SEO plays an important role in any business’ digital marketing scheme. When it comes to the competitive world of mobile app development, it becomes even more crucial. Although your Google search ranking certainly is an important key to success, your App Store ranking can single-handedly make or break your start-up mobile app venture. With roughly 63 percent of users finding and downloading an app through general browsing within the App store, it goes without saying that this is important stuff.

So what factors are playing a role in where your app stacks up among the multitude of competitors all fighting for a piece of the ranking pie? Our mobile app development experts here at Xecuit are here to help you identify the factors that really impact your App Store ranking.

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Your App’s Title

This comes first and foremost when it comes to search engine optimization. Your title should never simply be your brand name unless your name describes your product in ways a user would search for it, or if your brand already has immense loyalty and recall value.

As a matter of fact, data shows apps which include keywords in their title rank on average 10.3 percent higher than their counterparts. This is an area many mobile app developers seem to neglect as they prefer the Steve Jobs mentality of simple yet significant branding. This may work for standing out on a page, but getting onto the page to be seen in the first place is far more vital. Having a correctly formed title that encompasses one of your keywords that hits home with your target audience is essential for a competitive App Store ranking.

Your Targeted Keywords

This is another area in which optimization is similar to the practices you would use to rank on Google for a webpage, but it’s a lot trickier. Unlike with regular SEO, where you can produce enough content based around your keywords to rank at the top of the list for whatever search you desire, you’re restricted to only 100 characters in the App Store.

This means you have to choose very wisely the words you incorporate in your app’s description. You want to include keywords essential to ranking for your desired search terms in your description while also allowing it to be comprehensible and useful for readers who want to know exactly what to expect from your app. We recommend leaving out any unessential details and focusing on the functions (and keywords) of your app that will hit home most with your potential users.

Number of App Downloads

If you have done all of the optimizations possible to get your site in front of your desired audience, the next way to get a better ranking is through simply having more people download your app. Apple, just like Google, wants to provide users with items that have proven to be beneficial for others. You can use a variety of methods to get people to download your app with free trials and other promotions which will, in turn, boost your ranking within the App Store higher.

Positive Ratings and Reviews

As of the past few years, ratings have become everything — for businesses and apps alike. People have begun to implement rating research into their decision-making process for almost everything they do — from choosing a doctor to choosing a movie on Netflix to watch. In reaction to this trend, Apple has made sure to prioritize ratings more heavily in their updated algorithms.

The most important thing to do for your App Store ranking is to have an app rating of four stars or higher. Those with this rating receive a rankings boost from Apple, while apps that are below a three receive a penalty. Apps with a three-star rating are left complacent.

It’s important to also note that the size of the group or sample pool from which your rating is calculated does play a role as well. For example, if you have a 3.9 rating while your competitor has a higher rating, but you have hundreds of reviews compared to their minuscule amount, the App Store will recognize this and give you a better position in most cases.

Getting any reviews, let alone good ones can be difficult for many app companies. It is, of course, important to create an app that users love, but most importantly is developing an app that is glitch-free. This is when the dreaded one-star reviews come to fruition.

These one-star reviews are not the end of the world, though. In many cases, this is how apps are improved to where they receive more positive feedback from others. If you are timely with fixing bugs brought up by your customers, many users will, in fact, update their rating afterward as a thank you for your dedicated customer service.

So while positive ratings may be the name of this tip for a better App Store ranking, in truth, customer service is the real driver.

If you focus on these four main factors of your app, you should, in turn, reap the benefits of a boost in rankings within the App Store. The key is to do each of them equally well, as they are correlated to one another in many ways. Choosing relevant keywords to then incorporate in your title and description brings in your target traffic who are more likely to download your app and enjoy it — leaving positive reviews.

We hope these App Store SEO tips will help you skyrocket to the top of the rankings list so that the people who are looking for an app just like yours find it with ease. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for more insight into the mobile app industry.