I've discovered a few things about app store optimization ( ASO ) and I'd like to pass on what I've learned to help other independent developers.
I will be talking about Apple, iTunes Connect and the App Store. I will focus on App Title, Keywords and Reviews.
Unless your game is the next Flappy Bird or Mr Jump, you are going to need all the help you can get as an indie dev to give your game more visibility.
App Store rankings are a bit of a mystery and there is no official documentation anywhere, but trial and error of my own and others has helped paint a better picture.
App title and keywords are the most important when it comes to ASO.
You have a 100 character limit for keywords in iTunes Connect. Take advantage of all 100 characters. Fill it up, but don't waste it.
Separate keywords with a comma, not a space! (Your,keywords,should,look,like,this) A space is a waste.
Don't add phrases between commas. Your single keywords can be built into phrases.
Don't bother adding most prefixes or suffixes. I searched the app store for Magic Memory Match
and I added the prefixes re, de, un and mis as well as the suffixes ing, ed, y, ly and ness. The game still showed up every time regardless of the suffix and prefix. So don't add them, save the extra letters for more keywords.
There is no need to add a letter "s" to make a plural. (See above.)
Donít bother adding most prepositions. Words like; with, in, of, for and at, are ignored by the search.
Don't add words that are in the app title, they are already searchable. The words in your app title and your keywords can be combined to build different search phrases. So, choose carefully!
Donít try to piggyback off of the backs of others success. Donít add words like angry or birds. You canít compete with them and you wonít rank high.
Words like Facebook and Twitter might get your app rejected for using a trademarked word.
If your app is free, you do not need to add the word "free".
Now that you have made all of that extra space for more keywords, try to think of words that can be used for multiple search phrases that best describe your app.
More reviews do move you up in the rankings. You can ask friends and family to review your app. You can ask your users to review your app within your app, but don't over do it. You don't want to alienate your users.
There are review services in the indie dev community. SmoothReviews
is very nice. Developers will review your app and in return you will review their app. It should go without saying that honesty is encouraged. Use the app and give an insightful review.
That's it for the big stuff that will help you out the most. Now for a few little hints before I'm done.
Max out the screenshot limit and don't forget the different size devices.
You can add a video now. Do it!
The app description does nothing in the app store search. By all means put useful information in there, but don't bother loading it up with keywords.
Don't rely solely on iAds, they might get pulled from your app, or just not load. Check out AdMob
I hope there are a few independent app developers out there that I was able to help, or at the very least got you thinking differently.