Is App Store Optimisation the next big thing in Search Marketing?

App Store Optimisation (or ASO for short) is the idea and practice of trying to get your app more coverage in whichever app store that you have it available in with an end goal of getting your app higher up in the rankings and by extension receiving more downloads. It is common knowledge and frankly quite obvious that apps that appear higher in searches will not only get a higher rating from themselves because a lot of people use it but also a lot more people are going to pick it up as a download.

The App market is absolutely huge and ever growing at the moment, and on both the Apple and Google store platforms they have been growing exponentially ever since their release several years ago. There are an estimated 1.55 million apps currently in the Android app store with many more well on their way to getting approved, and so it is completely ludicrous to suggest that you don’t want a piece of this market.

With a market this big you can’t afford to be naïve and think that this particular form of marketing strategy and customer outreach isn’t necessary, as customers and consumers move with technology and new things, and having these things readily available on the app store is massively convenient for them and gives you a great point of sale to communicate with them.

Generally most people make up their minds with whether or not they are going to download an app or choose it over others in the first few seconds of viewing the icon and name associated with the app. This may seem quite strange to some or unrealistic but this is just human nature and we are naturally going to trust something that is quite highly rated and that looks like a reasonable product whether or not there are better alternatives out there. Essentially it is up to app marketers to make their product seem as popular and desirable as possible in order to achieve more downloads, and so there is a specific strategy in place or that can be adapted in order to do this.


In order to achieve the higher downloads and by extension higher profits created from the use of your app you will need to consider an app store optimiser, of which there are quite a few around. The practice itself is very similar to Search Engine Optimisation but with a few different tactics in place to make it just as efficient. Additionally just like with search marketing there is negative ASO aswell and so be sure to read on to find out how you can increase your app downloads without running into some serious problems with having your app removed from the store from too much negative or fake ASO, as they do keep a track of it quite a lot and like to monitor and ban anybody who is using a negative version of ASO to try and boost their user base. This is also known as black hat vs. white hat ASO.

One of the first things that you should understand about ASO is that it is semi-limited in the size of the changes that you can make (you obviously can’t change as much in the store itself as you could with a site which has limited potential for content and backlinks). With an app there are similar strategies based from SEO tactics and they are just created and carried out a little differently in order to optimise the outreach and capabilities of your app. No app can hope to be successful without at least some sort of marketing to boost it a bit.

This field and market in particular is a great chance for you as a business and a marketer if you are thinking of developing an app as it creates endless opportunities with regards to growth in the near future. Some apps that were created not so long ago have received millions of downloads since then and a select few of these even have hundreds of millions of active monthly users, which truly is incredible when you think about the fact that these apps were a new innovation rather than the product of an existing and established company.

Apps like this are not created, marketed and made available to the public through merely creating the app and randomly putting it in an app store without any thought process whatsoever. There is a rigorous process to getting this app user friendly, appealing to the eye and several other things to make it perfect as marketing tool for drawing in customers. This is where App Store Optimisation comes in, and here are a few pointers to help you optimise your app as efficiently as possible.

Before you look to do any sort of marketing and even think about what your app is and what it can be you need to find an app developer that you can trust and that can guarantee results. Choosing a good app developer is just too important when looking to have a successful app as there are so many aspects of an app that will be different with every developer that you could use. For instance, this company have been creating apps for a number of years and understand customer needs very well

You will need an organisation that has a prowess around creating a user-friendly and easily accessible app rather than something that is overly-complicated and completely different to an online product created by yourselves. For instance, the Facebook app has been made to be as similar as it can possible be to the real thing rather than differentiating too much and making the user less “at home” with using the app.

Being user friendly is one of the most key components of creating and marketing an app in my opinion as it makes the product relatable and enjoyable to use. Whilst some apps are purely functional and may not be built with the purpose of enjoyment being able to use these apps really easily is a lot more advantageous and prospectful for the user as they get to do whatever it is that they require as quickly as possible.

It is for this reason that apps such as Instagram now include social media plugs that make sharing images easier than ever. Whereas quite a long time ago a person would have to copy and paste their link into a tweet or Facebook post you can now easily link your device to social media accounts and simply share the photo this way. This is purely done to give the customer an easier time and is greatly appreciated by most people who use these sorts of apps.

Another aspect of ASO that is something to look for and aspire towards with regards to making a successful app is simplicity. It is massively underrated in the app world and a lot of people who try to create apps attempt to give them too many features that aren’t really necessary or relevant in what you are trying to achieve. If you think about the most popular mobile apps (especially those linked with social media) they have a contacts list and a couple of basic functions that allow the user to do what they need to do within seconds. Having several levels of extras that you could be doing isn’t very useful or constructive, and so try and keep your functions to a minimum as it also ties in with ease of use.

Something that you may not initially consider as being very important when first creating your app is the icon that you use to denote your app in both the store and on your device. It is only natural to think that the content of an app is more important than a symbol that represents this app. However from a user point of view it is absolutely crucial in gaining traffic and being successful.

First impressions are everything in most aspects of life, and it is said that somebody decides on whether they are going to download an app in seconds, purely based off the image used and maybe a small part of the description as well as the rating. Essentially they are trusting in the judging of others, which is a trap that a lot of us fall into when it comes to these things.

It is for this reason I suggest that you choose a good icon for your app that reflects what it does as well as desirable components of an icon. Bright colours and a crisp look is what most people are after, but some colours put people off such as the colour red as it denotes an error or failure in most cases.

The final thing that I can suggest with app store optimisation is knowing your market and trying to suit their needs rather than creating something that you would personally use. Unless you can put yourself in the shoes of your target demographic you cannot hope to achieve success.

Do your research through surveys or by analysing other previously successful apps in order to find out what makes people tick, whilst also being able to differentiate from potential competitors. Knowing what works is good but what is even better is being able to do what they do better.