why is aso important

App Store Optimization – 8 Simple Steps to Rank to Top (Fast)

What’s the best and easiest method of boosting your app’s ranking on Google Play?


If you’re a publisher or developer in the mobile app space, it wouldn’t take long for you to realize that some apps pop up at the top of Google Play search results while others are hardly noticed.

Chances are, apps that are ranked at the top are often downloaded and installed more than the ones that are hardly seen. But why is that so? Many Google Play users often assumed that apps that popped up at the top of search results are the best in their categories. So if your app is not at the top of Google Play ranking, odds are you’re losing a lot.

If you want your app to enjoy all the benefits of optimum exposure on Google Play, it requires a simple technique often referred to as app store optimization or ASO.  

What exactly is ASO and how can it improve your Google Play ranking?


As the name suggests, app store optimization is the simple process of optimizing your mobile apps in Google Play to make them more visible and rank higher on search result pages.

Why should any developer or app publisher consider ASO? The process makes your app more discoverable in search results, drives traffic to your app page, and converts searchers into active users when they download your app.

With over 2 million apps on Google Play according to Statista, ASO is an easy method of ensuring that your apps enjoy the benefits of optimum exposure.

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How does ASO works on Google Play?


Several indicators are considered during app ranking on Google Play. These indicators are the app ranking algorithms that are designed to determine what app should appear at the top of Google Play search results. If you understand what this algorithm considers in app ranking, it’ll be absolutely easier for you to improve your app ranking on Play Store.

Here are the key algorithms that determines app ranking on Play Store:

  • App title
  • App description
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Downloads
  • User experience (Uninstalls, long installs, engagements)

You can optimize your apps on Google Play through the following methods:

1.Use keywords appropriately


Keywords are the words or phrase that best describe the functions, features or relevance of your app and which Play Store users are likely to use when searching for apps in your app category. You can use App Radar to find winning keywords for your app.

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There are two major places where your app keywords should appear to boost its ranking:

  • The app title

Make sure your app’s main keyword appear on the title of your app. You’ll have to find the winning keywords that best describe your app in its category. You can start by searching on Google Play to see what keywords will best describe your app and make it pop up in search result pages.

If your app is about living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight, you’ll have to search for terms that are closely related to health, food, healthy lifestyle, losing weight, burning calories, exercising, etc. to determine which ones searchers are more likely to use and which one will make your app rank higher easily. See the titles of these great fitness and workout apps for Android.     

When writing your app title think like a potential user and not like an app owner. Make sure your app title is clear and unique enough to inform searches what the app is about. Avoid ambiguous terms or words that can confuse Google Play algorithm.

Do not use generic terms, too many apps are doing that already. If you do too, your app will not be outstanding on the search result page. Overly long app titles are often shortened, so keep your app title short and simple. I’ve seen misspelled words on some app titles and this can affect how your app is displayed on search result. So proofread your app title!

  • The app description

This is where you have to tell users about the benefits, features and relevance of your app. With so many available options, why should anyone trust and download your app? You may highlight the key features and benefits in bullet points so searchers can read through at a glance.

Make sure you mention your app keywords several times on your app description. I’ll suggest repeating it up to 5 or 6 times for emphasis. This will make it easier for search spiders to find your app while crawling Play Store.

 2. Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords on your app description


LSI keywords are keywords that are related to your main keywords. If your app’s main keyword is weight loss, your LSI keywords could be burning calories, healthy living, exercising, eating right etc. Include as many LSI keywords as possible in your app description, it can boost your app’s ranking on Play Store queries.

 3. Use the right visual appeal


Take a cue from Showbox’s video, images and text app description. 

Take a cue from Showbox’s video, images and text app description.


You can optimize your apps for searchers on Play Store through visual appeals.  Design a visual friendly app icon. Make sure the icon and any other relevant image are displayed clearly on your app page. See how to design better app icons.

You can easily share screenshots of your app. Take screenshots of key features of your app to demonstrate how they are used. Searchers are often attracted to screenshots on description pages. If you have a beautiful app, this is a good chance for you to display it to boost the number of downloads.

 4. Make a promo video


You can make a short video to demonstrate how your app can be used and what it can be used for. You can post the video on YouTube and share the link on your app description page. If you intend to use a model for your video, make sure the models are in the age range of your target audience. If your app is targeting teens, use teens in your promo video. See 10 examples of great app promo videos before making your own.

Android app

In your demo video, use models that are in the age range of your target audience.


5. Change your app’s category if you have to


If you think your app can perform better in a different category, don’t hesitate to change its listing. Carefully analyze the competition in your app’s category, if you’re up against many apps that have dominated that category for some years now, it may be difficult for you to oust them.

You may consider changing your app’s listing to a category with lesser competition. Some categories contain too many similar apps, with similar titles and descriptions all competing for a unique space at the top. Don’t waste your time competing in such categories.

 6. Reviews and Ratings


A user friendly interface and great features will boost your app’s ranking and rating on Google Play.

A user friendly interface and great features will boost your app’s ranking and rating on Google Play.

This is the part many app developers don’t enjoy talking about. The lifespan of your app will be ultimately determined by users’ reviews and ratings. Very poor reviews and ratings means your app is unhealthy and dying slowly. Who wants a dying app on their mobile device?

This is why Play Store optimization starts with building a great app with interesting features and a user-friendly interface. This simple formula sums up how your app might be rated on Google Play;

Great app + Poor user interface = poor ratings and reviews

Beautiful app + poor features = poor ratings and reviews

Great features + User friendly interface = High ratings and reviews

If your app gets positive reviews and high ratings, odds are it’s downloads will increase, and its ranking on Google Play will ultimately improve. To help your app perform better in ratings and reviews, pay more attention to its features and user interface. If your app is a bit complex, consider creating a user manual that will be embedded in the app.

But sometimes, you may have a great app with great features but without feedback. If that happens, update your app to automatically prompt users to give feedback and ratings. Here are 10 ways to get more and better reviews for your app.

 7. Monitor Your App’s Performance


You may not get your app optimization strategy right on your first attempt or your app’s ranking may change after an update. So it’s important to monitor your app’s performance every now and then. Sometimes all you have to do is change just one word on your app’s title to improve its performance or rewrite its description.

 8. Pay Attention to Google


Google clearly highlights factors it considers on how to get discovered on Google Play Search. Follow all the steps mentioned by Google and watch your rank improve accordingly.

App marketing on a native distribution platform like Android’s Google Play are becoming more competitive by the day. If you want your app to be relevant on search ranking, don’t hesitate to start optimizing it for Play Store.

What’s the essence of having an app on Play Store if potential users can’t find it via the search tool? Too many apps are becoming invisible on Google Play. One of the quickest methods of improving your apps ranking is increasing downloads. Take advantage of Showbox to boost your app download and ultimately take your app’s ranking to the top of Google Play search result page.


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