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SEO 10 min read

SEO for Apps: An Essential Guide to App Store Optimization

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Jigmit Gwari

SEO Product Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 07 Feb 2024

Creating a mobile app for your business can provide an additional way for prospects and customers to interact with your brand. They’re a convenient place to make purchases, learn more about your services, and contact customer support. However, if you want your app to generate as much traffic as possible and appear at the top of the results on app stores and search engines, it must be optimized. That’s where SEO for apps comes in.

But how can you ensure your company’s app outranks the competition? Here’s what you need to know about SEO, mobile apps, and getting more users.

Black iPhone displaying icons of the Apple's Health and App Store mobile apps

The Importance of Mobile App SEO

In today’s digital era, more people than ever are accessing the web through their smartphones. In fact, mobile phones now account for over 55% of web traffic

So what does this mean for marketers? Well, not only do they have to optimize their websites for mobile, but they also have to ensure their software can be easily found in app stores by adjusting their SEO strategies accordingly. After all, with over eight million apps available, many businesses are trying to attract attention to their software, making it vital to stand out with proper SEO for apps. 

When it comes to SEO, apps are not all that different from websites — like with websites, marketers can use SEO to make their apps more accessible and easily found. This process involves optimizing titles and descriptions, incorporating relevant keywords, utilizing reviews, and taking steps to differentiate your brand from the competition. 

Easy Steps for Your Business’s Mobile App SEO

If you’re wondering how to do SEO for Android apps and iPhone apps, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are simple strategies you can use to boost your app’s ranking without going over budget or wasting too much of your valuable time.

Optimize for the App Store

First and foremost, you’ll want your app to appear at the top of app store search results when users search for relevant terms. While many of your downloads will come from users tapping on ads, it’s far more cost-efficient for you to set yourself up for success with an app store page that’s optimized for search.

That’s where app store optimization (ASO) comes in. ASO can help you:

  • Improve your visibility and help you stand out in search
  • Get discovered by relevant users
  • Boost organic app downloads
  • Cut ad costs
  • Grow conversion rates
  • Reach a global audience

So what do you need to focus on to improve ASO? First, it’s important to consider how companies like Apple rank apps in their store. They evaluate factors like:

  • Ratings and reviews
  • In-app purchases
  • Downloads
  • The name of the app
  • Descriptions
  • Overall engagement

It’s worth noting that there are different criteria Google and Apple follow to rank keywords in their respective app stores. However, if you use relevant terms and encourage user engagement, you’ll likely achieve positive results. It’s crucial to be consistent to appease both search engines and app stores.

Optimize Your App’s Title and Description to Rank Higher

Let’s focus a little more on the title and description of your app. After all, these are some of the most crucial elements of app SEO. They must accurately reflect your brand’s product or service, but they must also be optimized in order to rank in search.

So how do you create a title and description that meet those requirements? Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Your Target Audience

Who do you want to download your app, and what do you want them to get out of it? Perform thorough market research, and use the results to write a compelling title and description that attracts an audience most likely to convert.


When choosing keywords, there are three factors to consider: relevance, competition, and volume. That is, you’ll want to choose keywords that make sense with the products or services you’re promoting. You should also pick terms that aren’t as competitive or high volume so that your app has an increased chance of being seen.

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In-App Search Engine Optimization

Did you know that apps can appear in Google searches? It’s true! People can search for a product or service in your niche, stumble upon content from your app, and choose to download it. The Google link even takes them directly to their relevant app store so they don’t have to search for it.

Because Google can put your app in its results, you want to ensure your in-app content is of the highest quality possible. This means making sure it’s written well and optimized for search engines, including relevant keywords and helpful content.

Give Users the Option to Share

One of the most effective advertising strategies is word of mouth, so make sure your app is easy to share. 

You can do this by:

  • Integrating social sharing buttons in the app so users can share your page on social media
  • Running contests and promotions to encourage sharing
  • Engaging with users
  • Encouraging user-generated content like video reviews and testimonials
  • Using hashtags

When Google and other search engines notice users engaging with your content and sharing it to multiple channels, they’ll likely rank your app higher. Search engines want to appease users, after all, so go the extra mile to make yours happy, and you’ll be rewarded accordingly.

Create an Eye-Catching Landing Page

While ASO helps your app be seen by more eyes in the app store, a compelling landing page can also draw attention to your app, giving visitors a quick rundown of your software and linking them to the app store where they can download it.

There are various SEO for mobile app techniques you can use to design a landing page that ranks, including:

  • Integrating relevant keywords
  • Optimizing title tags and meta descriptions
  • Improving page speed
  • Adding quality visuals
  • Publishing valuable content like infographics and blogs

These practices can help your landing page rank higher, enticing readers and directing them to download.

The Mobile-First Approach to Marketing Your Brand

Mobile-first marketing is more relevant than ever before, including everything from optimizing your app’s landing page for mobile devices to making sure that your app plays well on all phones (which improves your app’s ratings and, in turn, its ASO). 

When developing a mobile-first strategy, consider the following tips:

Create a Responsive Design

Responsive design ensures that no matter where a user views your content (desktop, phone, tablet, etc.), it looks great and is easy to read. For example, your text should be big and readable in landscape or portrait mode and scale appropriately with screen size. The better the user experience, the better the SEO. Apps and websites should both therefore follow this rule.

Consider Phone Sizes and How People Hold Them

Smartphones come in various sizes, and people hold them in different ways. Some people hold their phones and scroll with one hand, others use both, while others cradle their device in one hand and scroll with another.

Understanding your users’ range of motion can help you put valuable content and clickable links in the right places. Phones are bigger these days, meaning you can put more content on your app landing pages. However, bigger devices also reduce the immediate reach of your users. Use this information to design your app and its web pages accordingly.

Simplify Your Navigation

Your app and its corresponding web landing page should be easy to navigate. While phones are larger than ever before, they still aren’t as large as desktop computers. That’s why many web designers will create a simplified version for mobile devices, often leveraging techniques like hamburger menus to eliminate the need to scroll endlessly. 

Optimize Your CTAs

Powerful CTAs are necessary to help drive traffic to your app. For ideas on how to better place your CTAs on mobile devices, consider the Gutenberg Principle. This principle compensates for how people scan a website when viewing it on a mobile device, from the top-left corner to the bottom-right. 

Essentially, the principle is that your eye moves from left to right until it gets to the bottom of the page. Therefore, putting CTAs in the bottom-right corner of the page could help you direct more visitors to your app.

Hand holding an android smartphone showing recently updated phone apps

Drive Traffic to Your Mobile App and Boost Sales

Incorporating proven SEO principles into your mobile app strategy can boost your brand’s online visibility and drive more users to your app, ultimately resulting in more sales. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies to see what will work best for your business and target audience.

If you need help with SEO for apps to increase downloads, consider working with a knowledgeable and experienced agency. That way, you can focus less on experimenting with new strategies and more on engaging with your users and generating more revenue.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed