Many users rely on search results to discover and download content in the App Store. Learn how to improve your app’s ranking in search results and make it easier for users to discover and download your app and in-app purchases.

Table of Content

App store optimization overview

The App Store allows users to easily explore apps, games, and other content. Search results include developers, in-app purchases, categories, editorial recommendations, tips and tricks, and collections. Not only will the app be listed in the search results, but the app name, icon, and subtitle will also be displayed. Depending on the platform and image presentation direction, rating information and up to three screenshots or app previews will also be displayed.

Choose appropriate and accurate keywords

Keywords cannot exceed 100 characters, and you should choose words that describe your app concisely. Do not use spaces to separate different keywords, and spaces should not be added before and after the commas used to separate keywords. Only spaces can be used in keywords. For example: property, 2021 real estate, house.

When choosing keywords, consider which words your audience will use when looking for similar apps. The description of app features and functions should be as clear and specific as possible so that your app can be displayed in related search results through search algorithms.

The popularity of a keyword is usually inversely proportional to the ranking of the app’s search results using the keyword. You should strike a balance between the two. There may be many people searching for popular and useful words like "work" or "social", but there are also many apps that compete for ranking. On the contrary, less popular keywords are searched less frequently, but the competition for ranking is not so fierce.

Unauthorized trademarked terms, celebrity names, or other protected words and phrases are not allowed, which is a common reason why the App Store rejects an app. It is also not allowed to use words unrelated to the app, or to use the name of a competing app.

Unless your brand identity contains special characters (such as # or @), it is not recommended. Because when users search your app, special characters will not be included in the search weight.

Although you can mention keywords in your app’s content feed, you should avoid repeating these words repeatedly in your metadata. Please also note that the promotional text does not affect the search ranking of your app.

App Store Search Ranking

We continue to improve the search methods on the App Store so that users can get the best results when querying. When a user searches for an app, the App Store returns a list of apps ranked according to a variety of factors, including the following factors:

The relevance of the text. How well the search terms match the app’s title, keywords, and main categories.

customer feedback. The number of downloads, as well as the number and quality of ratings and reviews.

Search Ads

You can use Apple Search Ads to attract users to explore your app. Search Ads allows you to promote your app on top of App Store related search results in more than 60 regions.

Learn more about app store optimization

Write app names, subtitles, and content synopses that appeal to users.

Your app name and App Store summary are critical to your app’s visibility and downloads.

In the App Store, the length of an app name can be up to 30 characters. Choose an easy-to-remember name for your app. Not only should it be easy to spell, it should also highlight the purpose of the app. Make sure it’s distinctive: The name should avoid using too common words or being too similar to existing app names.

Consider using subtitles to explain the value of the app in more detail, rather than using the app’s name. You should avoid vague descriptions such as "the world’s best app," and consider using subtitles to highlight the app’s features or purpose to attract audiences.

Every word in the executive summary is important, so focus your description on the app’s beauty and unique features. The summary should start with a concise description of the purpose of the app, followed by an introduction to attract users, and briefly list the main functions of the app.

Choose the appropriate main category

Categories on the App Store can help users discover new apps that meet their needs. The main category you choose is not only critical to the app’s visibility on the App Store, but it also helps users find your app when browsing the App Store or filtering search results. In addition, the main category of an app will also determine whether it will be classified in the App or Game tab on the App Store.

Make sure to choose the main category that is most relevant to your app. Choosing categories that are not related to your app is also a common reason why the App Store rejects an app.

Accumulate praise

Ratings and reviews can affect your app’s ranking in search and can also help attract users. You should focus on providing a quality app experience and getting good reviews from users.

You can ask users to rate your app on the App Store, but it is not advisable to invite them too early. It is the best time to prompt them to rate after users have lingered in the app for a few rounds or levels. Make sure the app is running stably, and wait for the right time to solicit ratings during the app's use. When they have just successfully completed an operation, promoted or completed a task, it is a good time to request. At this time, users are most likely to be satisfied with your app.

With the SKStoreReviewController API, users can easily provide feedback on the App Store or Mac App Store (in English). You can solicit ratings from users up to three times within 365 days. Users will submit ratings via your preset prompts, and they don’t have to leave the app when writing and submitting reviews.

Ensure that users can easily find support channels and contact information in your app and App Store product pages, so that users can directly contact you when they encounter any problems; this can reduce the chance of users leaving negative reviews due to poor experience .

Promote your in-app purchases

Your in-app purchases will also appear in search results on the App Store. When users tap them, they will go directly to your product page. On this page, they can not only understand the description of the app, view screenshots and app previews, but also make in-app purchases.

Subscriptions and in-app purchases are displayed in different sections of the product page; for these two types of content, you can display up to 20 items in total. Each item should have its own display name, promotional image and description. The name of the in-app purchase item cannot exceed 30 characters, and the description cannot exceed 45 characters, so please use words carefully. They should highlight the functionality of your in-app purchases smoothly, closely, and concisely.

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