App Store Optimization

Zooming Out on ASO: Why Does It Matter to Your Business?

James Gagen

App Annie recently launched unprecedented new features to maximize customer’s ASO capabilities. Here we dive in on why ASO matters - and why it’s often been overlooked.

On October 22, 2019, we announced significant updates to App Annie’s App Store Optimization (ASO) capabilities. We’ve heard from customers who sought expanded features and deeper analysis in ASO, but the uninitiated might wonder what is ASO? And why is it important for app businesses to succeed?

What Is ASO and Why Does It Matter? 

Let’s take a step back. When search engines like Yahoo! and Google first rose to prominence, GoogleAds piloted with only 350 advertisers. Today, GoogleAds is a $60 billion business. That’s because if you want to sell online, you need to be targeting those who are searching for relevant terms on Google and other search engines.

In an increasingly mobile-first world, the same goes for apps. But instead of showing up on the first page of Google or Bing, the success of an app — and a company — can be determined by their position in the app stores. After all, consumers now download 194 billion apps annually and spend $101 billion in the app stores. If an app is buried, they are losing out on potential revenue every minute, since 65% of app downloads come from organic search in the iOS App Store. ASO touches everything from discovery to conversion and ultimately impacts both paid and organic user acquisition. 

More than Downloads — ASO Is Critical to Your Brand Sentiment

It even goes beyond just getting downloads. The app stores serve as the front door for your business: they can be the first places where your customers see your branding, view app ratings, and determine whether they think your app or business is credible. (These factors come full circle and impact ASO algorithms, as well.) If they see your competitors higher than you, that can literally keep your brand from being top of mind. With young people like the mobile-first Gen Z starting to gain more earning power and determining their brand preferences, it is vital to earn their trust and business via the app stores.

So why is ASO not a top priority for some companies? Well, for a long time, many brands simply didn’t understand ASO or thought there were ways to game their position on the app stores — which was true in the early days, but not anymore.

How You Can Up-Level Your ASO with App Annie

Furthermore, ASO can seem random. Marketers like to see logical developments play out, where you can track a prospect through each stage of the funnel, nurturing at every turn, until they become a customer. ASO doesn’t work that way: rather, it is a continual and iterative process. Whether it’s experimenting with keywords, logos, screenshots, or simply the latest consumer fad — there are numerous factors that impact your ASO. It can be frustrating to pour resources into a new ASO marketing tactic and not see the downloads follow. Other times, simply a change in the season or time of year could drive downloads of your app, even if you haven’t changed your ASO strategy. That can make the whole process feel a bit arbitrary to marketers. 

In addition, unlike other marketing tactics like publishing a whitepaper or conducting a webinar or running a new line of advertisements, a good ASO strategy doesn’t have an end date. ASO is an ongoing process, something that requires nurturing and attention and, you guessed it, optimization. 

This means:

  • Monitoring your keyword rankings (and your competitors’)
  • Spotlighting new features and UI enhancements; updating and testing creative assets to highlight app updates
  • Analyzing reviews and rankings to leverage feedback
  • Localizing your app’s metadata to increase discoverability and conversion across regions
  • Optimizing your mobile web presence to drive traffic to your app store page
  • Tracking your paid vs. organic downloads mix to uncover efficacy of your ASO efforts; monitoring competitors’ keyword bidding

It can seem overwhelming. But with App Annie as your guide, ASO will no longer just be some unfamiliar acronym — it’ll become your secret weapon. 

Ready to jumpstart your ASO strategy? View our webinar on Essential ASO Strategies to Rank Higher in 2020.

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November 19, 2019

App Store Optimization

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