What Factors Influence the Success of an App in the App Store?


Mobile apps are an indispensable attribute in 2023 for marketplaces, shops and many companies. Mobile app development is a popular area of IT services, so finding a company to create it is not as difficult as it used to be. Difficulties arise at the stage of its promotion and popularization among clients and users. If the application is new, it needs to be made famous.

To make an app popular, it needs to rise in the ratings of app shops. And today we are going to talk about what factors influence the position of an application in the App Store.

The App Store has a number of criteria for every digital product that gets listed in the shop:

Apple's direct competitor will have different parameters. A marketing strategy must take into account every moment: from metadata to indexing. And we will dwell on them in more detail.

Key Application Success Metrics

Downloads. One of the key indicators. If you look at topical news columns and blogs, the first thing that publications highlight is the number of downloads. For example: "App N topped this week's top with 1,345,555 downloads for December."

The more downloads your app has, the better it is for the overall picture, for ranking it in the shop lists.

Ratings. An important item that goes next to "reviews". Both parameters affect the position of the app, which is important for launching a marketing campaign. A clear example:

"You release your app. It makes it to the top 300 list of apps. It's good, beautiful and functional, but no one wants to take up advertising because of its position in the lists. Before you order motivated traffic to it, you need to raise the app at least to the top 100. How to do this? User ratings and comments. Once the app gets into the top 100, you can run advertising”.

User reviews. Reviews are always important, from your Instagram page to the app shop. Although they may not always be objective, they influence the app's position in general lists and categories. We've already written about the importance of dealing with comments and reviews. In the case of the App Store, reviews are not indexed, but their number plays a role. 

They also help build audience loyalty, address their questions, and keep in touch with customers.

The App Store has a "popular reviews" trick that helps new customers and users form a first impression of a product. Apple has up to 6 reviews visible at once, and they are different for different countries/languages. We'll have to do a lot of work on this.

Metadata and Its Optimization or ASO

Highlighting only metadata would be wrong, so let's look at the issue more comprehensively. ASO exists for this purpose.

ASO is a set of elements of optimizing a digital product for Apple's app shop. The main objective of these methods is to make the app accessible and attractive to users. ASO is similar to SEO, but with adjustments to the App Store rules. Apps and games that are in the shop are promoted plus/minus the same. Only the sources of traffic differ.

What is metadata?  It is a set of elements of an app page that are country/language specific. They have a direct impact on the app's installation conversion and search results:

  • title;
  • subtitle;
  • keys;
  • description;
  • icon;
  • localization;
  • video and screens.

Title. The App Store has 30 characters to give a name to an app. You can integrate keywords into the title, which will improve overall performance. This is important for newcomers in industries with a lot of competition, such as marketplaces or online shops. Do you need keywords for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook? No, because there is already brand recognition.

Subheadings. These are only available in the Apple shop. Here, too, it is desirable to integrate keywords. They play a smaller role, but are taken into account by the algorithms and the system.

Keywords. The developers have provided a separate field for keywords — 100 characters. Is it possible to increase them? Yes, by adding another localization. This way you get an additional 100 keywords.

Application Description. In 4000 characters you should fit everything that makes you better than others, describe your product and add announcements, promos, links and so on. The keyword inside the description is no longer important, as they are not indexed by the system in this field.

Icon. This is the most important element of any application, because it forms brand and product recognition. The icon is the visual code of your mobile application and will appear in all its references: from your website to thematic media.

App Store icon characteristics: 1024 × 1024 pixels and square shape.

Localization. It affects conversion rates and helps to work with other countries. This is possible by translating keywords into other languages.

The App Store has provided a moment with additional localization and made it possible to increase the number of characters in the "description" and “keywords” section. For example, in the USA, not only English is indexed, but also Mexican (Spanish-Mexican localization).

Screenshots and video. Videos and screenshots clearly show what awaits the user after installing the app. You can upload up to 10 screenshots to the Apple shop. Screenshots can be both vertical and horizontal. But uploading 1 horizontal one "eats up the space" of three vertical ones.

Video formats for smartphones and tablets will be different. If the video is horizontal, then screenshots should also be horizontal. Correspondingly, if the video is vertical, the screenshots should be too.

Effective Marketing Strategies and Promotions

When we know what exactly influences the performance and success of an app, it's time to move on to choosing a marketing strategy. What are the options for app promotion?

A Website or Blog for Your Product

Your website, lending site or page is one of the key elements to promote the app. Your customers and audience can get to know the app even before its release. On your resources, you can tell your audience as much about your app as you think necessary. You can create a separate section for it and dedicate the audience to the stages of its development and some production subtleties. This is a cheap and effective method. At the same time, you can leave links to the pages with the app in the Apple shop.


We mention them very often when it comes to product promotion. Influencers have a huge audience of millions of users. Just one promotional integration with an influencer for the millions can attract a huge layer of new users and customers who will attract new ones and so on. The main thing in this type of promotion is to pick the right blogger/media persona to make sure that his audience will not just like your product, but it will solve their pain.

Paid Advertising

The two previous methods can be attributed to free or conditionally free, but to buy advertising you need to invest a lot. A large advertising campaign implies not just targeting social networks, but a whole set of activities and creatives that can be presented in different formats. From buying outdoor advertising to collaborations with brands/artists/media personalities.


Your main goal is to retain the user as long as possible. The percentage of app deletions and the percentage of customers returning to the app affect your App Store listings. As statistics show, bringing back a user who has deleted an app will cost less than bringing in a new one. The team's task is to understand why and when a customer "falls off" and removes an app. Once this is done, the flaw needs to be fixed and customers need to be notified. Yes, depending on the problem, the solutions and options for getting users back may be different, but the point remains the same — get the customer back and retain them. The more time users spend with the app, the greater their level of loyalty to you and the brand, which means more revenue for you.


Creating a quality app is half the battle. The other half of success is its launch and positioning. Proper works with metadata, descriptions, and media files will help it break into the top positions. When developing a marketing strategy to launch your app, use all available options and tools. Pay equal attention to the technical part (ASO) and the marketing part (working with the influencers, remarketing and so on). Analyse the market for new options to promote a digital product, work on mistakes and improve the strategy. Only regular work and improvement of your approaches will help you make your app popular.

05 March 2024
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