You’ve heard of SEO, but what about ASO?

November 19, 2021
EMOTIONstudios Blog - You’ve heard of SEO, but what about ASO?

Everybody knows about SEO, everybody knows some SEO. But there is something a bit more special than plain old SEO. And you might not even know about it.

Get ready to meet SEO’s younger brother, ASO.

What is ASO?

ASO, in short, stands for App Store Optimization. And with over 6 million available apps across major app stores, you kind of start to understand why optimization is needed if you want your app to get to the right people. Of course, just like in the case of SEO, the higher you rank on the results page, the better is your chance to get to the potential customers, aka to get conversions. And with over 5 million available apps on stores, you need to find an edge so you can outshine the competition.

But how do you get downloads with ASO? Good question! Let’s find out together.

What does it do?

A good ASO strategy will drive attention and conversions on app stores like App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android, just to name the major ones.

Of course, ASO also measures other things besides conversions, like click-through rates, which focus on specifically getting people on your app page.

In fewer words, ASO will get you more visibility equals more downloads which equals even more visibility and the cycle continues. You can start to see why it’s important.

Is ASO really that much different than SEO?

Well, yes, but at the same time, no.

When speaking of similarities, both ASO and SEO are ranking systems with very specific rules and ranking factors that need to be taken into consideration. Some strategies and goals may also be the same, like both using keyword optimization, backlinking and conversion optimization to get visibility, but the similarities kind of end there.

SEO, on one hand, has a lot more rules and standards that you need to take into account, over 200, with an over expanding list. ASO, in that sense, is a bit more simple, having quite a shorter list of factors that determine overall success. Surprisingly, this list is not readily available for us, but after a bit of research you can determine which ones are the factors that influence app store rankings.

For both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, the top ranking factors (in no particular order) are:

  • App Name & App Subtitle
  • App Screenshots & Videos
  • Keyword field
  • Rating and Reviews
  • Updates
  • Downloads and Engagement

How can I get to the top?

You came to the right place to find out! So, first things first, to get at the top of any app search result you need to have a very clear and very well researched ASO strategy. What’s your niche? What are people looking for in this specific niche? Where are the most users located? Know the market, know the people and only then you can move forward to take care of the little details.

App Name & App Subtitle
The app name is one of the things that the users first notice. Keep in mind to choose it wisely; keep it relevant, easy to read and somewhat uniquely yours, just to keep a clear difference between you and your competitors. The same goes for the subtitle.

Tip: A nice trick to get ahead is to put keywords that describe your app in the title of the app so you can rank higher.

App Screenshots & Videos
Visuals get a lot more attention from users and can convince them to download the app, and while this doesn’t directly influence app ranking, it does help a lot with conversion rate optimization; which, as we talked about previously, is quite important.

Besides this, visuals help demonstrate the functionality of your app and help tell the users how to use the app (vertical or horizontal orientation of the screenshots and videos, example interactions, etc).

App Keywords
Keywords are actually your holy grail when it comes to ASO. Depending on the type of app you provide and its category, you can get “free” keywords, so to speak. In simpler terms, if your game app is free, it will already have the keywords “game” and “”free”.

Another tip when it comes to keywords is to have niche keywords, rather than just ones with a high search volume. If you find ones that are longer than one word, it’s even better.

App Rating and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are an integral part of any app’s life.It means that the app is well teste, well used and people engage with it often. It’s also the best way to find out how to improve the app and help make it stay relevant, because, of course, better ratings mean better ranking.

Keep in mind that more than 80% of mobile users read at least one review before downloading an app. Replying to reviews and actually taking into account what users are saying will always make a good impression to potential users.

Just like replying to reviews, an up to date app with a history of periodical updates shows users that the app is not only safe, but also used on a regular basis. It’s important to users, but also to ASO: it’s reported that frequently updated apps are rewarded by showing up higher in app store search results.

But instead of figuring out the best ASO strategy on your own, why don’t you take a load off your back and hire some of the best ones in the industry?

Let’s talk!

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