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ASO is more than tweaking – there’s more you can do

Binh Dang – App Marketing Manager at Customlytics

App store optimization, or ASO, is widely known as organic growth’s best bet as it costs less and creates more impact. Yet, it’s too often carried out in a “tweaking” fashion, which isn’t the most sustainable and impactful approach to go for.

In an attempt to explore why and how this is the case, we have teamed up with our partner SplitMetrics’ expert Lina Danilchik to co-author an article titled “App Store Optimization: Why You Can’t Optimize Forever”. It re-elaborates on the pros and cons of the top two most powerful ASO activities, namely keyword optimization (KWO) and A/B testing, then explores three highly impactful alternatives that can greatly amplify organic growth.

Keyword optimization

Keyword optimization improves an app’s organic search ranking positions for targeted search terms, increasing its exposure to the users in the App and Play stores as a result. One major disadvantage, however, is that even with the best keyword strategies, you will have to end it at some point. To exemplify, you can only add keywords that fill up to 4,130 characters on the Play Store and 160 on the App Store per locale, corresponding to the three indexed app metadata assets relevant to KWO. If you’re concerned about the extent to which you can optimize the metadata, follow the article here to learn more.

A/B testing 

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) primarily relies on app store experiments, or A/B testing, to validate valuable ideas that help you boost organic growth. Similar to keywords, it is limited within certain boundaries, such as the total amount of visible assets relevant to conversion rate (CVR). More importantly, it often gives you a headache when it comes to choosing the right testing platform and method. For a true experiment (as opposed to the risky quasi-experiments), perhaps your best options are the native Google Play Store Listing Experiments and a third-party solution such as SplitMetrics’.

SplitMetrics A/B testing solutions often drive positive results.

In general, you will reach the maximum growth potential for CRO no matter how good you are, and Lina can explain more.

What more can you do?

One power-up in your app growth journey is increased brand awareness. Yes, core growth KPIs like installs are the borderlines, but they can only be maximized if users from outside the store also know about your app. Such an external awareness can amplify in-store growth by improving search and browse visibility as well as CVR in certain cases. Leveraging performance marketing, using mobile CRM tools, and much more can expand the awareness of your brand.

Then, next to exposing your app more to the “outside” world, sometimes it’s helpful to come back inside and conquer the browse traffic channel – through app store featuring. Though often linked to short-term benefits, there are ways that getting featured could leave extensive impact on your organic app growth.

Last but not least, your app can benefit from quickly escalated growth by going viral. While it is not easy to “just go viral”, viral marketing can be fostered if you stage it the right way and have the right marketing infrastructure. Past successful attempts to make a “viral loop”, such as Slack or TikTok, have shown a handful of replicable patterns that you can adopt for your app.

“Invite” feature helped Slack go viral (Image source: Gabor Cselle).

All three of the mentioned alternatives have been explored in our joint article. We hope you will pick up helpful advice there.

Need help in ASO or app marketing in general? Drop us a line at [email protected] and we can discuss the solutions.

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