What is ASO? Learn how to highlight your app above others

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The current market is at its highest point in terms of the number of apps it offers, exceeding 6 million. Consequently, standing out is not an easy task, but it is possible. Positioning is key to achieving this. Therefore, an App Marketing strategy must include ASO (App Store Optimization).  

 An app to succeed has to stand out in the app’s stores. Why? Because users download those applications that manage to position themselves and attract their attention.  

 This article tells you how to get more visibility for your business in the app’s stores and multiply your downloads. 

 

What is ASO?  

The acronym ASO means Application Store Optimization. ASO refers explicitly to positioning applications in download stores, such as Google Play and the Apple Store.

ASO positioning maximizes the visibility of apps in these stores and achieves this through an app optimization process that we will discuss later. 

 

Importance of an ASO strategy 

An app needs more than being useful to succeed, even if we are talking about the best app on the market. Of course, creating a great quality application is the starting point, as is its functionality and intuitiveness. But it is just the first step to massiveness and success. 

Why? Because if our app is the best but impossible to find in an overcrowded universe of applications, success will not come since there will be no downloads. 

So, now is when an ASO strategy plays a significant role. It allows us to position our application in the download stores and gain ground against the competition by giving us visibility. 

If we want users to choose us, we have to stay visible. That is what ASO positioning generates: it maximizes visibility and reaches top positions in marketplaces.  

When you don’t optimize your app store presence, you miss out on the most critical marketing channel in the mobile world. 

 

How do users find and download mobile apps? 

When planning an ASO strategy, a key aspect is to consider and analyze how users find the mobile applications they want to download.  

According to Forrester Research, more than 63% of downloads originate from Google Play And App Store searches. Apple also highlights the role of search as the primary way users discover applications, representing 65% of downloads from the App Store. Seen in this way, the success or failure of an app will largely depend on the ASO positioning.   

Besides, an app’s position in search ranking is directly related to the number of downloads. The apps in the best place are the more relevant for users and generally get more downloads. It is because users tend to focus on the first five search results. 

These in-store searches are often done by brand in the first place and keyword in the second. It is one of the aspects on which ASO works to improve positioning and visibility and make users discover a given application first. 

 

ASO advantages  

By maximizing the visibility of an app, the ASO strategy generates essential benefits: 

  • Position the apps in application marketplaces. 
  • Improve brand exposure. 
  • Increase visibility in search and browsing in download stores. 
  • Increase traffic. 
  • It directly impacts the number of organic downloads (because the app is visible). 
  • Improve the conversion rate of visits and downloads. 
  • More positive reviews and ratings. 
  • It reduces the cost of acquiring users and, consequently, those of the business. 
  • Its implementation requires meager investment and, in return, gives outstanding results. 

How to get a good ASO positioning 

The ASO strategy must consider many aspects to achieve the searched results. The first step is to precisely know the target customer and the keywords they use to find applications similar to the one you want to position. 

With this in mind, the main factors to take into account in an ASO strategy are: 

 

ASO Onsite 

  • Name and title of the application: the keyword chosen for the title has to be the one with the highest search traffic. 
  • Keywords: choose the most relevant to your target audience and improve your search rankings. Monitoring the competition is valuable to keep in mind at this point. 
  • Description and subtitle: the application’s description and subtitle must also contain the selected keywords.  

 

Title and keywords are the most critical ASO factors, so they should be regularly monitored as they are easy to change if necessary. 

 

ASO Offsite 

  • The total number of downloads is an essential value for ASO that is important to monitor even if you have no control over them. 
  • Ratings and reviews are also important, but you cannot control them directly. However, there are things to do that encourage satisfied users to rank the app and give positive feedback. 

You have to monitor and update permanently onsite and offsite ASO, taking into account the new adjustments in the algorithms of the search engines. 

In summary, applying an ASO positioning process lets the application’s stores know what our app does and by which keywords users can find us. 

 

Tips to improve your ASO positioning  

An ASO positioning strategy must be implemented with a focus on the target user and periodically reviewed to identify opportunities for improvement. 

Here are some additional tips to improve your ASO ranking: 

  1. App stores use keyword triggers in the onsite factors of apps. For this reason, it is vital to analyze these words’ selection to ensure the application’s success. At the same time, it is essential to review them periodically and make sure that they continue to be optimal or if they need to be updated. 
  2. How the product page appears in the app store impacts the number of downloads. Therefore, the product page’s CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is key and must be constantly monitored. 
  3. Thumbnail images and screenshots that promote the app in stores directly impact the click-through rate (CTR) of impressions. 
  4. Perform A/B testing on app store fields to identify available optimization areas. 
  5. Using Apple’s Spotlight Search (which allows you to search through the applications already installed on the phone) helps boost users’ use of the application once they have already downloaded it. 

 

ASO tools to improve positioning 

Here are some of the best ASO tools on the market to optimize your presence in app stores: 

AppTweak: Provides key metrics and insights with great accuracy. It offers everything from keyword research tools to competitive analysis tools based on data it pulls directly from app stores that can be analyzed over time and compared to the competition.  

App Radar: Operates on all steps of the ASO process, from analysis, optimization, and publishing to monitoring and monetization, and helps automate the app store optimization process. It also assesses the app’s global expansion by comparing conversion rates between countries, tracks regional trends, and identifies successful local tactics. It allows you to track keywords and the competit 

App Annie: Its most significant strength is its extensive database. It provides an excellent description of the chosen market and shows the competition from the inside out. Its core ASO functions range from App Store optimization and tracking to app usage, downloads, and revenue estimates. It also has some free features like keyword ranking and app store tracking. 

Sensor Tower: This is an app intelligence platform emphasizing data to help make strategic decisions about app store optimization. It performs the traditional functions of ASO in terms of keyword optimization and competitor analysis. It incorporates Store Intelligence and Consumer Intelligence. 

SplitMetrics: Is used for A/B testing and conversion optimization. Its goal is to grow app conversions by optimizing screenshots, icons, and other data. This tool allows you to identify the elements that work for the target audience and thus make the necessary improvements. 

 

Main differences between Google Play ASO and App Store 

An ASO strategy is essential to highlight your app in online stores and achieve more downloads. However, this strategy should vary if the target is Google Play or App Store. Each store has specific requirements, and there are particular tools that developers must consider for users to discover their app.  

For example, App Store has custom listings where developers can publish up to 35 different product pages simultaneously and target them to specific audiences, thus improving the download conversion rate. On the other side, Google Play offers the possibility of publishing cards but with a maximum of 5 different cards.  

There are several differences between the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, and they deserve a different treatment. For now, it is important that you know that each of these stores requires a specific ASO strategy. 

 

ASO vs. SEO 

Many people say that ASO is the SEO of mobile applications. SEO helps us to position our website in the first places of search engines, and ASO helps to set our app in the Marketplace. 

Although these are two different processes, they have several points in common, mainly because ASO is relevant for web SEO since it allows users to find an app through web searches from a mobile device. 

These are the main differences between ASO and SEO: 

ASO VS SEO

ASO checklist 

In summary: 

  •  ASO positioning is an essential part of a successful mobile marketing strategy. 
  • ASO requires identifying the optimal keywords for our business as a part of its process. 
  • ASO is an ongoing process that must be constantly reviewed and updated. 
  • Complementing ASO with other app store optimization tools is extremely helpful to succeed in implementing the strategy. 
  • Achieving more visibility leads to more downloads and vice versa. 

 

Are you already implementing an ASO strategy? 

 

At ThinkUp, we want to help you achieve optimal ASO positioning and make your app a download success. 

 

Shall we start? 

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