to reviews

Nobody likes to read reviews and stumble upon not-so-nice words, but this is where you will get the feedback for your next upgrades. App stores use a 5-star rating system and, in order to reach the top 100, you need to make sure you have at least 4 stars.

When it comes to reviews, the trickiest part is figuring out when to ask for in-app feedback. This is one of the strategies that will ensure you get relevant reviews to place your app high at the top. Make sure not to over-spam users with feedback requests, as it can be a big downfall. Avoid asking for reviews when the user first launches the app, to eliminate those who dislike the app. Instead, ask for it sometimes in the middle of the game, or, if it is a photo-editing app, after the first few usages.

Make sure to read reviews and answer to users, to show them how much you value their opinion. It is important to keep communication with the users open, especially in the beginning. You can find valuable information even in negative comments, so address those as well. Some of them may have not understood things correctly, so giving them some clear answers may make those who initially disliked the app give it a second chance.

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