4 Ways to Improve Your App's SEO

appsAt my company, we are often asked for ways to improve an app's ranking in the app store in order increase downloads. The truth is that there are two ways to gain a user base: a strong marketing strategy, and optimizing your app for search (i.e., App Store SEO). The first includes paying for PR, using third-party marketing platforms, and showcasing at local events, launch parties, etc. Unfortunately, this all comes at a cost. If you are one of the lucky ones who have the cash, then keep at it!

The second, for those who aren't as fortunate, consists of guerrilla marketing efforts -- on of which is improving the SEO of your app so it's easier for customers to find in the Apple App Store. This article will cover ways to improve your app store SEO. Before we begin, let's look briefly at the advantages of this method.

Why Consider App Store SEO?

The most logical answer is "Why not?" App Store SEO can play an important part in your guerrilla marketing strategy and costs you next to nothing. A basic overhaul only takes a few minutes of your time, and leads to immediate results. Before we share four key things to know, let's summarize the advantages:

  • Great for those who don't have a marketing budget
  • Easy to do and takes only a few minutes
  • Increases your app's exposure within the store

4 Quick and Simple Things to Do to Improve Your App's Ranking

1. Identify your keywords. 

  • Do keyword research. Spend some time thinking about keywords that best categorize and describe your app.
  • Try using the singular version of a keyword, e.g. school not schools.
  • Use all the available characters if possible. Last we checked, you were given up to 100 characters. Use them all.
  • Localize your keywords for each given language.
  • Do not repeat the app name in your keywords.

2. Take advantage of ratings.

Make sure to include randomized prompts asking your customers to rate your app within the App Store. It takes little coding time to add but it is a great way for your happy users to show some love for all the hard work you've put in (and that's the least they can do, especially if you have no pricing model).

3. Improve your ranking by converting more downloads.

The more downloads you are able to convert, the higher up the rankings you will appear for your chosen keywords. 

4. Keep the description short and sweet.

There's a misconception that a long descriptive app summary helps with rankings. We have yet to find any metrics to support this, but we do recommend the following:

  • Keep it simple and short.
  • Include quotes from popular press or reviews that talked about your mobile app.
  • Use bullet points that best describe the key features of the app and its overall purpose.
  • Convince your potential new users that your app is worth the download.

I hope this was informative and that it can be applied to your app. And I look forward to seeing you at the top of the charts!

For those of you with successful apps, what else would you add to this list? 

A version of this post originally appeared here.

Andrew Sosa is co-founder of SquareBall Studios (SBS), a leading development company of mobile applications and software systems. Andrew has helped develop solutions for Fortune 500 companies but his real passion is working with startups on their initial ideas and seeing them succeed.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

About Andrew Sosa

Andrew Sosa is co-founder of SquareBall Studios (SBS), a leading development company of mobile applications and software systems. Andrew has helped develop solutions for Fortune 500 companies but his real passion is working with startups on their initial ideas and seeing them succeed.

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