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How to improve your app ranking in iOS App store

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More than 2 million apps in the iOS App Store, with thousands of similar apps overwhelming every category and subcategory. These include free, paid and top grossing apps. So, How to improve your app ranking in iOS App store to extent of getting featured in this list of top apps? Read on to find out more….


Source: Statistica

Like website SEO, there are both “on page” (App Store listings) and “off page” strategies you can use to improve app store optimisation.

How to improve your app ranking in iOS App store

Let’s get started!

1. Keep Keywords Within 100 Characters

Apple allows you to add keywords to your App Store listing. The search algorithm uses these keywords to show your app in the results, and therefore it’s critical that you select the appropriate keywords that describe your app.

You can use up to 100 characters for keywords. Don’t use long tail keywords, plurals, the name of your app, or have misspellings in the keyword field. Separate keywords with commas, and don’t use spaces.

2. Make Your App Title Descriptive Within 50 Characters

Unless you are a major brand, your app won’t have any recognition among users. In this scenario, it’s important to use keywords to describe the core functionality of your app so that users are clear about what they are downloading.

Use keywords in the title to improve your position in search, and keep everything under 50 characters.

Slack Description

3. Don’t Use Celebrity Names or Trademarks in Keywords

There is a strict policy about not using celebrity names, protected names, or trademarks as keywords unless you have permission to do so. If you can show that your app is an official app, or have some type of affiliation, you will be all right.

If not, Apple will straight up reject your app.

4. Add Keywords to Titles

Adding descriptive keywords in titles will increase your app’s discoverability by 10.3%. That’s a lift you just can’t ignore. In this game, every percent counts.

5. Keep Your App Description User Friendly

App descriptions are important in telling people what your app actually does. Here are a few tips for making your app descriptions better:

  • Use bullet points and break up paragraphs.
  • Use social proof (press coverage, user testimonials, etc.).
  • List the usage benefits and case studies.
  • Add information about the version number, changes made in the new update, bug fixes, etc.

6. Target Keywords with Low Competition and Lower Search Volumes First

In other words, be the big fish in a small pond instead of a small fish in a big pond.

Use keyword research tools to discover keywords that have lower search volume and less competition, and try and rank well for those. Once you have built up social proof and credibility, move in and attack the bigger boys on their own turf.

7. Create First Two Screenshots Which Show off Your Best Features

According to research by Storemaven, 60% of users won’t swipe past the first two screenshots. So, make them count.

Some tips for designing better screenshots:

  • Submit hi-res images.
  • Show off the best features.
  • Use overlay text and annotations to improve the message.
  • Use a plain background for better readability.

8. Use App Preview Video in Your Description with an Attention Grabbing Poster Frame

Apple recommends adding a short video (15-30 sec) in your app listing that shows the different functionalities of your app.

Test the video by using an eye catching poster frame (thumbnail image) so that users are driven to click. A survey by AppAnnie showed a conversion lift of 25-30% when video was added to the main page.

A good video will also drive down install costs and give you more loyal users and drive feature discoverability.

9. Localize, Localize, Localize

Only 31% of app revenue come from North America, while 41% comes from Asia.

If your app listing is only in English you will be locking your app out from global mobile users. Internationalize your app’s codebase by following these guidelines, and then start by changing the: app title, keywords, and first few lines of the description.

Once you have seen a lift in conversion (an app developer saw a 767% lift by just doing this) change other sections, like the screenshots, videos, currency and date formats, description, and reviews.

10. Ask For Ratings and Reviews From Happy Users

Reviews and ratings play a very important role in how an app is perceived by users, and also by Apple. A study found that all else being equal, 59% of users will download apps with high ratings.

Top rated apps almost always follow this process to get positive feedback:

  • Monitor in-app user behavior until they have gotten some kind of value from the app.
  • Ask a Yes/No question to users about whether they like the app.
  • Prompt the Yes cohort to rate and review, and offer the No’s to leave internal feedback

Source: Apptentive


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