SEO Series: Optimize Your App for Search

As part of CNN Newsource’s ongoing series of thought leadership designed to help our affiliates expand their audience reach on digital platforms, we bring you another post in our SEO Series.

By: Dan Perry, SEO Director at Turner Broadcasting

App Store Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in an App store (iTunes, Google Play, etc.). With consumers moving from desktop to mobile (and some international users skipping desktop altogether), the usage of apps is only increasing. According to ComScore, mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital time spent… in May of 2014. Google is clearly prioritizing apps in their mobile search results with the relatively recent additions of Google App Packs, App Indexing, and App Streaming.


Because of these rapid changes, not only has appearing in App Store search results become more important (and competitive), appearing high in the search results is imperative for success. Enter App Store Optimization.

Ranking well in the App Stores is driven by two primary factors: Keyword alignment and app performance. Keyword alignment includes maximizing available app store fields (Keyword, TITLE, Description, etc.) for a collection of relevant terms. Performance metrics including download velocity, app ratings, and reviews, and they determine how well the app will rank for each of those keywords. (Additionally, the Google Play algorithm may include external, web-based performance metrics like citations and links as ranking factors, not unlike SEO.)

Our SEO team uses an ASO tool that allows us to measure keyword volume within App stores, ensuring we’re targeting the correct keywords.  With this tool, we are recommending keyword updates, watching for changes when the app updates, and adjusting as needed.

Additional Reading:

Soon Google Search will have live TV listings – Within their search results, Google is planning to show which channel users can turn their TV to later in the evening or week to catch it live.
Google increases effect of mobile-friendless as a ranking signal – Last year they started to use it, and next month they are strengthening it. Takeaway: Ensure your site(s) are mobile-friendly.