Blog The Ultimate Apple App Store Pre-Launch ASO Checklist

The Ultimate Apple App Store Pre-Launch ASO Checklist

The big day has finally arrived!

The day you hit the proverbial launch button is an exciting one for every app developer and marketer. Many hours of work have led up to it, including, we hope, a substantial chunk of time dedicated to app store optimization–researching, tweaking, and getting everything just right in time for launch.

Of course, you’ll continually track and refine your ASO methods over time. But before you actually launch your app in the iOS App Store for the first time, there are some crucial tasks you need to be sure to have tackled.

This App Store pre-launch ASO checklist provides a rundown of all the things to have in place before your Apple App Store launch.

App Store pre-launch ASO checklist


Track Your Important Keywords – You don’t have to have a live app to start tracking your keywords. You can add an existing app to your watchlist and track your keywords with that app. Then when your app is live, you can transfer the keywords to your app.

Research Your App Keywords – Use the right keywords by selecting them by download relevance, Chance Score, then Search Score. Learn more here.

Research Your Competitors’ Keywords – The Keyword Investigator module will allow you to see the keywords your competitors are using.

Find Keywords From Competing Apps That Get the Most Organic Downloads – Learn how to use the Keyword Intelligence module to determine exactly which of their keywords can potentially drive the most downloads.

Get More Keyword Ideas – You can mine reviews, spy on keywords from other apps and get suggested keywords.

Use Long-Tail KeywordsResearch long-tail keywords to find low competition ASO keywords.

Consider Generic Keywords – Use them in combination with the keywords you’ve researched, like “best,” “free,” and so on…to increase the effectiveness of existing keywords. Also research whether or not to include articles and prepositions like “of” and “the” in your keywords.

Plural vs. SingularResearch whether or not to include plural forms of your keywords. Yes, it can make a difference…and don’t include both.

Select Your Official Set of Keywords for Launch – Choosing those with the highest ranking potential to maximize your 100 character limit. Do not include keywords from your app name. Separate keywords with commas, no spaces, and don’t repeat keywords. Need more keyword tips? Check here.

Download a PDF version of App Store pre-launch ASO checklist inside Mobile Action Academy:

Download checklist

App Icon

Create an Awesome App Icon – Your app icon is the most important graphic element on your app page. If you’re not confident in your design skills, check out these app icon design resources.

App / Publisher Name

Check Your App Name – Keywords in your app name will carry the most weight. Add your most important keywords as a descriptive phrase. Remember, you only have 50 characters…make them count.

Choose Your Publisher Name – If you haven’t chosen a publisher name yet, remember that it can give you a small advantage, if it contains related keywords. If you have already chosen a publisher name, don’t worry about it because you can’t change it now.

Track the Competition

Track Your Competitors – We allow you to track unlimited competing apps for free. Take advantage of this and add all of your competitors to your account. See their Visibility Scores, category performance and more. If you don’t have a Mobile Action account, sign up here.

App Description

Craft Your App Description – The keywords in your app’s description do not help you rank in keyword searches. But your description is your last chance to get a download, so make it count. Make sure that the first 3 lines are attention grabbing and format your description for easy reading. Learn more here.


Decide if Localization Makes Sense – For most apps, localization doesn’t make sense for the initial launch because it adds unnecessary overhead and expense. But if you do have the resources to do it, you could multiply your downloads. If it is for you, then learn where to localize next.

Screenshots / Video

Optimize Your Screenshots – Double check them to make sure everything is current and fits guidelines. Make sure that they are descriptively labeled and learn how to optimize your app screenshots.

Create an App Preview Video – Make sure you meet Apple’s guidelines and optimize it even further with our tips, “How to Optimize Apple App Store Preview Videos“.


Install an Analytics Solution – Although this is not ASO, be sure to install an analytics solution like Google Analytics to track app usage. It’s free, so there’s no excuse.

Once you complete app store pre-launch ASO checklist, all that’s left is to publish your app.

Good luck!

To get more ASO tips, read our case studies, or sign up for Mobile Action Academy to download the PDF version of the app store pre-launch ASO checklist.

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Rachel Wilson AuthorAbout the Author

Rachel Wilson is a writer, marketer, and content creator living in NYC. She’s worked for technology companies like BetterCloud and Microsoft, and believes her English degree prepared her to write about pretty much anything. She misses the ocean and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest but can’t give up New York pizza.

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