Top 8 App Store Optimization questions answered
-aka the ASO Ranking Myth Buster
Are short app names bad?
Yes. Descriptive app names rank higher across more keywords. 75% of searches are for app function (fun game) rather than an app's brand name (Angry Birds) although interestingly Angry Birds gets away with ranking for both.
App Store Keywords: words or phrases?
Depends. Using “scary, zombies” indexes you for both. Using “scary zombies” (no comma) will index you for the phrase. Start from “scary, zombies”. If your app does not rank for the phrase “scary zombies”, use “scary zombies, scary, zombies” to cover all bases. Advanced users can asses what's best also by analyzing current search results.
Does App Store description count?
Yes. In the algorithm it has a very low influence when compared to other factors but it is still taken into account. In addition, it extremely important to generate conversions once the user is looking at your app.
Does app ratings matter?
Yes. Lower star rating consistently penalize organic search ranking.
Does social recognition influence ranking?
No. If your app is famous on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, it will not directly improve search ranking. However, it will surely increase your odds of being discover.
Does Apple check keywords?
Yes. 6 months ago Apple started checking the keywords field for terms that are commonly used for stuffing. Keyword stuffing means using words that are not strictly relevant to your app but (ideally) give you better ranking or rank for common searches. iTunes Connect will warn you automatically and if you proceed reviewers will see the flag and will make sure to double check that you can use those keywords.
Does speed count?
Yes. Total number of downloads is not the only way in which app downloads are taken into account. Another big factor is downloads over time which defines a trending app. It has been widely acknowledged that increase over the first 4 days is extremely important.
Does advertising help search ranking?
Yes. Advertising generates momentum for your app and therefore will give you the necessary boost to make your app trending in the App Store. Advertising ROI is in fact not only calculated on premium downloads/purchases but also the multiplier effect it brings to the app as trending.
Do updates matter?
Yes. If you consistently update your app, it will rank higher in search results. In addition, it is the only way to update and tweak your keywords which makes it essential.
Check out my App Store Optimization control panel and App Store Optimization checklist
Published: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:04:04 +0000