Welcome to the ultimate App Store Optimization Crash Course brought to you by App Radar.

Table of Content

With the help of this ASO (App Store Optimization) Crash Course you will learn the basics of App Store Optimization within 10 Minutes. Based on 5 Chapters, you will learn how to optimize your App in order to increase your app store ranking and download count.

We highly recommend using App Radar though out this process. You can signup for a free account here:

ASO Glossary

Here is a rough overview of the most important App Store Optimization terms. Don’t worry, however, all of them are explained within this Crash Course.

ASO term


App Store Optimization
Optimizing app pages in order to increase ranking within app stores
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing websites in order to increase ranking within web search results
App Store Ranking
Sequence of apps displayed within user search results in app store based on complex algorithm
Keyword Optimization
Optimizing keywords and keyword use in order to increase visibility for your app
Asset Optimization
Optimizing your app page appearance in order to convert visitors into users

Chapter 1

Is your app findable?

There are more than 4,2 million apps offered by the two major app stores in the game (Google Play Store & the Apple App Store). Every month, roughly 100.000 new apps are released. Unfortunately, most of them never connect with the right users and fade into obscurity – is your app headed down the same path?

app store stats number of apps available in major app stores

Chapter 2

App Store Optimization – What is it?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of improving the visibility of your app within app stores. ASO is similar to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but is focused on the search performance of apps on platforms like Google Play Store or Apple App Store.


Chapter 2.1

The goal of ASO

The goal of ASO is to increase the findability of your app within app stores, translating to higher downloads and more users. App Marketing experts agree that a higher ranking in search results strongly impacts your download numbers. Users consider higher ranked results to be more relevant and simply do not have to scroll down to sort through all the app search results. Not only that, ASO should be seen as a foundation for all of your app marketing activities. When you are running paid marketing campaigns on a CPI basis, for example, you should invest in App Store Optimization first, to increase the findability of your app during this period of time.


Chapter 2.2

How ASO works

Although App Store Optimization is still a young field, specific methods for optimizing your app appearance and rankings have emerged. Most ASO experts distinguish between two major processes in App Store Optimization:

1. Keyword Optimization:

The process of researching, analyzing and selecting keywords in order to increase the visibility of your app within search results. You can use tools like App Radar Keyword Tracker to support you with your keyword optimization

2. Asset Optimization:

The process of improving your app’s appearance in app stores in order to convert visitors to users. This means you optimize your app icon, app preview video and screenshots

Chapter 3

Keywords – find the key to success

Keyword Research and Keyword Optimization are two major steps in App Store Optimization. They play an important role in ASO and often in SEO as a whole. They consist of researching, analyzing and selecting keywords in order to drive potential customers to your app.

Chapter 3.1

Why this is important

More than half of all app installs are the result of organic search queries and roughly 6–10 % of all app installs are effected by the featured sections of app stores. Advertisement budgets vary, but roughly 2% of ads trigger an app install.

Chapter 3.2

Keyword Research & Keyword Optimization

Keyword Research and Keyword Optimization can be split into 4 major steps. Follow these steps and watch our videos to increase your app store ranking!

Step 1: Keyword Research

Keyword Research is basically about finding keywords that match both with your app and with a high number of user search queries. As the name implies, it’s all about researching relevant keywords describing your mobile app.

Quick Tip:Quick Tipp: Start a list of possible keywords by brainstorming, browsing user reviews and competitor apps, and then sort them by relevance.

Don’t overstress factors like the number of people searching for specific keywords or how competitive these are. Apple and Google are the only companies that have this information and they do not provide it. There are, however, a number of tools out there that try to fake this information and sell it. In general, these tools can give a least a little bit of direction, but there is no substitute for your mind and logical thinking when it comes to analyzing keywords. It is common sense that more people will search for “fun game” instead of “fun game with pirates and pirate ships”. On the other hand, it is also common sense that the competition will be harder for “fun game” because you don’t only compete against pirate games, but also against Viking games, puzzle games, trivia games and so on. For more information on this topic, check out our ASO Guide for Short and Long Tail Keywords.

Consider what makes your product unique and collect keywords to use in your app title, keyword field (App Store only) and app description. Think about niche words, which could describe your app but so far are not being used by your competitors. Also, try to expand the quantity of important keywords by using keyword suggestions in found in app stores or search engines.

We recommend the following tools that help you finding keyword inspirations

Action step: Write down your keywords and think of keyword combinations and synonyms. Also write down the keywords you already added to your app within iTunes Connect.

Step 2: Keyword Setup

After writing down your keywords, you have to prepare them for the monitoring process. We highly recommend using the App Radar Keyword Tracker to make this process as convenient as possible.

Action step: Add your keywords to your App Radar project.

Check out this short video that explains how to add keywords to your app within App Radar:

Step 3: Keyword Monitoring

App Store Optimization is not a single action, but a complex process. One important task within this process is the regular monitoring of rankings, competitors, and the market. By tracking and analyzing how you rank for specific keywords in comparison to your competitors, you take an important step towards optimizing your app store performance.

As this is a very intensive task, tools like App Radar can help you keep an overview of all this data.

Quick Tip: App Radar Keyword Tracker has a feature that helps you keep an eye on your competitor apps

Check out this short video to see the competitor tracking functionality:

Furthermore, you should always have an eye on your customers’ opinions. Having a regular check on app rankings and user reviews could give you insights to help improve your app and marketing effectiveness. Add keywords from reviews to both your keyword list and to App Radar.

App Radar 2.0 Release Sneak Peek

Step 4: Optimize your keywords

Now you are in the beginning of the optimization process. Your task as marketer is to find out which keywords you should replace with more optimal ones. It is important that you rank for the keywords you’ve chosen.

So first step, write down all keywords you aren’t in the top 50. Did you already try the keyword in your title? If yes, get rid of the keyword!

Action step: Check your keyword ranking report within App Radar.

Have a look at which keywords are ranking well and which are not. Write down all keywords with poor rankings (higher than 50) and check if you’ve optimized your app for those.

If you have one of the bad performing keywords in your title for example, get rid of it and use another one instead.

You should replace them with alternative keywords that have better ranking chances. Try to think logically when doing this process. Try to think of other keywords your users could search for.

Check out this video and see how App Radar helps you find out which of your keywords have bad rankings:

Chapter 4

How App Stores Work

With 1.6 million available apps in 2015, Google Play Store is the leading store for Android apps. Second comes Apple’s App Store which offers 1.5 million iOS apps.

Both leading stores have complex searching and sorting algorithms implemented. However, there are minor differences in some ASO factors. Apple App Store, for example, provides you with an explicit keyword field. Keywords within this field help the algorithm understand with which words a user can find your app. Google Play Store’s searching algorithm, in turn, parses your app description and title to find relevant keywords.

Chapter 5

App Store Ranking

App Stores like Google Play Store or Apple App Store use complex mathematical algorithms to sort search results based on relevance to specific search query and user. The exact ranking algorithm is not public, but there are some known factors influencing the search result ranking in app stores.

Chapter 5.1

App Store Ranking Factors (iOS)

Chapter 5.2

Google Play Ranking Factors (Android)


With the help of this ASO Crash Course you have learned the basics of App Store Optimization. If you have not yet done so, we would highly recommend you to try out the App Radar Keyword Tracker in order to keep an eye on your App Store Optimization efforts.

If you want to go more into detail on specific ASO topics, check out our App Store Optimization Guide.