Increasing App Ad ROAS by Optimizing Your App Store Listing

Paid advertising is an effective way to boost brand awareness and app downloads. App ads come in all different shapes and sizes. You can run Apple Search Ads and Google AC or work through one of the may mobile ad networks. No matter where you decide to execute paid user acquisition campaigns, there’s always one thing that every ad has in common. When a person clicks on your app’s ad, they’ll, without fail, land on your app store listing page. And this is why you need to optimize your app store listing to increase ROAS. 

We’re going to walk through how you can design an app store listing page that drives more conversions. 

Conversion Rate Optimization 

The process of optimizing your app store listing for increased conversion is called Conversion Rate Optimization, CRO for short. It’s how you make your app look more appealing to your target audience, pushing them to download. 

Conversion Rate Optimization is a sub-process of App Store Optimization. So quickly, what is App Store Optimization or ASO? ASO is the process of increasing app visibility in the app stores. It involves many factors including, keywords, visuals, and ratings, and reviews. The goal of ASO is to increase your app store rank. Both App Store and Google have ranking algorithms that evaluate different aspects of your app store listing to then position your app in the search results. 

So back to Conversion Rate Optimization. CRO involves the following factors: 

  • App icon
  • App screenshots
  • App preview or promo video
  • Ratings and reviews 
  • App name or title 
  • Subtitle (App Store only)
  • Short Description (Google Play only)
  • Long Description


App store listing elements that affect mobile app ad conversion
App store listing elements that affect mobile app ad conversion. Source: Fortnite on App Store.

There are specific strategies you can use to ensure that every one of these factors works to your advantage, meaning driving more downloads. 

Let’s go through best practices for each of these. 

Optimize Your App Icon 

Your app icon serves as your app’s logo. It will be the graphic that people use to recognize your brand, making its design extremely important. 

Before you start designing, spend a reasonable amount of time thinking of what your app name is, what your app is about, and what colors would match well with it. Once you have these solidified, you can move onto the icon. 

The icon has to include all 3 of the factors listed above. It has to align with the brand name, mission, and color scheme. A best practice is to keep it clean and simple. People like icons that are easy to recognize but also not too complex. Avoid using images in your icon and opt for shapes instead. Stick with 2 or 3 colors max. Including more dilutes your brand recognition value. Lastly, when possible, avoid putting any text into the icon. App icons are small, making texts within them hard to read. 

Design Eye-Catching Screenshots

App screenshots have a significant influence on a person’s decision to download an app. People like to look at photos when they’re booking a hotel, buying a new dress, or choosing a restaurant. It’s no different with apps. Your screenshots serve as that vital preview for potential users. Here’s your chance to show off. 


Angry Birds uses appealing screenshots to draw new players in
Angry Birds uses appealing screenshots to draw new players in. Source: Angry Birds Dream Blast on App Store.

The first screenshot is the most important one. Highlight the main features and benefits of your app here. Use the remaining slots to outline a user’s journey through your app. Every screenshot should come together to create a cohesive story. 

Speaking of cohesiveness, don’t forget about branding here. Having a solid and consistent brand throughout your app store listing increases your authority as a company and helps create trust. 

Create a Dynamic Sneak Peek with Video

Video is big. That’s true everywhere, even the app stores. Videos help people make the download decision because it’s a more in-depth sneak peek of your app. With a video, you can actually show how features work, making it more dynamic than screenshots. 

So what kind of apps should use a preview or promo video? 

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Most gaming apps should utilize a video. That’s because gameplay is tough to depict using only screenshots. Aside from games, other apps may convert better without a video. The best way to know is to test it out yourself. Leave a video up on your store listing for a month and see how that affects your conversions.

Establish Social Proof Through App Ratings and Reviews

People like to know that other people had a good experience with an app before downloading it. Human nature, can you blame it? We all want a bit of social proof before investing. 

Okay, how does this affect your mobile ad strategy? If you’re spending a lot of money on advertising and pushing tons of clicks to your app store listing, you don’t want to lose the traffic because they saw that your app’s rating is a 4-star or below. Yes, the standards are high. People won’t even consider downloading an app if it has a 3-star or below rating.


Reply to every user review to show potential users you have a development team that cares.
Reply to every user review to show potential users you have a development team that cares. Source: Camera360 on App Store.

One of the best ways to ensure that your rating stays high and keeps improving is replying to your user reviews. App users like to see that developers listen to their feedback and fix any of the bugs they are experiencing. Users who leave a negative review will most of the time change it to a positive one after receiving a developer response. You can easily reply to reviews using the App Radar Ratings and Review Management tool. Take advantage of reply templates to respond more promptly and also in a consistent brand voice

In addition, user reviews can provide useful insights into how you can further improve your app. For example, users may suggest adding a new feature or a way to better an existing one.

Extend Your App Name or Title 

The App Name (iOS) or Title (Android) is obviously crucial to your growth. But it may not be in the ways that you think. Naturally, the name of your app is going to be important. Pick a name that is recognizable and easy to pronounce. Wait really? Yes, really! App names that are difficult to pronounce are challenging to remember. People are also not searching for misspelled words in the app stores. So if you want your app name to be, say, Journals. Don’t get too crazy and end up with Journalz instead. 


These apps extended their app names to include helpful and relevant keywords.
These apps extended their app names to include helpful and relevant keywords. Source: App Store.


App Store allows 30 characters for the App Name, and Google allows 50. Unless the name that you chose is super long, chances are you have a good amount of character count left in the field. Do not waste this precious space! Add keywords that people would use to search for and describe your app. Then people can know right away what your app does by just looking at the app name, and you’ll rank higher for these keywords. 

You can learn more about developing an effective app keyword strategy with App Radar’s App Store Optimization Academy

Put Keywords in Your Subtitle 

iOS apps listed in the App Store receive a subtitle field in their app store listing. There are 30 available characters in this field. Unsure of what to place here? Don’t worry; we’re about to go through it! 

First off, do not leave this field blank. Apple will index the keywords placed in the subtitle and rank your app for it. If you leave it blank, you give up the chance to rank for more keywords. 

Additionally, the subtitle shows up in the search results and store listing page, meaning people look at it when deciding if they want to download your app. Use keywords that would appeal to your target audience. You can make your ad strategy even more effective by carrying over words you’ve used in your advertising and placing them in the subtitle. This lets people know they’re downloading the right app. 

Write a Detailed Description 

Both the App Store and Google Play allow 4000 characters for the long description. The first 80 characters of the Google Play description becomes the short description, showing above the fold. 

Honestly, people will skim your description. They’ll rarely read it word for word. However, you can take advantage of this. Again, think about the keywords and the words you’ve utilized in your advertising. Repeat the keywords 3-5 times in the description. This way, it’s clear to potential users what your app is about.


The Sweat App updated their description to match their New Year’s campaigns.
The Sweat App updated their description to match their New Year’s campaigns. Source: Sweat App on App Radar.


Furthermore, if your app has them, describe your in-app purchases and subscription model in the description. This creates more trust between you and your potential user. People will be much more likely to download your app if you’re transparent about how everything works, including monetization. 


Think of your app store listing as a window display. How can you dress the mannequins and style the display so that people will want to walk into your store and purchase an item? Never forget about who your target audience is. Different audiences are attracted to different types of design, down to the typography. Don’t be afraid to A/B test to figure out the best variations of your icon and screenshots. You can also update your app store listing frequently to test which type of keywords work best for ad conversion. 

To reiterate it, your ad spend is going to waste if your store listing is not optimized for conversion. Losing potential users at this last step would be tragic. Make your paid mobile acquisition bullet-proof by having an optimized and appealing app store listing. 

To learn more about App Store Optimization and creating awesome store listings, check out App Radar’s App Store Optimization Academy

Genie (LinkedIn) is the Marketing Manager at App Radar. She drives exciting in-house campaigns and collaborations to get the word out about app marketing and growth strategies. App Radar helps game and app businesses, to reach success through App Store Optimization, Apple Search Ads, and Google UAC. If you are interested in working with App Radar as a future partner or customer feel free to reach out to