With the advancement of the Internet and numerous online promotion strategies, the production and delivery of applications is a choice for several individuals and organizations. When you distribute your application, you will compete with millions of other applications, more than 3 million android apps on the Play Store, and more than 2 million iOS apps on the App Store. That is why it should come as no surprise, that the need for our application to be known is extremely important.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about how the search for our website/ application can be optimized in the search engine. Google search is also one of the most critical of app discoverability. If we, as application developers, do not use the SEO strategy, then our application rating, traffic, and visibility will suffer. In other words, we will be left behind in the opportunity to deliver apps to the right users. The goal of SEO is to get your app at the top of the search results.

Mobile app SEO is named App Store Optimization (ASO). It applies to an app store for basically the same purpose. Both Play Store and Apple App Store also serve as closed site search engines. So, the idea behind mobile app ASO is identical to SEO. To install an app, people go to mobile app stores like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The higher your app ranks in the app store, the more visible it is to your target audience.

Even though most users find new apps by searching app stores, But, many apps are discovered outside of these distribution platforms (Play Store and Apple App Store), they still use search engines like Google to find the types of apps they want. Basically, if you've ruled out SEO for your app as a valuable investment, then you're missing out potential organic traffic from Google search. So, both SEO and ASO are two things that should be combined in mobile application search optimization.

As there are various ways on how your app could appear in mobile search (paid ad spot, app packs, recommendations, organic short snippets), thus, there are as many ways to influence this ranking.

With a good SEO strategy, there are two main ways your app can be in top rank on mobile search results. These are known as app previews and app packages.

  1. App Preview: if anyone uses their mobile device to type your app name or related long-tail search phrase in Google search, depending on how well it is optimized, a preview of your app will appear. This preview contains the title of the app, number of reviews, scores, overview, download button,
  2. App Pack: a group of apps (usually 30 to 100) is called an app pack. Similar apps are grouped together to form these packs and show up in the search results for certain keywords. For example: users who search “news apps” might see various apps that fulfill that category.

Both of these contain a download button, if users click on the download button, they will be taken to your app’s page where they can download your app. Depending on what device they are using i.e. Android users will be shown Google Play apps, while iPhone or iPad users will be shown apps from the Apple App Store. 

Now for App Store Optimization strategy, you should focus on the application itself, either its app name, app keywords, ratings & reviews, quality backlinks, and screenshot. This strategy will increase your application ranking on the app store

  1. App name: the name you give to your app may be the same as the product or service you already have before. This is important because it is also found in Google searches and in app store searches. This will be a branded keyword for which you already have, but consider a shorter and still informative that suits better on phone screens if it's too long. Another option, you can choose more keywords that describe your app and add them next to the app name. The keywords have to be different and relevant. A perfect example is our Panti.id app (Panti.id - Cari Panti Asuhan Terdekat), it includes the brand name and highly targeted keywords that best describe its use.
  2. Keywords: Targeting the right keywords will help improve your app’s rank. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to choose the perfect words and phrases. Use those keywords in your app’s title and description. Think about the words that users would type in to search for your app or to describe it, and include as many as you can in description, short description, or even in app tags.
  3. Ratings & Reviews: Google likes apps that are liked by users. If your app has great ratings and lots of reviews, this is a signal that it’s worth being placed towards the top of the search results on the app store.
  4. Backlinks: The more links you can direct to your app page, the better it will rank. Start by adding a link to your download page from your website, and try to get different media talking about your app. The domain strength is the key here, and the more quality backlinks you have, the better Google will rank your app in search results.
  5. App Screenshot

A good practice here is to start with the best picture of your app, but make sure you have something that is important to give users a good understanding of what the app looks like, how it operates, and what it does.

However, if you want to calculate the SEO performance of your app and take an action (editing app information), you can try the ASO tools like App Radar, App Annie, or other tools. It all is an ASO platform built to make it easier and less time-consuming for you to customize the application. ASO tools enables you to track app store rankings, find keywords, and implement them in your app store listing. You can also upload app screenshots, reply to user feedback and any change that you make to your app store listing can be published directly to App Store Connect and Google Play Console.

To continuously improve your app ASO you need to:

  1. Check the keyword tracking

    For example, in the Keyword Tracking feature you’ll see the keywords that you are tracking and their respective search volume and difficulty values. You will also be able to see your app's current rank and, if any changes to the rank position. Holding a close eye on your keyword rankings is vital to your App Store Optimization strategy. It is common to see minor changes from day to day. Extremely unpredictable modifications may drop from the top 10 positions are what you do not want.

    If your app is already published in the App Store or Google Play. It’s probably already ranking for some keywords. The first thing you should do is to check which keywords your app is ranking for. Analyze each keyword and throw out those with low search volumes. Existing apps should continuously cycle out low search volume keywords and cycle in high search volume ones. And don’t forget about double checking the relevancy. The keywords you use have to be relevant to your app.

  2. Keep updating store listing as the visual of your application


  • Your app icon should not change frequently. It’s how your app is recognized. You don’t want confuse people who are trying to find your app by looking for the icon they’re used to
  • Ensuring that your app screenshots are designed to match societal trends and preferences will help you drive downloads and dominate the competition.
  • The same goes for your app preview or promo video. There are just as many trends in video editing as there are in design. You have to work to remain on trend and updated. People will not download an app that seems outdated. 

By optimizing your app information, you can appear high in organic search. If you know how to implement SEO and ASO in your mobile app, you are on the right track in running a successful app business.

Author: Khairunnisa Rofifah (Lead Mobile Analyst)