App Store Optimization: Tips To Increase App Downloads 

Mobile applications have become an integral part of our life. They have made our lives much easier and entertaining at the same time. Be it ordering food, booking cabs, or paying bills, apps have made our lives easier and hassle-free.

With the number of mobile users increasing with each passing day, it is no longer an option but a necessity for any business to be available on mobile to gain more growth and increase customer reach.

Digital adoption through COVID-19

A year of COVID-19, and we have witnessed the biggest shifts in consumer behavior and market adaptation. A significant change in consumer behavior worldwide has forced organizations around the world to rethink how they function and re-evaluate their business models by adopting digital transformation.

The graph below shows the survey results conducted by Mckinsey which confirm the rapid shift toward interacting with customers through digital channels.

App store optimization

Mobile App Download and Usage Statistics & Facts

The number of smartphone users is exponentially growing. According to the reports, there are around 3.2 billion smartphone users in the world.

  • 21% of millennials open an app 50+ times per day.
  • Nearly 90% of the mobile internet time is spent on apps.
  • The Apple App Store has 1.96 million apps available for download.
  • And  Google Play Store has 2.87 million apps available for download.
  • On average, more than 100,000 new Android apps are released in the Google Play Store every month.
  • On average, quite 30,000 new iOS apps are released in the Apple App Store monthly.
  • Most users have more than 10 apps installed on their phones

App Revenue Data (2021) – Business of apps

  • Google Play Store Gross App Revenue: $10.3 billion

Google Play Store Gross App Revenue -scketch

  • Apple App Store Gross App Revenue: $19 billion

Apple App Store Gross App Revenue - Scketch

These numbers represent consumer spending on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps.

Seeing the competitive trends and opportunities in the Mobile App Store market, it’s clear that even if you have the best app in the market, achieving your goals is not going to be an easy task. If you want to grow your mobile business, and get your app in the top 10 App Store list, you should be fast with App Store Optimization or ASO.

App Store Optimization is one of the most important things you can do to make your app more popular. In this article, we will explain to you about app store optimization tactics and how to increase your app downloads.

ASO in 2021: App Store Optimization Tips

The most clear-cut way to determine the success of your app is by measuring the number of downloads. To achieve this goal mobile app developers and marketing team should focus on App Store Optimization (ASO).

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing mobile apps for improving ranking within the app store search results and increasing app conversion rates. The major app stores are the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.

Why is App Store Optimization important?

Even though app stores are not the only way to discover apps. According to Google, 40% of smartphone users browse for apps in app stores to find new apps, from the latest in gaming to fitness tracking, music streaming, and much more.

No matter how great your app is if it’s not easily discoverable for the user you won’t receive the targeted downloads. So, don’t let all of your hard work go to waste, start optimizing your app now.

So if done right ASO helps in,

  • Increased app visibility
  • More app downloads
  • More user engagement
  • Free user-generated content or review

Apple App Store Vs Google Play Store:

To ensure they have high-quality apps in their stores both Apple and Google have implemented an app review process. However, Google’s app review process is much shorter than Apple’s. Google Play works similarly to Google Searches. On the other hand, for Apple Stores, you should not repeat keywords across any fields. We will discuss this in detail in the coming section. Always consider a 3 day buffer time when you’re releasing a new app or update. When your app is approved it will be live in the stores within 24 hours.

Google play store vs Apple app store - scketch

The following factors highly influence your app store rank

Apple App Store Ranking Factors
App Name – Up to 30 characters
App Subtitle – Up to 30 characters

– Important for keywords.

– Emojis can be used

– Avoid repeated keywords in title or keywords field

Keyword field – Up to 100 characters

– Keywords divided by commas and no spaces

– Avoid repeated keywords on App Name and Subtitle

– Words that are frequently used by your target audience when searching

– Not visible for users

Screenshots – Impact on Conversion Rate

– Up to 10 screenshots

Video – Impact on Conversion Rate
Icon – Impact on CTR
Rating and Reviews – Segmented by country

– Shows either the Average Rating of the current version or accumulative

– Segmented by version or accumulative

– Allows replying users

Downloads and Engagement – Not public

– Impact on Search

– Impact on Top Charts

– Impact on Featured


Google Play Ranking Factors
App Title – Up to 50 characters

– Use relevant keyword phrases

App Description – Up to 80 characters

– Make sure to explain why they should try your app

– Emojis can be used

– Allows A/B testing

Keyword field – Focus on keywords with high search volumes and low competition
Screenshots – Upload high-quality screenshots of your app

– Up to 8 screenshots per device

– Impact on Conversion Rate

Video – Upload a 15-30 second video explaining app functionality

– Impact on Conversion Rate

Icon – Set an eye-catching icon

– Impact on CTR

Rating and Reviews – Average Rating shown globally

– Shown by language

– Allows replying to users

Downloads and Engagement – Public

– Impact on Search

– Impact on Top Charts

– Impact on Featured

– Impact on Conversion Rate

Get Your App Featured on the Google Play Store

The featured apps get a boost in-app store impressions and, as a result, increase the number of downloads. So here are some hacks that will double the chances of getting your Android app featured on the Google Play Store.

Tip #1 Analyze Featured Apps

Examine the factors which make them stand out from similar apps in the category. Select some apps with labels like Editors Pick and Top Developer, and install them on your Android phone. Then, examine the apps design, functionality, and everything that makes them different from similar apps in the same category. This will help you to discover similarities and better understand why they’re featured on the Play Store list. Then, try to implement your analysis into your own app to boost your app’s chances of getting featured on the Google Play Store.

Featured app - Scketch

Tip #2 Prioritizing UI & UX

User experience optimization is critical for retention. An app with good usability facilitates better navigation and user interactions, providing a great user experience for the user. According to Google, all Android apps should implement Material Design guidelines in their user interfaces. If these guidelines are not implemented, there are zero chances of getting your app selected as an Editors’ Choice.

Tip #3 Refine Functionality And Efficiency

Your app will never get an entry to the Editors’ Choice section if it fails to meet Google’s quality and functionality requirement criteria. Before uploading the final APK file to the Google Play Store, make sure you have tested it against Android App Quality Guidelines. These guidelines provide developers with best practices to improve their app user experience. They also provide insight into what is required for an app to be considered to be placed in the featured section. Following these guidelines will help you perfect the functionality of your app, ensuring that you deliver the best user experience possible.

Tip #4 Leverage Latest Google products

Be productive with your time and focus on adapting to the latest technologies such as Firebase, Flutter, and Action on Google to get your app featured on the Play Store.

Latest Google products

Tip #5 Localize Your App

According to Google, to reach the most users, your app should handle text, audio files, numbers, currency, and graphics in ways significant to the locales where your app is used. Also, follow the localization checklist provided by Google to create an engaging experience for users of all different cultures.

Tip #6 Build Meaningful Relationships With Influencers

As the industry continues to grow, it’s important to start developing meaningful influencer relationships for your brand to get your app featured on the Play Store.

Tip #7 App Ratings And Reviews

People use ratings and reviews to decide whether to download or not download an app. According to Statista, as of January 2021, there were approximately 511,000 apps in the Google Play store with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars or higher. In total, 1.46 million apps had a rating and a further 1.54 million apps in the Google Play store had less than three user ratings. Most mobile users won’t even consider downloading an app that’s rated lower than 3-stars. Moreover, 79% of people will read at least one review before they install an app.

App Ratings And Reviews - Scketch

Source: Apptentive

Ready to get your app featured?

Although getting featured is never guaranteed, using the practices listed above will increase the probability of editors noticing your app. Don’t skip the Beta testing, it helps in refining your product positioning, marketing, and communication to ensure the best possible product for the consumers. So if you are still confused, don’t worry, we are here to help you. We provide app store optimization services to improve app visibility and significantly achieve top rankings through organic traffic. Get your Free ASO Audit now. 

11 May, 21 By Naveen Kolhapur
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