ASO: App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization

Mobile technology is continuing its evolution and the consumer can’t get enough of its great features such as geo-targeting and apps. And, in case you were wondering, apps are the present and future. With that said, if you own a mobile app you should be optimizing it for mobile, and if you aren’t, you are so far behind.

ASO, also know as App Store Optimization, is the piece of the mobile marketing wheel that picks up where SEO leaves off. It allows apps to be optimized based on what their projected target audience is interested in. What makes ASO and SEO so different is the use of algorithms to determine whether a page or app meets the criteria that the user is searching for and provides them with several viable options. For example, the Apple App Store uses targeted keywords submitted by the app developer and user reviews to determine whether to show certain apps to a user whereas Google Play crawls descriptions to find the keywords that users are looking for. In short, this makes them fundamentally different than search engines that consider backlinks, visitors, and relevancy to provide results to their searchers.

So why is all of this important? It’s simple really. Search engines use particular algorithms to help their users arrive at the best possible search results for their query through their channels. App stores are their own entities and require the added benefit of ASO to make app discovery easy for the user and in turn beneficial to the business who is offering the app.

Mobile Revolution

Americans and the global community are on their mobile devices at staggering rates and search engines such as Google are taking notice. For instance, Google recently launched a mobile-friendly test to help businesses and website owners figure out whether their websites offer the optimal experience for users, and it is only a matter of time before app stores begin to really delve deep into the use of app optimization to provide their users with the apps they really want. Don’t believe us, take a look at a few app statistics:



  • There are over 100 billion mobile apps available worldwide (that is a lot of apps to compete with even in a niche category)
  • There have been over 100 million mobile app downloads worldwide (may the odds be ever in your favor)

How to Make ASO Work for You

So we have given you the framework of what ASO is, but how can you get it to work for you?  We found this really interesting article that shares these tips:

  • Mobile User Behavior– How users behave in the App Stores when selecting which app to download
  • Mobile Search Semantics – How users actually construct their search queries in mobile differs from web
  • Mobile Trends– The actual types of trend within App Store search are different (features or app related)
  • Competitors – The “competitors” competing for keywords/phrases in App Stores differ from the web
  • Search Algorithms – The algorithms used by Apple and Google Play differ from Google Web search (how the data is interpreted)

We know this can seem really intimidating, and we were a little apprehensive at first too. But, the with a little hard work you can start to develop strategies to help your business’ app achieve quality rankings within mobile app stores. The days of buying downloads, hoping to be found in the sea of apps, and manipulating the app store hierarchy will soon be things of the past.


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