It’s really hard to get noticed in the crowded app store. The only way to do this successfully is to spend time with app store optimization (ASO). For optimal ASO,
- Create an eye catching icon for your app
- Upload screen shots for each iPhone resolution
- Upload a preview video
- Use Sensor Tower to find strong keywords
Create an eye catching icon for your app
The best way to do this is to A/B test a set of different icons. You can do this by getting multiple designers at 99Designs to create icons and then posting them to your Facebook feed to see which icon people think looks best. I did this and settled on this icon for my latest app, Count Us Down:
Upload Screen Shots for each iPhone Size
When creating screen shots, most people like to mix a screen shot along with some wording that explains what the screen does. Showing the screen inside of an iPhone also seems to do better than just showing the screen shot itself. Be sure to upload screen shots for each iPhone size (iPhone 4, 5, 6, 6+). Here is an example of screen shots I uploaded for my aMemoryJog Password Management app:
Upload a Preview Video
I wrote a prior blog about creating an app video, you can see that by clicking here.
Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App
Use Sensor Tower to find Strong Keywords
Sensor Tower is the leading tool for finding keywords for your app. I have been using it for almost a year now and there is no better tool for this. When deciding on keywords, consider these things:
- Look for relevant keywords – It does you no good to use keywords that have nothing to do with your app. People will see your app and ignore it.
- Look for keywords with high traffic – I look for keywords with a traffic ranking of 4+ but the higher the better.
- Look for keywords with low iPhone difficulty (competition) – I look for keywords with a with 3 or less iPhone difficulty ranking, but the lower the better.
To get started with Sensor Tower, create a trial (if you haven’t) and then set it up for your app by adding your app at the top of the page:
Then click the Keyword Optimization icon from the left margin. From here you can enter a list of keywords you think might be relevant and it will tell you the traffic and iPhone difficulty ranking of each.
When entering keywords, separate them by commas with no spaces in between and do not include any words that are in your app title. You can enter up to 100 characters of keywords (including the commas), and Sensor Tower will tell you how many characters you’ve used. It will even spot any keywords that are already in your title, how cool is that?
Here is how the keyword rankings might look:
In the examples above, the traffic rankings are pretty good but the difficulty rankings are pretty high. This means that you may get a lot of traffic, but you will most likely be far down in the list of apps the user sees so you may never get any eyes on your app.
One of the cool features of Sensor Tower is the ability to spy on your competitors. To do this, click on the Keyword Research icon in the left margin. From here, enter a keyword and it will show you apps that rank well for it:
In the example above, I searched on the keyword gif. You can sort the list by ranking by clicking on that column header. Then click the Keyword Spy icon to see what keywords that app is using:
It will show you the keywords the competitor uses and compare it with the keywords you are targeting so that you can determine if you might want to use some different keywords.
Localizing your Keywords
It is also a good idea to localize your keywords for different languages. Sensor Tower has a feature that allows you to translate your existing keywords to different languages. You can access that by clicking the Keyword Translation icon in the left margin. This is a good starting point but be sure to use Sensor Tower to analyze each of these keywords in the app store of the language you are targeting. For example, you may find that the word gif is a good keyword for the US app store but when translated it may not be a good keyword in the Chinese app store.
Spend lots of time with ASO before releasing your app and a great tool like Sensor Tower to find relevant keywords with high traffic and low competition.