9 Effective App Store Optimization (ASO) Strategies for Increased Visibility

Raju Ram Khakhal
May 15, 2024


After months of hardship and significant investment in mobile app development, your app is finally ready to be launched on app stores. If you think you have passed down the most critical milestone, you probably need to re-think. The challenging part is yet to come. Why did you develop this app? Definitely to provide your user's convenience and make money out of it. But what if they can’t discover it? Remember, the lack of discoverability remains the number one reason for app failure. Most businesses ignore the real work of ensuring the success of their app, which is only possible when you market it well. While mobile app marketing offers a sea of opportunities, app store optimization strategies emerge as one of the best ways to market your app and improve its visibility to the general public. 

We have often mentioned the fact that there are about 5.6 million apps globally, and standing out in such a huge competition seems challenging. However, the right app store optimization strategy can help your mobile app gain increased visibility, which translates into high download numbers and improved organic traffic. But it's only possible when you understand the basics of ASO, how it works, and how to choose the best ASO strategy. 


So,  to help you out with all these common questions, we have created this complete guide to App Store Optimization (ASO), which will feature the basics of this app marketing strategy, clarify how it works, and will also help you with choosing the best ASO strategy for your mobile app. So, let’s get started!

What Is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a part of the app marketing strategy that aims to improve the chances of your app’s discoverability in the app stores. All major app stores, including Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, rank each app based on various parameters and factors. The ASO tactics, like using optimal keywords, images & videos, and meta titles and descriptions, lead to better app store ranking and drive more downloads due to that visibility. 

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Often, we see people comparing ASO with SEO; however, there are many differences. While SEO has a wider scope, covering the entire internet traffic, ASO focuses on specific app store search functions and ranking algorithms. While both concepts focus on the combined goal of attracting new users, you can merge them for better results. 

The key difference between ASO and SEO is that the former is essentially a closed-site search engine. It works on discoverable content, right indexation, and manipulation of the App Store’s ranking algorithms. If you successfully communicate with the right audience, there’s no one stopping your app from being successful. 

How Does ASO Work?


There are only two major app stores that dominate the entire mobile app market: the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. To ensure increased visibility of your mobile app, it's crucial to comprehend the nuances of each platform and tailor your optimization strategies accordingly. While there are some commonalities between the two, they also have distinct features:

The Apple App Store stands out with its unique keyword and subtitle fields, which are not available on the Google Play Store. On the other hand, the Google Play Store provides a short description field, a feature that Apple does not offer, as it only includes a long description field.

The ranking algorithms for both platforms remain largely undisclosed. However, several factors are known to influence an app's ranking:

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Apple App Store Ranking Factors

Key determinants for the ranking of iOS apps include:

  • App name
  • App subtitle
  • Keywords
  • User reviews and ratings
  • Frequency of app updates
  • User engagement and installs
  • Titles and descriptions of in-app purchases

Google Play Store Ranking Factors

Google Play Store gives priority to the following factors:

  • App title
  • Short description of the app
  • Long description of the app
  • User engagement and installs
  • Frequency of app updates
  • User reviews and ratings
  • Titles and descriptions of in-app purchases

By understanding these factors, you can effectively optimize your app for each platform and increase its visibility.

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Why Is ASO Important?

ASO is one of the most important mobile app marketing strategies, giving you full control over your app’s discoverability and visibility in this competitive landscape. 

You will be surprised to know that 82% of users find apps either by app store recommendations or by browsing the app stores. This means the more visible your app is on app stores, the more chances it will get noticed by the users. However, as said, there are over 5.6 million apps on both app stores, so standing out in such stiff competition seems impossible. 

But with the right ASO tactic, the chances of your app’s improved ranking stand tall among those who skip this step. Therefore, ASO has not only turned out to be just an option but an essential step to be followed. 

Here are some statistics showing the importance of ASO: 

  • On average, optimized apps have seen a 30% increase in download rates. (Source: Gitnux)
  • Nearly 70% of users use search to find new apps on app stores. (Source: Gitnux)
  • A localized product page can increase conversion rates by up to 26%. (Source: Gitnux
  • Only 2% of businesses hire professional ASO services, highlighting the need for improvement. (Source: Gitnux)
  • Regular updates increase the App’s ASO by up to 20%. (Source: Gitnux)
  • Apps with video previews are likely to get 16% more conversions. (Source: Gitnux)
  • Businesses using ASO are 60% more likely to achieve their goals than those who skip it. (Source: Gitnux)


What are the Business Benefits of App Store Optimization?

App store optimizations offer a plethora of benefits for businesses, including - 

Enhancing Brand Recognition

A significant advantage of App Store Optimization (ASO) is its ability to enhance your app's visibility in app stores, even if users weren't initially looking for your app. ASO has become increasingly vital, given that searching is the primary method for discovering new apps. 

This is encouraging as it implies that achieving top chart rankings or investing in expensive ads isn't necessary for user visibility. Your app can appear in search results when users search for a specific niche or topic using keywords.

Lowering User Acquisition Expenses

ASO serves as an excellent long-term mobile app marketing strategy. Once implemented, it can lead to an increase in organic downloads with little to no additional investment, significantly reducing your acquisition costs. 

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Maintaining App Visibility

ASO is a key component for maintaining long-term app visibility. As said earlier, once the initial effort with ASO is made, it can yield results over an extended period. In contrast, paid ads necessitate a continuous investment to keep attracting users. 

However, by utilizing ASO, consistent earnings can be achieved throughout the app's lifetime without ad investments. While this may seem insignificant, considering a portfolio of over 60 apps, it can accumulate to a substantial monthly income. This doesn't undermine the importance of paid ads; instead, it suggests a more effective strategy would be to integrate organic and paid channels.

Enhancing User Targeting

Even if you think your app is the best, if it's being used by the wrong audience, your retention rate is likely to decline. This highlights another crucial aspect of ASO: it aids in reaching the appropriate users for your app. It's evident that retention rates from organic installs tend to outperform non-organic ones.


Boosting Revenue

While we've discussed how ASO reduces costs and enhances brand awareness, all these factors contribute to one significant benefit: increasing your revenue. The logic is straightforward. ASO can boost your visibility, leading to more app downloads. The more users you acquire, the higher your potential revenue.

9 Best Tried-and-Tested ASO Strategies for Increased Visibility

While ASO ranking factors differ for Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, there are some common app store optimization strategies that work for both. So, here are some of the best ASO tactics to increase app visibility and find targeted users without spending thousands on ad budget. 

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1. Identify Your Competitors & Analyze their ASO Strategies

Identifying your competitors is the first step toward your app’s success. You should identify your close competitors and analyze what ASO strategies they are using. This includes not just your direct competitors, but also any application or game that is targeting the same keywords in the app stores.

Before you start researching the targeted keyword, take a moment to analyze your competitors' ASO strategies. This exercise is not only enlightening but also aids in setting achievable benchmarks or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your own plan.

The use of an ASO tool can significantly streamline this process. For example, the ASO Timeline feature alerts you when a competitor updates their metadata, providing a side-by-side comparison of the changes. 

Moreover, it offers a peek into the Product Page Optimization (PPO) tests for your app as well as your competitors, pulling data straight from Apple. This feature enables you to view the elements being tested (like icons, screenshots, or preview videos) and understand how traffic is divided among different versions.

2. Find and Use Relevant Keywords

Ranking high in an app store for irrelevant search terms won't attract the right users to your app. Instead, focus on identifying search terms that draw in users who are likely to download your app.

This can be achieved by focusing on mid- and long-tail keywords, which are specific search phrases like "mobile app development in USA" or "music apps for kids." While broad, generic keywords may seem attractive due to their high search volume; they often lead to lower user retention rates compared to specific search terms.


During your keyword research, expand your list to include mid- and long-tail keywords. Keep a balance between competitiveness and traffic to achieve maximum visibility. Aim to have your app listed among the top five to ten results for relevant and specific search terms.

Remember to strengthen your brand presence as well. Brand keywords account for nearly 70% of search traffic on the App Store and over 50% on Google Play. Therefore, it's crucial that users recognize your brand and can easily locate you through a branded search. Consider incorporating trending keywords into your app title, subtitle, or description to capitalize on current search trends.

3. Don’t Forget to A/B Test your Strategy

A/B testing for an ASO strategy involves formulating a hypothesis and comparing two distinct versions of the strategy, each with a modification in one of the elements (such as the app name, icon, screenshots, video, etc.). Both versions should attract sufficient traffic to yield a statistically significant outcome, indicating which version will result in a higher conversion rate increase.

To ensure the test's effectiveness, conducting preliminary research and analysis of your target audience is crucial. Consider the specifics of the user acquisition channel and measure the results accurately to achieve the desired boost in the conversion rate. 

For instance, users directed from a particular Facebook campaign may react more positively to certain creatives on your listing than those arriving from display ads on the web. If your app is on Android, Google's built-in A/B testing tool for your app store listing can be utilized. 

With iOS 15, it's also feasible to use Product Page Optimization (PPO) and custom product pages to design more personalized and tailored pages on the app store, which can be linked to specific campaigns.

You can even use your app screenshots to demonstrate how your business responds to evolving consumer demands. Emphasize unique features that will help your app differentiate itself in crowded search results and initiate A/B testing to discover what appeals to potential users.

4. Get Better User Reviews


If you think user ratings and reviews won’t matter for your app’s success, you are all wrong. They are an essential part of the app stores’ ranking factors. What, in your opinion, is an ideal app? Probably the one that is more stable, bug-free, and offers the best user experience. On Play Store, the frequently-used keywords in your reviews are often relevant to your app and can have a positive impact on your app’s ranking in Google Play Store. 

Secondly, if your app has a five-star review and high overall rating, it is likely to have a positive effect on your app’s conversion rates and entice visitors to download it. Did you know that 80% of users first check ratings and then download the app? So, your user sentiment is crucial for the success of your mobile app. 

Take your time to add engaging and unique elements to your app that encourage users to write a positive review about your app. This can have a lasting impact on your app's success. 

5. Localize and Go Global

App localization is a necessity in today's global market, with over 4.19 billion unique mobile users to tap into. It can significantly enhance your business by reaching new demographics. 

An app that is well-localized reduces barriers to entry, fosters trust among users and creates clear demand channels. Users who use an app in their native language are more engaged and loyal, and they're more likely to promote your app naturally.

If localizing all content isn't feasible for your business at the moment, begin with your app's product page and icon. Then, implement App Store Optimization (ASO) keywords and conversion rate optimization for your listing in the target markets.

Ensure all text and graphic content facing the user is proofread and checked by a native speaker. Inadequate localization can damage your business, leading to negative reviews and low download rates.

6. Monitor the Performance of your ASO


The primary challenge in user acquisition is determining the best method to gauge and comprehend the results of their efforts. Factors such as keyword rankings, user feedback, and conversion rates all contribute to app installs and growth. But how can one establish and validate this contribution?

There are numerous App Store Optimization (ASO) tools available that can assist businesses in monitoring the performance of their efforts. These tools amalgamate data from various external sources, including developer consoles, and illustrate the relationship between the volume of your ratings and installs. 

They also provide an estimate of the organic boost resulting from your user acquisition strategies. However, it's crucial for most user acquisition managers to track not only the effectiveness of their ASO but also the performance of their campaigns across various channels. 

7. Embrace Visual Elements

App preview videos play automatically in the App Store and Google Play search results. For apps that are not widely known but gain decent visibility through general keywords, a promotional video can be an effective tool for quickly conveying your app's functionality and persuading users to install it.

Videos are particularly crucial in the gaming sector. With the rise of multiplayer games, Apple and Google have created lists catering to this trend, such as 'Multiplayer Favorites' or 'Play Online Together.' 

All games featured in these lists have a video showcasing the gameplay. Suppose your game or game category has recently seen a significant surge in popularity. In that case, it's the perfect time to invest in a video to enhance your visibility to potential users browsing app stores.

8. Evaluate Your Google Play Store Tags

Google Tags help Google understand the nature of your app and can influence where your app appears in the store— in the Similar Apps cards, search suggestions, browsing, etc. Tags are displayed in the Google Play search results along with the app title and developer name.

If you're exploring various strategies to boost your app's visibility, it's worth examining Google Tags closely. Determine which tags your competitors are utilizing and investigate how these tags affect your app's visibility in the Similar Apps cards.

9. Keep Seasonality in Mind

Just as the popularity of gaming apps tends to surge during holiday seasons, it's important to recognize that user behavior can vary based on the time of year. For instance, we've noticed a significant increase in downloads of fitness apps around the New Year (which aligns with the trend of people signing up for new gym memberships).

An easy win is to refresh your app icons, screenshots, and promotional materials to reflect seasonal events like Halloween and the Holiday season. This could be as straightforward as adding a Santa hat to your logo or highlighting new holiday-themed content within your game in your screenshots.

Then, there are themes specific to certain categories. Maybe the Cricket World Cup is around the corner, or the NBA season is kicking off, or perhaps you're unveiling a new blockbuster movie on your streaming app.

All these can be highlighted on your product page. But remember, just like your Christmas tree, don't leave these seasonal updates up for too long to avoid appearing neglectful or outdated.


In this guide, we've highlighted all the significant advantages of implementing ASO, emphasizing its role as a cost-effective and sustainable method for mobile app marketing and user acquisition.

While ASO might appear to be straightforward and quick, it's important to understand that it can be challenging. It demands strategic planning, patience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. However, with the correct information and understanding, anyone can find success with ASO.


What is the ASO Technique?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a technique to improve an app's visibility and ranking in app store search results. It involves optimizing the app's title, description, keywords, screenshots, and reviews.

What is the ASO Keyword Strategy?

ASO keywords strategy involves researching and selecting relevant keywords that potential users might use to search for apps similar to yours. These keywords are then used in your app's title, description, and metadata to improve search visibility.

How can I Improve my ASO Ranking?

To improve ASO ranking, focus on optimizing your app's title, description, and keywords. Regularly update your app, encourage positive reviews, and use A/B testing to find what works best.

How to Get Started with ASO?

Start by understanding your target audience and competitors. Choose a descriptive title, use relevant keywords, write a compelling description, and use high-quality screenshots and videos.

What is the Search Score in ASO?

The search score in ASO indicates how often a keyword is searched for in the app store. A higher score means the keyword is more popular, which can lead to more visibility if used effectively.

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