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Intro to App Store Optimization (ASO)

This post will cover two topics: how to submit your app to the App Store and Google Play, and app store optimization (ASO) strategies. Feel free to scroll to the bottom if you’d like to skip the submission process and get straight to ASO best practices.

Submitting the app

iOS

Begin by registering first as an Apple Developer for free, and then by registering as an iOS Developer and paying the annual $99 fee. The process is fairly straight-forward, but in the event that you need step-by-step instructions, this tutorial has a great explanation. It takes a day or so for Apple to process the entire registration, so be patient.

After you have created an account, you may start the process of submitting your app to Apple’s App Store. The process is summed up in these five steps:

  1. Create a distribution certificate.
  2. Create a store distribution provisioning profile.
  3. Archive and validate your app.
  4. For Mac apps, test the Mac Installer Package.
  5. Submit your app using Xcode or Application Loader

You may see Apple’s instructions for the process here.

The App Store is notorious for rejecting apps based on a stringent set of rules. From offensive content to features that Apple just plain doesn’t like, Apple commonly rejects app submissions – leading to frustration from developers. In case you missed it, here’s a refresher for accepted rules. Thoroughly check that your app is in line with Apple’s standards to avoid sending your app through the submission process multiple times.

Android

To submit your app to Google Play, first create an account on the Developer Console and pay the one-time $25 developer registration fee. It can take up to 48 hours to process the registration.

Google offers step-by-step directions for submitting apps to Google Play. After you have reviewed your app for potential fallacies – Google is much more lenient than Apple on rules – you may submit your app by following the links on the directions. The process is simpler than Apple’s; developers upload their APKs, fill out a few key fields and publish to the queue. If you’d like a tutorial with screenshots, click here. The review process for this takes a few hours.

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