Basic guide for App Store Optimization in mobile applications

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Having a mobile application downloaded several times depends on the marketing strategies that a company uses. However, a conclusion is made by analyzing the channels used by most users to find or discover a new application: the search is still essential, and that is why we must pay special attention to those factors to make the app appear higher in the results search of app stores.

In 2014, a survey conducted by the MobileDevHQ portal showed that at least 53% of users found new applications searching in the Google application store, while the rest of the channels who discovered new apps were divided between recommendations from friends or reading blogs.

The ASO or App Store Optimization is a set of techniques to optimize all the factors that the search engines (in this case, Google Play) use to put an application among the recommended users. In summary, the objectives of the ASO are:

  • Increase the number of downloads of a mobile application in the application store.
  • Position the mobile application above the competition.
  • Position the mobile application with a set of keywords that users use, to increase the visibility of our application.

What is App Store Optimization?

It consists of optimizing internal and external factors. In the first group, the main objective is to optimize the Google Play tab, while the second group of factors corresponds to those activities that we don’t have direct control over.

Internal factors

  • Name of the application
  • Keywords
  • Description
  • Icon
  • Video
  • Screenshot

External factors

  • Number of installations and uninstallations
  • Ratings
  • Comments

Regarding the internal factors, we can affirm the following:

Application name: If possible, it should contain relevant keywords. Trying, that the name of the application is short on the tab to not obstruct users’ reading.

Description: The description should be fairly extensive without exaggerating (at least 400-500 words), naming the benefits of the application. Why should users install it instead of the competition application? The functionalities can also be placed, what the users can do, and even future improvements. We must also try to include keywords within this description.

Also, we must avoid at all costs to deceive Google algorithms, as they are very susceptible, if you get to use, for example, the name of another application to promote your application you may be at risk of being penalized.

Icon: Although it does not directly affect the optimization, it is essential to attract the attention of the users, so this translates into a greater number of downloads.

Video: For years now it is possible to add a video to the cover on the file of a mobile application so that it will tell your users in a faster and more pleasant way what your mobile application offers.

Screenshots: Although this does not directly affect the ASO either, it is essential to make the tab of the mobile application more attractive, and can be a factor for a user to decide whether or not to install an application.

Regarding external factors, we refer to those as ones that cannot be controlled directly, but we must pay attention to them so we can optimize other aspects of the application file:

The number of installations and uninstallations: It is one of the main factors since it directly measures the popularity of a mobile application.

Ratings: This key in the algorithm, since it expresses whether a mobile application has been useful to users or not.

Comments: Likewise, useful and positive or negative comments will influence how Google Play deals with the rating of the application.


Optimizing the Google Play tab is a relevant task that must be taken into account before the launch of an application. Many of these factors cannot be manipulated directly, but others, such as the number of facilities, evaluations, or positive comments, and doing them is considered bad practice. Currently, Google already implements in its algorithm, functionalities to detect this type of fraud, it does not always do it successfully, but it is easy to fall into these types of penalties.