How to Promote iOS or Android Apps for Free in 2023?


Updated on:

ios and android

Promoting an app or game on Google Play or the App Store can be a time-consuming task. The algorithms used for ranking take various factors into consideration, such as user reviews, removals, pricing, and external links.

Achieving high search rankings depends on elements like appealing screenshots and icons, a relevant title, and numerous other factors that remain somewhat mysterious. The methods to reach the top of the app store charts are known only to the major players in the industry.

However, one thing is clear: successful app promotion requires a substantial number of daily installations, ranging from thousands to tens of thousands.

For instance, the Google Play Store features exclusive sections like “User’s Choice,” “Favorites,” and “Editor’s Choice,” where select apps are showcased to distinguish them from the rest.

Being included in one of these curated lists can significantly boost downloads, expand the user base globally, and ultimately have a positive impact on your revenue.

Unfortunately, many mobile apps in the app stores end up in the unnoticed abyss, resulting in wasted time and money invested in their development.

To avoid this fate for your app, it is crucial to devise a pre-launch promotion strategy. Additionally, even for apps already available on the market, promoting them can help attract new audiences.

Optimizing Apps for the Marketplace: ASO Optimization

App store optimization (ASO optimization) is a crucial method to enhance the visibility of an app within the marketplace. It serves as the app counterpart to SEO, focusing on improving app discoverability rather than website rankings.

ASO optimization is valuable regardless of the situation and can be achieved at minimal or no cost if you possess the necessary expertise and knowledge. However, for beginners, it is advisable to seek assistance from promotional websites or agencies.

Currently, there is a wide range of specialized services available that facilitate app optimization for app stores. Examples include ASOdesk, AppFollow, AppAnnie, and AppTweak. These services offer both free trials and paid versions, assisting with selecting relevant keywords for the App Store and Google Play Store, while also providing comprehensive position reporting.

  • Building a Semantic Core for App Optimization

In the first step, it is important to gather a comprehensive list of potential keywords and phrases. Subsequently, the process of refining eliminates unnecessary elements, resulting in the formation of a semantic core. It should be emphasized that the more precisely chosen keywords are, the higher the chances of optimal indexing for the application on search engines like Google Play and the App Store.

  • Crafting an App Strategy

During this phase, it is crucial to conduct thorough research on the target audience and their specific needs. Valuable insights are extracted from website metrics reports, which aid in understanding user behavior.

If the app has already been launched, analysis of existing user data is also performed. Additionally, competitors are scrutinized to gain further insights. Based on the gathered information, an optimal strategy is formulated.

For apps already available in the stores, an assessment of their search position is conducted to identify areas for improvement and determine the best course of action.

App Strategy

  • Enhancing Textual Elements

In this phase, the focus is on optimizing all textual components of the application page. This includes carefully selecting an appropriate title and strategically incorporating keywords within the short and extended descriptions.

The primary objective is to seamlessly integrate key phrases in a manner that does not compromise the overall impression of the text and hinder its readability.

  • Optimizing Visual Elements

Visual content such as images and videos play a crucial role in conveying information more effectively and rapidly than text alone. Therefore, it is recommended to allocate significant attention to visual optimization. This stage primarily involves designing captivating icons for the application.

To ensure originality and differentiation, competitor data might be utilized to prevent color scheme, geometry, and overall visual composition from overlapping. Additionally, screenshots from the app and promotional videos are uploaded to the app stores to provide a comprehensive visual representation.

  • Managing User Ratings and Feedback

This phase is encountered once the app has been released. It involves analyzing user ratings, overall feedback, and reviews. By examining these metrics, valuable insights can be gained. It is important to note that higher ratings and positive reviews have a direct impact on the app’s download frequency.


  • Ongoing Support

Continual Analysis, Keyword Adjustment, and Testing

Following the initial optimization and app release, it is essential to maintain regular analysis of its search engine positioning, make necessary keyword adjustments, and conduct testing. These ongoing activities are integral to the overall process.

Now that we have established the commonalities between ASO and SEO and recognized the importance of optimization, let’s delve into the specific promotion algorithm. It’s important to note that while there are some variations in promoting apps on the App Store and Google Play, the fundamental principles of ASO remain the same.

Let’s explore the differences between these app stores in more detail. For instance, Google Play utilizes artificial intelligence for indexing. Although the app’s name and description provide some guidance, the system independently selects relevant keywords. Moreover, Google has the capability to handle word inflections, work with synonyms, and manage translations.

The App Store has a relatively basic approach compared to Google Play. It combines individual words to form phrases and automatically converts singular forms into plurals. However, when it comes to declensions and translations, the process becomes more intricate. 

Therefore, when optimizing for the App Store, it is crucial to utilize keywords in the exact case as they appear in search queries. Failing to do so can result in a significant loss of potential customers.

Advantages of App Store Optimization (ASO)

The Importance of App Store Optimization

Most users rely on the search function when looking for apps rather than browsing through recommendations and selections. Consequently, they tend to download apps that appear at the top of the search results. This is why ASO experts try to attain top positions for their products.App store icon

Enhanced Visibility

ASO increases the visibility of an app within the app stores. Even the most innovative and high-quality app may go unnoticed without effective promotion.

Targeted User Acquisition

ASO helps in attracting users who are genuinely keen on downloading and actively using the app. This ensures that users do not uninstall the app shortly after installation.

Organic Growth

ASO contributes to the growth of organic and consistent downloads, which is beneficial for long-term app promotion.

Reduced Cost, Increased Profit

Optimization reduces the cost of acquiring traffic while simultaneously boosting profits through a stable upsurge in downloads.

Regional Considerations in App Store and Google Play

Managing Multiple Regions in App Stores

When targeting users from various regions, both Google Play and the App Store have specific requirements.

For Google Play, if the app is designed for consumers in multiple regions, it is necessary to translate the title, description, keywords, and screenshots into the respective languages. This can be achieved by selecting the appropriate language options in the Developer Console and filling in the corresponding data fields.

In the case of the App Store, adapting different languages involves logging into iTunes Connect, selecting the desired fields, and providing the necessary information.

It is essential to address these regional considerations to effectively cater to users from diverse linguistic backgrounds in both app stores.

Google and play store

The Free Model of Distributing Mobile Apps

Speed as a Crucial Factor in App Promotion

In the realm of app distribution, search engine crawlers assess website speed, while app store algorithms and moderators evaluate app performance. Speed essentially becomes an influential factor in ASO (App Store Optimization).

If an app experiences frequent freezing, hangs, or prolonged download times, the likelihood of securing top positions diminishes significantly. Conversely, a higher level of speed enhances the chances of successful app promotion.

Emphasizing and prioritizing speed in app development and optimization greatly contributes to maximizing the app’s potential for successful distribution and increased visibility.

The free app distribution model offers dual benefits:

User Attraction

When searching for apps, users often filter their results to show free options. Offering the ability to download and test certain features for free is more enticing than requiring an upfront purchase.

In-App Purchases

In-app purchases play a significant role in app monetization. By strategically incorporating relevant keywords, you can optimize the visibility of these purchase options. However, it’s important to note that paid promotion methods generally yield better results. If your aim is to generate substantial revenue from your apps, consider promoting them through advertising.

By capitalizing on the advantages of the free app distribution model, you can enhance user engagement, maximize downloads, and potentially increase your app’s profitability.

Ranking and Reviews for Mobile Apps

The algorithms employed by app stores consider the feedback provided by users, which directly influences the app’s ranking. A higher rating significantly improves the app’s visibility in search results.

Many users thoroughly review the comments and ratings before deciding to download an app. Positive reviews play a vital role in promoting your product. It is beneficial to engage genuine users who can provide honest feedback and ratings. A helpful approach is to incorporate a prompt feature where a message pops up requesting users to rate the app.

By actively managing and encouraging positive reviews, you can enhance the reputation of your app, attract more users, and ultimately improve its overall ranking and visibility within the app stores.

Obtaining professional reviews is equally valuable alongside user feedback. To acquire such reviews, it is necessary to approach reputable app review websites. 

However, the process can be challenging due to the vast number of available platforms, and not all of them attract substantial traffic.

Engaging with trusted app review websites can provide valuable exposure and credibility for your app. While selecting the most suitable platforms might require careful consideration, the potential benefits of receiving professional reviews make the effort worthwhile. Google play store

These reviews can enhance the app’s reputation, attract a broader audience, and contribute to its overall success.

Choosing the Appropriate App Title

The title of your software plays a crucial role as it is the first thing potential users encounter. Therefore, it is essential to carefully select a name that effectively represents your app’s essence while adhering to the guidelines set by the app stores. It should comply with legal requirements, avoid association with adult content, and meet the specified length limitations.

In the App Store, the maximum title length is restricted to 30 characters, whereas Google Play allows up to 50 characters.

Maintaining readability is also a critical consideration. Although it may not always be the sole determining factor, an easily readable title can contribute to user appeal. It’s worth noting that some popular apps, despite having complex or challenging-to-pronounce names (such as certain photo editors), have still achieved considerable success within their respective categories.

Enhancing the Visual Appeal of Mobile Apps

The visual design plays a vital role in attracting users to click on the coveted ‘Install’ button. The overall appearance of the app, both in app store listings and on its dedicated page, should be visually appealing, enticing users to quickly install and explore the product. 

It is crucial to focus on key design elements, such as icons and screenshots, while considering the unique requirements and guidelines of both the App Store and Google Play.

By optimizing the graphics and design elements of your app, you can create a visually captivating presence that entices users to engage with your product. Attention to detail in these visual aspects can significantly enhance the overall user experience and increase the likelihood of successful app installations.

Enhancing App Presentation with Screenshots

Screenshots play a crucial role in providing users with a glimpse of what they can expect after installing an app. They are typically divided into portrait and landscape orientations.

Note: To be eligible for Google Play selections, a minimum of 3 landscape screenshots is required.

Differentiating Factors

Screenshots can also vary in terms of composition:

  • Normal: This refers to individual screenshots presented as standalone images.
  • Panoramic: In this case, multiple screenshots are combined to create a single, expansive image.

Platform-specific Considerations

Google Play: A maximum of 8 screenshots can be uploaded. It is recommended to utilize the available space effectively, customizing the set for each device size. The advantage is that you can update the screenshots at any time, independent of app updates.

App Store: The maximum number of screenshots varies, allowing for up to 10. The first 2 screenshots hold significant importance as they are immediately visible to users. When a video is uploaded, only a single screenshot is displayed.

Additionally, it is important to note that there is no option to specify a price within the screenshots. App Store screenshots can only be updated when a product update is released. It is advisable to preview how the screenshots will appear in both light and dark mode before adding them.

Evaluating App Performance through A/B Testing

The Importance of A/B Testing

Once the ASO optimization of an app is complete, it is crucial to test the effectiveness of the implemented changes. This is where A/B testing comes into play. By conducting tests, we can assess the impact of specific modifications on visibility and conversions.


Conducting the Test

Before initiating the test, it is essential to establish a starting date and carefully monitor relevant metrics for a week or until a sufficient number of targeted actions have been recorded. The next step involves analyzing the ASO efforts and evaluating the collected data.

Areas of Transformation

During the A/B testing process, the following aspects can be modified:

  • Colors: Experimenting with different color schemes.
  • Icons and Screenshots: Testing various sets of icons and screenshots.
  • Text: Modifying the content, layout, and structure of textual elements.
  • Order of Screenshots: Adjusting the sequence of screenshots.
  • Presence/Absence of Promotional Video: Assessing the impact of including or excluding a promotional video.

To obtain meaningful results, it is advisable not to change all parameters simultaneously. By making incremental adjustments, it becomes easier to determine the factors that contribute to improved conversions.

Time and Effort

ASO optimization for applications requires a significant investment of time and effort. This involves researching competitors, experimenting with different solutions, conducting tests, and diligently monitoring analytics.

It is important to be prepared for a substantial commitment of resources. However, the rewards can be equally satisfying, as a well-optimized application has the potential to generate incredible returns.

Leave a Comment