If you haven’t jumped on the app store optimization train to increase the visibility of your app, then you’re not only wasting time and money, but you’re also missing out on a ton of potential and valuable installs.

The challenge that many apps face is being discovered among the other 3 million apps (Apple App Store and Google Play combined) out there. This is where ASO is highly beneficial, but only if it’s done correctly.

As with any challenge, mistakes are made, but some mistakes can easily be avoided from the beginning. Let’s take a look at the top four app store optimization mistakes that mobile app teams should stay clear of from the get-go when conducting ASO.


No.1: Focusing on keywords that are high in volume

Keywords are an essential part of discovery in the app store, and are used in three different areas: the keyword field (Apple App Store only), app title and description. ASO Rookies tend to use keywords that are popular and rank high in search. The problem here is that apps that are big players in the app store (i.e. Twitter, Snapchat, Messenger) also use popular keywords. As a result, you end up competing with the big fish, and big fish rank higher in search than the little fish. Remember, high volume doesn’t always equate to high quality, so your keywords should be well thought out, relevant to your app, and rank medium to high in search volume but low in competition.


No.2: Keyword overload in titles and descriptions

Having relevant keywords in your app name and description is also important. However, stuffing keywords will not only hurt your rankings in search, but it will also get your app rejected from the app store. Some might think that repeating their app name or adding in categories in their titles and descriptions will be beneficial, but it will only discourage your users and may even suspend your app from search engines.

Here’s an example of an app that keyword stuffs its titles. You can see how they repeat ‘emoji’ and ‘emoticon’ in both the title and description.

stick texting

Your app name and description should sound fluid and natural with relevant keywords that correlate to what your app is all about.


No.3: Ignoring the graphic elements (icon, screenshots, app preview)

Just like keywords, your app icon, screenshots and app preview (app video) are also an essential part of ASO. These three elements are the first thing a user sees in a search result (aside from the app name), and thus they should not be ignored. You may think that just because your app ranks high in search, you’ll get thousands of downloads. But that’s not the case if your graphic elements are neither eye-catching nor informative.

Specifically, some common mistakes we’ve seen in the App Store are apps that only feature three to four screenshots versus the maximum of five. Or, apps that have good screenshots but a low-quality app preview that doesn’t educate the user about how the app works or its benefits. There’s also the issue of icons that are similar to other icons (think photo editing apps) like the ones below of Pic Stitch (left) and Pic Collage (right).

app icons

Or, you there’s an issue of icons that have too much going on (lots of colors and/or too busy of an image) like the one below of the app Pixel People.

pixel people

To put it simply, your graphics should be consistent with your app, should be simple, fun and should also trigger an emotion (when and if applicable). Think of it this way, your users should understand what your app does and/or how it will benefit them by either viewing the app preview or scrolling through the screenshots (or doing a combination of both).


No.4: ASO is a one-time thing

Last but not least, you can sometimes make the mistake of treating ASO as a one-time thing, which will only end up hurting your app. It’s important to note that the app store is ever-changing, keyword ranks change, new apps emerge, and the list goes on. Updates to your graphical elements to match a change in season (i.e. holiday themed screenshots and icon), and improvements to keywords will help keep your app fresh and at the top of search results.

But that’s not the end, once you’ve put together an app store listing page that you believe is optimized for your potential users, the next step would be to A/B test variations with tools like TestNest. People sometimes assume that what they place in the storefront will convert users, but assuming that without testing is to shoot yourself in the foot.

All in all, ASO can be a great thing if done right, or a disaster if done wrong. Remember, connecting to your customers is key in order to convert them into users, which will help your app be successful. As long as you avoid these app store optimization mistakes, you should have some positive effects in how you rank in the App Store, in your conversion numbers, and in the overall success of your app.


These opinions are expressed by TestNest, and do not reflect the opinions of Appsee. Appsee is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by TestNest.

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