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12 Simple Ways to Boost Your iPhone App Rankings on the App Store

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Your app is finally finished after hours of testing and debugging. But development is only half the battle! Now you need people to actually download your app! So how do you do that? We've got 12 simple tips that will help you rank better in the app store to get your hard work in the hands of thousands. Maybe even millions!

This is a guest post submitted by Juned Ghanchi.

Though the competitors have come up with many cheaper options, iPhone and iOS apps continue to maintain their dominant position. They are still sought by a class of individuals, and if an iOS mobile app development company focuses on the quality of these apps and introduces and markets them well in the market, they can prove to be highly profitable. With more than over two million apps in the app store for iOS users, you can be sure that any successful app will soon have a dozen imitators. Thus, app development has become a lucrative market as developers are getting highly paid for it. So, you need to equip yourself with methods to optimize your app and improve rankings in the app store.

The play store ranking of an app takes into consideration a lot of parameters. These include the daily volume of downloads, the volume of installs, ratings, uninstallation rate, and other usage metrics like retention, engagement, etc. You can use many “on page” and “off page” tactics for optimizing your app to increase the ranking and hence visibility of your app. Here are a few tips for achieving this.

#1: Do Proper Keyword Research

Keywords hold the key here. The keywords for your app need to be very well researched and tightly related to the purpose of your app, the work it does, the target audience, etc. Searching keywords for apps is not much different from searching keywords for blogs or content, the main difference being there's no use for long-tailed keywords. There is great competition for primary keywords, and you will always find dominant apps in any niche. However, your aim should be to show up in the top 10 for the category you're in. If there are more than 10 strong competitors for your app, you actually need to reconsider your investment.

Look for trending keywords for apps in Apple’s App Store on the search page itself. Preferably use keywords no longer than 100 characters. Trending topics should be preferably taken as keywords.

Keep in mind, you should not include keywords into your app title. So, the trick is to follow a midway. This can be done by avoiding the keywords directly in the app title, but the title of the app should be made a brand by advertising extensively. Then include keywords in the descriptions and keyword list.

A shorter app title gives you enough scope to use more keywords in the future. Moreover, even after submitting your app or anytime after it, you can change your app title, description, and list of keywords.

#2: Provide a Detailed App Description

You must provide a user-friendly app description that should contain keywords describing the core functionality of the app. This makes the users sure of what they are downloading. The use of social proofs in the form of press coverage, user testimonials, etc., can make it further effective. The readability can be increased by using break up paragraphs and bullet points, listing case studies, and usage benefits. It is also good to add information about its version number, updates in the latest version, bug fixes, etc.

#3: Use Videos in Your App Description

A short video of the app description, around 30 seconds, should be included. The use and purpose of the app should be made very clear to the user while showcasing the different functionalities of your app. A good descriptive video will make feature discoverability easy and give you more loyal users by driving down initial installation costs.

#4: Use Strong Visuals

The visuals in your app may not increase the discoverability but can be extremely helpful in increasing the conversion rate. Visuals not only draw more attention in the app store, they enhance user engagement and prevents them from getting bored and uninstalling or giving a poor rating to your app.

#5: Choose Your App Category Carefully

Your app may be multifunctional but you need to focus on the core functionality of your app rather than on secondary functions. You need to be very specific, like Facebook is in the “Social Networking” category while Instagram is in the “Photos and Videos” category, though both have overlapping functions. Always use the primary function to determine the category.

#6: Optimize Your App Size

Though the size of the app does not affect the app search optimization (ASO), user experience largely depends on the app size. Many countries still lack fast internet connectivity which can restrain users from downloading heavy apps, ultimately reducing app downloads.

#7: Localization Is a Must

You need to take the global market into account as internationalizing the codebase of your app prevents locking your app away from global mobile users. You can then start by changing the keywords, title of the app, and the first few lines in the description. These simple fixes should lead to a rise in conversions!

#8: Comply With Apple's Policies and Update Regularly

By regularly upgrading your app as per Apple’s policies, you affirm that you are interested in providing the user with the best experience. This helps Apple judge your commitment and they disapprove apps that are not updated regularly. These apps become obsolete and are abandoned to get finally deleted from the app store.

#9: Design Your App Icon Thoughtfully

You need to pay great attention while designing the icon of your app. The users will recognize your app on the app store by the look of your icon, and they prefer apps with a polished look. Get creative and make use of shadow and transition effects. Apple’s iOS human interface guidelines can be helpful for you while designing icons.

#10: Adequately Test for Bugs and Errors Before Uploading

Any bugs or errors that pop-up during any stage in the app, starting from registration and login to finalizing the order and tracking it, should be diagnosed and removed before uploading the app to the app store. All sections of the app, like title, keywords, description, icons, screenshots, and videos, need to be tested one by one to enhance conversions.

#11: Request Feedback from Happy Users

You should ask users to rate and review your app based on their experiences. It has been found that more than half of the perceived users are likely to download an app with high ratings.

#12: Running Search Ads in the App Store is Beneficial

You should sign up for the Apple app store ads platform and run search ads. This considerably lowers your cost per install and is cheaper than ads on any other platform. This has also been found to double the conversion rates.

To Sum Up

While increased downloads and ratings may correlate to a higher ranking in the app store results, app optimization is a never-ending process. In fact, it is a feedback loop. The above tips will be useful in giving you a direction, but you still need to dive deeper and find more ways to optimize your app and improve its ranking in the app store.

Juned Ghanchi

Juned Ghanchi is the co-founder and CEO of IndianAppDevelopers, a veteran mobile app development company with the aim of providing professional mobile solutions. He loves sharing his knowledge and opinion on app development technologies with the growing communities.

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