App Store Tips & Tricks by Japheth Dillman

app store tips

Japheth Dillman

Japheth Dillman co-founded YetiZen as Chief Creative Officer, a program that helps other startups find monumental success. He is an Executive Producer and Lead Designer at numerous studios, and has guided many successful gaming platforms. Today he shares with us some basic app store tips and tricks to achieve success in the app store.


App Store Optimization is not like Search Engine Optimization. It has tread a new path. New app stores are popping up. Current app stores are in a constant state of evolution as to how they calculate rankings. There are no visible signs of a mobile slow-down, and entire regions have immense growth potential. This means two things. (1) Time has run out where you can just pump out garbage to the stores and achieve top rank. (2) There’s still an incredible opportunity to be on top with a good quality product. However, in order to take advantage of this opportunity, one must develop strong internal best practices for approaching the app stores. These following 5 tips should be added to your playbook as they have proven to be effective in app ranking, click through rates, and success in the app stores.

1. DON’T USE SPACES!

In your keyword listing, you are literally losing valuable and scarce keywords by using spaces. 63% of all installs are initiated by search, so keywords and discoverability are an immense piece of a successful app store strategy.

For example:

app store tips “ball, dog, birthday, singing, cake, party, candles”

app store tips“ball,dog,birthday,singing,cake,party,candles”

Remember, you have limited characters, and the app stores are intelligent enough to account for spaces!

2. If you have a regional release, don’t go for global press! (Google Play Only)

This is a giant misstep many developers make. They are targeting a regional release, but they go after the large global blogs and review sites. The Google Play algorithm geo-fences social media mentions of your app. When users search the app store within the geo-targeted area that your app is mentioned, your app will appear higher in the ranking algorithm. If you’ve wasted energy going after bloggers with a global reach, you’ll have some impact, albeit minor, but not near the impact if you had targeted regionally specific bloggers and social media users!

3. Don’t duplicate plural spellings!

This is really a simple one. The search algorithms on both iOS and Google Play account for plural spellings of keywords, so no need to waste a precious keyword on a plural spelling. Plural spellings are often longer than singular spellings. Stick to the singular spelling of keywords!

4. Don’t use “FREE” in the keywords!

Another simple rule…if your app is free, the app stores have an intelligence to their algorithm to include all free apps when users input the word “free” in their search.

5. The Eyes…OMG THE EYES!

Cornell University did a study regarding the captivating marketing choices of children and eyes on cereal boxes. Cereal boxes that used characters with eyes looking at the children showed a significant psychological impact of desire by the child consumer. Similar studies have show that eyes in the icons can have a “drawing in” impact and increased click through rates from search to opening the listing to install. If your app icon can implement eyes…do so! (Similar studies have been done on the psychological impact of color choices, fonts, etc.)

Here are some successful examples below:

app store tips

Hopefully this short list of 5 app store optimization tricks can help flesh out your internal playbook, helping you achieve higher rankings and increased click-throughs!