5 Key ASO Strategies to Improve Your App


App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing all elements on app product pages, positioning within the app stores, and utilizing all opportunities for increased visibility. This is achieved through metadata optimization, creative optimization, special projects (such as Custom Product Pages (CPP) and In App Events (IAE)), and creative direction. The main goal of ASO is to increase organic downloads from browse and search traffic, improve conversions, and attract new users. Remember, organic downloads are extremely important, as most downloads in app stores worldwide are organic (58% in 2022). Here are 5 key strategies to include in your ASO plan:

1. Optimize App Metadata

Metadata optimization is an ongoing process that requires regular updates, either monthly or every other month, for a successful strategy. This includes market and keyword research, and keyword evaluation based on parameters such as search volume, current rank, potential, difficulty, and trends. After selecting the keywords, ensure they work well individually and target as many keyword combinations as possible.

Also, make sure to follow guidelines specific to each store, as Apple and Google algorithms consider different factors when ranking your app based on your metadata. For example, duplicate keywords across the metadata fields are detrimental for Apple but are an integral component of a successful strategy on the Google Play Store.

2. Market Positioning: Analyze Competitors

The second step is to research all competitors and possibilities in the store.

  • Which categories will best fit your app based on your competitors' ranks?
  • Which features of the app store are being utilized by your competitors?
  • How many of your competitors are using preview videos?
  • Which competitors are updating their metadata regularly?

These are questions from which we can derive answers and interesting case studies. Market research is integral, as it allows us to position our app among the most relevant competitors. This is extremely beneficial for 3 things:

  1. Appearing in the similar apps section on your competitors’ product pages.
  2. Being featured alongside your competitors in special store sections, e.g., "Best productivity apps" or "Essential apps."
  3. By targeting similar keywords we can rank close to or higher than our main competitors, driving more traffic that would have gone to the competitor to our app.

3. Creative Direction: Optimize App Store Visuals with A/B Testing

Product vision and creative direction are essential parts of this ASO step. The App Store product page is like a landing page for our product, meaning it is likely the first touchpoint users will have with the product. And we all know how important first impressions can be.

Designing screenshots, app icons, and preview videos in line with Apple and Google's guidelines is essential for increasing app conversions, attracting quality users, and being considered for important featuring opportunities in the store.

Our suggestion is to always keep in mind which platform you are designing for, as app screenshots need to be scrollable, scannable, easily readable, and designed in line with Apple or Google's standards.

Additionally, we encourage you to occasionally break the norm in your design approach and to A/B test! For creative production, A/B testing is the way to go, allowing us to make data-driven creative decisions. We like to A/B test one element at a time, so we can be certain that this exact element is influencing the conversions.

4. Secure App Store Featurings

Featurings are another very important aspect of ASO. It can be an event that gets featured, a new feature in the app that you want to promote, or your app might be selected for editor's choice, app of the day, app of the week, etc. Featurings don't happen magically, it takes a lot of work and trial and error to secure one.

We suggest using In App Events (IAE) for seasonality opportunities, applying for a featuring once you have a new feature in development, and following the Today page to see what kind of apps, graphic approaches, and ideas are noticed by Google and Apples editors! Featuring is a significant topic as it can improve browse traffic and category ranks, exposing your app to diverse audiences worldwide!

5. Enhance App Performance & Understand Store Algorithms

Lastly, but arguably most importantly, you need to have good app performance. Apple’s and Google’s algorithms take many factors into account, and they change from time to time as algorithms learn, adapt, and improve. In you ASO strategy, you need to monitor crash rates, app performance, and positive and negative trends in keyword rankings and categories.

Understanding these metrics over time will allow you to build an understanding of how Apple’s and Google’s algorithms react to changes, to increases or decreases in different KPIs. This is very important, as it will enable you to make all your ASO decisions, whether creative or metadata-related, with confidence and maximum possible impact.

These 5 strategies can significantly make a real difference in your app's performance and visibility in app stores. It will ultimately lead to increased organic downloads and user engagement, without any fancy tricks - just solid strategies that work.

If you’re looking to elevate your app with expert guidance, don’t hesitate to contact the MWM publishing.