Chapter 1: What is ASO? An Overview | AppsFlyer
what is ASO

Chapter 1

What is ASO? An Overview

What is ASO?

Many people refer to App Store Optimization as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for apps. That is a fair comparison, although SEO is more complex than ASO because more factors influence the outcome of SEO.

By definition, ASO is “the process of optimizing a game or application in order to maximize its visibility […] and improve conversion rate to generate the maximum volume of organic downloads.” From this definition, we can extract two sub-goals: Maximizing Visibility and Optimizing Conversion Rates. Let’s have a look at these two sub-goals in more detail.

 

Sub-Goal #1: Maximizing Visibility

Obviously, only people who are aware of your app can download it. Thus, you need to bring it to the attention of your audience. That is, you need to make it visible in the app stores.

You can create visibility for your app in three different ways:

  1. By getting it featured on the stores’ home pages. Features (or Stories, as Apple calls them) create an enormous level of visibility and typically result in thousands of additional downloads. But getting a feature is difficult because the spots for features are very limited, and it is up to the stores’ editorial teams to pick the apps for these spots. To increase the chance of getting a feature, you need to have a great app that is free of bugs and uses the latest technologies. It also must have great user metrics and should fit into a topic that the editorial teams want to emphasize.
  2. By getting the app into the top charts that present the most popular or most successful apps in general or in a specific category. Like getting featured, making it to the top positions of the charts is not easy. A lot of downloads or enormous revenues are necessary.
  3. By getting the app into search results for relevant keywords. Search is the easiest way to generate visibility. You neither need a track record of success nor are you dependent on the editorial teams’ goodwill. All you need is knowledge about the app store algorithms.

what is ASO

 

Sub-Goal #2: Optimizing Conversion Rates

The second goal of ASO is to convert as many visitors of your app’s product page as possible into users who download and install. To achieve this goal, you need to optimize the information about your app to help users make their decision. This task includes:

  • writing compelling app descriptions
  • designing beautiful icons and screenshots
  • composing great app preview videos (respectively promotion videos on Google Play)

All these components should not only look great, but also convince users that your app is a solution to their problems or their needs.

Subscribe to AppsFlyer content

The latest mobile marketing tips & trends delivered to your inbox.

Besides the optimization of the metadata that users actually can see, numerous other factors affect conversion rates. The measures you should take in this context include:

  • finding ways to increase the number of positive reviews and trying to avoid negative feedback
  • keeping the app’s data weight low
  • increasing user retention
  • and many more

 

Why is ASO important?

As said, App Store Optimization must be the foundation of every app marketing and user acquisition strategy. Here are the reasons why ASO is crucial:

  • First, successful ASO results in a constant stream of new users who find your app in search results. These organic users are free, and they usually are more engaged and more loyal than users who discover your app via a paid campaign. Thus, organic users are the most valuable for every app owner.
  • Second, ASO, or more specifically, Conversion Rate Optimization, has a positive impact on your paid campaigns, social marketing, and other user acquisition efforts. A higher conversion rate results in more downloads from all of your traffic channels, so you make more out of every marketing dollar you spend.

 

The App Product Page and Metadata

Of course, App Store Optimization is not about optimizing the whole app store. It is about optimizing the product page of your app. Think of the product page as a showcase. It presents many pieces of information that potential users can use to evaluate your app and decide whether they want to download it or not. These pieces of information are called “Metadata,” or “Metadata Elements.”

As the app owner, you can manipulate some of these metadata elements directly. These elements are called “On-page Metadata.” They include the app title, the subtitle (iOS) or the short description (Android), the keyword field (iOS only), the app description, the app icon, screenshots, and videos.

Other elements are composed by the app store mechanics and are not editable. They are called “Off-page Metadata.” Reviews and ratings, the number of downloads, the age rating, and the app’s data weight belong to this category.

what is ASO what is ASO

In addition, we can categorize metadata elements by their type (text or visual) and their relevance. Some elements are relevant for creating visibility because they are indexed. That means the app store algorithms will search them for keywords and list the app in search results if it finds them. Other metadata elements don’t have an impact on visibility, but they can convince users to download the app once they visit the product page and thus increase the conversion rate. Finally, a few elements are important for both creating visibility and conversion rate optimization. The table below clarifies into which category the different metadata elements belong.

 

Metadata

Type

iTunes / iOS

Google Play / Android

Visible for Users?

Relevant for Visibility?

Relevant for Conversion Rate?

Visible for Users?

Relevant for Visibility?

Relevant for Conversion Rate?

App Title

Text

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Subtitle

Text

Yes

Yes

Yes

n/a

n/a

n/a

Short Description

Text

n/a

n/a

n/a

Yes

Yes

Yes

(Long) Description

Text

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Keyword Field

Text

No

Yes

No

n/a

n/a

n/a

App Icon

Visual

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Screenshots

Visual

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Video

Visual

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

In-App Purchases

Text / Visual

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No