If you want your app to gain exposure to the traffic that generates over 150 million daily app downloads – It is essential that you find and connect to your app's specific audience, in the app stores.

Standing out in the app stores means standing out to your target audience. The app doesn't need to be everything for everyone, but discoverable by the market actively searching for the solutions your app provides.

Testing and optimizing an app's store listing helps position the app for discovery by a relevant audience, and in so doing convert them into users.

App store optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing an app listing for exactly that purpose.

App – developers should work at improving and increasing your application downloads by primarily reaching the correct audience for your product. By implementing a sound app store optimization strategy, apps can even rank in the top app lists without investing in paid install campaigns, currently running in excess of $2 per install.

The app store funnel starts with mobile users searching the app store for apps and deciding which of the results to install and use. The following provides a framework for optimizing your app for discovery through these app store searches, and converting search result viewers into users.

Needless to say users rarely do their manual work with ASO (AKA how we used to do it 2-3 years ago) and use SaaS platforms for the research and optimization phases, whether be it AppAnnie for market research and app store rankings, and Gummicube for automation of App optimization.

Focus on Features in Your App Title

Both Apple and Google weigh the words used in the app title/name heavily when indexing apps for search result rankings. The vast majority of app store search is for multi-word, feature-based phrases.

A clear, feature-based title will not only help Apple and Google index your app, but will help users understand what problem the app is solving for them.

Apple and Google have different character limits for the app title, and enforce their own rules differently, but leading with your app's most important features is a strategy that delivers more relevant search traffic and users.

Aim for Relevancy Rather Than Broad Coverage

After the app title, Apple provides the keywords field and Google provides the description field to understand what your app is about.

The goal should be full, targeted coverage of relevant search terms rather than unfocused coverage of irrelevant terms.

To varying degrees, both Apple and Google include conversion rates into their search ranking index. If your app ranks for irrelevant keywords, users in the apps stores will install a more relevant app from the results, hurting your conversion rates for that search term.

Relevant coverage connects your app to users who are more likely to install and use your app, creating a defendable position in the app stores for relevant categories.

A strong app with differentiating features that has been optimized for full, targeted coverage of relevant app store search traffic can rank in the top app lists by category and overall without any advertising budget, further increasing organic app store installs.

Test Icon and Screenshots

Some of the most identifiable elements of an app's listing are the creative elements – the app icon and screenshots.Both the icon and screenshots play a role in communicating to viewers what your app is about. Screenshots should highlight differentiating and important features in each, reinforcing the uniqueness of your app and thus explaining why a user should install and use it.

Given the impact of these creative elements, testing designs with a focus group can result in much better conversion rates – from app listing viewer to install and user.

A professional app promotion company should be able to help you set up a targeted focus group, or offer focus group testing as part of an app optimization service. Alternatives to running a focus group include running ads to a landing page with multiple icons and screenshots, or polling an e-mail list. Well-made apps with differentiated features can experience install growth by standing out with their audience in the app stores.

Standing out in the app stores comes down to knowing how to market an app. Clearly defining your apps features and focusing on them in the app title, target search coverage and in focus group tested creatives has proven to have a significant impact on relevant search rankings. If you want your app to increase its exposure in the app store, start by developing an app store optimization strategy.