There are two major ways of how people discover new mobile apps to install on their smartphones and tablets. It’s either via advertising of any sort or via built-in search on an app store. App installs that are obtained via app stores built-in search are called organic app installs.
The best way to acquire organic app installs is ASO. App Store Optimization (aka ASO) is the process of optimizing a mobile app’s marketing copy (keywords, title, icon, screenshots, description, video) to rank it higher on app stores and is often described as an app store SEO. If you’re a developer trying to make your app stand out in a crowded app store, the right App Store Optimization tools can play a crucial role in your app marketing and help boost your app’s visibility to increase downloads number.
From an app marketer, if you aren’t taking full advantage of organic app installs, you’re missing a great deal on your best app users. An organic install is more valuable because it’s based on people’s clear intent to find and install a certain app to serve a specific need, which isn’t the case when she or he is exposed to an ad. It’s a higher quality customer relationship from the get-go.
In short, discoverability matters. And the best way to get noticed in a crowded app store is through app store optimization (ASO) – a process of optimizing mobile apps marketing copy to rank higher in an app store’s search results. So, how do you apply ASO techniques? Can you do it on your own, using App Store Optimization Tools or you’ll be better off to leave it to the experts?
Consider this number – more than 90% of an average app’s installs are organic. This is where app store optimization services and agencies can help.
ASO specialists say, app store optimization is a continuous process; that you must research, test and iterate to keep up with the competition. And, as app stores continues to grow and hence the completion grows as well, it’s going to get a lot more complex. Back in 2016 some commentators predicted ASO will morph into App Marketing Optimization (AMO), covering all areas of an app marketing funnel. Today in 2020, experts say app store optimization must go beyond keywords. It’s about understanding the user intent and measuring their response, to uncover what works and what doesn’t. It implies factoring in all elements of an app marketing copy to attract and retain app users.
As ASO evolves, a number of app store optimization trends have emerged. Since 2013, when Google announced it would start indexing deep app content, mobile apps increasingly replace mobile web in search results. This means, if your app’s content appears in Google search results, and the user has your app installed they’ll have the option to click through and view the content directly in the app. If they don’t have your app installed, they’ll be directed to the app store listing for it. Through app indexing, marketers can use deep linking to drive downloads and boost ASO rankings; essentially closing the gap between SEO and ASO.
A/B testing, yet another ASO technique, has also taken off in the mobile app world. App marketers are now conducting real-time examinations of app store icons, descriptions, keywords and screenshots to discover how they affect traffic to their app. A/B testing is a powerful process that helps you find your best converting app store content and optimize your ASO strategy.
This guide goes over the different aspects of App Store Optimization before listing the best ASO tools and agencies out there to get your mobile app to the top of the store, whether its Google Play for Android or Apple’s App Store on iOS.
ASO has many parts to it, from keyword optimization to screenshots and analyzing reviews. The ASO agencies and tools listed in this guide offer a range of app store optimization services, from app analytics to reports, intelligence and app review & sentiment analysis.
So what is App Store Optimization (ASO) and what types of ASO companies exist? The sections of this guide break it down as follows:
- App Marketing Copy Optimization
- Keyword Optimization
- Types of ASO Tools
- List of Best ASO Tools and Agencies
App Marketing Copy Optimization
App Marketing Copy Optimization deals with app screenshots, the preview video, the app’s icon – basically everything that isn’t text. Many users will download your app or turn away simply by the look of those screenshots or the preview video. Further, if they recognise your brand or app from the logo, they are more likely to download it.
There’s a technical side to asset optimization as well – the screenshot needs to fit within the app store, it needs to be cropped properly and show the right features. Any old picture or screengrab won’t do.
Gummicube: App Store Optimization expertise and services
Help your app thrive on the App Store and Google Play Store with App Store Optimization from Gummicube! Click to get started with an ASO strategy made for you.Learn more
Keyword optimization includes all the text in your app’s page, from the title to the description. Keywords being present is of course important, but so is good writing – you have to persuade users to download your app with very few words, so each one counts. An app store keyword optimization isn’t as easy as dumping all the keywords either; ranking algorithms are getting smarter and users will rate the app negatively when they see that kind of behavior.
Good writing and choosing the right keywords is thus crucial to getting a good rank in the app store. What about including the most important keyword in the title? According to some studies, it can increase app store ranking by as much as 10%, so if you can do it without sounding contrived, then you should.
Something else to keep in mind is that localization is key – a good translation of your description that is sensitive to cultural norms and knows how to speak in the target language is the difference between a successful app and missing out on an entire country’s (or language’s) market.
Types of ASO Tools
App Store Intelligence Tools
Data is what makes mobile app industry tick, having robust, up-to-date analytical information is what allows app marketer to rank apps and connect them with users. There are number of companies that supply app development powerhouses and indie developers studios with such app data, the biggest are App Annie, Sensor Tower, Apptopia. They are capable of making sense of the mass of data that comes out of iTunes and Google Play. From reports on the top new apps and how they got to the top to tracking user reviews by app version (to see how changes affect reviews), the tools offered are extremely useful. Some of the platforms also have a free level to their pricing plan so you can try before you buy.
List of Best ASO Tools and Agencies
- Gummicube - Get the best app store optimization service from our experts
- SEM Nexus - Startup App Marketing Experts
- App Annie - The mobile data and analytics standard
- Apptopia - Mobile app data that helps you grow
- Moburst - Mobile Done Right
- AppTweak - #1 ASO Tool for Apps & Games Driven by Data Science
- Phiture - We Help Apps Grow
- App Growth Network - A Global App Product Marketing Agency
- JustControl.it - Get Your Digital Marketing Under Control
- PreApps - #1 App Marketing Agency
- Growth Rocket Apps - App Marketing Experts without the Agency Fluff
- Yodel Mobile - The leading global app marketing consultancy
App Keyword Optimization Tools
These ASO tools function is to monitor and capture specific keywords performance data, provide app developers with keyword analytics and suggest ways to optimize a mobile app marketing copy elements such as title, keywords set, description and provide an API to implement these changes to apps on the App Store or Google Play. Also they provide data on keywords rankings, using in-house built algorithms, including AI-based ones. Examples of such keyword trackers are companies like App Radar, App Tweak that track a number of keywords for apps, when they’re used in app store pages and how those apps perform. Another feature that such keyword trackers provide app developers is app store localization to improve a mobile app rankings across multiple app stores and hence increase app downloads number in multiple countries.
Review & Sentiment Analysis Tools
App store reviews and ratings are crucial in shaping app users perception of an app, while they are browsing an app store and compare multiple apps to download and possibly to purchase. The ASO tools that provide data on these ratings and reviews, as well as other online sources of app users feedback are Review & Sentiment Analysis tools. Some examples of such companies are Apptentive, AppBot that either provide this service along other ASO services or solely focused on providing app developers with information on how people react on their apps.
A/B Testing Tools
Regardless of how thorough app developers think through mobile UI or craft graphics and text for an app marketing copy, chances are they will need to alter it once the app was released on app store. A/B testing is go-to techniques for brands and app developers to define what version of an app marketing copy or UI element performs the best. The type of App Store Optimization tools that provide such service is called A/B Testing Tool.
List of App Store Optimization (ASO) Tools, Services and Agencies
Gummicube revolutionized mobile marketing in 2010 as the first App Store Optimization company. Gummicube’s DATACUBE ™ software leverages proprietary ‘big data for mobile’ to understand search trends and the competitive landscape inside of the app stores. By using DATACUBE, mobile search data and user behavior is no longer a black box — resulting in greater visibility, more high-quality organic downloads and a lower overall cost of user acquisition.
- Services: App Store Optimization, Mobile App Marketing, Review & User Sentiment Management, Social Influencer Program,
- Offices: San Jose, US
- Tagline: We’re dedicated to helping your mobile app find its audience.
Apptopia is a mobile app market intelligence and competitor tracking service that maintains a database of app performance data from all major app stores. It also monitors mobile ad market to report on ad performance, with data segmentation by location, category and specific app store.
- Type: Marketing analytics
- Pricing: Starter plan ($2k/month and up), Pro plan ($3,6k/month and up)
- Platforms supported: iOS, Android
Yodel Mobile is the leading global app marketing consultancy and Mobile Agency of the Year 2019, specialising in launching and scaling apps.
Since their inception in 2007, they’ve launched and aided the growth of over 200 apps. They work with clients from single territory start-ups to established, multi-territory, international brands such as mytaxi, NBCUniversal, UKTV, Bauer Media, Fujifilm, The Economist, Teletext Holidays and Gymshark.
- Services: Launch or scaling strategy, Organic acquisition, Paid user acquisition, Retention and engagement, Data
- Offices: London, UK.
- Tagline: Global and local marketing expertise for app driven businesses
Learn more about Yodel Mobile
Phiture is a multi-award-winning mobile growth consultancy and agency working with the teams behind leading apps. Using the company’s industry-acclaimed Mobile Growth Stack as a strategic framework, Phiture team offers 5 key services: App Store Optimization, Performance Marketing, User Retention/CRM, Subscription Revenue Optimization services and Growth Consulting.
Services: Mobile Growth, App Store Optimization, Performance Marketing, Subscription Revenue Optimization and User Retention / CRM
App Growth Network is a global app marketing agency with three major area of focus – App Product Marketing, App Growth Marketing (UA) and Analytics.
- Type: Marketing analytics, In-app analytics
- Platforms supported: iOS, Android.
- Offices: Vancouver, Canada
- Services: App Marketing, App Store Optimization (ASO), Analytics & Engagement, Paid User Acquisition, Prelaunch and Launch planning & execution.
- Tagline: Analyze, Optimize, Grow
PreApps is the app marketing platform for app businesses to launch and market their app to significantly boost the number of downloads and increase sales. From first time app creators to Billion Dollar apps, PreApps signature programs have helped thousands of apps reach over 550,000,000 downloads so far.
Over the past 9 years, PreApps has developed proven programs that take a first time app business owner through a unique and seamless process to launch their app successfully and reach their business goals.
- Services: Pre-Launch Beta Testing, App Review Submission, Publicity, Video Demo Creation And Distribution, ASO
- Offices: Boston, US
- Tagline: #1 App Marketing Agency
Moburst is a mobile growth marketing agency founded in 2013 with branches in the US and Tel-Aviv. Moburst’s clients include some of the biggest brands in the world such as Google, Uber, Reddit, YouTube, Samsung, and many other amazing startups, gaming companies, and brands. Its team of growth experts promoted 600+ products in the past seven years and helped many start-ups gain more organic users, boost ROI on paid media and improve their products. Its user acquisition is achieved through a selection of hyper-targeted, remarketing, influencers, and brand engagement campaigns get the right message to the right user, at the right time. Its mixture of media channels are ideal to fit your goals and budget, including RTB/exchanges, social, ad-networks, premium publishers, video, retargeting, influencers and search.
- Services: Mobile Campaigns, Media Management and Optimization, Influencers Marketing, Mobile Strategy, App Store Optimization and SEO, A/B Testing, Product Consulting, Creative Production, Video Production, Social Management and Website Production.
- Offices: New York, San Francisco and Tel-Aviv
- Tagline: Doing mobile right
There is a science to app marketing, and most companies do not know how to do it properly. We utilize every digital marketing tool at our disposal to get your app off the ground.
- Services: Paid Search, Paid Social, ASO, Influencer Marketing
- Offices: New York, US
- Tagline: Startup marketing experts
App analytics and market data platform to help developers build a better app business, App Annie is also one of the most famous repositories of news and statistics on the mobile world, is the one that Apple Inc. itself frequently quotes during its WWDC annual events. It basically sets the standard for the app industry datasets and analytics. With App Annie dashboard you can track apps downloads, revenue, usage, user demographics and advertising campaigns, across over 50 metrics to improve your mobile strategy
- Type: Marketing Analytics, In-app analytics, App advertising analytics
- Pricing: Free or custom
- Platforms supported: iOS, Android, TvOS, macOS, Windows, Amazon
Growth Rocket Apps offers premium marketing talent with all of the marketing bite, and none of the agency fluff. App Marketer of the Year Finalist and App Tweak ASO Expert. Growth Rocket Apps has a team of top-rated freelancers who have come together because we’re tired of agencies that charge premium prices, offer long lock-in periods without guarantees and then pass you on to a junior.
- Services: Growth Marketing, ASO, Search Advertising, Display Advertising, SEO, Content Creation, Social Media Management, Digital Graphic Design, Web & Mobile UI/ UX Design, Lead Generation
- Offices: London, UK, San Jose, US, Mendoza, Argentina
- Tagline: Marketing Experts Without The Agency Fluff