Thoughts

How to optimise your iOS application listing

By Ben Howden29th November 2012
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App Store Optimisation (ASO) is often overlooked when applications are submitted to the iTunes App Store. There are currently over 600,000 iOS applications listed in the App Store which makes getting your app found amongst hundreds of competitors a difficult task. In the same way that SEO helps your website get found in search engines, ASO helps your app get found in the App Store.

So what do you need to do to optimise your app listing? Start by developing a relevant keyword list and make sure you use them to describe your app. What keywords would people use to find an app like yours? What other apps come up when you enter those keywords? How are your closest competitors describing their apps and what can you learn from this? If you need help identifying the best keywords to use you should check out MobileDevHQ's App Store Optimisation Keyword Estimator. To use the tool, you simply enter your app URL and those from your competitors. The tool will analyse the metadata of the apps entered and provide you with the most important keywords to use for ASO. It will also show how frequently the keywords are being searched across the App Store.

Once you've got your keyword list, you should be using them in your App Title, Company Name, App Description, Keywords and Image Titles. A creative name for your app is great, but if it doesn't include any of your target keywords it makes if very difficult to be found. Consider adding a sub title after your app name. For example, employment service Seek's app name is: Seek - Jobs (clearly SEEK are targeting the keyword 'jobs').

Your app description should feature your target keywords but should still read well and highlight your key value proposition to potential users. If there are similar apps to yours that rank well you could consider including the name of that app as one of your keyword phrases. For example, like ShopKick? Then you'll love .

In addition to optimising your app store listing, it's important to remember that your external marketing efforts will help drive the success of your app as well. If you get a sudden boost of downloads and installs, your app is likely to rank higher. Because of this, it's not a bad idea to condense your marketing efforts into short bursts with the aim of maximizing downloads and installs in a short period of time. This will give you the best chance of showing up in search results or having your app featured or listed in the Top Charts. Make sure your listing also includes high quality screenshots that clearly show what your app does and include keywords in your image titles.

Finally, build an app that people love using. All the ASO in the world won't help your app succeed if there isn't demand for it. If you provide your users with value, they're reward you with word-of-mouth marketing that will ultimately be the key driver of the success for your app.