App Store Optimization (ASO): A Starter Guide

In today's digitally-driven world, businesses constantly strive to enhance their online presence and increase their app visibility. This is where App Store Optimization (ASO) marketing comes into play. ASO marketing is a crucial aspect of digital marketing that focuses on optimizing mobile apps to rank higher in app store search results, ultimately driving more organic downloads and increasing revenue.

What is App Store Optimization?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is improving the visibility and discoverability of your mobile app in various app stores, such as Google Play and the Apple App Store. It's like giving your app a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace.

Why ASO Matters

Why is ASO crucial for your app's success? Here are some compelling reasons:

  1. Increased Visibility: ASO helps your app appear in relevant search results, increasing the chances of users discovering it.
  2. Higher Rankings: A well-optimized app is likelier to rank higher in app store search results.
  3. More Downloads: Improved visibility and higher rankings lead to increased downloads, helping you reach a larger audience.

App Store Optimization Best Practices

To master ASO, you need to follow these best practices:

Keyword Research

Utilize app store optimization tools to find the right keywords for your app. These tools help you identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords your target audience uses.

Optimize App Title and Description

Craft a compelling and keyword-rich app store optimization definition for your app. Your title and description convey your app's purpose while incorporating relevant keywords.

App Icon and Screenshots

Create eye-catching visuals that reflect your app's features and benefits. Your app's icon and screenshots play a significant role in convincing users to click and download.

Ratings and Reviews

Encourage users to leave positive reviews and ratings. Higher ratings and positive feedback can influence potential users' decisions.

App Store Updates

Regularly update your app to fix bugs, add new features, and improve performance. App stores tend to favor updated apps.


Consider translating your app's content into multiple languages to reach a global audience.

What is the salary of an ASO specialist?

The salary of an ASO professional in marketing can vary depending on factors such as experience, skills, and location. On average, an entry-level ASO specialist can earn around $40,000 to $60,000 per year. More experienced professionals can earn up to $100,000 or more annually.

What is ASO vs. SEO?

ASO (App Store Optimization) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are digital marketing techniques that target different platforms. ASO optimizes mobile apps to rank higher in app store search results. In contrast, SEO optimizes websites to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is an ASO position?

An ASO position is a job within a digital marketing team, optimizing mobile apps for better visibility and increased downloads. ASO specialists conduct keyword research, analyze competitors, optimize app store listings, and monitor app

How would you define a successful ASO result in a specific market? What benchmarks are you using? Which KPIs will you take into account?

Success can have different meanings in this context. The main focus should be a profitable product. From a business perspective, we can determine goals based on how many users (free/paid) are needed to break even and make a profit. A successful app makes more money than it costs.

There can be other objectives, like not making a profit but growing in users (for future monetization or selling the app) or increasing microtransactions.

I am not fond of the market share metric. It is entirely arbitrary and needs to be more consistently accurate. These are metrics I found helpful.

  • Visibility/Rankings
  • Total installs
  • Growth speed
  • Uninstall rate
  • Reviews/Comments
  • Cost per installation
  • Cost per installation/LFT

What is your first step in entering a new market?

The first step is understanding the app, the solution, and the market's competitiveness.

  • What does this app do?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • How are users solving this problem now?
  • How are users searching for these solutions?
  • How many searches are (in both Google and AppStore) regarding those solutions/problems/needs?
  • Are there any different user personas or segments?
  • How many direct or indirect competitors are there?
  • What is the main difference between our app and the main competitors?**(This can be anything: having a better UX, more functionalities, more marketing budget, a different business model, or any other advantage.)

How do you view organic ranking and prioritize the different ASO tasks against each other (keywords, description, what's new text, creatives, icon, etc.)?

Prioritization of tasks is heavily dependent upon the phase we are in. In the first stages, knowing what people search for is the most important thing to know, so keyword research should be done carefully. That will help to define descriptions, titles, and what is most relevant to show in the thumbnails.

Again, understanding the user's journey, pain points, and search for solutions is critical to grasping how to present the app in all senses.

I prefer constant improvement over time instead of trying to get everything right. A quick time to market is more important than having the best possible icon. We can improve the icon later, but we must wait to fix it quickly to be late.

Organic ranking is one of the most accurate ways to understand the overall performance. I like to measure often (2 - 3 times a week) when a campaign starts to see how changes affect the app's visibility. After a while (3-4 months), we can begin a maintenance phase, where we are looking at organic rankings less often (once a week) and doing little tweaks on images, titles, and descriptions. It is also the moment to review users' feedback and reviews and the app's overall performance (in whatever metrics we defined before).

Please explain the workflow and interaction moments you would have with team members and specialists (UA Manager, Product Marketer, Marketing Designer) on how you would work together.

In my opinion, an ASO specialist should be part from the very beginning of the conceptualization of the app, helping to understand search trends (which reveal problems or needs that users may have, and this can be used as input to define features of the app).

While developers are working on creating the app, it is an excellent moment to define the overall strategy: defining marketing goals, countries to prioritize, and consolidating assumptions. What are the app's objectives regarding installs, revenue, and rankings?

Once we know what problems the app solves and the marketing and commercial goals, it is time to get into creatives. Select thumbnails, write first versions of texts/descriptions/titles, and prepare for launch. Most of the time, I recommend including a PPC campaign to get a quick push for the first users and reviews.

Several things could happen at this stage, and the interaction between the ASO role and the rest of the team members can vary depending upon the first results.

  • We can detect some technical issues that developers should fix.
  • We may discover that users are expecting a missing feature or a different implementation of such a feature.
  • We can understand if there is something that the app does that needs to be communicated effectively in the description.
  • We start tracking visibility/rankings in several countries to see if there is an untapped opportunity.

Where do you see the opportunities with new tools on the App Store, and how would you use them in your daily ASO work?

I would like to know if this question refers to tools inside the AppStore or general external tools like App Radar or the Tool.

In the first case, interacting with the entire ecosystem of products, including iPads and Apple Watches, not only iPhones, is a significant advantage. This helps to create a more complete experience and increase the perceived value of an app since it can be consumed in different ways.

Considering external tools, connecting them to others can help monitor things on autopilot. Connecting DataStudio to an API to get consolidated reports, search trends alerts, automated updates via Slack, and other similar time-saving features is something you can use all the time. Of course, all ASO tools provide performance reports on several granularity levels, which you need to review daily.

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