By Satya Shetty

This post is bare bones App Store Optimization (ASO) for beginners. I explain to a newbee App developer what ASO means and which app parameters to optimize.

A developer’s mindset is typically something like this: “Develop an awesome app and put it in the app store. Users will love my app and my app is so freaking awesome that my app will then be in the Top 100 on the charts or will be featured by Apple or Google Play.”

While there is nothing wrong with the developers way of thinking, the real app world doesn’t work on the “If you build it they will download” principle. You need to promote and optimize your app so that it’s found by your target users and downloaded.

App Store Optimization (ASO) is FREE marketing. Well almost, it’s the most economical way of getting your app discovered and downloaded. There are certain parameters which the app store algorithms take into account for ranking an app. We will deal with them one by one:

Icon :

Awesome looking icons = Get the users attention

  • I am pretty sure the above icon has your undivided attention
  • For today’s Attention Deficit users your app is just a finger flick away from your competitor
  • Your app icon needs to jump out at the user and hold his/her attention
  • Once you have made the user stop and look at your app, half your sale is done


Screenshots :

  • After the icon the next thing the user will look at is your 1st Screenshot
  • Your 1st Screenshot should convey to the user what your app is all about
  • The following Screenshots should highlight and educate the users of your app’s main features
  • The best way to educate the user is to have informative text on each screenshot explaining the feature you want to highlight
  • The goal is to make the user not have to read the app description and still understand what the app does with just the screenshots

App Ratings:

  • You need to have 5 star ratings! Well if not 5 star, close to it. The rating system is a feedback mechanism which indicates user satisfaction and acceptance.
  • Think of it as a vote of confidence by the users i.e., if your app solves their problem and has an awesome design then they will rate you higher.
  • So on the Google and Apple app stores the higher your rating, the better the chances of your app being ranked higher


  • Each time you update your app, your app gets a boost in terms of number of downloads (in the Apple store)
  • Updates indicate that you care about your app and are striving to improve it, hence the importance given to updates in the ranking algorithm
  • Caution – Don’t just update your app to get a boost in downloads without actually updating anything. This is frowned upon by the app stores


Download Numbers:

  • More app downloads = Higher ranking of your app
  • Downloads should show a consistent increase day to day basis or remain constant
  • Your app ranking will not increase if you get a spike of 1000 downloads today and 100 downloads tomorrow
  • A spike in downloads indicates an anomaly and is disregarded by the algorithms
  • Try increasing your downloads by doing Icon, Screenshot, Keyword, Title Optimization for Apple & Icon, Screenshot ,Title, Description Optimization  for Google Play

Keyword / Title Optimization:

  • Find the right keywords for your app
  • Include this in the keywords field for the App Store & in the Description on Google Play
  • Include the most important Keywords in the Title/Name of your App, for example: You have Slots, Casino, BlackJack, Roulette, Poker & Free the above title
  • Keywords in the title have more weighting i.e., the app will get ranked higher for the same keywords when compared to the same keywords being in the keywords field
  • You get 100 characters for keywords in the App Store, make the best of them

About the Author:

Satya Shetty is an App Store Optimization (ASO) Expert. He lives in Bangalore, India which is the Silicon Valley of India. He has helped many Indie developers & App Companies by Optimizing their Apps. 

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