App Store Optimization (ASO) is an effective way to help mobile applications appear on the top results in app stores, boosting rankings, downloads and installs, and that too organically for long term visibility. And app store optimization companies provide all the tools and intelligence features developers and app owners need to make their app rank highly.
While app store optimization works in similar ways to search engine optimization (SEO), it has its specializations particularly designed for the app store. So, you want to team up with the best ASO agencies to stand out in app marketplaces.
In this guide, we lay out the definition, the inner workings and architecture of ASO as well as a list of the top app store optimization companies to take your product to new heights and get that revenue flowing.
What is app store optimization?
The best way to acquire organic app installs is through app store optimization (ASO). ASO is the process of improving your mobile app’s visibility on app stores, which leads to increasing app conversion rates.
App store optimization also focuses on optimizing the app’s marketing copy, such as keywords, title, icon, screenshots, description and video, to rank it higher on app stores. That is why ASO is often described as app store SEO.
Specifically, for a mobile app to be ranked higher on the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android, the above-mentioned components need to contain the app’s target keywords in the right proportion. This should then lead to higher click-through rates (CTR), and ideally to more downloads.
An organic app install is more valuable because it’s based on people’s clear intent to find and install an app that serves a specific need, which isn’t usually the case when a user is exposed to an app advertisement.
ASO establishes a higher quality customer relationship from the get-go.
If you’re a developer wanting to make your app stand out in a crowded app store, hiring the best app store optimization agency can play a crucial role in your app marketing and help boost your app’s visibility and downloads.
Featured App Store Optimization Companies
What is the difference between ASO & SEO?
While app store optimization is often referred to as the app store SEO, with a lot of similarities, such as keyword and conversion optimization, there are some core differences that allow us to distinguish between the two concepts.
If you think about it, app stores are closely tied with search engines, which allows the two concepts of ASO and SEO to overlap. They both require good, easy to read content and focus on indexing – the process in which search engines organize and categorize information to enable fast and effective responses to queries.
Another thing they have in common is what their ranking algorithms focus on:
ASO ranking criteria
These factors play an important role in ASO and SEO in organic search ranking, and should be considered when optimizing your site or mobile app. While increasing visibility can be the main target of the two, the key performance indicators (KPIs) of ASO can be far different from SEO.
Featured App Store Optimization Companies
Apart from the main difference, which is that ASO is used for mobile apps and SEO for websites, the ranking factors are different too. We have illustrated the key contrasts of the concepts for you below:
ASO vs SEO: ranking factors
How does app search optimization work?
So, how do you optimize your app for the app stores?
You can use efficient app store optimization tools, or you can leave it to the experts and hire a top app store optimization agency?
Either choice you go with, you want to understand the inner workings of app store optimization and how to optimize app search to not only get higher installs, but to also know what to look for in an ASO company to choose the best one out there.
List of Best ASO Tools and Agencies
App store optimization strategies
App store optimization 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 continue to grow and hence the competition grows as well, it’s going to get a lot more complex.
In 2016, some commentators predicted ASO will morph into App Marketing Optimization (AMO), covering all areas of an app marketing funnel. Today in 2021, 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.
ASO has many parts to it, from keyword optimization to screenshots and analyzing reviews. But it all starts with your app’s title and the core services that will offer something unique and valuable to your target users.
Add keywords to your app’s name and description
First and foremost, you need to do your keyword research. You can use SEO tools for this, or manually do a search on Google for the most frequently used terms and search queries made by users.
This will help you understand what your target users typically search for, and what their questions and needs are when looking for apps like your’s. But make sure you choose keywords that are more concrete to your app, instead of broad ones, but also have a higher search volume.
Once you have made a list of the core keywords, add them to your app’s name, subtitle and description. Because not only will your app appear in the search results of users, but it will also be used as a ranking factor by app stores.
Incorporate the keywords naturally, while making your app name unique and engaging. This will help give context to your app and allow the app stores to understand how relevant your app is to relevant users.
Your description is also one of the main parts of content that gets indexed by app stores and analyzed by their algorithm rankings. It should describe what your app is about, what its main features are and include any other special services it has to offer users.
Pro tip: take a look at your competitor’s app names and descriptions to identify the best keywords to target.
Include the right screenshots & videos
App store screenshots are crucial marketing assets when it comes to optimizing for app search. They showcase the primary features and purpose of your app, and are easy to digest by users at one glance.
While app store screenshots are major marketing messages for your users, and while they are not direct ranking factors for the app stores’ algorithms, they will certainly grab people’s attention and make your page look visually better.
High-quality screenshots and app preview videos can really make a big impact when it comes to convincing users to install and download your app.
Use app store analytics
With 70% of mobile users using app store search to find new apps, it is safe to say that this is the most common method for discovering new apps. And the ranking position of your app in the search results highly influence the number of downloads you receive.
So if higher ranking aps get more downloads, because users typically don’t scroll through every search result, you want to master the technique of ASO. And the best way to do this is to keep track of your app performance on the app stores.
Just like how you would use Google Analytics for SEO, you want to use app store analytics tools to have an overview of how your app search optimization strategy is working out. These tools will give you insightful data on traffic, users and other important metrics tied to your app.
You will be able to pinpoint what is not working out in your marketing efforts and re-optimize your app further to ensure the best performance. Our list of top app store optimization companies and platforms will help you to do just that, by using top level app store analytics tools for quality results.
Encourage good reviews and ratings
Another ranking signal for app stores are positive reviews and volume of ratings, and can make a huge impact on your app store optimization efforts. The more reviews you have and the higher the quality of these reviews, the more this will encourage and convince users to download your app.
You can make use of push notifications, either in-app or on lock screen, asking users to leave a good review. Or, you can include pop-ups within the app, reminding users to share their experience with your app so far. You could even offer users rewards, which can help motivate them to give a good rating.
If you want your app to gain a lot of visibility and downloads on the app stores, having a solid app store optimization process and strategy is key. And because the methods and nature of the major players, like Apple and Google, require complex methodologies, hiring the best app store optimization agency is vital for establishing app rank.
So, let’s dive deeper into what app store optimization companies can do for your app and why you should work with one.
What do App Store Optimization companies do?
App store optimization companies and services help mobile apps rank higher in app stores, and also monitor rankings and downloads. They help app developers and marketers identify target keywords, and optimize app titles, descriptions, preview videos and icon designs to create a pleasant user experience (UX), to then drive profitable action.
App search optimization agencies give insightful recommendations, based on accurate data, to compete with applications alike, for your app to rank higher and stand out in the app marketplace, aka the app stores.
So, the starting point of a mobile app ASO that companies and agencies aim for, is optimizing the copy.
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.
If they recognise your brand or app from the logo, they are more likely to download it. So, the screenshots need to be displayed correctly in the app stores, for example, which is why copy optimization plays a major role in user experience and, therefore, app rank.
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.
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.
Pro tip: localization is key. A good translation of your app’s marketing copy, such as description, set of keywords, text on screenshots, narration in your video previews, is vital. The language should adapt to your target demographic so you don’t miss out on an entire country’s market.
App store intelligence tools
Data is what makes the mobile app industry function, and having robust, up-to-date analytical information is what allows apps to rank higher and reach users. There are a number of companies that supply app development powerhouses and indie developers studios that can make sense of the mass of data from 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, these app store optimization tools and software are extremely useful.
App keyword optimization tools
App keyword optimization tools are an addition to keyword optimization, and aim to monitor and capture specific keywords performance data, providing app developers with keyword analytics.
They 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 iOS App Store or Google Play. They also provide data on keywords rankings, using in-house built algorithms, including AI-based ones.
Another feature that these keyword trackers provide app developers is app store localization to improve mobile app rankings across multiple app stores and, hence, increase app downloads number in multiple countries.
Review & sentiment analysis tools
As mentioned earlier, app store reviews and ratings are crucial in shaping app users’ perception of an app, allowing them to compare multiple apps to download and possibly to purchase.
The review analysis tools provide data on ratings and reviews, as well as other online sources of app users feedback. App store optimization companies and agencies either provide this service alongside other bespoke ASO services, or mainly focused on providing app developers and marketers with information on how people interact and engage with their apps.
A/B testing tools
Regardless of how thorough app developers curate mobile UI or craft graphics and text for an app profile, chances are they will need to alter it once the app is released on an app store. A/B testing is therefore the go-to technique for brands and businesses to understand what version of an app marketing copy or UI element performs and works best.
App marketers are now conducting real-time examinations of app store icons, descriptions, keywords and screenshots to see how they affect traffic within their app. A/B testing is a powerful process that helps you find your best converting app store content, and optimizes your ASO strategy.
What are the benefits of app store optimization companies & services?
Now that we know the search ranking position of your app will greatly influence how users find and download mobile apps on the app store, you must have gotten an idea of how beneficial it is to partner with app store optimization agencies.
In the beginning of 2021, about 3.48 million apps were available on Google Play, with the Apple App Store having 2.22 million apps in place for users to download. This just proves how crucial it is for app marketers to invest in a top app store optimization company, so their app appears in first place and stands out.
But here are several other advantages that come with ASO agencies and tools, which we have listed for you below – if you’re not already fully convinced.
No matter how great your app is and how well it is designed, if it is not easy to find on the app stores, it will not get the recognition it deserves.
App store optimization companies can push your app to the top of the search results, so your hard work won’t go to waste.
Attracts high-quality and relevant users
Not only will your ASO efforts grab the attention of several users, but specifically of high-quality and relevant users. These users are already on the lookout for the services your app provides. Through keyword and copy optimization, the app store algorithm will instantly match the right users with your app.
Increases organic downloads
In-app advertising as well as in-app purchases and subscriptions models are some of the many ways to monetize your app. But your ad spend would go to waste if your app profile doesn’t convert on app stores.
Working with ASO platforms will allow you to encourage users to download your app organically, which will ensure long-term, sustainable results, as these users have specifically searched for keywords related to your app. They were already interested in your services, which will make them loyal customers.
App store optimization is closely tied with conversion rate optimization (CRO), which will get users to click through and download your app. This will in turn increase revenue and conversion rates significantly.
Reaches a wider audience
As of 2020, there are about 6.4 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide. And with a global population of close to 8 billion, the rate shows just how many people use a smartphone these days.
And if you own a smartphone, you use mobile applications. And from where do you download these apps? That’s right, from the app stores. Hence, localization is a crucial process of app store optimization, allowing you to attract users from all over the world making your app available in other languages.
ASO companies can therefore take your app to further heights, reaching a wider audience with the digital space eliminating limitations.
Work with top app store optimization companies & agencies
If you want your app to get a lot of visibility and downloads, to encourage profitable action, you have to adopt an effective app store optimization strategy to establish app ranks on the app stores.
Because app search optimization requires a lot of skill and knowledge around app stores and their individual ranking factors, it is best you hire a reputable app store optimization company or agency. This way you can ensure your app profile has the best UX and great reviews and ratings.
Top app store optimization platforms will also provide your app with push notification strategies and reviews prompts as well as other crucial features that are effective for app store optimization practices.
Check out our directory below for the list of the top app store optimization companies and services that will help re-evaluate and improve your ASO performance, and rank number 1 in the app stores.
List of App Store Optimization (ASO) companies, services and agencies