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3 things you didn’t know affect your app rank and how to fix them

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3 things you didn’t know affect your app rank and how to fix them

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App Store Optimization is a dynamic practice. All app stores are constantly changing and improving their algorithms to best serve their user bases and help them find relevant, useful and beautifully functioning apps. This can cause a lot of headaches for ASO efforts. Today, we will go over 3 variables that could be affecting your app rank in recent algorithmic updates and how to fix them.

1. App Loyalty

Users should return to your app regularly: hourly, daily, weekly, etc. This is known as retention. App’s with higher retention are seen as more favorable by both Apple and Google Play and typically hold a higher rank (as one of many contributing factors).

Don’t have tap-happy users? Invite them back!

Smart push notifications are a great way to entice users to return to your app. Create offers, news-oriented notifications and push them out at times of the day your user historically launches your app.

Length of time installed

If an app doesn’t meet a user’s needs or leaves them generally disinterested, they could potentially delete the app right after the first use. This is what is known churn. The app stores capture this information and associate that your app wasn’t useful to the user. This means your app will likely drop in rank if this is the case for your users across the board.

So how do we fix this one? Well, you really just need to have a useful, functional, appealing app that delivers upon what it promises on the app store. While we know this is a bit oversimplifying, there are certain things you can do to increase the length of time installed:

  • improve your app UI: it’s important to
  • improve your app UX: what’s a pretty app if users can figure out how to use it?!
  • improve your app store listings: for a complete checklist of how to improve your product page, read our previous post here.

Recency & Volatility

Is your app receiving a lot of new users? Great. Keep them happy and your rank will climb. However, if your churn is high despite having a high recent download spike, you won’t be happy with your rank. This is known as volatility. If you have a highly volatile install to retention ratio, you won’t build rank anytime soon. In fact, you may experience rank volatility and drop considerably.

ASO Protip: Did you know? The higher an app is rated, the less volatile its rankings are. (source: Moz) All the more reason to pay special attention to your ratings and reviews (especially negative ones) and always make sure to respond! Want to learn more about app reviews? Read our previous post here.

What do these things mean for your app:

While these things may frustrate you, keep in mind that the mission of app stores is to provide high-quality products to their user bases while keeping them safe from harmful and spammy apps. These algorithm variables aim to do that.

The good news is that if you stay informed about algorithm changes and pivot your App Store Optimization efforts accordingly, there is huge potential for gains in app rank, users and ultimately revenue for your app.


These are just 3 variables that could be affecting your app rank. There’s a lot more to be aware of; our blog is a wealth of knowledge about areas of optimization opportunity.

Need more help getting ranked on your app stores? Contact us today.

Erin Schnittker | Lead Designer & Marketing Manager |

Erin Schnittker
Lead Designer & Marketing Manager

Erin Schnittker is a graphic design & digital marketing expert with 8 years of experience in content strategy, creation and design. She has worked on a significant number of household brand names, successfully optimizing their inbound marketing schemes to best attract, covert, close and delight consumers on an international basis. Erin’s unique understanding of user behavior and App Store Optimization, has proven to be a winning combination when applied to the creative optimization of our clients’ apps.

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