In the first quarter of this year, more than 33 billion apps were downloaded by mobile device users. Yet, only a small percentage of apps listed in Google Play, Amazon App Store, or Apple’s App Store are successful.

The majority of app users will find apps by searching these stores. To get found in these searches, you need to understand how app store search works.

Keep reading to learn the basics of app store search, how to use keywords in your product descriptions, get more downloads through search.

An Introduction to ASO

Are you familiar with SEO? That stands for search engine optimization, which is where you optimize your website and online presence to get found in search results.

With app store searches, you’ll use ASO. What is ASO? It stands for app store optimization.

Just like search engines, app stores are based on complex algorithms that determine how apps appear in search results. ASO takes each of these factors and helps you polish your app page to appear higher in search results.

The higher you appear in search results, the more likely a searcher will download your app.

Using Keywords to Fuel ASO

Where do you begin to optimize your product page for the app stores? That starts with keywords. Keywords are search terms that people will enter to look for related

For example, someone looking for an app on doing burpees will do a search for burpees or burpee apps. They don’t want an app about kettlebell training.

Your main job is to understand your users and know how they search for apps related to yours. There are a few ways you can do that. The first way is to look at your competitors.

Search for the top apps in your category and read their app pages. Look at the description and the title of the app. You’ll be able to determine a couple of the main keywords to use.

You can also turn to other search tools like Google and Google Play. Just enter the topic followed by app. Google’s auto-complete will give you a list of related keywords. These are search terms that people use to look for your app.

The third way is to use keyword tools. There are some tools that will give you insights as to how people search for your app. You’ll get the number of times people used a specific search phrase and related search terms.

Keyword tools can be used to narrow down your list of keywords. You want the most relevant search terms with high search volume.

Keywords in Product Pages

Now that you have your main keywords, you need to incorporate them into your app page. The key is to have your description seem natural throughout the description.

If you have nothing but keywords in your description, it won’t provide value to readers and it will come across as spammy. It’s a major turn off for app store search algorithms and users.

It’s helpful to use a keyword in the title of the app. For example, a burpee app can be called 30 Day Burpee Challenge. The title used the main keyword and tells users what the app is about.

In the description, you can provide more details about the burpee challenge, which gives you plenty of other opportunities to use the keyword naturally.

Other ASO Factors

Keywords allow app store search algorithms to determine if an app is relevant to search queries. However, keywords aren’t the only factors to determine how apps appear in search results. These are the other ASO factors you need to have to make your app successful.


This is pretty simple, the more positive ratings an app has, the higher it will appear in search results. App stores want to keep their users happy, and they’re not going to show apps that people don’t like.

Think of an app rating like a vote of confidence in the app. It signals to users and app stores that your app is trustworthy.

Positive Reviews

App users are a vocal bunch and they’re hard to please. They will take the time to write reviews about the app. You want to have positive reviews to go with those positive ratings. It’s another way to demonstrate that your app is worth downloading.

You may get negative reviews, but you want to handle them. Thank the reviewer for their comments and take the feedback into account to make improvements to the app.


Your conversion rate is the number of times your app appears in search results divided by the number of times the app is downloaded. The conversion rate may be a factor, which is why you want it to be as high as possible.

How can you increase your conversion rate? If you show that you have a quality app that’s relevant to users, they’ll look at the app page to find out more. This is your opportunity to sell the app and close the sale.

Show them plenty of quality screenshots of the app in use along with a video that goes over the most useful benefits of the app. That will be enough to convert those visitors into downloads.

The bottom line for app developers is that you need to know how app store search algorithms work if you want to stand a chance at being found in search results.

ASO is the art and science of optimizing your product pages to appear higher in app store searches and get more downloads. You have to know the keywords to use and get positive app reviews and ratings. That will be enough to build momentum and get more downloads.

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