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My smartphone currently has 65 mobile apps downloaded. I discovered most of them by searching the app store. So how did I come to choose these 65 over the more than 2 million other apps available? Easy, I could find them.

To get found in app stores and set your app apart from the rest, it is important to optimize your app. How can you do that? App store optimization.

App store optimization (ASO) is a way of increasing the visibility of a mobile app in app stores like Google Play, the App Store, and the Windows Store. Much like SEO is used to rank websites in search engines, ASO is used to rank apps in app stores. When done correctly, ASO has the potential to rank your app higher than that of your competitors. This will increase the apps visibility and overall downloads.

How you can get the most out of app store optimization

Consider keywords

Keywords are not just for SEO. It is necessary to curate a list of targeted keywords for your app as well. These keywords should be based upon what users are currently searching in app stores. Do your research first, and create a list second to get the most out of keywords in your app. Many tools exist that allow you to search specific keywords, see how many apps use them, and view the search volume.

Pro Tip: Be careful not to keyword stuff, as this can negatively affect your optimization efforts.

Test your title

App stores allow you to update titles and keywords at anytime, meaning you can continually work to optimize more effectively. While this is a great tool for keywords and should be used, it needs to be used sparingly with titles.

Constantly changing your title can confuse your users and make it harder to find the app. However, you want to make sure you are using the best title possible. After your apps initial release, test a few titles. When you find one that substantially increases overall traffic and downloads, stop testing.

Think visually

When a person searches for an app, the first thing they see is the icon. A visually striking icon is one of users’ main reasons for clicking through to a certain app. When developing your app’s icon, it is important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Simple is always better.
  2. Use visuals, not words.
  3. Keep the focus on the main element by muting background colors.

Another visual element to keep in mind is screenshots. They should always be used and provide users with a visual story. They should show how the app is used, and what users can expect out of the experience. This could mean showing users how they would buy a product or what the scenes in a game will look like.

With so many mobile apps on the market, the competition is steeper than ever. Making your app easier to find can set you apart and increase downloads. Optimizing your app is easy to do. Have you optimized your app for the app store? If not, try these three optimization techniques and ensure your app is app store ready.