How to Optimise Your App to Increase Downloads

App Store Optimisation, or ASO, is the process of optimising your app so that you can rank higher in the app store. The higher your app ranks in the app store, the greater its visibility and the more of a chance it has of being found by customers, them visiting your app page, and then downloading your app.

Search in the app store is the most popular method for finding and downloading new apps, as 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. You thus need to utilise the app store, as this is the best place for your app to be discovered. With over 2 million apps in the Apple App Store, the average user downloading 75 apps, and the number of apps being downloaded projected to reach 268 billion this year, you need to stand out, and an app-store-optimised app can help you do just that.


Keywords are used by the app store to determine which words you want your app to rank for. To decipher this, you should firstly conduct careful research into your customers and your competition.

Research which keywords are used by your audience, which keywords are relevant to your app, how your audience will use your app and how they will search for it. What makes your app unique and why would people download it?

As part of this, conduct competitor research to find out what keywords are being used by competitors and whether you will target these same keywords or rank for words unique to your app. Do you want to rank in the top 10 for competitive keywords or get the top spot for lesser-searched keywords?

When filling in your keywords in the app store, keep in mind that there is a 100-character keyword limit which should be separated with a comma. This will determine what you will rank for.


Your title is the name of your app, along with associated keywords to help the user know what your app is. Apps with a relevant keyword in the title rank higher than apps without a title keyword, so use your main keywords here, and don’t keyword stuff.

Choose your brand name and use relevant keywords in the title. It’s best to keep it short and sweet, as your title has 255 characters. Keep this title consistent and remember that this will be the user’s first impression of your brand, so make sure it creates impact.

App Description

The app description is your chance to tell users why they should download your app. Always write your description for humans, not for ranking purposes.

Highlight what makes your app unique, its main features, and the benefits of your app for users. Be concise, punchy, and grab the attention of prospects to motivate action and compel the user to download your app.


Your app icon needs to also grab the attention of prospects to compel them to download your app. It needs to be eye-catching whilst encapsulating what your app is all about. Keep it simple and avoid making it text heavy. Make your icon stand out amongst the many other apps in the store.

To get some ideas, undertake competitor research to see what else is on the market and what the most successful apps use as their icon. Once you have your design, the logo should be resized to fit 1024×1024 pixels so that it is not distorted or blurry, and can create a great first impression on the user.

Check out these app icons for some inspiration

Image credit:


Screenshots may not have a direct effect on rankings but screenshots and images are imperative to displaying how good your app is to the user to motivate them to download it. Screenshots can be used to portray the customer’s experience in the app and what a user can expect to do and see when they download it. You can upload up to 5 screenshots, so use high-quality images that showcase the key benefits and elements of your app.

These screenshots for Headspace, a meditation app, highlight the main features of the app and the benefits to the user:

Image credit: Headspace

Reviews & Ratings

App reviews and ratings can highly impact whether your app is downloaded. You can highly benefit from having quality ratings and reviews, as apps with a large number of positive ratings rank higher in the app store and influence on how well your app ranks in the store.

High ratings and reviews are a solid indicator of how useful or entertaining or enjoyable your app is and are increasingly becoming an important factor when a user is deciding whether to download your app; if others like your app, then they probably will too. Ratings and reviews add trust and validation to your app and act as evidence to how great your app is.

Bring these elements together and your optimised app should look a little something like this in the app store:


Image credit: Instagram/Apple

To give your app the best chance at being downloaded, optimise it for the app store to help it rank higher and stand out. Choose relevant keywords, use a catchy title, craft an attention-grabbing description, design an eye-catching icon, add quality screenshots, and gain positive ratings and reviews. Through careful consideration and research, over time, these tactics should help your app increase in rank, and increase your downloads.

Author Bio – This post is written by The App Developers, (, an award-winning app agency which creates intuitive and user-centred apps and games across all platforms.