ASO Tips To Increase Your App Downloads – Part II

App Builder Appy Pie, January 12: In part I of this post, we emphasized the importance of ASO or App Store Optimization when you want to increase the number of installs for your app. But the subject matter of this post and the significance of it proved to be way lot more than just one post. Continuing from where we left off we delve deep into the tips to help you increase the number of your downloads.

14. In-App Purchases

The in-app purchases do a lot more than sell products and services. The names of the in-app purchases in your app would be indexed by both Apple and Google in the app store search. In iOS 11, this goes even further as each in-app purchases here gets its own display name, promotional image, and description. Your in-app purchases can even come up in the search results and may even be featured in the tabs like Today, Games, and Apps helping your app gain a higher visibility and ranking. You have the option to display 20 IAPs (in-app purchases) max on your product page. When you go creative and manage to include at least some of your keywords while naming your IAP elements, you help your app get a higher search exposure.

15. Well Planned & Well-Designed App Screenshots

Research says that more than 60% of the users do not look past the first two screenshots that you have put up in your app listing or description. Also, the number of conversions go up by 25% when the first two screenshots are improved. A good screenshot would be the one that conveys just one message – loud & clear! In line with the statistics, it is wise to convey the strongest of your messages across the first two screenshots. However, if you are aiming to become the best and really impress the users, make all five of your screenshots amazing and worthy of attention. At times the screenshots are enhanced by short captions displayed at the bottom, but if you are doing that, do it right and make sure that the text is on a clean background and creates a favourable image for the users. These screenshots are your opportunities to let the users know why they should fall in love with your app, hence do not put in login screens, purchase forms, registration forms, ads or the welcome screens here!

16. An Informative Or Demonstrative App Preview Video

It’s not as easy as screenshots, but videos do work and have the ability to raise the install or download rates by more than 24% especially when you use a good poster frame in case of iOS apps, and an impressive feature graphic in case of a Google Play app. It is this graphic that would finally make your user want to check the video out! When you set out to plan and make your app promotional or marketing video, you would do well to keep the following in mind:

  • The first 5 seconds of the video must grab the users’ attention.
  • Refrain from using any face in effects or any welcome sort of a message.
  • Do not cram in all your features in the video, only showcase the best ones.
  • The video you make should not depend on the audio to make sense.
  • Make sure that there is a call to action included in the video.

It is worth noting that 80% of the users stop watching the video after 12 seconds, so it is imperative that you make your video crisp and to the point.

In iOS 11 search result page, you may exhibit up to three App Preview or promotional videos or screenshots, which is one more than iOS 10. The videos appear before the screenshots and the first one auto plays, albeit without audio. This feature expands your possibilities by giving you more space for alluring your users.

17. The Impact Of App Store Ratings

The ratings and the reviews that your app garners cast a strong impact on the number of times your app is downloaded. It has been observed that only less than 50% of the users would be willing to download an app that has anything less than a 4-star rating. Further when the rating of a 2-star app changes to 3 star the conversion goes up by more than 285%, whereas when the same 2-star app goes up to 4-star app, the conversion rate goes higher than 550%. In order to improve the ratings for your app make sure that every onboarding experience delivers value to the users. The experience should be formalised and automated in a manner that would encourage the new customers to take in-app actions and make them stay longer. It is a good idea to wait for the perfect time, based on the in-app behaviour and then ask the user to rate and review your app. It is a good idea to prompt them right after an in-app purchase or at the completion of a level, as it is usually a euphoric moment for the user.

18. Getting Five-Star Ratings To Better The App Store Ratings

The holy grail of app ratings the 5-star rating is rare yet coveted by every app developer. So how do we go about it?

One of the most important factors here is the timing. Time your request for the rating at a time when the users is supposed to be the most pleased. This might be at the end of a game mission, or at the end of a booking. Make sure that your request is polite, but do not beg!

19. Respond To The Reviews For Higher App Store Ratings

It is only those care about your app would take the time out to write a review for your app and it is only natural for them to want to be acknowledged. Always go through the reviews and feedback and reply to them in a constructive manner. When you do this, the users feel that you care about them and the visitors get a sense that the developer is active on their own app. Right after a major release of the app, try and reply to all the feedback letting them know of the release in the process. If it is impossible for you to respond to each of the reviews, you can always prioritise the replies addressing the ones with the lowest ratings that mention technical issues with the recent version of your app. After the release of an app update that addresses and rectifies a technical problem, consider replying to the relevant reviews letting them know that the issue is resolved.

20. Using The One-Star Reviews To Work On Your App Store Ratings

The one-star reviews are a rich pool of knowledge for you and when you treat them as such, you also get feedback that can help you improve. In a manner, the one-star reviews you receive are those friends of yours that give you an honest feedback. Read all the one-star reviews well and figure out ways to convert them to five-star reviews, and in the process, you would be working towards improving your app from the perspective of the user while fixing your usual bugs, crashes, or other performance issues. Keep your eyes and ears open in your journey to reaching the top of the charts.

21. Work Out An Efficient App Localization Strategy

The most obvious advantage of localising your app is that it would exponentially increase your audience who may download your app. However, it is a tough task to accomplish the localisation of an entire app. It might be a lot more manageable if you were to localise just your app listing which includes your app name, the keywords, and the screenshots that you would be putting up. It was observed that when the app name, keywords and only the first line of the app was localised, there was a massive 767% increase in the number of downloads. Research says that only 31% of the world’s app revenue comes from the US, while 41% comes from Asia and 23% from Europe.

22. Figure Out The Best Countries For Your App Before Opting For App Localization

So, you have your app localisation strategy in place, now what? Now comes the decision of choosing which countries would be the best for you to focus on? If your app is available in multiple countries, you can look at the top countries according to the number of downloads, check the official languages for the top 5 countries and then localise your app listing in these five languages to begin with. You can also choose the top 5 based on the revenue, conversion rate, retention or any of the various factors that are relevant for you.

23. Spotlight Search For App Indexing (iOS)

Spotlight Search from Apple lets the users search for their iOS apps installed on their device. This is a highly useful feature for the app developers as they can now engage a lot more frequently with the existing users. Features like Core Spotlight and NSUserActivity are great when it comes to enhancing the levels of user engagement, which in turn has a positive impact on the app’s iOS App Store search ranking.

24. Firebase App Indexing For App Indexing

Firebase App Indexing from Google lets the users search the dynamic content in your app and the best part is that it works for both the devices – Android & Google. The firebase app indexing does more than just help you improve your user engagement, it also provides you ample opportunity for user acquisition. This is primarily because this feature lets the users discover the content of your app, irrespective of whether they have installed the app or not. This is especially of great use when you have a content-rich app.

25. The Impact Of App Conversion Rates

The page view conversion rate is the percentage of people who discover your app through any of the mediums like rank listings, search results on the app store and then tap the icon in order to take a peek into what your app is all about. The download conversion rate is the percentage of people who, after taking a look at your app page and then download it.

The kind of impact CR or Conversion Rate has is paramount. They are independent of the competition in the market or the source of traffic which means that they would always give you a true picture of the effectiveness of your ASO proving to be a stronger metric than keywords or the absolute number of downloads. A strong CR can become a natural ranking signal in app store search. What we mean by this is that if a great number of people are searching for certain keywords, are inclined to click on the same icons, and end up downloading the same app, it says a lot and sends a favourable message to Google Play and to the Apple App Store. This might give your app a better chance of getting ranked higher or featured by the app stores. CR is one of the most effective methods of saving money too! If you have optimised your CR well, it means that if your CR is doubled, your advertising costs for the same number of downloads is effectively halved.

26. Improving Page View CR For Better App Conversion Rates

We have established the importance and impact of CR on your ASO. So, what is it that you can do to improve your page view CR? Page View CR is calculated with the following formula.

Page View CR = Product Page Views/Impressions x 100%

If your Page View CR is less than 3%, it needs to be improved. The Page View CR may be improved by focusing on optimizing the following metadata.

  • Name of the App
  • Subtitle (for iOS only)
  • The App Icon
  • The first 3 lines in the description
  • The first 3 screenshots or the preview video
  • Your app ratings

These are the pieces of information that are visible to the prospective users or customers and these are the things that you can manipulate in order to bait and hook new users for your app.

27. The Relationship Between Download CR & App Conversion Rates

Download CR = App Units/Product Page Views x 100%

Your download CR target should be benchmarked at 60%, then it is a matter of concern and this whole article is a lot more important for you than you thought.

28. The Size Of Your App

People using cellular internet service are not allowed to download an app that exceeds 100 MB in size. A user who is on the move and cannot download your app right then, the chances of them coming back to download it later when they are connected to a Wi-Fi are really thin. You can reduce the app size by compressing some of the graphical assets, or you can even make some of the content downloadable after install.

29. The Issue Of Pricing The App – Free App With In-App Purchases As A Revenue Model

Ideally, there is nothing better than a free app for the users and a free app has a lot more chances to be downloaded by a user. However, if you are looking to make some money from the app, you can opt for the In-App Purchase Revenue Model if it fits in with the kind of app you have. Around 80% of the app store revenue comes from IAP.

30. The Issue Of Pricing The App – Free App With Ads As A Revenue Model

If you are looking to make in-app advertising as your revenue model, then it is better to opt for native ads. These native ads are created to fit in with the exact context of the app which makes it almost an extension of the content offered on the app, instead of a random piece of promotional content.

31. The Issue Of Pricing The App – Paid Apps As A Revenue Model

This is one of the popular modes of revenue for iOS developers in comparison to the Android developers. When your revenue model is a paid app, take care that the app is priced reasonably when compared to the other apps in the same category. Do a deep research of the top paid apps in your category and price your app preferably lower than them, as you are still only a newbie.

32. Timely & Frequent App Updates

It has been observed and established that there is a strong correlation between the app ratings and the frequency of the app updates. Releasing regular and frequent updates brings in quite a few advantages as it improves user loyalty by keeping it fresh in their memory as it shows up on top of their updates list. Even the platforms like Apple & Google are happier to see you making regular updates, as it sends them a message that the app is being maintained regularly. The top apps send out updates at least once in a month and we’d recommend that too. Sending out personalised push notifications to let the users know of the recent updates goes a long way in increasing the number of update downloads. Make sure that each of your update makes a difference and brings in an improvement in the app.

Summing Up For iOS App Store vs. Google Play


  • Metadata requires approval
  • The description can only be changed with a new update.
  • There is a 30 characters limit for the App Name as well as the Subtitle.
  • There is a specified keywords field with a 100 characters limit.
  • There is no impact of social and links on the app ranking.

Google Play Store

  • No metadata review process.
  • The description can be changed any time.
  • There is a 50 characters limit for the App Name.
  • The keywords are only incorporated in the title and in the app description.
  • The App rankings are affected by social and links.

Concluding Note

Once you have made all these changes and optimised the app for a better app ranking, it is important that you keep an eye on the keyword rankings. The rankings are going to change the moment you publish this new version of your app. You should aim to make your app rank within the top 10 of all your keywords. In case the new keywords that you have chosen, prove to be too tough to rank, you should consider going back to the old keywords.

Make it a habit to review the entire ASO you have put in place after a period of three to four weeks and watch out for changes in the big trends of ranking. It might take more than a few attempts at optimization for it to work eventually, but be patient. It is a slow and a tough process to master, but you’ll get there!

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