What’s Mumbai Indians’ score?
When is Ali’s birthday? 
Where are Coldplay playing this weekend?

How do you find answers to all these? More often than not, you open an app. Apps are ubiquitous. These days they are more accessible than websites.

The most expensive real estate on the market is the limited space on Smartphones. All of us want a piece of it.

How would you make sure you are in everyone’s hands?
Build a useful app. Make sure it is the right size. And, more importantly, be visible to the billions of smartphone users out there.

App Store Optimisation (ASO) helps you optimise the tiny space that is available on the app store to put your app in front of potential users. Although it seems simple, you still have to do everything right to ensure that your app is shown to the right target audience.

The following is an App Store Optimisation guide for beginners:

No, keywords are not just for SEO
Keywords are the building blocks of ASO. You should invest a considerable amount of time looking for the right keywords for your app. You could use either Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Tool for keyword research. Find relevant keywords that are not too generic and generate a good amount of traffic.

Title of the app and developer’s name
What’s in a name? Almost everything.  The name says a lot about the application. It should contain the main keyword that you would like to rank for. Preferably, the name should start with the keyword.

Short description and long description
The short and the long descriptions on the App Store are your biggest opportunity to shine. Create a persuasive description that converts visits to downloads. The descriptions should contain the main keywords.

App category
Most of the times, users find their favourite apps in the Category section of the App Store. Choosing the right category for your app helps app stores feature your app for the right keywords and place your app in front of the right users.

App icon
The icon is the face of the app. It should be appealing to the users. Add elements that the users can recognise easily and make the app stand out.

App videos & images
Your job is not done if you just get visitors to your app store page. Once the users are on your app store page, they should download your app. A short informative video and a couple of screenshots of your app will help you convert visits to installs.

Ratings and reviews
This is one of the most important aspects that visitors consider before downloading your app. Your ratings should be upwards of 4.5 with numerous reviews mentioning the various qualities of your app. If you can keep your existing users happy & respond to their queries, you should not have to worry about the ratings or reviews.

And just like SEO, ASO is an iterative exercise. You will need to monitor your app’s performance regularly on each app store and tweak the description or the screenshots as needed. You may even need entirely different app pages on the App Store and Google Play. No resting on your laurels. You can do that when your app has crossed a billion installs and Facebook or Softbank acquire you.

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