A detailed study on ASO
ASO(App store optimization) is known as the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone app) in an app store (such as the App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, Windows Store for Windows Phone or BlackBerry World for BlackBerry). App store optimization also encompasses activities focused on increasing the conversion of app store impressions into downloads (e.g. A/B testing of screenshots), collectively referred to as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). The first use of the term “app store optimization” to describe this new discipline appears to have been in a presentation by Johannes Borchardt on November 4, 2009. It began to take hold as a standardized term not long after, with outlets such as Search Engine Watch and TechCrunch using the term by February, 2012.
☆WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF ASO?
ASO marketers try to achieve goals, such as:
- Being found more easily by users on the app stores, due to the fact that 65% of all downloads come from App Store searches.
- Ranking higher than competitors.
- Ranking higher for specific keywords.
- Ranking higher in Google’s semantic search through relevant backlinking.
- Optimize app store assets (e.g. icon, screenshots, promo video, description, etc.) to increase download conversion rate from store features, top chart impressions, and keyword searches.
☆WHAT ARE THE METHODS OF ASO?
Many ASO marketers categorize their work into two distinct processes: keyword optimization and conversion rate optimization.
- Keyword Optimization▪▪▪
One of the main jobs of an ASO marketer is to optimize the keywords in an app’s metadata so that the app store keyword ranking algorithms rank that app higher in the search engine results page for relevant keywords. This is accomplished by ensuring that relevant and important keywords are found in an app’s metadata, as well as adjusting the mix of keywords across an app’s metadata elements in order to increase the ranking strength of target keywords.
2. Conversion Rate Optimization▪▪▪
In order to increase the downloads of an app, an app’s assets (e.g. the icon, preview video, screenshots, etc.) must also be optimized. It is recommended to measure the effect of these optimizations by creating different variations of each asset, showing each variation to users, and then comparing the conversion rate of each variant, in a process referred to as A/B testing. Google Play facilitates this process by providing ASO marketers with an A/B testing platform built into the Google Play Console. For other platforms such as the Apple App Store, ASO marketers can run A/B tests via 3rd party A/B testing tools, running a pre-post test (i.e. pushing new assets live to the store and measuring the impact pre-and-post change), a country-by-country experiment (i.e. testing different asset variations across similar countries, such as UK/AU/CA/US/NZ), or testing different variations via ad platforms such as Facebook Ads.
☆WHAT ARE THE TOP ASO AGENCIES?
- App growth Network▪▪▪
It is an app marketing company with expertise in three major mobile app marketing areas – User Acquisition, Analytics, and Product Marketing. Launched in 2018, the agency has already got a number of prominent mobile apps in its portfolio, such as The Mindfulness App, CatchUp, Sage Accounting, and more.
- Key ASO services: Global ASO, App Analytics, App Retention Analysis, App CPI campaigns with ad networks, Search Ads & UAC Optimization, App Store creative optimization, Android Link Building & PR outreach, Cross-Device Mobile SEO
- Tagline: A Global App Product Marketing Agency
- Offices: Vancouver (Canada), Barcelona (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Seattle (US), and India.
2. Yodel Mobile▪▪▪
It is the leading global app marketing consultancy and Mobile Agency of the Year 2019, specializing in launching and scaling apps. Since its inception in 2007, they’ve launched and aided the growth of over 200 apps. They work with clients from single territory start-ups to established, multi-territory, international brands such as mytaxi, NBCUniversal, UKTV, Bauer Media, Fujifilm, The Economist, Teletext Holidays and Gymshark.
- Key ASO services: App store listings, images, videos and reviews optimization
- Tagline: The leading global app marketing consultancy
- Offices: London, UK.
☆WHAT ARE THE TOP ASO COMPANIES?
It’s a full service, global mobile success company that helps companies grow their mobile business. After redefining hundreds of apps and A/B testing every possible feature in every vertical, the team knows what works for each product, and how to deliver the most relevant experiences for each user. They love solving clients’ tough mobile challenges and believe that the combination of creative thinking, advanced technology, and data drives performance at scale.
- Key ASO services: Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, Mobile Campaigns, Media Management and Optimization, Mobile Strategy, App Store Optimization, A/B Testing, Product Consulting, Creative Production, Video Production, Social Management
- Tagline: Mobile Done Right
- Offices: New York, San Francisco, and Tel-Aviv.
2. The ASO Co
It aims to optimize App Store listings for businesses to improve their apps organic search visibility, increase installs number, and gain an advantage over their competitors. Founded in 2015, by James Bott and Thomas Twigg, ASO Co’s experienced team provides a global app store optimization, app strategy and management service. They use proprietary app store data for optimization and look at search behaviors in each territory to improve your app’s visibility and conversion within each app store. On average, the ASO Co’s clients see a 20-40% increase in organic installs.
- Key ASO services: localization, conversion optimization, app store optimization, mobile strategy, creative, market research, competitor analysis, tracking, mobile acquisition, mobile retention, product development, UI/UX, and A/B testing
- Tagline: Refining Mobile Optimization
- Offices: London (UK)
☆ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FROM ASO?
If you haven’t already been convinced that you need to devote more time to your app store optimization strategy then the following benefits are sure to be enough to change your mind:
These extra downloads and increased revenue provide your app with a much more stable future. Whilst pumping your entire budget into paid marketing techniques at the very start may give you a burst of new users, to begin with, this is not a long-term fix. Once the downloads slow down it may be tempting to up your marketing budget further but this is not always a profitable option and the money will eventually run out. However, with continuous effort and regular tweaks of your app store page you can keep those organic downloads coming in consistently over time by improving or maintaining your rank in the app store search.
2. Increased revenue
If you monetize your app in any way, say from ads, subscriptions, in-app purchases etc., then ASO will benefit you in terms of an increased revenue from all the extra downloads you are receiving.
☆WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES FROM ASO?
As Thomas Kriebernegg mentioned already, it takes a lot of time to complete properly. To really see results off of ASO, you’ll need to release constant updates for your app to test optimize for your best keywords. Many developer don’t have time for this and may cut corners which would lead to poorly done ASO and bad optimization.
2. Results often take longer to notice
Although it is one of the cheapest marketing methods, it can take longer to see results compared to other methods. For example, launching a direct install campaign with Apple Search Ads can provide downloads almost instantly while ASO requires more patience.
Keep in mind ASO takes time; there is nothing like a silver bullet. No one can state an ASO strategy that will 100% guarantee a higher rank on App Store searches; however, the above mentioned ASO factors are based on tried and tested methods that experts have followed over the period. SEO where more than 200 ranking factors determine Google Ranking Algorithm, ASO is also dependent on Search Algorithms, but there is no conclusive evidence on how it works.
Consistent work is required to test the effectiveness of the ASO strategy, as being found amongst millions of apps on the app store is a challenging task. To reap the rewards of ASO driving consistent efforts in the right channel is the only get to go solution.
A pro tip would be to always keep track of your efforts. Also, learning what your competitors do can help you improve your ASO results. Most importantly, never forget to optimize the app regularly.